By Kelsey Fox Bennett, M.Ed.
Most people haven’t heard of Brain Gym® – a form of Educational Kinesiology that uses simple intentional movements to reduce stress in the body and reconnect areas of the brain – but for me, it was and still is a natural part of my daily life.
Founded by Paul and Gail Dennison, Brain Gym is comprised of 26 basic movements, various in-depth techniques and a step-by-step process to prepare the body and brain for successful comprehension, focus, organization, communication, and rewiring of emotional patterns. It draws from practices such as yoga, acupressure, touch for health, mindfulness and more, allowing all ages to feel safe as they take on new learning with ease.
In my own life, it was my saving grace. When I was only 5 ½ months old I became ill with bacterial spinal meningitis. My mom, a yogi herself, introduced me to Kinesiologist and Brain Gym Instructor, Colleen Gardner. The simple tools she shared, along with the understanding of how the brain and body were innately connected, became a core pillar of not just my recovery, but my daily existence.
These tools can easily adapt to support various ages and stages of physical, mental or emotional learning. As a child I would work with Colleen to prepare for tests, sports games and presentations as well as whenever I faced emotional challenges. When I witnessed a friend get hit by a car and die at age 9 for instance, I worked with Colleen to help me come back from a state of disassociation and process my grief.
All this is to say that these tools are multi-functional and powerful, which is why I, too, became a licensed Brain Gym Instructor and now joyfully share them with clients and students of all ages and abilities.
One of my favorite multipurpose Brain Gym techniques is a very simple two-step pose called Hook-Ups. It helps to calm the nervous system and bring energy back to the core of the body – perfect for anytime you or your kids are feeling overstimulated, anxious or triggered. When done standing, this pose also helps to bring you back to the present moment by activating your inner ear and balance. See the how-to below for step-by-step instructions. You can also visually see the how-to in this video blog post: Keep your emotions in check when your child pushes you to the limits.
(Can be done standing, sitting or lying down.)
- Cross your ankles.
- Arms stretch directly in front of you with both thumbs up. Then turn the hands inward so both thumbs point down to the earth. Keeping the thumbs down, cross one arm over the other and clasp the hands, thumbs still pointing down. Once clasped, curl your hands to your chest as if you were zipping up a coat. (Similar to Eagle Pose in Yoga.) If you are unsure about the arms or this is uncomfortable, cross your wrists high and centered over the chest.
- Breathe deeply and rest here for about a minute.
- If you are standing, start with eyes open, but if that comes easily, gently close your eyes and see if you still maintain balance.
Release both legs and arms, and bring fingertips together. Rest here for at least 7 seconds. This helps to signal to the body that you’re back and ready for action.
Kelsey Fox Bennett, M.Ed. is an Intuitive Healer, Educator, and Coach who supports all ages of Highly Sensitive Souls. Licensed in Brain Gym and trained in Angel Card Mastery, yoga, mindfulness, and movement-based learning, Kelsey creates safe spaces for healing, reconnecting, and transformation of daily life with simple, powerful, and practical techniques. Learn more about Kelsey and connect with her at https://kelseyfoxbennett.com, where you can book a free call with her to receive love and learn about the services she offers for children and adults.
Want more? Hook-Ups is part of a 4-step process in Brain Gym known as PACE, which helps you and your kids feel positive, active, clear and energetic. Click here to learn the other 3 parts in this Free EBook.
Photo by Johnny Arguedas