Arousal (Part II of Entrainment & Rhythm)
People with low muscle tone have difficulty understanding body movement due to trouble with perceiving input through their muscles, joints and tendons. This delay can disrupt the natural rhythms associated with gait, talking, breathing and eating. In addition, to changes in rhythms, they typically have low levels of arousal. Optimal arousal levels contribute to our ability to stay focus and attend to the task at hand; requisite skills for classroom performance and learning new information. Children with low muscle tone need more energy to work against gravitational forces. Fatigue and low endurance are characteristic issues for people with low muscle tone. Equine movement can help provide input that feeds muscle, joints and tendon receptors, strengthen anti-gravity muscles and provide the rider with a more “typical” movement pattern and rhythm. Adding, music with a vigorous beat that matches the horse’s rhythm increases the child’s arousal level and maximizes outcomes. Auditory pathways are next to our balance sensing pathways so music added to an equine activity or therapy stimulates the balance sensing system.
In contrast, people high levels of arousal (people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Autism) have hyper states of arousal due chemical in the brain and subsequent disruptions in typical neural pathways. People with hyper arousal, also have difficulty with focus and attention and can be easily over stimulated by sights, sounds, movement, touch, smells and taste. An equine with slower rhythms will serve to provide more “typical” rhythms and help to calm and slow down the brain. Classical and calming music added to a riding session will help to provide, again, a more “typical” rhythm and stimulate the balance sensing system without over arousal.« Previous Entry | Next Entry »