We had the great good fortune to have Elinor visit the San Francisco Bay Area to work with families and practitioners. In San Jose, at my office, she did 6 brain-gut focused lessons to help families and to illustrate for Feldenkrais and ABM practitioners what the impact and possibility would be when including this work in their practice with children with special needs.
Wow. I am even more convinced that her work will change the future for children who are atypical. Each case was a unique opportunity for Elinor to demonstrate how nutritional needs, and function of the enteric nervous system impact these children’s development so strongly.
Here’s who she worked with:
- 28 year old with athetoid cerebral palsy with some spasticity and retained ATNR who lives independently and uses power chair
- 6 year old with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy beginning to speak and very active
- 1 year old with severe hypoxic event at birth who has issues with autonomic nervous system and does not move
- 4 year old with signs of autism which appeared at 16 months who is very robust and vital
- 3 yr old with floppy head and athetoid type movements with great health
- 5 year old with chromosomal disorder resulting in agenisis of the corpus callosum and slow myelination.
Here are some brief synopsis to give you an idea what was covered:
With the 28 year old she was able to calm the tight contraction in his small intestine and teach him to feel how to sense that area as he comes to sit so he does not contract in his legs and become stiff. She recommended lots of onions to help him normalize the small bowel intestinal flora.
Update: He immediately went to the grocery store to purchase onions and add a lot of them in his diet. He experienced cramping in his small intestine area that night and the next two days. No longer constipated but uncomfortable. Day 2 I did additional enteric work and was able to get the small intestine area soft again and the illial-cecal sphincter area to relax after 4 circles through the system. There was a huge amount of motility all around at the end of the session (15 to 20 minutes) in his abdomen and in his rib cage, sternum and shoulders. NICE! The second lesson completely gave him relief again.
With the 6 yr old SQ CP – Elinor recommended checking his fillings to see if they were amalgam, checking the Folate level in his spinal flood if there is a non-invasive way to do that, and using magnesium citrate or glycenate daily. She worked with his vagal nerve and esophagus, stomach and small intestine to “tonify” the vagal nerve and get everything more active.
With the 1 year old she recommended Activated Folic Acid (-5mthfr or folinic acid) supplements and checking for the MTHFR gene variation. She worked to calm the reactiveness of the branch of the vagal nerve going to the liver which was connected to her eyes rolling back in her head and the “startling” of the autonomic nervous system. She worked on the pull going diagonally through the body to the illial-cecal valve which was connected to the dystonia.
With the child with autism spectrum symptoms she discussed the leaking of seratonin into the brain and consequent behaviors triggered as well as the lack created in the digestive tract and the disruption of messaging between the intestinal tract and pancreas etc that this causes. She said the issue with seratonin and with another brain chemical would resolve with work on the enteric nervous system.
Elinor was impressed with the digestive health of the three year old with floppy head and athetoid type movements. She worked with the timing of the sphincters and digestive tract and this child had 3 poops that morning. She felt the folinic acid would be important for this child also.
Note: I hope to update this article as I get reports in from parents about how their next few days have gone.
Elinor is so generous with her knowledge and is committed to getting this information out to parents and practitioners and to helping children with these issues. She has plans to offer hands on training so that others can do the enteric nervous system work and she will continue to educate everyone about nutrition and the Brain-Gut connection. I will let you know when and where her next workshop will be!