Brain Gym is
not really a gym for the brain. It is, in fact, a very well-known and successful
program that emphasizes on physical activities to help with learning
disability, focus and concentration. Even though it is such an effective program and are used in many schools' curriculum, there are a bunch of scientist out there trying to disprove the Brain Gym success, claiming that the method used were not scientifically proven. Don't these scientists have more important things to do than trying to disrupt a program that is working well for many families. Not everything needs scientific data to prove.Victims of freak accidents are proving the existence of Darwinian Evolution everyday.
The idea of Brain Gym is that learning starts with physical skills, such as eye-teaming, eye-hand coordination, interpretation of spatial directions, etc. According to Educational Kinesiology, founder of Brain Gym, movements involved in learning occur along three planes of motion. These three planes intersect to create three dimensional scheme of movement, which define brain function. Laterality is the ability of the body to co-ordinate or transmits messages between the left and right sides of the body. Focus is the ability to co-ordinate movement between the front and back of the body. And centering is the ability to co-ordinate movement between the top and bottom of the body.
The three dimensions are supposed to make learning easier. Lateral movement, such Cross Crawl, helps to improve the ability to read and think at the same time. The Belly Breathing activity teaches how to expand the rib cage front to back, left to right, and top to bottom. When breathing is shallow, lifting only the scalene, oxygen to the brain is limited.
Channel 4 News interview with Carla Hannaford in Kaneohe, Hawaii.
When the body is under stress, three dimensions to learn more easily; for example, they can use their lateral movement (left to right co-ordination) to improve their ability to read and think at the same time. As another example, the Belly Breathing activity can be used as a reminder to breathe instead of holding the breath during focused mental activity or physical exertion. The activity teaches how to expand the rib cage front to back, left to right, and top to bottom. When breathing is shallow, lifting only the scalenes, oxygen to the brain is limited.
The Brain Gym program has 26 activities to improve stability, mobility, and sensory-motor coordination, which, helps to encourage learning. Children learn best in a stress-free environment. When put under stress, we lost the integrating elements of movement, which means our body 'switch off' the brain-integration mechanisms necessary for learning.
Repeating these 26 exercises improves the communication among the many nerve cells and functional centers located throughout the brain and sensory motor system. You and your child may do these exercises 5-10 minutes a day together, and you’ll start seeing improvement in your child’s behaviors. These activities are designed to integrate the body and mind to improve "concentration, memory, reading, writing, organizing, listening, physical coordination, and more.”
Download 10 Free Brain Gym Exercises here, and see for yourself the benefits. Remember, adults can benefit from the Brain Gym too.
An immature symmetric tonic neck reflex (STNR) is the cause of fidgeting. Normally, the symmetric tonic neck reflex matures at about age two. However, if the child fails to do enough crawling, such as in the case of early walker, the STN reflex fails to mature and continues to remains active, resulting in involuntary movements or fidgeting.
A child with an immature STN reflex will have difficulty sitting still to focus on reading and writing. These children frequently slouch with legs straight out, or sit in a chair with feet tucked under the body or hook their feet around the legs of the chair. These children also squirm, are easily distracted and often do not finish their homework. This can lead to a vicious cycle, where the child would start avoiding tasking because they know they cannot complete.
The Cross Crawling helps to reorganize the neural pattern and re-integrate the STN reflex. As a result, the child can now sit still to focus and learn, and be able to accomplish school with minimal distraction and efficiency.