Co-ordination and how we are able to navigate through space is a fundamental principle of being human! As we get older this skill can be reduced.

Osteopath Gayle Palmer from the Living Elements Clinic provides some guidance and exercises that you can do at home to make a difference.

This video is 10 minutes long. See how you can modify the exercises for your own circumstances – whether for a child or a senior! What ones do you really like?!

If you want some more help and guidance or want to ask for some advice – either make an appointment – or contact Gayle directly at the clinic.

If you have found this video / transcription useful – Please comment below and tell me a bit about yourself. Thank you.

Your Health IS My Priority!

Place your healing in my hands.

© Gayle Palmer, Living Elements Clinic 2019

Video transcription:


By Gayle Palmer

Hello! This is Gayle Palmer from the Living Elements Clinic in Chichester on the South Coast.

Today, I wanted to talk to you about ways that you can help people improve their coordination. So, that is how you are able to move in relationship to space or in relationship to other objects.

It is a fundamental principle of being human. It takes a long time for us to learn as children and as you get older, it often is one of the first functions that begin to decrease in either accuracy or function as whole and it is crucially important to have good coordination. Start by pulling over to give you a clear idea of where you are in space. So, I thought I would do this short video to give you some ideas and exercises that you can do to help yourself and your family around you as well.


So, I am outside today. It is a beautiful day and one of the advantages of that is that you can listen to the world around you. You can feel the air moving, as wind and breeze above you. It is amazing sometimes and quite challenging for people because as you get older, sometimes your ability to take in all of your environment gets reduced.

One of the things about increasing your coordination is that it improves your nerve memory. Over time, if we do not use the function, it is not necessarily that we lose it but we lose the finesse of it. We lose some of the concentration that we have in able to do it efficiently, effectively and safely. So, a bit like riding a bicycle where it takes a long time for us to get back our “sense of balance” – where you are able to shift your weight bearing and what have you without falling over. Coordination is a practised phenomena. Okay?

So, we need to keep practising the exercises on this video.

There are some very simple exercises that you can do and I am going to demonstrate some of those for you now.

One of the first things that you can do is to get a ball. I have got two types of ball here. This is my old lacrosse ball. It is heavy but it is good for rolling on a table because its got the extra weight. This is an old tennis ball; so far I have managed to steal it from the dog! As you can see it bounces. It is lighter. It is more difficult to control in some ways but it has a different texture and different surface and that is also useful for coordination.

You can do simple things often – like throwing and catching. If you’ve got someone to do this with, fantastic! Because they can throw it in different ways. If you have not, you can do it for yourself. You can drop it on the floor. Make it fun. Make it softer to move or you can do it up against the wall for instance if you are inside. We are going to get back to the heavier ball now.

So this is a lacrosse ball – so it does bounce but not in the same way that the other does. But one of the other things that you can do with a heavier ball is to manipulate it between your hands, around your hands and start to build up quite complex movements. Use your fingertips. Use the back of your hand as all of that helps to improve and helps to bring an increase in your sensory awareness. As you can see, I am mainly looking at the camera but you can do this with your eyes open and you can watch it all the time. You can do it with your eyes closed.

Another quick way of doing this is one of these spikey therapy balls. They come in different sizes. Large ones, medium ones and the tiny ones. And if you use this, you have a different texture and more grip to it. So, if you are getting arthritis in your joints or stiffness, or you are reducing sensation in your hands or even your feet – you can use this on your feet as well. This creates you a little bit more surface area to hold on to. But again, is very great way of stimulating your nervous system. You can roll it on, down your arm and around your arm. The smaller one. You can get them almost to go between your fingers and it is a fantastic way of stimulating your system and it takes a bit to practice. Alright? (We are going to get a bit of help from the dog. Hello Echo! Thank you for coming to join us, sweetie! Now, you can go sit down somewhere else? Okay.) Off you see, you can juggle and catch with these as well. I know what you want but you are not having them! So, you can do catching on one hand, you do it two hands, whatever works.

When my father had his stroke – He was finding it more difficult to manipulate balls and what have you in it (your hand) and part of the coordination is your eye-to-hand coordination – its so vital to keep everything healthy. (Can you move your tail away, sweetie. Thank you very much!) So, start with just rolling a ball along the table to him. So it is like catch and then we can start to use the angles etc. once you got used to that after a couple of minutes. We can then start actually throwing the ball to him as well.

So, the next step of this is to get your feet moving. Okay? Really important for your coordination. So, for this you are going to do the toe taps. So you can take your feet forward, out to the side and back. Feet forward, to the middle. Side, back. (and the dog is going to help too!) That’s fabulous!

Okay, well let us do it with the feet. Feet forward. Side. Back. [Laughter] “That is not a great help! Thank you!” Okay. Forward. Side. Back. Forward. Side. Back. Okay? So, that helps to give you some stability… (Giggle And then you can remove all my props. I know what you like.) That will help to improve your coordination and your balance as well. Because you improve your coordination and it increases your balance. (Come on. Move your bottom! Thank you very much. Go!).

Okay. Clapping games! Really good fun. (Are you going to join me on clapping games? You are not) Okay. You know, there is old game that you used to play when you are child at school? Yeah? Do it with a partner. Do it against the wall. It does not matter. It definitely works more with a partner and you can do – up, down, reverse them and can be an interesting one of you are stiff in the shoulders  and turn. Anything like that and gradually increase the complexities. You just start off with playing / clapping games and gradually improve and increase the complexity of them. Yeah? Fabulous, fun and easy to do. You do not need any other equipment.

Okay, and then ones that you DO need a partner for – play “Simon Says”. Can you remember that game? So, Simon says touch your head. Simon says touch your left shoulder. Simon says touch your right shoulder. Simon says touch your knee. Touch your head. Did you get it? Did you get it? So, that is part of your ear, eye, brain and hand coordination. Again, it is the ability to listen to an instruction. Remember it and then follow it  through. So, although these are simple childhood games, if you have various stages of dementia, sometimes Parkinson’s, that is quite difficult to do and coordinate. So practice! The more practice you can do, the more fun it is, the more results you get.

So, have fun! Enjoy yourself. Give it a go. Take care for now. That’s Gayle Palmer from the Living Elements Clinic, the osteopath where – Your health is my priority. Place your healing in my hands. Take care!

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