We all have them. Compensations- I’m talking about. Work-arounds. We all compensate for our weaknesses in some way or another. Some of us might use the GPS on our phones everywhere we go because we aren’t good with directions. Or maybe we avoid going to certain stores because they feel too “overwhelming”.
It’s only natural for our brain and bodies to try and make up for what it feels like is lacking. Often times, we do it subconsciously. And usually, the compensations become so engrained in our life that we don’t even realize we are doing them.
The problem is, that when our brain and body has so many compensations, it means it’s taxing to the system, right? I mean if you’re using a tool- such as your phone to help you get around, that’s not such a bad thing. But what if you’re using “work-arounds” during daily activities- multiple times a day? And maybe even just for simple things like the way you write, or the things you wear?
Let’s look at an imaginary (entirely possible scenario). How do I know it’s entirely possible? It’s possible because we see this all the time at Brain Fit Academy. Clients that come in with compensations that are happening left and right just so they can get through the day.
So take this imaginary person- we’ll call him Michael.
Michael gets up in the morning and gets dressed-avoiding the cotton socks that are in his drawer because he doesn’t like the way they feel. He eats a breakfast of only crunchy foods. Heading out for his walk to school, he avoids the street in his neighborhood that has the barking dog. And when he arrives at school he settles down with a book while the other kids play- engaging with others is hard. During the school day he wraps his feet around the legs of the chair in order to help keep himself upright and holds his pencil in whatever way he can in order to get the pencil to paper to write.
In this scenario, Michael has used six compensations. Avoiding certain socks, eating only crunchy foods, avoiding the dog, reading so he doesn’t have to engage with others, wrapping his feet around the chair and an awkward pencil grip.
Six compensations. Six “work-arounds” that took more brain power and more energy than should be needed for those same tasks- and that isn’t even a whole day!!
You see, when a persons Primitive Reflexes aren’t fully integrated (finished)- compensations build up. One compensation after another is added to a person’s repertoire until before you know it they are happening all day, across the day. And lots of times? The person doesn’t even realize it!
In my post titled “There’s Not Much Left” I talk about how the Fight/Flight/Freeze response can affect compensations. But sometimes, it’s not necessarily the F/F/F response that is the big problem, but those work-arounds are still pulling brain power. Still making the person work harder than needed.
It might seem kind of strange that those early motor patterns that we went through as babies- those Primitive Reflexes, can cause so many problems later on in life if they didn’t finish the job they were there to do. But the fact is, they can. And that’s how the compensations start. The body needs help. The brain and body need to keep going. After all, life doesn’t stop and babies grow up, so work-arounds come in.
The coolest thing though, is that we can go “back in time” and finish off those reflexes. Finish the motor patterns at any age and diminish the need for those compensations that are pulling brain power and energy. Diminish the need to “work around” every day activities. Don’t you think that’s awesome? I sure do.
Who wouldn’t want to make their day-to-day life easier- to give their brain and body a break?
Your brain and body work so hard as it is- why not take compensations off its plate?