These are a few comments Parents / Teachers / Professionals / Coaches have made about the improvements they have experienced.
From a Paediatric Occupational Therapist:
I am a children’s occupational therapist working predominately with children with autism and dyspraxia in London. I have recently added RMT to my toolbox of skills to aid my assessment and treatment process. I have found that every child I assess has a cluster of retained primitive reflexes underlying their functional difficulties.
RMT has helped me understand the importance of early movement patterns and how these help develop the sensory systems and central nervous system, necessary for children to reach their potential. When this process has gone awry, RMT has become one of my favourite treatment tools to help address a child’s sensory, motor and behavioural challenges. It is wonderful to be able to give the brain a second chance to receive the input it missed the first time round!
I love that change is seen quickly and that there is no requirement for expensive equipment. As most of the programme is done at home, it has also proven to be a very cost effective option for many families. I use a monitoring form and families consistently report positive change at each visit. I have recently had a mum ask if I would treat the whole family!!
In a personal note, my 6 year old can now complete an awesome cartwheel and Bridge pose!! Sarah S. Paediatric O.T
The Iona School using RMT:
From the outset, a combination of experience, research, and intuition drew Mrs Jones and myself to the Rhythmic Movement Training. We knew it had something very valuable to offer the children at Iona.
Having completed the training with Mark Church in the summer of 2015 we came away inspired and completely fired to bring the benefits of this work our Iona school. The Rhythmic Movement Training programme was introduced as part of the curriculum from last September. We are about half way through the programme planned for this year.
It has been deeply affirming and gladdening to witness the benefits RMT is bringing about. The integration of primary reflexes brings children to greater readiness for accessing the curriculum. We are seeing growth in emotional resilience, physical mobility, dexterity, speech as well as improvements in more formal learning skills. E.H – SencoTeacher
We are delighted by comments in Iona’s School Inspection Service report:
“Teachers continually look for new ways to improve pupils’ learning. The school assesses the pupils identified as having SEND exceptionally well …… The school introduced Rhythmic Movement sessions as an intervention for pupils experiencing difficulties but this proved so successful that it has been extended to whole classes and is having a similarly positive impact. This exemplifies the attitudes and intentions of staff at the school, they are highly evaluative and constantly seek ways to improve the provision they make for pupils. ” (Mrs Christine Graham – reporting inspector.)
From an Advanced Paediatric Occupational Therapist:
I am Advanced Paediatric Occupational Therapist and have worked in NHS and now independent practice and run a therapy based company. I am an Advanced Sensory Integration practitioner and provide one to one therapy. I assess and treat using a combination of RMT and Sensory Integration. Although my training in SI has helped my clinical observations, I have greatly increased my knowledge through RMT training both in observations and hands on treatment. The effect of underlying primitive reflexes is not taught in core OT or Physiotherapy practice and this is a huge area missed that will effect a person’s development and movements.
RMT has given me the building blocks for intervention. The knowledge and treatment has greatly enhanced my practice. I have found the exercises and the progression extremely beneficially and have seen significant improvements in the child’s function. We complete a reflex program with children before they start therapy as we have found if the primitive reflexes are not integrated, it has a negative effect the progress of the OT intervention.
All my staff are trained in RMT and this is a requirement for our staff to be able to provide this. We feel it is an essential component of paediatric OT provision and would highly recommend this to health professionals who provide treatment.
I would thoroughly recommend Mark courses – he is very approachable and his knowledge is excellent. The course provides in-depth neuro and practical assessment advise. I would recommend to complete all the levels and essential for O.Ts working in Paediatrics. E.J. Paediatric O.T
Parent about her son after his first appointment:
He has been doing his exercises every day and they are looking smoother and more connected. He has had significantly less angry / uncontrollable meltdown episodes which is massive progress, and he is really happy about that too.
He also has had a shift in his pen control. He is enjoying colouring in a way he hasn’t ever before, is able to stay focused on his task for longer and is more able to control “staying in the lines” when he colours. This is a definite improvement as he hated colouring and now we are going through colouring in books at a rate of knots!! SD – Parent
From a School Headteacher:
We started using RMT in School on a regular daily basis. One of our teachers has noticed that a very dyslexic girl in his class returns from having an RMT session and is able to sit straight down, works quietly and unaided, producing clear and coherent writing. DS – Headteacher
Paediatric Occupational Therapist:
As a Occupational Therapist and advance practitioner in sensory integration, I’ve always been interested in the impact that retained and under developed primitive reflexes can have on a persons development and subsequent functional skills. The three courses I’ve completed with Mark Church have been such a compliment to my current skill set. In my opinion, its really deepened my understanding of development and really supported my previous learning. Since taking these courses, I’ve been able to use the newly acquired knowledge and skills to support my clinical reasoning and also adapt and adjust my therapy delivery for those clients who cannot access traditional sensory integration spaces or other therapy techniques. I would highly recommend this training to any therapist and would love to see more clinical research in this field. MT – OT
I have been a practitioner in neuro-cognitive education for fourteen years, specialising in dyslexia and other learning difficulties. I am a consultant in a primary school as well as having a private practice in my home.
There was a child in school with Global Delay and I arranged for a Rhythmic Movement Therapist that I had met on another course to come to the school to assess him. The results of the exercise programme that was set were so positive that the Head Teacher asked me to train in Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT).
I started the training process four years ago, with Mark Church, of becoming a Rhythmic Movement Therapy Consultant. I cannot express adequately how this has changed my life and work; it has been a complete revelation. Originally, I considered RMT would be an add on to my usual practice, however it is now my main therapy. I consider that I am able to offer my clients a far better service than I could before. The knowledge of the primitive reflex system is vital in helping so many people; both children and adults. By taking a very detailed history of the client, I am able to carry out investigations to discover what might be causing their particular difficulties and give them an exercise programme to integrate their reflexes or to make better connections between the different parts of the brain. Having worked with many children in the past, I now realise that before RMT my focus was too narrow.
I am delighted that there have been so many successful outcomes with my clients using RMT. Other methods that I used in the past rarely delivered such dramatic results.
A child about whom I am particularly proud and pleased arrived at school at the beginning of year six, age 10. He had a difficult home life and had moved schools several times. In terms of school, he was withdrawn and looked like an apology for himself. Academically the school considered that he would not even be on the scale for the SATs tests. At home he had poor sleep patterns including sleep walking, was fidgety and still wet the bed. Because of this, he had never been able to go to a sleepover with friends. His mother also said that his bladder problems meant that they could not go away on holidays that involved long car journeys. A paediatrician had suggested that the child had ADHD and that they might try Ritalin. Fortunately, the mother had resisted this and I asked her to try a RMT programme before going back to the hospital.
It transpired that among others the child had a retained Spinal Galant Reflex. This was responsible for many of his difficulties. The reflexes were worked on for 3 months starting after Christmas. By Easter the family were able to drive to Spain, something they could never have done before. The boy sat the SATs and got reasonable levels in all of them. He was also able to go on the residential school trip, which he could not have done when he was bed wetting. The most exciting thing for me was that in the last week of the summer term, I watched the child run across the playground with a group of friends: he was one of the gang happy and laughing. Without RMT what would have happened to him?
Anyone in education who truly cares about children in difficulty of any kind should not hesitate to do the RMT training, especially with Mark as he is a marvellous and sympathetic teacher. SV – Specialising in dyslexia and neuro development.
From a parent whose son was struggling in school:
Since beginning our visits to the Mark Church Centre last year, my son has made huge progress which I feel is very closely linked to RMT and his work with Mark. He was finding it hard to focus in school, his coordination was not very good and his understanding and speech were behind his peers.
Spending time doing RMT every evening, with regular visits to Mark to check, develop and increase the exercises has meant that less than a year on, my son has made significant progress in all areas. His ability to concentrate, understand and communicate have all dramatically improved and every day we notice more and more changes of this nature. He is calmer, more controlled and physically stronger too. His writing has improved significantly and his anxiety levels have dropped.
As soon as my son began RMT we immediately saw progress. One teaching assistant asked ‘Are you doing anything different with him?’ because the calmness that came upon him was so noticeable. This academic year the teacher has been ‘impressed’ with the way he settled back to school after the holidays and he is now needing less and less support at school. I can tell the staff are surprised by his progress because just a year ago he was struggling so much to be part of the lessons.
Mark is a very talented therapist who demonstrates skill, patience and expertise in guiding my son and helping me to help him. His advice and support have already been considerable and I would strongly recommend any parent looking for ways to help their child progress to contact Mark. Sarah – Parent
From a parent whose son is using my RMT programme:
As a quick update before the hols, Stanley has been doing well still and the class teacher said at parents’ evening that she would not have predicted last September that he would have made so much progress by March this year as he had. He has also swam without floats for the first time a few weeks back which we were thrilled about and can also do forward rolls now! SC – Parent
From a Physiotherapist:
I am a physiotherapist and therapist of sensory integration. I work especially with children with school problems such as reading, writing, counting, attention deficit disorder, children with sensory integration disorders, autism, developmental or metabolic problems, speech problems and behavioural problems.
Rhythmic Movement Training has proven to be a home-based exercise as children are coming from far away and they need to have an individual rehabilitation to do at home. RMT is well-suited for small children who are not yet cooperating and so we can ask the parents to do some of the movements on them while they are a sleep.
Using basic exercises, they get a lot of proprioceptive, vestibular and tactile stimulation. These senses are usually affected and are always visible. Thanks to these basic exercises of RMT, I can even achieve the stimulation of all three semi-circular channels of the vestibular apparatus. The hyposensitive vestibular system is found in almost 80% of children with school problems and I have found they have un-integrated reflexes. From my experience so far, I can see that the fastest results are in gross motor, coordination and stability, walking and bilateral. The results in the emotional system from my experience come a little later, they need more time, especially where the children suffer anxiety and fear and children who have poor sleeping patterns.
I also notice that un-integrated primary reflexes are associated with a physiotherapeutic diagnosis of a faulty posture for which the children are sent for rehabilitation. I feel RMT should be a significant exercise here. Another use of RMT in the field of physiotherapy is seen in children with neurodevelopmental delays, metabolic and neurological syndromes associated with motor skills. As a therapist, I combine RMT exercises and sensory integration, neurodevelopmental therapies and other techniques. Based on the knowledge of primary reflexes and the benefits of rhythmically practiced exercises, I can create my new exercises. The changes are wonderful and motivating for children. I can strongly recommend RMT to all physiotherapists, and other therapists, who work with children and adolescents. Mgr. Ing. Eva Vingrálková, Ph.D. (Czech Republic)
From an Occupational Therapist:
“RMT is the most effective tool for improving sensory integration that I’ve used during my 15 years of practice as a pediatric occupational therapist. It doesn’t require special equipment, it’s easy to teach parents and well tolerated by my clients. Improvements in emotional regulation and motor coordination are noticeable after only 5 minutes of RMT in majority of the clients I treat. RMT is also the only sensory integration intervention I’ve used that immediately helps with sleep issues.” LS.
From a Performing artist I helped using Brain Gym:
I cannot thank you enough for the incredible advice you gave me whilst I went through a very scary patch during the early part of my long contract on ‘The Mousetrap’.
As you know, I had a panic attack on stage. Having never had one before, I was terrified. You had given me extremely sound advice during the previous summer whilst I was treading the Jill Freud boards in lovely Southwold, and I knew straightaway I needed to speak to you. I had taken a few shows off after the original panic attack and was on my way in to do my first show since that fateful matinee…I can honestly say I was petrified. You were wonderful. Not only in calling me back straight away with calming advice (buying Rock Rose which I did on my way in to the theatre!) but you called me, as promised, whilst I was in my dressing room getting ready in “the half” to talk through it with me. I think you saved me that night!
You reminded me to use The ‘Hook Ups’ technique you taught me which is such a useful tool and the original tapping that you got me to do to prevent future attacks, I can honestly say helped me clear the fear and move forwards – particularly on that first night back. Another technique that I found to be wonderfully helpful was the Calf pump. I remember you telling me that this movement relaxes the ‘Fight or Flight’ system. I had SUCH tension the calves. I used to stand backstage and stretch them which was an instant calmer. The Hook ups were also great to use backstage as it would refocus and calm me.
I’ve now finished my contract and want to say the biggest thank you for helping me as you did. You are a tremendous healer and I truly mean that! AW – Actress
From a professional tennis coach after using Brain Gym movements:
As you know I am a full time certified tennis professional that predominantly works with children. I teach all ages (3 years upwards) all standards and also special needs children. I predominantly work on a one to one basis, but also work with squads and my local schools.
I have observed massive changes in the student’s ability to concentrate and apply themselves to the tasks I set after using the Brain Gym techniques. I set a realistic task and view the outcome, I then request my students to go through the PACE technique slowly, I reset the task, I normally observe around a 90% increase in their ability to achieve the task, this only happens when they have fully committed to doing PACE properly without distractions.
Individually it is easier to achieve this outcome than in a group as you can monitor them closely, however if the individual is committed it is successful every time.
Below is a list of some of the student’s comments and feelings after using Brain Gym,
- Learning becomes effortless and easy.
- Sound and vision are dramatically increased.
- Time and speed seem to slow down.
- Movements feel smooth and rhythmical.
- Focus and concentration is very easy.
- Outside distractions do not interfere with their thoughts.
- A relaxed calm workable attitude is present.
I am very grateful you have allowed me to use some of your Brain gym techniques in my work as tennis professional and my students are also. JP – LTA & PTR certified tennis coach.