Crawling back to health, strength and balance

The other day I had an impulse to crawl across the living room.  It felt so right that I turned around and did it again.  I noticed afterwards that I could stand and easily maintain my balance both standing and walking even without my cane, a major improvement from just the day before. Feeling encouraged, now I’m crawling a few times a day. Getting up and down from the floor is greatly improved as well.  

 I remember the bodywork training that I underwent back in the seventies., especially Feldenkrais and re-educational bodywork.  I was thinking about neuroplasticity and how I could help kickstart the function of my battle-scarred brain due to cancer, a craniotomy, multiple rounds of radiation and years of chemo – so that I could improve my balance, depression, strength, and attitude about being a long term and aging survivor of a particularly pernicious form of brain cancer: glioblastoma.

 It turns out that crawling for adults is a thing on the Internet.  Who knew?

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that I am known for my outsider and quirky perspective on life, a reputation I would like to cultivate and preserve. Although I am no longer on western treatment for cancer, thank goodness, I should also mention that I am on a low dose of steroids and walking ¼ mile every day with my rolling walker, Tina, queen of walk and roll. I’m sure these are contributing factors but I think crawling, that basic form of cross-lateral communication and coordination is the key to my improvement physically and mentally.

Crawling requires both sides of the brain to work together, because limbs on both sides of the body have to move synchronously (called a contralateral movement pattern). To make this happen, information must be passed through a “highway” that links the two sides or hemispheres of the brain called the corpus callosum.

When a lot of information has to be passed through the corpus callosum (as it does during a crawl pattern), new neural connections must be formed and strengthened. It appears this can help improve coordination, learning, and even behavior in both kids and adults. (

A brief survey of what’s available on the web regarding the benefits of adult crawling includes strengthening and limbering the arms, shoulders, neck, back, hips, legs and feet.  Enhancing eye-hand coordination and restoring the nervous system are key for stimulating neuroplasticity. Let’s face it, getting older often means getting “stoved up”. Dealing with brain cancer on top of normal aging is quite the ride. Who knew that rekindling a critical toddler skill would be transformative in my 70s?

2 comments on “Crawling back to health, strength and balance
  1. kate booth says:

    I recall using this strategy with special ed kids and kids with emotional trauma. Crawling is good! My book will be available on amazon Dec 18th. the River that Binds Me. ! thank you for your support on this finally done project!

  2. karen hanron says:

    Still following you and appreciating you and your writing from Vermont.

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