A video showing a Russian therapist spinning babies around, holding them by one limb and turning them upside down has shocked after it appeared on a US news programme.
The video depicts Lena Fokina practicing a session of what she calls ‘baby dynamics’. It involves throwing babies around her head, swinging them upside down and holding them from one arm or leg. The shocking practice looks brutal, but Lena insists it’s “very good for babies and not dangerous at all”.
A mum-of-five and grandma-of-three, Lena promotes her techniques at seminars around the world. She claims the practice comes from an ancient African tradition that has been modernised and developed by Russian doctor Igor Charkovsky.
“The method was originally developed to cure and correct the health of children having muscular or skeletal problems but it is also suitable for healthy children,” Lena said. “The movements are designed to improve their muscular abilities and development.”
Lena also claims that children she performs the practice on often go on to be early readers, talkers and swimmers and that it makes them stronger.
The videos have been banned from some websites after fears it could encourage child abuse and some critics have voiced concerns that these type of movements could cause Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS).
Lena denies this, and has said, “Even a tiny baby’s body can adapt to the process easiy if you take it gradually. People tend to get upset when they see it because they are not aware of children’s real abilities – but these abilities are much wider than it is traditionally thought.”