Do you know about neuroplasticity?
“Where we focus our attention channels our cognitive resources, directly activating neural firing in associated areas of the brain. For example, research has shown that in animals rewarded for noticing sounds, the brain’s auditory centres expanded greatly, while in those rewarded for attending to sights, the visual areas grew. Brain scans of violinists show dramatic growth and expansion in regions of the cortex that represent the left hand, which must finger the strings precisely, often at very high speed. Other studies have shown that the hippocampus, which is vital for spatial memory, is enlarged in taxi drivers.
The implication is that neuroplasticity is activated by attention itself. And where neurons fire, they wire!” Dr. Dan Siegel
Brains mostly grow at 2 significant periods during a lifetime, 0-5 yrs and 12-18 yrs. Billions of connections in your baby’s brain are making and breaking every second. These connections are synapses or neural pathways. The brains ability to make or break these pathways is called neuroplasticity. The more pathways the higher the cognitive function. The connections are made when they are used or stimulated. So stimulating the brain in the formative years with touch, play, music and positive interactions are the best ways to provide this.
Experience and repetition are the best methods to create and sustain these pathways. I recently heard a lovely story from a fellow Infant massage instructor who had a 1 year old with her dad in her class. This is very rare as we normally don’t have babies that are active crawlers in class (oily babies are really hard to catch!). But this little guy had been massaged by dad since he was about a month old. And sure enough, when dad sat down and got everything ready he came straight over and lay down ready for his massage!
If you are interested in learning the massage techniques, songs and interactions to use with your baby while having the opportunity to chat to other parents in your area my next Infant massage course starts Monday 8th of August 10:30am-11:30am.