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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

How Vision Affects Posture and Movement

Mar 30, 2020 10:45AM ● By Marilee Burrell

Dr. Slotnick demonstrates a binocular vision test to Dr. Gilden and team

The purpose of vision is to direct action.

What entices a baby to reach for a toy? Learn to crawl? Take first steps? It’s the information that vision provides about a world beyond oneself.

Given vision’s guiding role in motor development, Dr. Samantha Slotnick, a behavioral and developmental optometrist, has continued expanding her treatment skills with respect to movement and eye-hand coordination.

In the last few years, she’s given children the opportunity to make up for some developmental missteps with Visual Motor Development Training. More recently she began collaborating with physical therapists who also understand the reciprocal relationship between our vision and our posture and movement.

“After co-managing a few patients with Brad Gilden, a doctor of physical therapy, the two of us created a novel learning opportunity for our respective therapists: We spent a day together, connecting the common impacts of our two modalities of treatment and building a mutual language,” Slotnick says. “I also spent several days with another physical therapy-optometry co-treatment team in Washington, DC, to learn from their model and enhance the care I can offer my co-managed patients in Westchester.”

She’s seen that patients benefit from this team approach to care. “The coordinated treatment helps patients who have postural compensations such as head tilts or turns, or who have zones of double vision, to address the problems at their root cause rather than simply reducing symptoms,” she says. “In the process, I’ve come to understand that there are predominant postural patterns that are common to the vast majority of people due to asymmetries in the internal body. For example, the liver is very dense and primarily on the right side of the abdomen. Therefore, most people tend to stand with weight over their right leg, rather than their left.”

Brad Gilden, PT, DPT, is a managing partner and rehabilitation coordinator for Elite Health Services in Old Greenwich and Westport, CT, and for IPA Manhattan. Dr. Samantha Slotnick has offices at 495 Central Park Ave, Ste. 301, Scarsdale, NY. For more information or to attend one of her free workshops, call 914.874.1177 or visit DR. SAMANTHA SLOTNICK..

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