The Importance of Time Off

The importance of time off in the process of rehabilitation can be just as important as the time put into therapy. We often think that more is better, that the more therapy we do the harder we push, the more frequently we exercise, that is a linear progression. Sometimes slowing down and giving the child a break can yield a bigger increase in function than therapy done during that same time. An example of this is when a family goes on holiday, often the family will work work work throughout the year and the child will make good improvements, but then when they go away on holiday and all the child does for two weeks is swim or ride his/her bike, the child has bigger increase in function than the last three months of therapy. What this shows is that the child’s physiology has converted that increase strength and body awareness into function. 

The same thing can occur with physiological rest, when we put the body under stress and underload we are challenging it and all therapy needs to be challenging to create change, but then the child and their bodies also need to rest. Sometimes when a child and a family go on a holiday that time is used for the child to rest and recover. It might be spending the time on the floor or it might be spending time playing with his/her siblings. And then because all of a sudden the child has energy now their function increases. 

This doesn’t mean that holidays and rest alone will result in increased function though, you need to do the hard physiological work to create the change. But then having the time off and the time for recovery means the child can maximise their results after having done all the work previously. 

So enjoy your holidays and enjoy your time off and know that that’s your child’s opportunity to show and express what they have learned over the past three or six month. 

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