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Monday, 18 January 2021
Brain Gym Print
Some of the mothers of A4everFamily have taken Brain Gym® 101, and are using what we have learned to help our children optimize their neuro-developmental functioning.

From the Brain Gym® Handbook:

“Brain Gym® is a series of quick, fun and energizing activities” which specifically address the brain-body connection in three dimensions of movement:

  • Laterality, or side-to-side movement is connected to the functioning of the cortex, and is also related to communication.
  • Centering, or up-and-down movement connects to the limbic portion of the brain, and has to do with organization.
  • The Focus Dimension, which involves back-and-forth movement, addresses the brainstem, and deals with comprehension.

Brain Gym® is probably best known for the series of 26 movements which are designed to help people “enhance their experience of whole-brain learning.” These movements could have some specific applicability to children who have experienced trauma and/or a break in the attachment cycle.

Midline Movements address issues in the Laterality Dimension. Since many children with a strained attachment also have difficulties with communication, these movements would be of interest to many parents.

Energy Exercises and Deepening Attitudes are linked to the Centering Dimension. The ability to learn how to become centered, calm, and “in one’s body” would be most valuable for children who struggle with attachment and the effects of trauma.

Lengthening Activities are linked to issues in Focus. Focus (or lack of focus) is a common issue for children struggling with attachment and trauma. Damage to the brain stem and resulting “hyper-arousal” of the freeze/fight/flight reflex can lead to daily struggles for these children; therefore, Lengthening Activities could be very beneficial for them.

In addition to being linked to various dimensions of movement, many of the Brain Gym® movements are also linked to skills in reading, thinking, writing, self-awareness, home-study, and personal ecology.

Brain Gym® is much more than just these movements, however. PACE (an acronym for Positive, Active, Clear and Energetic) is a 4-step activity which prepares the brain and body for new learning. It includes drinking water and performing three Brain Gym® movements: Brain Buttons help the brain get more oxygenated blood; Cross Crawls help integrate the right and left hemispheres of the brain; and Hook-ups put the brain and body in the state of calm alert, which is optimal for learning new information.

The Brain Gym® Action Balance is “a specific five-step process done for the purpose of enhancing one’s ability to move between effort (low gear) and ease (high gear)” while addressing a specific goal.

Parents of children with issues of attachment and/or trauma can guide their children through balances designed to address such pertinent areas as positive attitudes, listening, writing or any fine-motor task, whole body movement, communication including verbal and non-verbal, organization, comprehension (reading, human interaction, etc.), and any other daily-life activity.

For more information on Brain Gym®, see the Brain Gym® International website at http://www.braingym.org

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