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Barefoot beach walk in Chennai to mark World Disability Day


A healthy mind exists in a healthy body. This old saying is forever true and explains the essence of a healthy life in just a few words.

With this thought in mind Dr Veera Panch has developed the concept of barefoot beach walking for children with developmental disabilities.

Dr Panch, a certified anthroposophic physician, is the mentor at the Nandavanam Center of Excellence for Children with Developmental Challenges in Chennai, which is a CSR initiative of Newgen KnowledgeWorks Pvt. Ltd, Chennai.

Dr Panch believes that for overall growth and development of children with disabilities, it is vital to pay attention to gross motor skills and not just fine motor skills.

Here is the difference between the two.

Gross motor skills are abilities that involve the use of large muscles of the arms, legs and torso and full body movements. While fine motor skills involve smaller actions like movements of fingers or toes.

Gross motor skills allow the children to get better control over their body before they learn to use them for smaller actions. For example a child needs to first learn to move his or her arms and bring them together before learning about picking up a toy and moving it from one location to other.

For overall development a child needs to learn both the skills but the ability to learn will come only when the body is in control and strong.

Dr Panch has a rich experience of more than 40 years and has helped change the lives of many children through barefoot beach walking. She developed the techniques years ago and since then has seen the positive effect it has on the life of children.

The movement of feet on the sand helps the children to use their muscles and grow stronger. I have seen them become happier and calmer through walking therapy. Many of the non-verbal children started talking after they took the therapy and developed faster reflexes - Dr Veera Panch, Mentor & School Doctor, Nandavanam Center of Excellence for Children with Developmental Challenges

The concept is so simple and yet highly effective. Children with disabilities are taken for a daily barefoot walk on the beach, and that seems to work wonders for their growth. The exposure to the fresh morning air and therapeutic contact with the beach sand has been found to improve the gross motor skills of the children.

Here are some of the benefits and effects of the barefoot beach walking technique.

• Children became calmer through regular walking habit.

• Their physical strength improves over time and they feel confident.

• Children get Ozone 3 freely available on the beach to increase cell health.

• Massage and acupressure to foot that stimulates the brain function.

• The exercise is fun and children enjoy the walk and feel happier

There are a lot of other benefits that have been observed in disabled children when they took part in the barefoot beach walking routine at Nandavanam.

One mother, Mahalaxmi had this to say about the impact of the therapy. “My son, Kapil, joined Nandavanam about a year from now. Earlier he had poor muscle tone, was overactive and did sleep properly. Barefoot beach walking twice a day on a regular basis has helped improve his muscle tone. His sleeping patterns have improved. e is settling down with the behavioral concerns and increased sleeping pattern.”

On the occasion of International Day of Persons with Disability, Nandavanam is organizing the barefoot walk on a huge scale. Children and adults with disabilities, volunteers and other people will walk barefoot at New Beach, Thiruvanmiyur on 3 December. The walk will start at 9 am and will be for 20 minutes. It will for followed by some fun games and refreshments.

The event marks an inclusive celebration of World Disability Day and aims to create awareness about the therapeutic barefoot beach walking and its benefits. There are several interesting activities planned for the day and more than 100 people are expected to be a part of the celebrations.

Some inclusive traditional beach games are to be played in the morning and are sure to make your day. There will be exciting activities such as looking for a hidden treasure, castle building, collecting seashells and more.

So get ready for a morning spent on the beach feeling the sand and being part of the inclusive world.

For more info about Nandavanam Click Here

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