“I have seen miraculous improvement in both children and adults who have used Brain Gym.”
– Cecilia Koester
Have You Heard of Brain Gym?
Brain Gym is a system that uses simple movements to stimulate brain function. That is, it uses quick, easy-to-do developmental movements to wake up the brain without stress or injury. Children naturally explore these movements as they grow and mature.
However, under tension, children learn to rely too much on one cerebral hemisphere of the brain alone, instead of two sides together, placing unnecessary and stressful demands upon the whole physiology. Educator Paul E. Dennison, Ph.D., a pioneer in the field of learning through movement and the creator of the Brain Gym program calls this the "switched off" state.
Children who have special needs "switch off" more frequently than the average child. Perhaps the stress from neurological damage or simply a more sensitive nervous system creates a need for movements, such as Brain Gym, as well as skills of coordination. The intention behind the Brain Gym is to stimulate the brain so that the child has equal access to all dimensions of the brain. The Brain Gym activities address three specific dimensions of physical movement that correlate with three areas of the brain.
Each dimension is described by a key word or function and by viewing postural and behavioral correlates. This means that by observing the child’s behavior or how he/she holds his/her body in space, we are lead to the appropriate Brain Gym movements and activities. Other information that would lead to knowledge about which Brain Gym movements or which activities to choose can be gathered by observing or noticing neurological soft signs. These can be eye or head movements, hand or foot movements. Also, if the child is able to move his/her shoulders and simultaneously move the hips, or, if the child can move in a contra lateral way, though uses only one side of the body at a time, then we are able to gather information about the neurological system. They are called "soft signs" because there is no hard evidence from an EEG or a CAT scan; rather we are relying on the cues from the body to surmise how the neurological system is responding.