Improved breathing and a relaxed attitude.


Breathe (Photo credit: PhotoLab XL)

Breathe (Photo credit: PhotoLab XL)


Arm Activation is an isometric self-help activity which lengthens the muscles of the upper chest and shoulders. Muscular control for both gross-motor and fine-motor activities originates in this area. If these muscles are shortened from tension, activities related to writing and the control of tools are inhibited.


• The student experiences her arms as they hang loosely at her sides.

• The student activates one arm as illustrated, while keeping her head relaxed. She then compares the two arms in terms of length, relaxation, and flexibility, before activating the other arm.

• Activation is done in four positions: away from the head, forward, backward, and toward the ear.

• The student may feel the arm activation all the way down to the ribcage.

• The student exhales on the activation, releasing the breath over eight or more counts.

• The student may notice increased relaxation, coordination, and vitality as arm tension is released.

• On completing the movement, the student rolls or shakes her shoulders, noticing the relaxation.


• Take more than one complete breath in each position of activation.

• While activating, reach up to further open the diaphragm.

• This can be done sitting, standing, or lying down.

• Arm Activations can be done in different arm positions (e.g., arm straight ahead, next to hip, behind the waist).


• expressive speech and language ability

• relaxed use of diaphragm and increased respiration

• eye-hand coordination and the manipulation of tools


• penmanship and cursive writing

• creative writing


• operating machines (e.g., a word processor)


• an increased attention span for written work

• improved focus and concentration without overfocus

• improved breathing and a relaxed attitude

• an enhanced ability to express ideas

• increased energy in hands and fingers (relaxes writer’s cramp)



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