Your Brain Likes You Just the Way You Are


For the last four days I’ve enjoyed having six wonderful students, one from as far away as Korea, in my Ventura offices for a Brain Gym Teacher Practicum. A practicum is typically a hands-on course of study designed to prepare teachers, through supervised practice, to teach a specific discipline. In this case, these advanced students were fine-tuning to teach the course Brain Gym® 101: Balance for Daily Life and to offer Educational Kinesiology in Depth: Seven-Dimension balances in private consultations.

In the opening circle, the students talked about some wonderful transformations that have happened for themselves as well as their children as they’ve done the Brain Gym activities, action balances, and Seven-Dimension Balances with them, and this small group immediately bonded and became a community.

A powerful principle that I’ve used throughout my career is that energy follows intention. I shared with the Practicum group that I believe the only way humans can transform and grow the brain is by learning through movement . . . by putting their intentions into action. “Your brain likes you just the way you are,” I told them. “Even if you’re unhappy or not doing good things for yourself, your brain does its best to keep you just as you are.” I said how I believe that this basic understanding is the key to teaching a transformative Brain Gym 101 course, and, through their experiences in doing balances in the workshop, the students came to better understand how this principle works.

I enjoyed watching and supporting the students’ creativity as they facilitated the 12 Action Balances and other various parts of the course, including the Brain Gym activities. With Belly Breathing, we slowed down, breathed together, and settled in. With the Energy Yawn, we laughed together and let go of tense habits of speaking. We cross-crawled, double-doodled, and balanced together in a variety of ways. In light of recent world events, the Action Balance for Comprehension (which helps release back-to-front tensions) held special meaning as we balanced together. We included the Footflex activity to release the tendon guard reflex and discover a new ease in walking. We enjoyed the Arm Activation, finding that when we relaxed the ribs down, our breathing automatically deepened.

I found it heartwarming when, in the closing circle of the final day, the participants talked about some of the many systems of self-improvement they’d explored, and concluded that few really deliver on their promise of true growth and learning the way the Brain Gym program does.

One student commented on how she felt that the context provided by the Brain Gym balance sequence called Five Steps to Easy Learning was the key to her having been able to make changes. I would add that we also need the specificity of the 26 Brain Gym activities . . . for seeing, listening, moving with proprioception . . . to make the shifts that, in Edu-K, we refer to as learning.

© 2012 by Paul E. Dennison. All Rights Reserved.

Brain Gym® is a trademark of Brain Gym®  International. Click here for the name of an instructor in you area.

Reclaiming Confidence Post-Trauma

This morning I got an urgent message from a woman I’ll call Erika whom I first met at a workshop I taught in Long Island, New York, in the late 1990s. Having just survived Hurricane Sandy, she was now staying with family members in California. In her voicemail, Erika asked for a private balancing session with me, saying that she was quite stressed and had been unable to think, relax, or concentrate since the traumatic event.

When Erika came to my office, she shuddered as she spoke about how she was alone in her house all night long during the hurricane, as the wind howled and trees toppled all around the property. Now she set a goal of being able to move forward in her life.

In the balance, I first helped Erika notice how her movement patterns were not supporting her skills of communication, organization, or comprehension. We then chose a learning menu, including 3-D Repatterning, a process for coordinating the body’s three postural dimensions within the context of a goal. The menu also included Movement Re-education, a process for learning how to activate formerly misused muscles in order to shift out of movement patterns that are unsupportive of a goal, and Hook-ups (from the Brain Gym® 26) to support self-calming.

After the balance, Erika was, in her own words, able to relax, “let go of the storm,” and feel comfortable in her body once more. Ready to move ahead again, she expressed that she now felt calm, peaceful, and confident about the future.

© 2012 by Paul E. Dennison. All Rights Reserved.

Brain Gym® is a trademark of Brain Gym®  International. Click here for the name of an instructor in you area.

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