Neuro-Muscular Education or Development

P. F. Chase
1904 The Elementary School Teacher  
IT was while serving the Children's Aid Society of Chicago in the capacity of superintendent and caring for little waifs that my attention was called to the necessity of some kind of physical development for backward babies and children, and while working out a systetn of mild'exercise for these defective children I conceived the idea of neuro-musculai education or development. Commencing with a baby, say, six months old, and continuing through all those years when the child plays around the
more » ... plays around the house, before it is old enough to go to school and before the brain is taxed by any mental effort, a mild but effective course of exercise can be given to a child that will develop its nervous and muscular systems, and give it mental strength and endurance. In neuro-muscular education or development there are certain principles involved: I. The principle of sequence.-Neuro-muscular education is a developmental process of infancy and childhood merging into the physical training of youth and young manhood. While the activities of childhood lead to the actual growth and development of the body and brain, the activities of the adult serve only to maintain the brain and muscles in a healthy condition. It thus becomes evident that the problem of the order of certain exercises or the sequence of activities is a matter of fundamental importance to the welfare of the individual. 2. The principle of reciprocity.-There exists between the nervous and muscular development a reciprocal relation; that is, there can be no muscular development without a corresponding development of the nervous system, nor can there be a wellbalanced development of the nervous system without a development of the muscular system. The natural activity of the infant or child involves the exercise of both muscles and brain. The muscles develop in size and strength because of this exercise, and 739
doi:10.1086/453396 fatcat:dy5rpkffpvfonpby2slufzk7c4