Strategies to Improve Body Awareness & Mental Health

Intervention strategies promoting body awareness can improve behavior in children and adolescents with sensory processing, trauma history, developmental, and mental health challenges.  Improving youngster’s body awareness is particularly important for children and adolescents because it impacts development and provides the foundation for functional motor planning skills.  Many children with internalizing behavioral challenges including depression and repeated complaints of pain can be helped through enhancing their body and emotional awareness skills.

Although body and emotional awareness difficulties are commonly described in children and adolescents with trauma histories and psychiatric disorders, limited attention is given to body scheme and emotional awareness by mental health therapists. The sensory integration, massage, mindfulness, and yoga frames of reference offer effective body awareness assessment and intervention strategies. FAB Sensory Modulation Strategies that promote body awareness include: Touch vibration on the Back and Arms, FAB Pressure Touch, arm traction, Back X, Spine crawl, Wall pushups, Nose breathe, Mindful clock, Bird, Tense & relax, Focus on feet, Focus on palms, and the Body scan.

MindfulClock2MindfulClock1 MaryMassage

Light touch to reduce somatic pain and improve body awareness can be provided using the FAB Back X and Spine crawl strategies in the BackX & SpineCrawlGame

 References:

Beider, S., & Moyer, C. (2007).  Randomized controlled trials of pediatric massage: A review.  Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 4(1), 23-34.

Flook, L., Smalley, S., Kitil, M., Galla, B., Kaiser-Greenland, S., Locke, J., Ishijima, E., Kasari, C. (2010).  Effects of mindful awareness practices on executive functions in elementary school children.  Journal of Applied School Psychology, 26, 70-95.

Koester, C. (2012).  Movement based learning for children of all abilities.  Reno, NV: Movement Based Learning Inc.

Intervention strategies promoting body awareness can improve behavior in children and adolescents with sensory processing, trauma history, developmental, and mental health challenges.  Improving youngster’s body awareness is particularly important for children and adolescents because it impacts development and provides the foundation for functional motor planning skills.  Many children with internalizing behavioral challenges including depression and repeated complaints of pain can be helped through enhancing their body and emotional awareness skills.

Although body and emotional awareness difficulties are commonly described in children and adolescents with trauma histories and psychiatric disorders, limited attention is given to body scheme and emotional awareness by mental health therapists. The sensory integration, massage, mindfulness, and yoga frames of reference offer effective body awareness assessment and intervention strategies. FAB Sensory Modulation Strategies that promote body awareness include: Touch vibration on the Back and Arms, FAB Pressure Touch, Back X, Spine crawl, Wall pushups, Nose breathe, Mindful clock, Bird, Tense & relax, Focus on feet, Focus on palms, and the Body scan.  Light touch to reduce somatic pain and improve body awareness can be provided using the FAB Back X and Spine crawl strategies in the Back X & Spine Crawl Game.

 

References:

Beider, S., & Moyer, C. (2007).  Randomized controlled trials of pediatric massage: A review.  Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 4(1), 23-34.

Flook, L., Smalley, S., Kitil, M., Galla, B., Kaiser-Greenland, S., Locke, J., Ishijima, E., Kasari, C. (2010).  Effects of mindful awareness practices on executive functions in elementary school children.  Journal of Applied School Psychology, 26, 70-95.

  Koester, C. (2012).  Movement based learning for children of all abilities.  Reno, NV: Movement Based Learning Inc.

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One thought on “Strategies to Improve Body Awareness & Mental Health

  1. Pingback: Pediatric Therapy Corner: Strategies to Improve Body Awareness & Mental Health

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