The Babinski Reflex was discovered by Joseph Francois Felix Babinski (1857 – 1932). As such he is infamous in the medical community. This reflex (also known as the extensor plantar reflex) occurs when the big toe flexes up towards the top of the foot and the other toes fan out after the sole of the foot has been firmly stroked or stimulated.
Reflexes are very specific, involuntary responses to specific kinds of stimulation and as such cannot be controlled, like when a doctor hits your knee with a little hammer to test your reflexes.
The thing about the Bablinski / Babinski, or extensor plantor reflex, is that this response is normal in children under the age of two. But is considered pathological in older children and adults and usually indicates damage to the CNS (central nervous system). This reflex also occurs during sleep and after a long walk, so don’t worry if it happens when you try it after a long hike!
The reason this is being brought up during the relaxation meditation is because to get the most out of this relaxation it is recommended to adopt an attitude of being childlike. The Hypnotic Foundation of Australia did tests whereby they regressed adults to infancy and performed this test on them. The result was that the adult exhibited the Babinski reflex and their big toe curled up towards the top of the foot.
They took it a bit further and asked participants to imagine they where an infant again and to do something childlike. Like curl up on the floor and play with a rattle or a dummy, but to really go back to a time when they were an infant. Again the results were the same and the imagined infant would display the Bablinski reflex.
Healing Possibilities through Being Childlike
Contrary to the general consensus, it is beneficial to be childlike. You access the incredible vitality and inner resources that children have access to. As small infants we were not limited to what our minds told us. We had not made up our minds about how our body should or shouldn’t heal. Everything was completely natural.
By returning to this state and imagining you are once again a small infant that is gently talking to the various parts of the body incredible possibilities open up for self healing and deep relaxation. This is the reason for the emphasis to adopt this attitude of being childlike when relaxing the various parts of your body.
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