Mental Health: Global Challenges of XXI Century
Neurofitness as a Method of Psychotherapy for Children with Psychoneurological Pathologies

(Оlga Yashna1, Olexandr Makarenko1, Alla Shapovalova2)

1 National Pedagogical Dragomanov University, Kyiv, Ukraine

2 Kyiv, Ukraine


Introduction. Child psychoneurology is focused on the bases of such sciences as neurology, psychiatry and neurosurgery. The founders of it were N.N. Burdenko, A.S. Shmar’yan, G.E. Sukharev, J. M. Pellock and E.K. Mayer. It got further development in the works of V.S. Podkorytova, L.A. Bulakhovoy, S.N. Zinchenko, O.M. Sagan, E.Bondarenko, G.G. Shanko, M. Holder, D. Geta, R. Mayo, and others.

The main causes of neuropsychiatric pathologies in children are: craniocerebral trauma, tumors, abscesses, hematomas, vascular diseases, hydrocephalus, hypoxia and infections. This, in turn, causes focuses, synechias, worsens brain nutrition and complicates the construction of new neural connections. The child has various delusional, gauchenric, catatonic, perverse states with which it is very difficult to fight.

Some of recognized non-drug therapies are physiotherapy, electrotherapy, light therapy, magnetotherapy, ultrasound, balneotherapy, massage, physical therapy exercises, psychotherapy, art therapy, bodily therapy and psychoanalysis. However, these methods do not take into account the psychoemotional characteristics of childhood, where systematic procedures and treatment can overload and further injure the child. Therefore, we propose a method of pediatric neurofitness therapy.

In the presented scientific literature, there are no sources describing this method.

Results. T.A. Dobrokhotova and N.N. Bragina in their clinical studies pay attention to the fact that when the brain is damaged, there are disturbances in consciousness with a passing perception of the surrounding world and himself – with right-sided localization of the lesion; with the defeat of the left hemisphere – they preempt speech disorder and mental processes based on it (verbal, thinking and memory) motor processes. In the opinion of the authors, the withdrawal from the condition of an attack can be represented as the restoration of the full volume of consciousness due to the normalization of the psychomotor sphere in patients with left hemisphere and psychosensory lesion – with damage of the right hemisphere, as well as the resumption of space-time indices in these patients.

However, in the early stages of child development, its nerve centers are not specialized in functions, a weakened level of afferent-efferent connections, unregulated cortico-subcortical levels of impulses and overlap between different areas of the brain. In childhood, pathology has more serious consequences than in adults, since the adult basic functions of life are already laid. During infancy, along with primary pathology, secondary deviations are more clearly arised, which have more negative consequences for the development of the child’s personality than the pathology itself. Even when the primary pathology was eliminated, secondary abnormalities can already form their basis of psychophysical deficiencies.

It should also be noted that the psychomotor and psychosensory spheres of integral psyche are realized: 1) in different present times (individual and world); 2) in opposite directions of time (from the present to the past and from the present to the future); 3) simultaneously – simultaneously and consistently – consistently. In such a way the asymmetry of the consciousness of the spatio-temporal organization of psychosensory and psychomotor spheres appears. Therefore, in neurofitnesses the central method is played by a game that allows us to solve the problem of restoring consciousness and the psychoemotional sphere of the child. The game activity combines both movement and actual sensory stimuluses, it presupposes the necessary chronology of the sequence of actions. In the game, children easily release traumatic patterns and gradually get rid of them.

In addition, the neurofitness includes neuroimaging complexes developed in the 90s by P. Denis, which are structurally divided into two types: the first is the movements that cross the middle line of the human body. They activate the natural mechanisms of interhemispheric interaction, optimize the work of nervous processes, establish the processes of psychophysical functions, and form cognitive activity. The second type is the asymmetric movements aimed at controlling the movements. Such exercises require considerable effort and energy. As a rule, these are static movements that depend on the concentration of consciousness.

Neurofitness exercises which are aimed at stimulating higher mental functions through the sensorimotor level got further development. Such gymnastics obviously contains breathing exercises, massage and self-massage, finger gymnastics and exercise games to form attention and overcome stereotypes of different directions, study your own corporeality and temporal-spatial representations, develop auditory cognition (sense of rhythm, understanding speech and onomatopoeia), exercises, developing tactile, visual, motor and auditory memory. Moreover there is work with muscle blocks in the form of stretching, relaxation, etc.

I. P. Pavlov believed that the result of any thought is movement. As a result of the movement during mental activity, neural networks are built, allowing to fix new knowledge. In this case, the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is released through the synapses of activated neurons, which contributes to the growth of dendrites and the development of the nervous network.

The peculiarity of the children’s neurofitness is that the method combines the psychomotor complexes of the gaming orientation that affect the neurodynamic processes and the characteristics of their activity.

It is known that children who missed the vital stage of development – crawling, experience learning difficulties. The fact is that during the crawl, cross movements of the hands, legs and eyes are used, which activate the development of the corpus callosum.

With the regular performance of reciprocal movements, a large number of neural pathways connecting the cerebral hemispheres are formed and myelinated, which promotes the development of mental functions. Slowly performing cross-motions contributes to the activation of the vestibular apparatus and frontal lobes of the brain.

A series of consecutive movements must be carried from the head and neck to the lower limbs, from the neck and shoulders to the hands and separate fingers and from the knees to the toes. The regulation of the strength of the muscle tonus can also take place in accordance with the laws of the development of movements: from the muscles of the head and neck to the muscles of the trunk and then to the muscles of the lower limbs; from the muscles of the neck and shoulders to the forearms, hands, fingers and, respectively, from the muscles of the thighs to the toes.

The more small muscles of the body are involved, the more nerve paths are built between the frontal parts of the brain, the basal ganglia of the limbic system and the cerebellum.

Conclusions. The use of neurofitness can improve interhemispheric neural connections, and strengthen afferent-efferent pathways, increase the neurodynamics of the process of nervousness of nervous activity, which is an important aspect of the maturation of the nervous system at a child’s age and the restoration of mental health.


Keywords: children, neurofitness, sensorimotorics, psychomotorics, psychotherapy.

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