Brain Gym®

Brain Gym® was developed by Dr. Paul Dennison, USA in the seventies. He had a stutter as a child so he studied education looking for answers. He then wrote his PhD on “Covert speech” and set up 8 learning centres throughout California where he worked with children who had learning difficulties. Using conventional methods he was not happy with the results he achieved, so he started looking in other directions. His journey started with Touch for Health (TFH) where he soon became a member of the International TFH foundation. 
TFH was developed by Dr. John Thie from Applied Kinesiology as a tool for lay-people to help themselves in maintaining health and wellbeing (see also Kinesiology).

TFH offered some exercises that proved to have a beneficial effect on learning.
Dr. Paul Dennison had noticed that children who have learning difficulties have trouble crossing the midline (the line in front of the nose that divides the left and right visual field). One of the first exercises he learned was Cross Crawl. When he noticed that children's reading improved after doing just a few Cross Crawl movements (see picture above) he started looking for other exercises that would help improve learning. New learning can only take place if a person has access to the area that needs to process that learning. Access is therefore a prerequisite for learning and learning difficulties often arise from the fact that the person does not have access to all areas of his/her brain. Learning is also enhanced when the person is in a calm, relaxed state. Brain Gym® exercises do both. They increase access to all areas in the brain and bring the person in a calm and focused state, ready for learning. They therefore are a great tool to enhance the learning process.

In all
Dr. Paul Dennison composed a set of 26 exercises (more often referred to as activities), which he collectively called Brain Gym®. As Paul Dennison suffered from very poor eyesight he also investigated ways of improving eyesight used by developmental optometrists. This led to another set of exercises which he called Vision Gym. The complete list of books produced by Dr. Paul Dennison can be found on the Book list or if you would like a more detailed description of the books, please visit www.braingym.com.au

The Brain Gym® activities are easy and fun to do. They offer learners a tool for switching on their brain in preparation for learning. Brain Gym® can be used by young and old to improve movement, brain integration, memory and for preventing and overcoming the infamous exam blank.

How can we learn Brain Gym®?

You can start Brain Gym® immediately at home or in the classroom with the help of the Brain Gym® Demo CD. It complements the Teacher Edition of the Brain Gym® book, which you can order from the book list. The CD contains:

1. A demonstration of all 26 Brain Gym® activities and an extra 6 variations on Cross Crawl to promote brain- and sensory integration.
2.
A Powerpoint presentation of how and when to do the Brain Gym® exercises (in pdf format).
3. A
cover for the CD in pdf and jpg format.
You can purchase this CD from the Shopping section of this website. 
If you would like to see the effect of the Brain Gym® activities on writing, please look for the “Before” and “After” Brain Gym® writing examples in the free information booklet How to improve learning?

If you would like to learn more about the Brain Gym® exercises there are several possibilities. You can:
  • attend the Quantum Learning Improvement course in South Australia (click here for the course brochure)
  • attend a Brain Gym® course in your area. If you live in the USA please visit www.braingym.org
  • visit the AKA website http://www.kinesiology.org.au to find a practitioner in your area if you live in Australia.


 
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