Is there more going on in hammocks class than I previously thought? YES! Going upside down in the hammocks gives us a strong sense of where we are in space, known as vestibular input, which is a fancy way of saying we need to experience movement in different directions and orientations to develop and keep proper balance. Everyone knows that your balance is one of the first things to go as you age. The vestibular sense is one of the first to develop in a growing fetus and is stimulated by the movement of a carrying mother’s body. By only 5 months in utero, this system is well developed and provides a great deal of sensory information to a growing fetal brain. This system is very important to a child’s early development. Its role is to relay information to the brain as to where a person is in space, as related to gravity; whether they are moving or still, if they are moving how quickly, and in what direction.
The vestibular system also helps to develop and maintain normal muscle tone. Muscle tone is the ability of a muscle to sustain a contraction. Without a proper functioning vestibular system, it may be challenging for a person to hold their body in one position. Additionally, through proprioceptive input you can develop better body and spatial awareness. This means less broken lamps, bumps, and bruises from wild, clumsy collisions! Focus on proprioception also helps regulate the nervous system.
A couple of ways to tell if your systems are up to pare is this…..Can you walk with eyes shut, and walk a straight line for 20 or 30 strides? It’s harder than you think, even for kids. Hammock is especially good for all your systems, and good to practice it as a kid. Check out our March classes in aerial hammock’s that are just for kids. Occupational Therapists use hammocks to help their clients develop these skills.
One of the other reasons I Love hammock, is the core strength it develops. It is quite unlike anything out there. I’ve had pilates teachers come in for class, and report being sore, despite working their core everyday. The best news? I used to get very easy onset vertigo, and motion sickness. That has all gone away with the practice of aerial hammock.
Go ahead, it’s fun to fly 🙂
See you upside down,