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A Baby's Grip


We have some wonderful friends visiting and they came with an 11 week old infant in tow. It has been a long time since we have had a baby in the house and we are really enjoying the experience. It is wonderful to watch this miracle of God every moment of the day.


My daughter couldn't wait to hold her and take care of her. However, when she held the baby, her hair seemed to get in the way of the baby's fist (always happens doesn't it). The next thing we knew the infant had a fist full of long blonde locks. Well, it's always funny when it's NOT your hair in the vice-like grip of an infant, not so funny when it is yours. It seems that once they take hold of an object, either your hair or your necklace, it needs to be pried or ripped out. Consequently there is a loss of hair and or a loss of a nice piece of jewelry. Luckily for my daughter, I have some physical therapy knowledge that was able to rescue her gorgeous locks.


Passive insufficiency. Yes, when a muscle is at its shortest length, it cannot generate enough force to be any semblance of strong. For example, when someone (like a baby) grabs hold of something and won't let go, you can flex the wrist to 90 degrees and the object will no longer be captive. It doesn't have to be a forceful motion and in fact, it can be accomplished with just one hand. Place your thumb just under the wrist and gently push the hand down with your other fingers. Miraculously, the baby will let go and your scalp will be spared of the impending bald spot. Try it with an adult first.


This small example reminded me of how balanced the body needs to be in order to function at it's full potential. If we allow ourselves to crumble forward and allow our muscles in the front of our body to become shortened and tight, they become weak and unable to generate the force necessary for optimal function. When you see a little old lady or man bent over and their hip flexor muscles are shortened, they cannot generate enough force to lift their leg up and clear the floor. They are then compelled to shuffle their feet and shorten their stride.


Having the baby in our house was a sharp reminder of how quickly the years go by. It feels like yesterday when I was holding my own kids in my arms. Fast forward and look in the mirror, those years have stacked up on me as well. That is why it is so important to start with good habits today! Stand up straight, sit up straight and always keep your body balanced.

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