Lana Whitehead "Swimming Promotes Sensory Integration" Adapted Aquatics Conference 2012


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Lana Whitehead "Swimming Promotes Sensory Integration" Adapted Aquatics Conference 2012

  2. 2. MOTOR PLANNING • One of the highest, most complex of all the sensory integrative functions in a child  It lays the groundwork for a childs sensory/motor development • It is a bridge between a childs sensory/motor development and the intellectual aspects of his brain function
  3. 3. SENSORY INTEGRATION• The brain has to organize sensory info in order for it to have meaning• It "puts it all together".• Organizes parts into a whole• Its the TRAFFIC COP - it directs traffic through the nervous system so sensory info can be processed in the right part of the brain• Tactile, Vestibular & Proprioceptive Systems
  4. 4. TACTILE SYSTEM A sensory system• Swimming is very tactile• Water has 600-700 times the resistance of air- encourages neurological development• Dr Ruth Rice researched tactile and vestibular stimulation on infants, finding that they accelerated cognitive & neurological development.
  5. 5. WATER RESISTANCE • Viscosity of water provides and excellent source of resistance that allows for muscle strengthening & tone • Studies 2011 in Melbourne AU - children who swim strengthen their muscles more rapidly • A swimmer has to apply at least 12x the force to the water to move his body. • A Dynamic Resistant Force more force, more resistance
  6. 6. BUOYANCY • Buoyancy is very tactile • Supports childs weight • Decreases weight bearing stress on joints/bones 60-70% • Working in chest deep water is: • Easier and less painful • Child can exercise longer • Can provide a cardio workout • Child is less likely to injure himself
  7. 7. WARMTH OF WATER • Warmth is very tactile • Vasodilates vessels which increases blood flow • More oxygen to the brain • Lowers blood pressure • Boosts immune system • Improves physical performance 25% • Improves Mental Alertness • Improves Endurance • Improves Energy Levels
  8. 8. PROPRIOCEPTION A Sensory System• Ability to sense your body in space and movement of the body and its parts• Proprioceptive Dysfunction• Little motor control• Difficulty Motor Planning• Little sense of pressure• Postural Instability
  9. 9. HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE• Pressure exerted by a fluid due to gravity• Produces perpendicular force to the body• Improves Proprioception• Helps a child with Proprioceptive Dysfunction To know where his body is in space and movement of body and its parts
  10. 10. SPATIAL AWARENESS • Childs knowledge of objects in space around him and his awareness of his bodys position within that space • Child must learn concepts of location, direction and distance • More mobility in water can teach spatial awareness • Ability to organize objects in space is connected with ability to organize abstract thoughts
  11. 11. VESTIBULAR SYSTEM A SENSORY SYSTEM• Vestibular system is controlled by the inner ear and is the information gathering and feedback source for movements• They are the Business Centers• They sort and order impulses from many parts of the brain• Its the unifying system• It Primes the nervous system to run efficiently• All other sensations are processed in relationship to basic vestibular information
  12. 12. VESTIBULAR MOVEMENT • Humans enjoy things that develop the brain • We seek sensations that organize our nervous systems • Thats why we like: Rocking Rolling, Spinning, Swaying, • Stimulates the Vestibular System and activates the cerebellum and frontal lobes • Organizes Nervous System • Develops Spatial Awareness Visual Perception, Language • Promotes Balance & Stability
  13. 13. VESTIBULAR STIMULATION • 2009 Norwegian U of Science &Technology found • Baby swimmers developed better balance, movement & grasping skills than peers • The difference persisted until they were 5 years old • At age five they still out performed their peers in balance, movement and grasping skills.
  14. 14. BALANCE & STABILITY• Gravitational security is so vital to a childs emotional health, he has a strong inner drive to explore & master it• LEARNING BEGINS WITH GRAVITY• Gravity activates infant’s neck muscles to lift his head and learn about his environment.• Gravity stimulates movement• Movement activates learning
  15. 15. MOVEMENT FACILITATES LEARNING • 2011 research in Melbourne AU reported that children who were taught to swim by 5 years, had statistically higher IQs • When a child moves or interacts with his world, the impulses flowing through his neurons stimulate the nerve fibers to grow branches and twigs that reach out to other neurons. • When movement is repeated over & over , new neural pathways are created • These new nerve pathways set down intricate neural networks that direct a child’s higher level brain development
  16. 16. INCREASES MEMORY CAPACITY • Studies show the amount of movement a person engages in affects the size and memory capacity of the hippocampus • Dr Art Kramer’s study at University of Illinois & Pittsburgh discovered that higher fit people have bigger hippocampi and . . • More tissue in hippocampus equates with a better memory • Queensland U
  17. 17. BILATERAL CROSS PATTERNING• Fascinating new research -Bilateral cross patterning movements like swimming develop more nerve fibers in the corpus callosum (200 mil)• It facilitates communication, feedback & modulation from one hemisphere to the other• Cross patterning movements activate both hemispheres & all 4 lobes of brain simultaneously, thus heightening cognition and increasing the ease of learning
  18. 18. NERVE CONDUCTION • Swimmers have a greater Cell Density, Connectedness in the cerebellum • Swimmers show little decline in NERVE CONDUCTION VELOCITY (NCV) • Speed in which your brain tells the muscles what to do • 80 yr old master swimmers have same NCV as 50 yr old • Greater elasticity in arteries, lower heart rates
  19. 19. SOCIAL CONFIDENCE • Liselott Diem’s study reported that babies who had swim lessons from age 2m - 4yrs were better adapted to new situations, had more independence & greater self confidence • In swim class a child learns to cooperate in a social structure • To take turns, share, cooperate • This sense of belonging builds self esteem and strengthens social confidence