Toe Walking

Toe walking is tightly correlated with Fight or Flight, where Moro, Fear Paralysis, Foot Tendon Guard, Perez, and Trunk Extension* exercises will all help to mature self regulation. It is the reflex most closely associated with the Triple Heater meridian, which regulates Thyroid and Adrenal function, and toe walking from this perspective can be thought of as a stress management response. You will most likely find the the calf muscles are quite tight, and Masgutova’s Neuro structural techniques will be helpful. If you do not know these techniques, any deep muscle or fascial techniques that do not add stress should work.

Toe Walking should be worked with in conjunction with observing how the child manages stressful stimuli and helping them develop more adaptive responses (to internal as well as external stressors) is highly effective in conjunction with reflex therapy. Masgutova’s Tactile therapy, or something as simple as Embracing Squeeze in the Moro section of the manual* will most likely be helpful.
If you also have bed wetting, which in my experience is common with Toe Walking, you should work Babinski and Perez along with the Tendon Guard reflexes. I have also had kids in that still Toe Walk or run on their toes simply out of habit. Retraining can involve TLR in extension. With the child standing and looking straight ahead, have them lean backwards as far as they can go without falling for as long as possible. Stand behind them for support, but let them manage their balance independently. The longer they can hold this position the better. When your child toe walks, you could try this exercise, and if they don’t find it stressful, you can add this in. If there are indications of stress, which is most likely, their underlying tendon guard work needs to be addressed, and this exercise should be tabled for a few weeks.
It is not unusual to find that a component of the stress the child is regulating by Toe Walking emanates from cranial alignment issues. If the cranial bones are jammed, this can drive the kid into fight / flight or even freeze. I have often seen Masgutova check for and work with cranial issues with her patients. If you have a local Osteopathic doctor, he may be able to evaluate and correct any cranial issues, or refer you to a skilled Manual Therapist. This is especially relevant if you had a challenging delivery for this child or appliances were used.

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