Working out with Brain Gym

by Boyd Martin

Bobi Brown with a friend. "It's made a totally different person out of me. I can talk to anybody now. It's a difference of night and day. I was the girl who hid behind the door all the time. You've heard the adage, 'seen but not heard,' well, that's how I grew up. And now, you can't shut me up," Barbara "Bobi" Brown enthuses about Brain Gym. Also referred to as Educational Kinesiology, developed in the 70's by Dr. Paul Dennison, who when working with learning disabilities and found that movement invariably helped resolve learning issues. Through further research, Dennison developed a series of simple movements anyone can do that will help improve the ability to learn. Brain Gym benefits include improvements in vision, memory, expression, and physical abilities in both young people and adults. In the classroom, teachers typically report improvements in attitude, attention, homework, behavior, and academic performance for the entire class.

Bobi was initially exposed to the Brain Gym via an MLM assistance program called 'Switched On Selling.' "My husband and I went to a class in Santa Rosa, California, and came to find out, once we got our booklets, that it was from a Brain Gym class. I had never done any kind of selling. I was very shy individual, and had a hard time just talking to people. Because it made such a magnificent change for me, I called the Brain Gym Foundation and came to find out it was in Ventura, California, which was not all that far from me. So some of the ladies and myself started taking lessons from Dr. Dennison. One thing led to another, until we were certified as Brain Gym instructors and able to go out and do this ourselves to help other people."

Bobi incorporates her Brain Gym knowledge in her work as a teaching assistant in Palmdale, California. "I work in a classroom that has 15 special needs kids in it--who are anywhere from two to five grade levels below (the norm). Most of them do not have handicaps physically, but they are handicapped with learning of all kinds."

"Paul Dennison's motto is 'The key to learning is movement.' If these kids were allowed to move more and be more free, they would be a lot more balanced, and a lot more ready to learn, and it would make it much easier for them. I'm not very fortunate to have teachers who are open to this. Many teachers are very left-brained, and very stuck. They're not willing to open the door to new learning. It's really sad because the old learning style isn't working anymore, and they have all that proof, when there are all these kids who graduate high school who can't read, write or add. I don't know how they graduate them out of school."

A Brain Gym movement. "People learn differently," declares Bobi. "Everybody learns differently. You take one kid who has to be set up in the front of the room, and maybe on the right side or the left side where they learn better, or in the back of the room. Some kids are visual learners, hands-on learners, and a lot of it sometimes is hand-eye coordination. Paul's theory is that kids shouldn't be pushed to read until they're nine or ten years old, because their eyes and ears and everything that works together is not really ready for it. And yet they're pushed into it at preschool, for heavens sake. Some of them are so overwhelmed they just can't deal with it. What happens is the brain shuts down and maybe one ear isn't functioning with the same eye--there are so many things that enter into it, it's amazing."

"I heard a story from Paul about a woman who was taking a college class. She sat at the back of the class and knitted the whole time. She got straight A's. The movement of having her hands busy allowed her to focus on what was happening in the classroom."

Brain Gym can also be delivered in private sessions, typically lasting one to two hours that focus on a specific goal. The process experienced is called a "balance." It is complete when the person feels and demonstrates noticeable improvements in their goal-related learning and performance abilities. The intention is that each approach to a goal becomes easier and easier to accomplish. The balance will have removed the block and create a bridge in the brain for that learning or action.

At every opportunity, Bobi reaches out to the community in service. "Because I'm on the Brain Gym webpage, I had a couple call me from way out in the desert--a couple of hours from where I live. The husband just happens to be the principal of a charter school out there. His wife was very intuned to this so she talked to a lot of people at the school, and set up some one-on-one Brain Gym balance sessions for me. I would drive out there and do balances. And because their boy saw such a major difference, they keep coming back on a regular basis."

Bobi has fully integrated the Brain Gym practice into her own life as well as helping others. "Anytime I'm having a challenge in my life that I'm having a hard time dealing with--no matter what it is--whether it's spiritual, physical, whether it's something I want that I can't seem to get over the hurdle to get, I go get a balance. I've been doing that for close to 15 years."

The experience of becoming a Brain Gym instructor formed a bond among the former students, who continue to share experiences. "We've stayed in contact over all these years," Bobi relates, "And the friendship has grown into much more than just a friendship--it's almost like a family. We do balances on one another on a regular basis. All of the other women have gotten into doing private counselling--balances, classes, just like I have."

Bobi Brown, Brain Gym Instructor "The changes that I go through myself when I get off the table after Paul has done a balance on me is that I feel different, I walk different. My equilibrium is different. Sometimes it takes several days for a balance to process--they don't always process immediately, but sometimes they do. Some of this stuff comes from years and years, generation to generation. Like I've had anger from generations back from my seventh generation grandparents. I've had this enormous amount of anger--something that I have a hard time dealing with. Paul has gone back and gone through generations backwards and forwards to help me. I always dedicate the balance to my children and my grandchildren along with it helping me. You can do what we call a surrogate balance, and the person you are doing it for can be helped as much as if they had had the balance themselves."

"My husband has had multi-myeloma cancer. When he was in the hospital I did several surrogate balances for him that made an immense difference--helping him to cope with being in a bed--he's been an active man all his life. We're not doctor people. He hadn't been to a doctor in 25-30 years. Where did this cancer come from? I don't know, but I do know that people bring about those things themselves somewhere. There is somewhere that it came from. Only he can really get rid of it. When he lets go of whatever it is that's creating it. The Brain Gym helps us to do that. A lot of times it's stuff you don't even know is there."

For information about Brain GymŪ, email edukfd@earthlink.net, phone: (800) 356-2109 or (805) 658-7942. Snail mail: Brain GymŪ International, 1575 Spinnaker Drive, Suite 204B, Ventura, CA, 93001, or contact Barbara (Bobi) Brown at 1-800-488-5648.