Body and movement methods are alternative therapies that focus on the body in the treatment process. There are several types of approaches which can be classified into 3 different techniques:
Somatic techniques are a mix of hands-on methods and verbal coaching consisting of suggesting specific postures and movement by touch, manipulation and instruction. The two most famous approaches are The Alexander Technique and The Feldenkrais Method . They both help people to be more aware of their habitual neuromuscular patterns, to improve coordination and release tension. The Feldenkrais Method is based on a series of movement sequences and touch while the Alexander Technique uses an evaluation of student posture to teach how to decrease muscular tension in common movements such as walking or reading. While those techniques are dedicated to correct postural habits by increased awareness of muscular tension, The Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI) helps to integrate correct primitive reflexes, which are automatic movements, through a series of repeated exercises. Another approach called CranioSacral Therapy is dedicated to cranial bone movement and touch to regulate the blood flow and pressure in the head. While most of those approaches are based on movement and pressure, a specific technique named Emotional Freedom Technique consists of a sequence of tapping a specific meridian point of the body. Many of those techniques are referenced under the Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA).
Timing and Rhythm Control
Timing and rhythmicity are important functions that relate to a variety of cognitive and motor skills. Rhythm control techniques are generally guided by software that challenges users by asking them to do specific movements in accordance with an auditory and visual stimulus or signal. The most well-known approach is the Interactive Metronome which gets the user to perform hand and foot movements at the right speed and at the right moment. Derivative of the Interactive Metronome are the Brainbeat and Timocco software. They both only require hand movements and are designed for children only.
Fitness and Balance Movement
Physical and balance movement approaches usually consist of verbal coaching in specific physical exercises and movement with or without gym accessories. These techniques are similar to Brainbeat and Brain Gym which consists of a series of supportive exercises and rhythmic movement. Some focus on balance control by using a balance board like Brainbeat and Bal-A-Vis-X and Brainbeat and Balamaterics (learning breakthrough) which both offer time tested exercises.
Rhythm, balance, and movement coordination have a great impact on fine-motor and academic skills. These techniques can translate to a variety of cognitive and motor skills.