Author: Glenn Doman, Douglas Doman and Bruce Hagy
Hardcover: 296 pages
Publisher: Square One Publishers
“In this unique book, the authors present an intriguing and scientifically sound concept of brain function and brain physiology, explaining in clear and flowing style how a program of physical activity that is integrated into the young child’s life can profoundly influence the processes of brain growth and neurological organization. They show how the cascading effects of these processes stimulate intellectual and social growth as well as physical development, and, not content with theoretical explanations along, also provide a precise, step-by-step, common-sense prescription for accomplishing these goals with your child.”
A commonly used aerospace research tool for studying the effects of weightlessness on the human body is to confine normal, healthy adults to complete bed rest. The results of this forced inactivity, or so-called hypo-dynamic state, are remarkable. Within as little as seventy-two hours, multiple systems in the body begin to show evidence of change and deterioration. There are fluid shifts within the body that lead to hormonal changes and dehydration, the heart and blood vessels begin to lose their tone and strength, and calcium begins to leach out of the bones. The volunteer subjects often complain of headaches, backache, constipation, boredom, lethargy and occasionally disorientation. Clearly, forced inactivity is a detrimental and unnatural condition for the healthy, uninjured body.
But w hat of the corollary condition…exaggerated activity? Does it necessarily follow that if forced inactivity is bad for the human body then exaggerated activity or exercise will be of benefit to it? Here again the evidence is quite clear. More than twenty years of research has proven that vigorous physical activity can favorably affect a person’s heart, circulation, lungs, body weight, muscle tone, bowel habits, blood pressure, blood sugar, blood fats, stamina, efficiency and general sense of well being.
However, the question must be pursued one step further…does it necessarily follow that if programmed activity is good for the adult then it will also benefit the child? The answer is a rounding “YES”… all the benefits previously described accrue to the physically active child as well as to the adult. But of even greater importance are the effects of a properly designed physical program on the child’s developing nervous system.
In this unique book, the authors present an intriguing and scientifically sound concept of brain function and brain physiology. They explain, in velar and flowing style, how a program of physical activity that is integrated into the child’s daily life can profoundly influence the processes of brain growth and neurological organization. They show how the cascading effects of these processes stimulate intellectual and social growth as well as physical development.
However, not content with theoretical explanations alone, the authors also provide a precise, step-by-step prescription for accomplishing these goals in the individual child.
Like most professionals doing what they do best, the authors make it all sound so simple. In fact, the great gift that they offer the reader and his or her child is the result of more than forty years of total involvement and intimate association with both the normal and impaired human developmental processes. Their unmatched understanding of mobility and child development stems from an intense search for answers that has taken them to more than 100 different countries and to every continent including Antarctica. They have circled the globe at the equator and lived with the Xingu in Brazil’s Mato Grosso and with the very small Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert.
Always searching, they have looked deeply into the past at the movement patterns of Earth’s earliest creatures and far into the future at the effects of weightlessness on human mobility and development.
Throughout this book, as in their earlier books, the authors stress these recurrent themes:
The human brain actually grows by use and this growth is virtually complete by six years of age.
Tiny babies would rather learn than do anything else.
Tiny children think that the most precious gift (toy) in the world is the undivided attention of an adult, preferably Mom or Dad.
The great teaching team in history is that of parent and child.
Parents can teach a baby absolutely anything which they can present in an honest and factual way.
It is, in a sense, strange that this book on How to Teach Your Baby to Be Physically Superb has been so long in coming, since the senior author, Glenn Doman, and the staff of the Institutes first gained worldwide attention by their work in making brain-injured children who were physically paralyzed able to move, then crawl, then creep and finally to walk and run.
In the exact same way do the authors teach parents to take unhurt children through these precise same steps from birth to physical excellence.
Perhaps the most important point the authors make so compellingly in this excellent book is that, presently, these vital stages to physical perfection occur by chance.
By being presented with the opportunity to do these essential things on purpose and in their proper order rather than in random fashion, children are able to reach a state of physical excellence that will provide them with the opportunity to be virtually anything and everything they wish to be as youths and throughout life.
Not the least of the many valuable points made in this charming and thorough book is the fact that teaching a baby to be physically superb is a process that not only can be mutually joyful and fulfilling for both parent and child, but in fact must be so in order to be successful.
When the authors, whom I have known intimately for almost a decade, asked me to write the foreword to this much need book, I felt honored.
I felt qualified to write it for the simple reason that I have with my own eyes seen formerly paralyzed children doing handstands and other gymnastic feats, which the authors do not detail, and little unhurt girls “flying,” which the authors do describe.
The authors have molded their unique experiences and perspective into an innovative field of knowledge which they call, properly, Child Brain Development.
This new discipline has not simply contributed to the field of human development, it has created a new dimension in which it is now possible to understand and change the human condition.
~ Ralph Pelligra, M.D. Space Medicine