Modulation Vs Stimulation
Is your child out of control? Does he/she get hyper-stimulated and stay that way, despite your best efforts to re-direct? Do you find yourself getting anxious and worrying about things that are out of your control, sweating and fretting? Anxiety, stimulation, excitement. We all experience these things, and they can all be good, until they overwhelm us or we are unable to handle them in a good way. So how do you modulate or bring yourself down from hyper-stimulation? Many people have different ways of modulating, such as walking or other kinds of exercise, reading, bubble baths, laughing, or many others. Part of the problem occurs when our coping skills don’t work, or as in the case of many children, some do not yet have the skills to self-modulate.
Some of the things I have suggested to my clients, in an effort to help their children, include any type of exercise, such as jumping jacks, sit-ups, laps around a house or yard, toe-touches, or push-ups. I especially like the jumping jacks, as you can watch a child’s face and actually see as their anger, frustration, or anxiety subside. You can do this by watching their faces; pay careful attention to the direction of their eyes, as this seems to change as children calm.
I also like many of the exercises from the Brain Gym program, which I have written about before. Specifically any of the cross-crawl patterns seem to break up the rut that the brain gets stuck in. These exercises tend to integrate right brain/left brain, moving the person out of a spot that seemed impossible. These cross patterns can include any exercise where you physically touch one part of the body with a part from the opposite side. Knee slaps, opposite toe touches, touching opposite shoulders, feet, knees, etc. qualify. But you really don’t need to even get out of your seat to do these, as Lazy 8’s, Alphabet 8’s, Double Doodles, and the Elephant also can be done with a pencil in hand, or actually just with a finger, drawing in the air.
I especially like and assign Hook-ups when kids (and adults) are stuck in a bad spot. This involves crossing the left leg over the right, extending arms and crossing the left hand over the right, interlacing the fingers. Then pull the hands up close to the chest. Close eyes, breathe deeply, placing the tongue on the top of the mouth during inhalation, removing it during exhalation. I usually ask that this be done 5-10 times, depending upon how high the anxiety is. Then uncross legs, uncross hands, and place fingertips of both hands together and press hard, breathing deeply. This seems like a good way to get children to re-direct without a fight, and allows some oxygen to get into the brain, allowing almost immediate modulation.
In our crazy busy world, with noise and action, with constant movement by way of video games, TV, computer, etc., we often find ourselves needing a quick way to modulate, and any of these ways seem to be fairly effective. You can check any of these exercises out in our past issues on our web site at www.wholenessheali.wpenginepowered.com or read the Teacher’s Edition, Revised, of the Brain Gym program.
Dennison, Paul E. and Gail E. (1989). Brain Gym. Ventura, CA: Edu-Kinesthetics, Inc.Tags: active consequences, brain gym, out of control child
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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