Brain Gym Part 9: Energy Exercises and Deepening Attitudes
This is the ninth and final part of the Brain Gym explanation. This is a continuation of the Energy Exercises and Deepening Attitudes. These activities help children activate the neo-cortex, enabling them to think better. This article will discuss the Thinking Cap, Hook-Ups, and Positive Points.
The Thinking Cap “helps the student focus attention on his hearing . . . relaxes tension in the cranial bones”. (p. 30) The child creates the motion of actually putting on the cap, using thumbs and index fingers to pull the ears back and unroll them. Then massage the ear, beginning at the top, going around the curve of the ear, and ending up at the ear lobe. Do the exercise three times or more and it can also be done with the energy yawn, helping to cross the auditory midline, which should improve recognition, attention, discrimination, perception, and memory. Academically it should aid listening comprehension, speaking, singing, playing a musical instrument, inner speech and verbal mediation and spelling. Thinking skills should also be increased, as should short-term memory. (PIX p. 30)
Hook-Ups are an interesting one and one which I have seen make a huge difference when children are out of control in my office. These help the body to relax, allows energy to flow through the body, accessing the areas blocked by tension, and then adding the second part allows for the balance that comes from connects the two brain hemispheres. The child should cross the left ankle over the right, extend his arms in front of him, crossing the left wrist over the right, interlace his fingers and pull his hands up toward his chest. Close eyes, breathe deeply and relax. He can also press the tongue flat against the roof of the mouth while inhaling, and relaxing the tongue on exhaling. The second part comes when the child uncrosses his legs and touches the fingertips of both hands together. This exercise can almost immediately lessen anger or frustration by allowing emotional centering, grounding, increased attention, improved self-control and a better sense of boundaries, and deeper respiration. This is similar to the integration pathways which “are usually established in infancy through sucking and cross-motor development. The tongue pressing into the rood of the mouth stimulates the limbic system for emotional processing in concert with more refined reasoning in the frontal lobes, Excessive energy to the receptive (right or hind) brain can manifest as depression, pain, fatigue, or hyperactivity. (p. 31) (PIX p. 31)
Positive Points are “emotional-stress release points” and are the neurovascular balance points for the stomach meridian. This exercise begins with the child touching the point above each eye with the fingertips of each hand, halfway between the hairline and the eyebrows, closing the eyes in the process. Massaging the points helps to relieve visual stress and this is an exercise that can be done in teams, one person doing for another. This will aid in organizational ability, release of memory blocks, imagining alternative outcomes/solutions, and relieving the stress held in the stomach by bringing blood flow from the hypothalamus to the frontal lobes, preventing fight or flight response and setting the pathways to learning new responses. (PIX p. 32)
Both Brain Gym book and Brain Gym Teacher’s Edition, Revised 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. This concludes the explanation of the exercises outlined in the book, although the book details some variations that can be utilized.
Brain Gym is a registered trademark of Brain Gym® International, www.braingym.org.
Brain Gym, Teacher’s Edition Revised, P. Dennison, G. Dennison, 1989.
Illustrations by Gail Dennison. Brain Gym: Simple Activities for Whole Brain Learning,Tags: brain gym, hook-ups, thinking cap brain gym
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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