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"Movement is the door to learning."
Paul Dennison, PhD, Brain Gym® Founder

Educational Kinesiology, or Brain Gym, is an approach to learning that can be used at any level, from tiny physical movements directed toward specific neurological effects, to the clarification and implementation of life goals – and everything inbetween. The word kinesiology means "the science of movement," and so Brain Gym is based on the principle that we can educate the whole person through movement.

Only 20% of the information we process moves from brain to body. A whopping 80% goes the other way! The brain primarily acts as an enormous filter, telling us what to ignore. For example, we can focus on a single conversation in a crowded room, because we are filtering out most of the other stimuli.

Because most of our information travels from body to brain, we can learn most efficiently as we move. Simple, neurologically specific movements can actually take us out of stress, help signals cross the hemispheres of the brain, improve vision, coordination, cognition, and behavior.

Brain Gym is a learning readiness program appropriate to all ages. Through specifically directed movements, Brain Gym assists us in coordinating, organizing, and filtering sensory information, allowing tasks to be performed with maximum efficiency. The "task" can be anything: reading a sentence, calming down after recess or a board meeting, changing a habit, working through a relationship issue, making an important life decision. Although the way Brain Gym is presented will change according to different ages, conditions, and applications, its basic content and philosophy remains the same. We never stop learning and moving; there is always room for growth.

At the micro-level, Brain Gym is a simple alphabet of movements to help learners achieve their goals. Many "Brain Gyms" can be done in a few seconds. Once they have learned some Brain Gym, people will often instinctively go into these movements and postures when they need to calm down or think clearly.

At the macro-level, Brain Gym is the balance process. This is a simple, far-reaching framework for transformation that can be used individually or in groups to address any kind of issue. Although the balance is classically described as a five-step process, Lydian Center practitioner Eve Kodiak has found this symmetrical, seven-step model to be the most useful to her clients and students.

1. CALIBRATE the system
This is classically done with PACE, four short Brain Gym activities designed for a Positive, Active, Clear and Energetic balance process.

2. Set a GOAL
In order for the desired change to take place, we need to know what we actually want -and to align ourselves with it 100%.. Once we have clarified our intentions, it becomes safe to name the obstacles we perceive to be in the way of manifesting them. Separating out the goal from the obstacles makes total commitment possible. (For young children, the goal is often established non-verbally: "Draw a picture of yourself feeling happy!" or "Build your house out of blocks!" or in a story-telling way: "Here’s a magic wand. Wave it and make a wish!" The following steps are similarly famed in non-explicit ways, held simply in the mind and heart of the practitioner).

This can be as simple as walking across the floor. We notice our level of integration as we perform the activity – how is our weight distributed? Does anything hurt? What are we thinking about? How are we feeling? The activity provides a benchmark for us to revisit later, to test for ourselves whether or not change has occurred.

In classic Brain Gym parlance, this is the "learning menu." This part of the balance is completely individualized. It can involve Brain Gym activities, infant reflex movements, CranioSacral Therapy, sound healing techniques, musical improvisation, role play, playing with blocks, drawing, simply conversation – or anything else the moment requires. Sometimes one kind of movement is sufficient; sometimes a cornucopia of modalities spill out. Client and practitioner reach a mutual agreement as to when the movement step is complete.

5. Repeat the ACTIVITY
This is our chance to compare the experience of the same simple action before and after the movement process. We notice the changes in our body/mind/spirit system. Are we satisfied with the level of change? If more needs to be done, we go back to step 4 and find the correct movement to address the issue

6. Celebrate the GOAL!
Now we experience the goal as already complete. Sometimes a new ease of movement, emotion, or thought is immediately apparent. Sometimes – especially when our intentions have been complex or far-reaching – the goal has just begun to establish itself, and we will experience its manifestation incrementally over the next few days, weeks, and months. To affirm the goaland keep it operating over time, we celebrate it and us. YES!

7. Maintenance: HOMEPLAY
Sometimes, the goal needs reinforcement once the client leaves the office. Homeplay can be completing a specific task required by the original intention: writing in a journal, making a necessary business call, hugging a friend. Sometimes, homeplay can be Brain Gym activities, infant reflex movements, listening to a CD of the session, practicing a musical instrument, or other activities to be performed for a few days, weeks, or months. Homeplay is not required to complete every goal, but when it is, it’s a nice reminder, keeping the intention alive every day.

Brain Gym is often combined with Infant Reflex Integration