Spacial Dynamics® is a growing body of work, created by Jaimen McMillan (*1950) and the Spacial Dynamics Institute, which is applied worldwide in therapy, pedagogy, performance augmentation, business leadership, and world peace. The moving human being is envisioned here as a fluid continuum of body, space, and awareness.
As an approach to Movement Therapy it consists of spatially oriented exercises, hands-on techniques, and postural modification, as well as refined methods of movement observation, movement analysis, movement evaluation, and movement enhancement.
As an approach to Movement Education it consists of a developmental progression of age-appropriate games, group activities, and exercises that introduces the pupil, student, and adult to the changing dynamics between the body, the surrounding space, and the world in which he/she moves. Dynamic movement mapping encourages reflex integration, and spatial/social awareness. Spacial Dynamics is one of the keystones of the Movement Education programs for Waldorf Schools. Spacial Dynamics is also used in Curative Educational institutions, and is offered in remedial programs in schools, as well as a source of developmental and therapeutic support for individuals.
Founded in 1985 in New York, USA, Spacial Dynamics was developed from McMillan’s study of the processes of mastery. He noticed that no matter what the skill or ability being exhibited, (athlete, dancer, musician, tradesman, cook etc.) every moment of mastery shared the same supportive spatial gestalts and patterns. In his Psychology studies at the University of Detroit (1968-1972) he observed that patients with similar illnesses, dis-eases, and dis-orders often also demonstrated remarkably similar movement and spatial patterns. These patterns however were not helpful, in fact they were hindrances to healthy development, awareness, and human freedom. SD exercises were designed to help a person recognize unsupportive spatial configurations, and then to assist him/her to change them by creating new patterns and more supportive spatial habits of moving and interacting.
A key objective of the SD exercises is to cultivate the sense of self-movement, with a strong emphasis on fostering the experience of the counter movement. A patient typically progresses from being touched, to guided/prompted movements, to imitation, and finally, to self–directed and self-initiated activity, where every person can slowly take on greater and greater responsibility for his/her own health.
The term Spacial Dynamics indicates its salient characteristics: that it works with form and dynamic. The forms of the exercises and techniques are largely characterized by the use of curves, spirals, vortices, lemniscates, and inverting spheres. The dynamics of the forms and techniques are largely characterized by the rhythms of water: currents, streams, ripples, waves, eddies, tides, and whirlpools.
SD acknowledges Rudolf Steiner’s science of Anthroposophy for inspiration and insightful explanations for both the educational and therapeutic effectiveness of spatial integration and the restorative qualities of the rhythmical techniques. These life forms and life-rhythms weave together and integrate what was separate, and help a person move forwards with greater ability towards a healthier whole.
Spacial Dynamics Institute