Brain Gym® is a learning readiness program, which focuses on the physical aspects of learning and behaviour. Doing the Brain Gym movements switches on the physical functioning of your brain and central nervous system, improving learning, thinking abilities, behaviour, self-esteem and confidence. Understanding that there is a physical side of learning, we are able to open new pathways of communication within the brain to access more of our potential.
Where It's Used
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Educational settings such as Universities, Schools, Preschools and Community Centres.
Institutional such as Hospitals, Nursing Homes, and other Health Facilities.
Athletic Programs Some coaches are Brain Gym trained and use their qualifications to help enhance their athlete's performance.
Corporate areas Used in various Business, Corporate and Managerial settings.
Lisa van Koeverden with Paul Dennison (Brain Gym® Founder)
Neuroplasticity is a term referring to the brain's amazing capacity to change and adapt. It refers to the physiological changes in the brain that happen as the result of our interactions with our environment. From the time the brain begins to develop in utero until the day we die, the connections among the nerve cells(neurons), in our brains reorganise in response to our changing needs. This dynamic process allows us to learn from and adapt to different experiences.
Neuroplasticity makes your brain extremely resilient. It is the process by which all permanent learning takes place in your brain, such as learning a new skill or concept. Neuroplasticity also enables people to recover from injury, abnormalities, helps with autism, ADD and ADHD, learning disabilities and other brain deficits, as well as anxiety depression and addictions.
For example, if one hemisphere of the brain is damaged, the intact hemisphere may take over some of it's functions. The brain compensates for damage in effect by reorganising and forming new connections between intact neurons. In order to reconnect, the neurons need to be stimulated through activity.
Ref.-Dr Jill Bolte-Taylor -Neuroanatomist (Brain Specialist)- “My Stroke of Insight”
In his book 'The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph' from the Frontier of Brain Science, DR NORMAN DOIDGE, he explores the powerful potential of neuroplasticity and demonstrates that the brain has its own unique way of healing .
Research shows that being Mindful increases connectivity in the frontal lobe of the brain, which is linked to improved attention, memory processing and decision making abilities.
Mindfulness is about paying attention in a particular way - on purpose, in the present moment and without judgement. ie simply noticing what is happening right now- not thinking about the past or the future. It's noticing your senses and brain's reaction and how you feel about the situation, without thinking if it's right or wrong.
When you start to practise Mindfulness, you focus more deeply and notice the finer details about what is going on around you, how you feel about it and what you' re thinking.
Improved focus can help you achieve at higher levels educationally, in sport, music, or emotionally and socially.
Mindfulness helps you think before you overreact. You learn to deal with positive and negative experiences more calmly by making better choices. Mindfulness helps you bounce back after a setback.
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MindUP is a programme that fosters social and emotional awareness, enhances psychological well-being, and promotes academic and athletic success. MindUP promotes and develops mindful attention to yourself and others, tolerances of differences, while encouraging personal growth. Students learn how various parts of the brain behave differently and how that effects them. Students are shown how and encouraged to self manage and regulate their behaviours. MindUP is dedicated to the belief that the child who learns to monitor his/her senses and feelings becomes more aware and better understands how to respond to the world reflectively, rather than re-actively.
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Relaxation / Meditation
A Relaxation technique is any method, process, procedure, or activity that helps a person to relax, attain a state of increased calmness or otherwise reduce levels of pain, anxiety, stress or anger.
The ability to relax is important in effectively managing stress and anxiety. When we feel stressed, our bodies react with what is called the "fight or flight" response. Our muscles become tense, our heart and respiration rates increase, and other physiological systems become taxed. Stress hormones, like Cortisol and Adrenaline are released by our body and too much of these stress hormones can lead to long term physical or mental ill health. It also reduces your ability to think clearly, make rational decisions and affects memory.
Benefits of relaxation/meditation
Practicing relaxation techniques can have many benefits, including:
Slowing heart rate.
Lowering blood pressure.
Slowing your breathing rate.
Maintaining normal blood sugar levels.
Reducing activity of stress hormones.
Increasing blood flow to major muscles.
Reducing muscle tension and chronic pain.
Helps consolidate learning new information.
Sparks creativity and problem solving.
Makes relationships more engaging and happy.
Decreases anxiety, depression and insomnia.