Mental Alertness (alleviates mental fatigue)

EARTH BUTTONS

This movement helps with mental alertness (alleviates mental fatigue)

Both hands rest on the front lateral midline of the body, bringing the learner’s attention to this central point of reference/ necessary for making decisions regarding the positions of objects in space. When the learner can organise her visual field in terms of her own body, her eyes, hands, and whole body become better coordinated. The fingertips of one hand rest under the lower lip; the other fingertips rest at the upper edge of the pubic bone (about six inches below the navel). Experiencing this connection between the body’s upper and lower halves allows the learner to coordinate them for increased stability.

TEACHING TIPS

• The points may be held for thirty seconds or more (four to six complete breaths).

• The student should breathe slowly and deeply, experiencing the relaxation.

• Instead of contacting the pubic bone, some individuals may feel more comfortable placing the palm of the lower hand over the navel, fingertips on the midline, pointing toward the ground

VARIATIONS

• Change hands to activate both sides of the brain.

• “Zip up” the midline, without touching the body: inhale, imagining an energy fountain moving up the midline. Exhale, allowing the fountain to shower back to earth.

• Look down (for grounding) while you hold the buttons.

• Look straight down, then “walk” your vision up to a point in the distance (for near-to-far visual skills).

• Allow your eyes to track a vertical plane (e.g., ceiling to floor, at a corner).

• Rest one hand on the navel. With thumb and index finger of the other hand, lightly vibrate the points, above and below the lips, then stimulate the tailbone (a variation that combines Earth Buttons and Space Buttons).

ACTIVATE THE BRAIN FOR

• the ability to work in the midfield

• centering

• grounding (looking down to perform near-visual skills)

ACADEMIC SKILLS

• organisation skills (moving eyes vertically as well as horizontally without losing one’s place, as in reading columns for math or spelling)

• near-to-far visual skills (e.g., paper or book to chalkboard)

• keeping one’s place while reading

• reading without disorientation

RELATED SKILLS

• organisation and layout for art, bookkeeping, etc

BEHAVIORAL/POSTURAL CORRELATES

• mental alertness (alleviates mental fatigue)

• hips level (not torqued) and head level (not tilted)

• head up and back (not slouched)

• eyes open (alleviates a squinting or staring habit)

• grounding and whole-body coordination

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Fiona 085 1445494 (Dublin clinic)

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Breath to relax

Breathe

Breathe (Photo credit: PhotoLab XL)

BELLY BREATHING

Belly Breathing reminds the student to breathe instead of holding his breath during focused mental
activity or physical exertion. The breath should expand the rib cage front to back, left to right, and top to bottom, including the abdomen. When breathing is shallow, lifting only the rib cage, the oxygen supply to the brain is limited. When one breathes correctly, there is abundant oxygen for higher brain functions.

TEACHING TIPS

• The student inhales through the nose and initially cleanses the lungs with one long exhalation, released in short puffs through pursed lips (he may imagine keeping a feather afloat). Thereafter, the outbreath is also through the nose.
• The hand rests on the lower abdomen, rising on inhalation and falling on exhalation.
• Inhale to a count of three, hold breath for three, exhale for three, hold for three. Repeat. For an alternate rhythm, inhale for two, exhale for four, with no holding.
• Ideally, rhythmic breathing is automatic. Rhythmic music may help, so that counting isn’t needed.
• When doing activities like lifting, kicking, or pushing, remember to exhale on the exertion.

VARIATIONS

• Lie flat with a book on the belly. The abdomen should rise on inhalation and lower on exhalation.
• 3-D Breathing 8s: Squat with hands flat on the floor, between your knees, to experience the diaphragm as you breathe. Then paint an imaginary 8 between your left and right ribs, feeling both spheres of the 8 expand as you inhale and contract as you exhale. Now turn the 8 so that it expands between your stomach and spine; now turn it top to bottom, expanding your chest and lower abdomen. Can you activate all three 8s at once?
• Paint an 8 on any of the above-mentioned body planes. Let your breath move you as you inhale, painting one side, and exhale, painting the other. Direct the 8 around areas of tension, or around the focal points of any other Brain Gym movement (e.g., your two hands, while you are doing Brain Buttons).
• Walk and Belly Breathe at the same time.

ACTIVATES THE BRAIN FOR

• the ability to cross the midline
• centering and grounding
• relaxation of the central nervous system
• cranial rhythms

ACADEMIC SKILLS

• reading (encoding and decoding)
• speech and oral reading

BEHAVIOURAL/POSTURAL CORRELATES

• improved inflection and expression
• a heightened energy level
• diaphragmatic breathing
• an improved attention span

Don’t forget to share if you like this post ;)

For one to one or group consultations:

Phone: Fiona 0851445494

or email: braingymdublin@gmail.com