If you've ever had a really great foot massage, or any foot massage for that matter you know just how healing it can be. Kids can also benefit from the healing touch of foot massage.
When the feet are massaged, anxiety is eliminated and this brings about a deep state of relaxation. One important point that is situated on both feet is the solar plexus reflex. The solar plexus is sort of a little warehouse where all your stress is stored. When the solar plexus point is pressed on, stress is released and the body is renewed.
Foot massage is restorative in that it gives the receiver energy. When the foot is rubbed and palpated, all the elements of a foot massage come together to bring energy to the body. According to theories of reflexology, foot massage releases any blockages that can hold back energy that should be flowing through the body freely.
I like to incorporate a short foot massage at the end of every kids yoga class. In last night's class, three year old Emmy couldn't get enough foot massaging.. After her turn was complete, she followed me around the circle sticking her tiny little feet up at me asking for me to keep rubbing. He parents were laughing as they looked on..
Some of the benefits are:
1. Understand that 5 minutes of daily massage is a long time for most
2. Establish massage as part of the bedtime routine to help your child
3. Always ask your child if he or she wants a massage, demonstrating
your respect for your child's right to say "no" to touch.
Tips & Warnings:
If you continue to make massage a part of a child's routine, he or she may return the favor one day and massage your weary parental shoulders. Not a bad family routine!
Ruling on Encinitas Yoga Trial Is In: Yoga Not Religious, OK for Public Schools
Posted by YD × July 1, 2013 at 1:12 pm
Hear ye! Hear ye! Big news out of California.
The ruling on the yoga trial in Encinitas has been announced. Judge John Meyer ruled that the yoga classes are not religious and can continue in the school district. It’s a win for yoga! And for kids.*
The lawsuit, filed by conservative parents concerned about the “inherent” religiousness of yoga classes offered in the Encinitas school district, and the consequent trial was the first of its kind, bringing the debate on yoga and religion to the San Diego Superior courtroom. The ruling essentially declares yoga OK for public school children and could set a precedent for future cases as yoga continues to grow and expand to kids big and small.
The yoga program is being funded by a $533,000 grant from the K.P. Jois Foundation and is based in Ashtanga (naturally). The non-profit is conducting a three-year study on the effects of yoga on school kids.
The rabbit, or the Sasangasana, is an inverted yoga pose that provides excellent traction on your back, shoulders and upper extremities. As you turn your body in an inward position, your back will have a good stretch followed by elongation of your spine. With the spine properly lengthened, the circulation of your blood will improve, allowing your nervous system to receive its proper nutrition.The placement of your upper torso helps relieve pressure from your back and shoulders all the way up to your neck and head. It also balances your hormones, stimulates your thyroid gland and improves your immune capacity. For people suffering from sinusitis, colds or congestion, tonsillitis, laryngitis, upper airway allergies and glandular problems, this position is the best way to find relief.
1. Begin in a child's yoga position--kneel down and then lower your buttocks to sit on your lower leg and feet. With your arms on the sides, lower your torso on your thighs, as you bring your head down on the floor. From this position, you can start the rabbit pose.
2. Press your forehead slightly on your knees. Then, extend your arms backward and hold on to the base of your feet. Give your heels a firm hold and then take a deep breath.
3. Exhale as you gradually lift or elevate your hips. Keep your forehead as close as possible to your knees and the topmost part of your skull (crown of the head) near the floor or mat.
4. Contract your abdominal muscles as you hold the pose for 5 to 8 seconds, then relax.
NYU Steinhardt Research: Yoga Boosts Socialization, Mind-Body Connection, and Focus Among Autistic Students
October 10, 2012
Step one: Mats out. Step two: breathe deep. Step three: assume poses. Step four: tense and relax muscles. Step five: sing.
According to a study by NYU Steinhardt researcher, Kristie Koenig, these five steps, 17 minutes a day, five days a week, for 16 weeks, resulted in a significant decrease in aggressive behavior, social withdrawal, and hyperactivity for Autistic students attending District 75’s P.S. 176X in the Bronx. The school serves the largest population of students on the Autism Spectrum in the nation.
“We found that teachers’ ratings of students who participated in the daily yoga routine showed improved behavior compared with teachers’ ratings of students who did not,” said Koenig, assistant professor of occupational therapy. “Our aim in this research was to examine the effectiveness of an occupational therapy yoga intervention. Our research indicates that a manualized systemic yoga program, implemented on a daily basis, can be brought to public school classrooms as an option for improving classroom behavior.”
“Get Ready to Learn,” (GRTL) the intervention program used in the study, was designed by occupational therapist and yoga instructor Anne Buckley-Reen in 2008, in collaboration with Barbara Joseph, District 75 deputy superintendent. District 75 is the nation’s largest special education district in an urban public school system. GRTL uses yoga postures, breathing, and relaxation techniques to help energize, organize and calm ASD students. It helps prepare students mentally and physically for the day’s lessons.
“GRTL gets children out of the stressed state and prepares their brains and bodies to learn,” Reen explained. “Children with Autism often exhibit characteristics of ‘fight-or-flight’ response. They are in a constant state of stress and struggle with staying calm, trying to concentrate, communicating clearly, or even controlling their movements. Many students with ASD and other challenges have missed critical developmental stages which impact body awareness and perception of self. How can we expect these students to connect to others, if they are not connected to themselves? GRTL provides opportunities to make and strengthen these mind-body connections.”
With GRTL training supported by both the district and participating school, teachers led the daily routine that includes eight minutes of varied postures, three minutes of weight-bearing poses, three minutes of deep breathing to help reduce stress, three minutes of muscle tension and release, and concludes with a circle of song.
“This circle of song creates a vibrating of the lungs which helps students to find their voice and contribute to classroom harmony,” said Reen. “We sing the name of the students in back and forth exchanges. This encourages engagement from all students, even those with limited speech.”
GRTL is currently being implemented in more than 500 classrooms in District 75 across the city of New York with students ages five through 21 with significant disabilities. It is also in typical classrooms in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont.
“This research points to new ways that can help students self-regulate their behavior for longer periods of time. This type of daily programming provides them with a foundation for function so they can focus and attend for longer periods of time. This is one way they are able to learn effectively,” said Joseph. “Programs like this can enhance communication and socialization skills. Parents have seen changes in their children at home. They tell us they have seen improvement in their children’s speech, communication, and behavior.”
The study, conducted by Koenig, Reen, and NYU Steinhardt doctoral student Satvika Garg, is titled “Efficacy of the Get Ready to Learn Yoga Program Among Children with ASD: A Pretest-Posttest Control Group Design.” It was recently published in the September/October 2012 issue of The American Journal of Occupational Therapy.
To learn more about the NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy, visit: http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/ot/
About the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development prepares students for careers in the arts, education, health, media, and psychology. Since its founding in 1890, the Steinhardt School's mission has been to explore the human experience through public service, global collaboration, research, scholarship, and practice. To learn more about NYU Steinhardt, visit: http://steinhardt.nyu.edu