I love The Jeep. People are always asking me how long I’ve had it. When I tell them that I’ve had it for 25 years, they smile and remark that it is in good shape for 25 Years. I think to myself, “well, it gets therapy when it needs it.”
You see, The Jeep has Sensory Integration Issues.
Cars have become more complex than ever at sensing and responding. Since fuel-injection, they can adjust the mix based on gas quality. For years, they have been able to sense things like inside temperature, tire pressure, last oil change, and electrical problems. There are some really fun sensors that have been added to cars lately. I was walking a client to the car, and her Lexus can tell when she is nearby and unlocks the door for her automatically. I was riding with some friends, and the car answered the phone. It just knew that the phone was in the car and synced up with Bluetooth. For these processes to work, the sensors have to be connected to a complex set of processors.
When you give it bad gas, The Jeep just runs badly. I have to keep up with the tire pressure and oil changes. It doesn’t even have locks on the door. It is too noisy in there to talk on the phone. The central computer is not very capable, and The Jeep doesn’t have most of those sensors, anyway.
People are like cars. When sensory processing improves, performance and comfort improve.
I’ve played with this in my own life. Using cranial work and sound therapy, I was able to change my ability to draw. After a few weeks of working on myself, I could produce an illustration for my book in about 15 or 20 minutes. I couldn’t find an illustrator that could do it in less than double that time. Here is one of those illustrations.
My body just got better at processing subtle sensory information than before. I had better focus and a longer attention span. I turned subtle corners faster and more accurately. Integrative Craniosacral does this for kids with Sensory Integration Dysfunction. It gets rid of internal problems as it improves their ability to pay attention in class, have better responses to subtle social cues and have better motor skills.
Good, smooth, complex function is built on good structure.
The Jeep had a time where the whole thing just seemed to be running badly. It had less power, didn’t respond as well, and it was using more gas. An electronics student came out and work on it for about 90 minutes. I was amazed at how the whole Jeep ran better. Things that seem completely unrelated, like the brakes, worked better. Pop, who was a mechanic, would say, “the electrical system is the nervous system of the car.” The sensors weren’t the problem; it was wires and the processor.
The Sensory Integration Bodyworker understands this same thing about bodies.
Every functional therapy is dependent on the structure. In my years of working in practice with a Sensory Integration OT, we watched it over and over again. I would work the structure, and then send the child to OT. She would see big jumps in the child’s ability to succeed at challenging tasks. I saw the same thing with vision therapy and sound therapy.
Now, when I see a child that comes in with sensory issues, I think of The Jeep and smile. Clean the connections, get the systems to talk to each other, get rid of the static so they have a smoother ride with better performance, and are more comfortable. Their family will have a better ride too.
Tony Preston treats adults and children in Atlanta, Georgia. Just click to read more about Integrative Bodywork and special needs children.