Body movement is essential to acquire the state of well-being and physical endurance necessary to face any type of work.
Daily practice in the Ethical Hotel is designed in a gradual way in order to ensure that children have gained sufficient muscles, movement control and balance to perform all tasks, even the most complex, in the best possible way. The experience conducted so far with the students has allowed us to understand how there are activities outside the work experience that help and promote the achievement of personal autonomy.
The practice of a SPORT is to be encouraged as it helps to strengthen not only the physical abilities of the individual, but also the soul. Sports activity has been used for many years in modern psychiatry and psychology as a tool for investigation and study of personality, as well as for therapy. Sport is seen as a tool for communicating with others, as a non-verbal language that allows you to express yourself and make yourself known. Sport is a specific form of communication and summarizes various levels of motor, mental and social integration.
The degree of intensity of the activity must be gradual and customized for each one: sports such as jogging or Nordic walking can be intensified little by little. Long walks assisted by rackets give way to correct postures and load distribution; this will allow improvements not only in posture, but also in everyday life, through a greater capacity of mobility in all conditions.
Among the sporting experiences with which we have collaborated more assiduously in recent years is the Judo Sports Center in Alpignano. Maestro Enrico d’Awell is introducing many children with Down Syndrome and intellectual disability to judo adapted to disabilities with excellent results in terms of improving body movement, balance and coordination. The study of the falling technique is, without a doubt, one of the most important basic exercises for judo, but not only: the ability to fall and get up becomes a decisive skill when facing everyday life.
In these years of experimentation we have observed how MASSAGE practices are important for the physical and psychological improvement of children. Manipulating the body stimulates the body’s tissues by increasing blood flow to the muscles. The improvement of blood circulation is useful in helping to eliminate the tiredness caused by the fatigue of the work practice and to relax the muscles. Learning how to massage yourself is important to gain greater self-awareness and to know how to take care of yourself: massage can be useful for relieving back, neck or joint pain. Massage can help stimulate the production of endorphins, our body’s natural pain relievers.
There are probably limitless activities that can help kids build their self-esteem and express their personality. To remain among the activities that we have had the opportunity to observe in our experience, MUSIC THERAPY undoubtedly has incredible potential. The alternation of sound, rhythm, movement and silence have liberating effects. The sensation of the produced sound waves that echo in your body create an inner massage that leads to calm and serenity. The ability to let go and return to silence when required helps to learn to focus.
Learning to listen to silence and to manage the apparent void created by silence are important exercises, which are performed during the work experience, but which can be developed even more through theater or music workshops. There are associations in our area that promote free expression through percussion and that promote the integration of young adolescents by using the impact and energy released by the rhythm performed in a group. These activities have proved to be important opportunities to foster mutual understanding between able-bodied young people and young people with disabilities, to easily overcome barriers, prejudices and unfounded fears.