Discover a place where parenthood and wellness can co-exist
A new center recently opened in Thalwil called World of Movement, and it is a space where parents can receive support and advice about the sensorimotor growth of their children, while also attending to their own wellbeing with the help of trained professionals.
Read about the role that environment has on the early sensorimotor development of babies and how the proper space can facilitate growth.
The developmental stages of babies
There are two parts of the development phase of babies. One part describes how infant motor behavior is a series of universal and biologically programmed steps. And the other part of development is determined by the environmental and social context which may facilitate or delay the biologically programmed stages.
The way that the brain interprets sensory information which determines motor responses is also universal. For example, a child turns his head in response to a voice he has heard before or makes a movement when he/she sees a familiar face. The baby’s ability to control movements, from spontaneous little hand-holding after birth to a controlled reaching and grasping later on, partly depends on the efforts and encouragement that take place in the baby’s environment during the early developmental stages.
Children have a natural need to explore and to interact, and the ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ they explore the world is a defining factor in their development. It is hence observed that the type of experiences they have during early childhood highly defines their motor development, even more than their biological age. Absence of appropriate stimulation or an suppressive environment may even delay the expected biological growth.
Contact with nature and natural movement supported by parents facilitates healthy growth among babies and children. However, nowadays it is not always so abvious or easy. For instance, modern homes are often ‘unnaturally’ silent, or parents may force or anticipate a posture in the baby’s natural development through external supports, especially of sitting-up.
It is often the case today that parents feel they need to always assist young babies, while if left alone the babies will find the way to achieve the desired result with a their own effort. For example, when a baby is on its tummy, his little hand might remain under his belly. Instinctively, a parent or adult will tend to help him out. By waiting and/or giving him a hint by moving his leg slightly the brain is facilitated to release the hand from under the tummy and place it in the front of the body.
Modern life has also changed throughout the last 100 years, while the brain and the needs of a baby haven’t. In the past, families had many children, and an older child could often provide child-care for the newborn. Today, families are smaller with one or maximum two children on average making the social environment at home quite limiting compared to before. Along with the reduction of the number of children per family, the age of the mothers today is higher compared to the past making them more alarmed about injury, and this may contribute to overprotection: a known obstacle for natural and healthy development. A secure and knowledgeable parent that makes way to experimentation and new movements is the building block for a baby’s developmental growth.
With the help of a coach parents can have a better understanding on how to organize their environment in order to facilitate a fun and healthy experience with their babies.
Expert techniques developed through MovNat can guide parents and improve their confidence with their babies, combining observation, hands-on experience and insights on how the brain can move from one stage to the next.
How MovNat facilitates the natural response of parents towards babies and kids
MovNat is first and foremost fun and a very good preparation for all kinds of in- and outdoor sports and challenges. Anyone, regardless of age, can benefit from practicing natural movement achieving better mobility, balance, and mental acuity. Classes include movements such as crawling, jumping, barefoot running, balancing, climbing, and “simply” moving in a natural environment. The physical and mental benefits are evident after few sessions, as people witness being able to have improved focus on problem solving and adapting quickly to different circumstances and environments. Parents can build confidence in themselves and grow in strength together with their children.
MovNat® is also beneficial for endurance athletes, due to positive neuromuscular conditioning effects, such as lower heart rate response, decreased metabolic demands and improved proprioception.
How did it begin in Switzerland and how World of Movement Thalwil is designed support the modern parent
Francesca, a city girl born in Milan, had little sportive experience till her two children were born. Then, she started exercising regularly: she went to the gym and jogging. At the age of 45, she improved her nutrition and mobility. She combined healthy eating with outdoor activities and grew her confidence in her own body. During this time, she discovered to MovNat which pushed her out of her comfort zone, while making her realize that these lessons for kids were also valuable for adults.
Thomas, her partner in World of Movement, was always a sportive man, a tennis instructor and a competitive athlete throughout his life. As he turned 50, he felt like his body needed a boost in energy, and mobility and his experience with MovNat was revitalizing.
Together, Francesca and Thomas founded World of Movement in Thalwil because they believe that good physical health in adulthood begins with positive imprinting on young children, and continuous reinforcement in all stages of life. At their center wellness is offered for the entire family and is measured by wellbeing and less by muscles and fat.
The professional team includes
Francesca Seegy, First-Step Method® & Päpki® - early child development instructor. Francesca has been trained personally by Shai Silberbusch, the founder of First-Step and his team.
Dr. Thomas Bohner, MovNat® Instructor. Thomas received his Level 1 and Level 2 certifications in 2018. Soon after he opened the first fully dedicated MovNat center in Switzerland. In his opinion, many sports neglect the essential elements of movement such as balance, strength, coordination, or mobility.
Viviane Hoeger of WellMama, nutritionist, and personal trainer for pregnant women.
If you are interested in MovNat classes, either for adults, kids, or for the entire family, please contact Thomas at +41 79 277 32 38
World of Movement is also a suitable place to host Birthdays and casual meet ups with a friend. The space spans out to 80 square meters, with a baby playground, a challenging parkour, and the ability to arrange the space with Cube Sport elements.
About the author
Maria grew up traveling extensively around the world, with a significant part of her childhood spent in Dubai during the late 80’s. She continues to travel as often as possible around the globe, with her family. She moved to Switzerland 7 years ago, shifting from a 10-year career in banking in Athens to a full-time mom of 3 children.
After the birth of her 1st child, she realized that various needs of parents traveling in Switzerland and many countries that she visited were not fully covered by the existing internet platforms. Focusing in particular on the need for families looking for educational things to do with small children while having fun, Maria took an entrepreneurial turn and partnered up with a talented team of developers to design Momizen.com, a technologically advanced web application for finding fun and educational things to do with kids on-the-go.
In her free time, she reads (mainly at-loud to an audience of 3), practices yoga, loves movies, sailing, surfing, skiing and most often can be seen cycling around her neighbourhood with her children in Canton Schwyz. Maria holds a degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Kent, in Canterbury. She is also a certified yoga teacher for adults and kids!
She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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