Body-Brain Balancing Exercises
Body-Brain Balancing Exercises Integrate Mind, Brain, and Body & Reduce Stress
DECIDE FOR YOUR SELF WHAT WORKS
Become Aware of What Makes a Difference And Optimizes Thinking, Learning & Being Present
CREATE AN INFORMATION SANDWICH
This tool was first developed by Sharon Promislow and enables us to know what procedures work best to assist us in getting back into balance so that we can think and perceive clearly and easily.
Both of you make an Information Sandwich ...
Start each exercise with a moment of awareness – ask your child (and yourself) how they feel right now.
Then, do the exercise with gusto; and
Afterward, ask your child (yourself) how they feel now.
Pretty soon your child (and you) will identify particular exercises that immediately helps them to again feel at ease in their body. They will prefer, even ask, to stop and rebalance with these exercises.
BALANCE BODY AND BRAIN BEFORE You and Your Child BEGIN a Session. And, BEFORE Stress becomes Distress.
SUMMARY of 6 Brain-Body Balancing EXERCISES follows...Note: It is only fair that the child can (and has our permission) suggest to their coach- parent that they also need to stop and do Body-Brain Balancing Exercises when they seem to be anxious, stressed, distracted, frustrated, not paying attention !
For a Quick and Easy Reset When either of you begin to make several mistakes or lose interest in being on task, youand your child need to take time out ... to rebalance and re-energize the whole self.
Drink Water – hydrate so your child’s brain and body can work well. Often drink a full glass of water while working. (Ex. 1 on p4)
Tap Your Brain – Tap all areas of head during 3 full long breaths. This clears the head so it can function well; oxygenates the body and brain.
(Ex. 2 on p.5)
Re-Direct Your Energy Flow – One hand on the navel, other hand taps/holds each area (K-27, lips, coccyx) for 3 full breaths. This gets energy and information flowing in the correct direction again; improve communication between all parts of brain and body – (Ex. 4 on p. 7)
Turn On Your Eyes and Ear –(1) Stretch out and roll back rub ear log, rub the entire lobe of each ear. Do 3 time. (2) Slowly circle the eyes around the clock; clockwise 2x; counter-clockwise 3-6x; take long breaths. This clears away blind and deaf spots in viewing and hearing, and attitudes about learning.
(Ex. 7 & 8, p.9-10)
Hold Your Forehead – Hold hand across forehead and imagine having a successful session, while you take 3 deep long breaths, (Ex. 6 on p.9)
Cross-Crawl –Alternate 5 sets of cross-crawl and then of the same- sidedmarching;alwaysendwithcross-crawl. Energizesand organizes the brain and body so all parts can work together – (Ex. 9 on)
Do all or some of the following exercises. Find the ones that work best for your child and use them regularly.
Re-Direct Your Energy Flow
Stop Short-Circuiting – Do Cook’s Hook Up
Rotate Your Eyes Around the Clock & Hold Your Forehead
Turn your Ears On & Hold Your Forehead
Center at the Midline
Hold your Forehead
BODY-BRAIN BALANCING ... THE EXERCISES
Ex. 1 DRINK WATER, Re-Hydrate!
Our cells are biochemical plants bathed with fluids filled with nutrients, cell wastes and toxins. Our cells and all our body and brain processes are run by their electrical activity (the production and flow of energy within them, and in to and out of them). Water is necessary to every cell so that its electrical activity can occur unimpaired. Thinking and stress are two great consumers of the available water that is needed by all cells to function well.
Drink a glass of water when your thinking becomes fuzzy, strained, ineffective, or when your body feels uncomfortable. Drink extra water often during mental workouts and before tests.
Other kinds of drinks cannot be used instead of water – only water is water and does the job in your body that water does! Stay hydrated, drink 6-8 glasses a day of water, as a minimum.
Ex 2 & 3 TURN ON YOUR BRAIN – Clear Your Head
Balance Your Cranial Flows and RhythmsWhen the (cranial) bones of the skull become jammed or move inappropriately in relation to each other, breathing, thinking, moving, seeing, hearing and performing can become impaired.
Ex 2. TAP YOUR BRAIN
This exercise was developed by John Veltheim. We use it here to re-balance the cranio-sacral rhythms and movements of the body, and to improve breathing. This exercise specifically frees any restrictions that exist between the sphenoid (a bone behind the eyes) and the base of the occiput (bottom of back of head). The joint betweenthem(spheno-basilarjoint(SB))movesaswebreatheinandout. Ifit becomes jammed, it can affect our breathing patterns and the amount of oxygen that gets to the brain. It also influences the flow of blood through the brain and body.
The spheno-basilar joint can become unstable due to stress from: physical events; startling or disturbing situations; emotional distress; a hit to the head or a blow to the body that resonates in the head. When the SB joint is unstable, breathing and brain function can be impaired.
With one hand, Touch the roof of your mouth withyour thumb, and with a long finger touch the bridge of your nose...
And with the other hand, Tap forward and backward on thetop of your head, touching both sides of the midline with each tap. Do this several times during 2 full breaths: strongandlongin- breath... holdin...strongand long out-breath... hold out....Also tap all along both sides of the head, and down the whole back of the head. Breathe 2 deep breaths for each area of the head that you tap.
Ex. 3 YAWN INTERRUPT
While challenged and feeling frustrated, the child can become so fixated on gaining command over a certain skill that they become mentally blocked and emotionallyagitated. Astensionbuilds,theyareunabletoobtaintheresultsthey desire because of the state of their mind. The Yawn Interrupt exercise is often all that is needed to break up the pattern of mental fixation and agitation. The Yawn Interrupt prepares the mind and body for continued study.
A yawn is a semi-automatic reflex. It automatically originates in the brain stem in response to a lowered level of oxygen in the brain. A yawn is triggered as the mouth stretches wide open, pulling on the facial muscles, causing the eyes to squint and occasionally to tear up. In a yawn we suck in a deep breath of air; hold it for a moment, and then exhale. Thus, each time we yawn, we stretch our face, we widen our chest area (ribs), and we take in a deep breath of oxygen.
We like to think of the yawn exercise as “an oil change” for the brain. The face- stretching and chest-rib-widening effects of a yawn momentarily increase the pressure of thefluidaroundthebrain.The increasedpressureon this cerebral spinal fluid forces it to be absorbed more rapidly by the brain. The increased absorption level triggers the brain to produce new, clean brain fluid to supply the spacearoundthebrainandthespinalcord. Asaresultoftheincreased oxygenation of the brain and the changes in brain fluid level, the brain waves of theindividualcanshiftfrombetatoalpha,andeventotheta. Inthesealphaand theta brain wave states, the concreteness of the problem dissolves, and the individual can again focus and become aware of desired solutions to his challenge.
Open your jaw as wide as it goes, and let your body take over from there... aaaahhhhhhh....
Let the air out with a big sigh – enjoy it and make lots of sound. Do this 2x.
Ex. 4 & 5 STOP CONFUSION IN YOUR BRAIN & BODY
Reset Your Body Circuits
Stress can cause energy to flow in unusual patterns through your body circuits. This makes it hard to relax, focus, think, learn and perform.
Ex. 4 RE-DIRECT YOUR ENERGY FLOW
When the polarity of the energy flow is reversed or “switched,” the result is that right and left, back and front, and/or, top and bottom can become confused in your body and in your thinking. When “switched”, you may be confused, making lots of mistakes, unable to concentrate, or unable to think and perform at the same time. Turn the direction of your energy flow back to normal with this exercise.
Re-Direct Your Energy Flow
Place one hand over your navel, With the other hand, tap and rub thefollowing points for at least 3 full breaths each:
Upper and lower lips (end points of Governing and Conception Vessels).
Both K-27 points (end points of Kidney Meridian) located under your collar bones and in the hollows on both sides of your breast bone.
Coccyx (near the end point of the Governing Vessel), at the bottom of the sacrum in the middle of your buttocks.
Switch hands and repeat the process.
Ex. 5 STOP SHORT-CIRCUITING – USE COOK’S HOOK UP
Use Cook’s Hook Up (designed by Dr. Wayne Cook) to clear all the short- circuiting in your body. Use this exercise during reading and writing tasks to end confusion of the senses; use it whenever your environment seems to be closing in on you; use it to re-energize when you have more work to complete than you feel you have energy for the task.
Stop Short-Circuiting – Use Cook’s Hook Up
Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth and breathe as you hold the 2 following poses:
Cross your left wrist over your right wrist (1a), turn your palms so they face each other and clasp your hands together, draw them up your midline until they rest on your chest (1b)
Cross your left ankle over your right ankle.
Hold this position for at least 5 full breaths. It is best to hold for 1-3 minutes so that all your systems can quiet down and rejuvenate.
Breathe regularly; notice what changes inside of you as your short- circuiting ends.
Uncross your arms and legs. Place your feet flat on the floor. Touch your each fingertip together
(e.g., index finger to index finger tip; only finger tips touch).
Your tongue is still on the roof of your mouth, and you breathe deeply for 5 full breaths, or for 1-3 minutes if you have the time; feel your body
Ex 6 – 10 BALANCE YOUR BRAIN & BODY
Ex. 6 HOLD YOUR FOREHEAD –Release Emotional Stress
Do this whenever you or your child is feeling emotional overwhelm, can’t think/see/hear/follow directions/keep your balance, can’t think and perform at the same time, or want to relax and regroup within yourself. This feels particularly wonderful when someone else holds your forehead for you.
Hold Your Forehead – Release Emotional Stress
Place one hand across your forehead and, with the other hand, cup the back bottom of your head. Hold for 5 full breaths, or 1-3 minutes when you are very emotionally stressed (frustrated, angry, crying). Hold until you feel at peace and renewed.
You can just hold your forehead if that is more comfortable.
Ex. 7 TURN ON YOUR EARS
Open up your ability to hear clearly and be sense-able. Improve your ability to follow directions. Improve your coordination and balance.
Turn on Your Ears
Place your thumbs behind your ears. Grasp your ears between your thumbs and fingers, and gently stretch and roll your ears out and over your thumbs.
Do this all along your ears, starting at the top and working down to the ear lobe. Do this 3x.
Ex. 8 ROTATE YOUR EYES AROUND THE CLOCK – Turn On Your Eyes
Jack Schwarz used this exercise to release the disturbance that occurs in the brain and body due to unexpressed emotions and unwanted memories. Use this exercise to clear your child’s vision, thinking and attitude about learning and performing. Use it to release frustration and the sense of being unable to function as desired. When your child holds their forehead (Ex. 6) at the same time as they circletheireyes,itworksevenbetter. Thiseyeexercisealsoworkswellwiththe Cross-Crawl (Ex. 9).
Imagine a large clock out in front of you.
Keep your head still – just move your eyes.Move your eyes slowly clockwise (CW) first. See each number on the clock as you moveyour eyes clockwise (from 12:00 to 1:00...) aroundtheclock. Go2timesaroundtheclock in the clockwise direction.
Now, move your eyes slowly counter- clockwise (CCW) around the clock (from 12 to 11...) 3-6 times. Keep circling your eyes CCW to unwind your emotional stress until it is gone, and you can think and see clearly.Rest if your eyes get tired (close your eyes in that eye position), and then open your eyes and continue moving your eyes around the clock. Extend your eyes as far as you can in each direction that you look. Stop in any area that causes your eyes to dart away, flip and flutter, or skip over the number. Go back and forth over this area until the movement of your eyes stabilizes again and youreyesfloweasilythroughthisarea. Then continue around the clock.
Ex. 9 CROSS-CRAWL
Use this exercise to energize you and your child, to prepare for action, to bring the function of your 2 brain hemispheres together at the same time, and to improvecoordinationbyunitingtherightandleftsidesofyourbody. Theleftside of the brain regulates the muscles of the right side of the body, and the right side of the brain regulates the muscles of the left side of the body.
Do this exercise in the cross pattern; and then do it in the one-sided (homo- lateral) pattern. Always end with the cross pattern.
The purpose of the exercise is to recover your ability to exchange information across the center (midline) of your brain and body, and to integrate what is happening on both sides of the brain and body at the same time.Use this exercise when balance and coordination are poor, or when you need to energizeyourself.
Uset his exercise when your child cannot easily picture and think about what they are doing at the same time as they are doing it. If they have difficulty performing any part of this exercise, particularly during the change- over between the 2 types of motion (cross-crawl and same-sided crawl), continue to do this exercise until their motion and balance are smooth and steady.
Cross-Crawl: March in place with alternate arm and leg going forward at the same time. Example: Left arm swings forward as right leg goes forward.
Do 3-7 sets of left/right, right/left motion pairs.
Swing your arms freely from the shoulders, move your legs freely from the hips. Avoid crossing the midline of your body with your arms and legs while you move.
Homo-Lateral Crawl: Change to marching with the same arm and leg going forward on the same side at the same time. Example: Swing left arm forward at the same time as the left leg goes forward.
Do 3-7 sets of these left/right - right/left pairs of movements. Swing your arms freely from the shoulder.
Cross-Crawl: March in place again with alternate arm and leg going forward at the same time.
Do 3-7 sets of left/right, right/left motion pairs. Always finish this exercise with cross-crawl.
Repeat all the above if it is difficult to make any of the movements or change betwen movements. Continue until it is easy and smooth to make the transitions from cross-crawl to same-side motion and back to cross-crawl.
You can roll your eyes around the clock as you cross-crawl and move homo-laterally to develop deeper brain integration.
Ex. 10 CENTER AT THE MIDLINE
The Conception and Governing Vessels are energy meridians that run up the midline of the front and back of the body from your crotch to your lips. They integrate and regulate all the energy flow in your body. All meridian energy connectswiththeflowofthesevessels. Thesevesselsbringallthe information that is at your periphery (right and left sides) together at the midline and send it to the brain; and similarly, they send information from the brain and spine out to the meridians, cells, tissues, and organ systems of your body.
Use this exercise to re-balance and re-center your child when their attention wanders, or they feel confused and out of balance. Use this exercise when it is hard to think and act at the same time.
Center at the Midline
Your hands move in the air near your body for this exercise.
Run one hand up your front midline from your pubic bone to your bottom lip ... at the same time, run the other hand up your back midline from your tailbone, up your back as far as you can reach, and then up and over you head to your upper lip. As your hands come together at the level of the lips, move your hands awayfromyourbody. Repeatmoving your hands in the upward movement on both sides of your body 4 times.
When you move your hands down these midline vessels, it has a sedating effect. This may be useful when your body or mind activities are turned up too high. Findoutwhichdirectionofhand movement works best for you under a particular circumstance.
These Body-Brain Balancing Exercises are like an extra blanket lying at the end of your bed. When the night gets cold, the extra blanket does you no good unless you reach down and pull it up and over you. Likewise with these Body-Brain Balancing Exercises – they benefit you ONLY when you use them. They benefit both the child and the coach assisting them as they both perform them!
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Jack Schwartz. The Power of Personal Health. New York: Arkana Penguin group, 1992.
Gordon Stokes and Daniel Whiteside. Basic One Brain. Burbank, CA: Three In One Concepts, 1987.
John Veltheim. The BodyTalk System Teaching Manual. Sarasota, FL: Parama Publ.,1999