Healing Movement – Rediscovering the Self after Trauma:

Engaging Movements for Healing and Harmonization
with Connie Helms

Children respond well to sustained rhythmic movements brought through the peaceful inner attitude of an adult. In the same vein as repeated words in a story or song, the predictable nature of repeated whole-body or fine motor movements brings a calming sense of reassurance for the limbic system of the brain, the area that works with emotional development, learning and memory.

Harmonizing and coordinated movements that integrate the left and right hemispheres of the brain stimulate new neural pathways; this helps us to feel more centered, capable and playful. When hemispheric integration is supported, our ability to solve problems is stronger and our eyes can focus and track more efficiently as well. The connection between vision and stress needs to be understood as we learn how to support the eyes and other systems involved in learning and self-regulation. When we return to a more grounded sense of self, the body experiences more joy along with the freedom to move forward in life.

In this introduction to harmonizing movements, we will

  • Learn centering movements to promote calmness
  • Practice bilateral and cross lateral exercises that bring joy
  • Learn simple deep pressure activities to alleviate stress and strengthen deep breathing
  • Use running forms with watercolors and form drawing to help the “eyes lovingly follow what the hand does”, as described by Rudolf Steiner

Portrait of Connie Helms

Connie Helms, M.Ed. is a consultant to Waldorf schools in the eastern U.S., conducting workshops, observations, and classwide screenings. For several years she has been a co-director of the Educational Support Program offered by the Association for a Healing Education and she mentors Learning Support teachers. Connie holds a Waldorf teacher certification from Antioch University New England, a Waldorf Remedial certification from AHE, a Masters in Special Education from Lesley University and a B.A. in psychology from Connecticut College.

Connie formerly worked as the Educational Support teacher at the Lake Champlain Waldorf School in Shelburne,Vermont; before that she was a Resource teacher in public schools. In addition to her current work teaching and mentoring, she has a private practice doing Extra Lesson with children and adolescents in Vermont. Her three children attended Waldorf schools in Vermont from Kindergarten through eighth grade.