Movements that Heal
For many years I have been a psychiatrist in Sweden and worked with clients using a movement method I call Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT) which is a movement and primitive infant reflex integration programme for people with learning, emotional and behavioural challenges. While my practice is in Stockholm I have also had the opportunity to develop and expand the training by teaching workshops in More
I originally learned the basis of the movements from Kerstin Linde, an experienced and accomplished photographer. Her close scrutiny of infants, children and adults inspired the method which came from her observations of rhythmic developmental movements spontaneously made by infants. For several years, during the second half of the 1980s, I followed her work and wrote about my experiences and observations of our work together in my 1998 book Helande Liv.
The rhythmic elements of the movements are characteristic of her method. Other approaches that help children with motor and learning challenges inspired by baby movements, lack the rhythmical elements that I have found so useful. One of many effects of Kerstin Linde’s method was the integration of primitive infant reflexes. She emphasized that the rhythmic exercises integrate primitive reflexes if they are done in a correct or exact way. This may be true for small children but for older children and adults the rhythmic movements need to be supplemented with other methods. One effective supplementary method is an isometric pressure technique I originally learned from Russian psychologist Svetlana Masgutova.
My intention in writing this book is to provide a plausible scientific explanation for the remarkable effectiveness of RMT - which has been my experience that is now shared by others -when working with the diverse learning needs of children and adults. This book therefore contains some elaborate sections about the structure and function of the brain and the nervous system and their connections to the primitive reflexes.
I want to thank sociologist Sophia Lövgren, Ph.D. who has generously contributed her great expert knowledge to the afterword of this book. I am also very thankful for the support and assistance I have received from Dr Mårten Kalling who supplied many valuable insights and also shared many scientific articles that have helped me explain the mode of action of RMT.
I especially want to thank Moira Dempsey who has not only done a tremendous job editing my manuscript and correcting linguistic and grammatical errors, but also given me much helpful assistance and advice as to the final version of the book, and provided some illustrations.
I would also like to thank Phua San San in Singapore for her illustrations of movements and reflexes, and Sandra Almenberg who have provided the illustrations in the original Swedish version of this book.
To the many people throughout the world who have been models, given feedback and helped refine the work, attended classes and to all the instructors who have all been instrumental in growing RMT around the world, I owe and give my sincere gratitude.
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