Brain Gym Part 3
This is the third part of the Brain Gym explanation. Last time I discussed double doodles, alphabet 8’s, and the elephant. This time I wish to explain Neck Rolls, the Rocker, and Belly Breathing, which are still Midline Movements.
The Neck Rolls are to relax the neck and release tension. Have the child roll the head slowly from side to side while breathing deeply. When a tight spot is found, hold the head in that position, breathing deeply, until the neck relaxes. This can be done with eyes closed or open. One can also move in the Lazy 8 position with the head or press gently with the hand on any point of tension. As the exercise ends, imagine a warm waterfall flowing down the back of the neck. This exercise is for centering and grounding and should help improve oral and silent reading, speech and language, as well as increase the level of relaxation.
The Rocker releases the low back and sacrum and can help to stimulate nerves in the hips, which may become tired due to excessive sitting. If the sacrum is freed to move, the brain becomes activated. This exercise should be done on a padded surface and the hands and forearms may be used for support. While seated on the floor, rock back and forth, releasing tension first in one hip and then the other. This exercise helps in centering and the ability to work in the midfield, with study skills, left-to-right visuals, and attention and comprehension skills. This exercise also helps improve body posture, develops a stable pelvis, and increases body coordination.
Belly Breathing can help children remember to breathe regularly instead of holding his/her breath during times of stress. The child should expand the rib cage, front to back, left to right, top to bottom. This should allow greater supply of oxygen, which will permit higher brain functions. It is good if the child places the hand on his/her abdomen and blows out all old air in short puffs. Then take a slow deep breath, filling up completely. Arching the back will allow the air to enter even deeper. This can be done standing or sitting, or even lying flat with a book on the belly. This can even be done while squatting or walking. This will activate the brain for centering and grounding, relaxation, and to improve cranial rhythms. This exercise aids in reading (coding and decoding) and in speech, and it also improves expression, breathing, attention, and heightens the energy level.
Both the Brain Gym book and the Teacher’s Edition are available for purchase at the Life’s Garden stores in both office locations. The books have easy to follow illustrations and directions for getting your child started. I will discuss some of the other exercises in following newsletters.Tags: belly breathing, brain gym, brain gym rocker, midline movements
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Licensed Independent Mental Health Practitioner
Licensed Professional Counselor
Advanced Clinical HypnoTherapist
- Deb England began working part-time for Wholeness Healing Center in September 2004 and began full-time in May 2005. Deb practices primarily in the Broken Bow office and one day a week in the Grand Island office. Previously she had completed her practicum and internship at Morning Star Alliance, working in the Broken Bow and Grand Island offices.
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