“This felt different to me. It felt deeply engrained. Like on a primal level she felt too vulnerable lying in that chair having somebody tower over her in her mouth.”
Those are the words of the mother of one of my clients at Brain Fit Academy. She recently wrote a testimonial for us because she was in such awe as to how well her daughter’s recent dentist appointment had gone.
Those words reflect how she thought her daughter used to feel when going to the dentist.
Going to the dentist. Think about that.
USED to feel. Think about that!
Now, I know that going to the dentist probably isn’t the favorite activity of most 5-6 year olds. Or even adults for that matter.
But this particular child- this little one, was PETRIFIED. Her mother wasn’t even able to get her to lie back in the dentist chair, let alone have anyone work in her mouth!
And she tried- oh, did she try! Her mother wrote:
“She had gone to three appointments without being able to get a cleaning because her anxiety was so high. Prior to finding out about Brain Fit, I relied on my own knowledge and skills based on my clinical training as a social worker. I tried play therapy, we role played, I let her be the dentist and me be the patient, I gave her incentives, I brought puppets to the dentist office…I even booked extra time at the dentist so that we could work through her fears. But unfortunately, none of that worked.”
Her mother was working so hard against something that is primal. In fact, it’s one of the most primitive responses humans have- the Fight/Flight/Freeze Response. This automatic, built-in system, is designed to protect us and keep us safe- at the most primitive, primal level. It’s the same system that produces chemicals like adrenaline in our body and adjusts blood flow to help us to:
From danger- real danger.
However- for this client, this small child- her brain and body was mistaking the dentist as a danger!
A real danger-
A threat-to-her-survival type danger!
And so- her mother was absolutely correct. The response she saw- the response the staff at the dental office witnessed- WAS a primal response. A Fight/Flight/Freeze Response.
So, what happened? What was the change that was so great this time around?
The mother wrote:
“Today, I brought my daughter to her dentist appointment. She skipped into the office with a smile on her face, hopped on the chair, chatted it up with the hygienist and completed a full exam and cleaning without a moment of hesitation. She also got her first set of x-rays and didn’t even hesitate when I couldn’t be in the room. I was BLOWN AWAY. So was the staff!”
That’s right. You read that correctly. She skipped into her appointment. She completed the exam without a moment of hesitation.
Seven months of working with this child on a weekly basis (with online parent consults during COVID-19 lockdown) and she was able to go to the dentist for a routine cleaning. Seven months of working on integrating Primitive Reflexes (most notably the Fear Paralysis and MORO reflexes) and we were able to move her out of that most primitive, primal response.
Using movement activities, we helped her brain and body system to better be able to distinguish between a real threat to her survival and a perceived threat.
This little girl had, in her mother’s words, a “remarkable transformation”.
I love this work, and I love getting testimonials like this because it reminds me what a difference we can make in the lives of our clients.
The work is simple, intentional movements, but the changes seen can be “remarkable”.