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Neurological exercises are needed when the brain signals are scrambled or incoherent. This can happen as a result of a vaccination, ischemic moment, medication, head trauma or emotional trauma or shock. In some cases we have difficulty writing what we intend to write (e.g. write a ‘p’ instead of a ‘q’ or a ‘p’ instead of a ‘b’ a.k.a. dyslexia) or difficulty with reading, or telling left from right, or coordination or clumsiness. Brain gym exercises reorganize, and clear the brain.
How do you know if you need them (besides the above conditions)?
Try them. If any of them cannot be done easily (this is especially true of labeled children) then they should be done until they are easy. Then consider doing them 1X/week.
Second, if you find benefit from doing them in terms of your writing/reading/coordination then find the frequency of application that maintains your best performance.
Generally I have demonstrated these in my office and this document is a reminder.
Dyskinesia (movement disorganization)
This exercise helps with physical coordination (sports, handwriting, drawing, etc.)
1. While marching in place touch the hand to the opposite lifted knee. This is called cross-crawling. Children may need this patterned until they get it. Marching to music also helps with rhythm.
2. When this can be done effortlessly, the eye motions are added. While cross-crawling (as described in 1. above), the head is fixed facing forward, and the open eyes are rotated to all the positions of the clock. Saying “1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 4 o’clock” as the eyes go to those positions in a rhythmic marching pattern. Both clockwise and counter-clockwise eye rotations are therapeutic. Then the eyes are closed and rotated similarly (while cross-crawling). If a child is having trouble rotating the eyes while cross-crawling, have them follow something in your hand. I use an index card with a big ‘X’ on it. Watch to make sure the child’s eyes are tracking the ‘X’ while you move it in a circle within his range of vision – only his eyes should move, not his head which should remain fixed.
3. When this can be done fairly effortlessly and without visual assistance, add humming an easy tune like ‘Jesus Loves Me’ while cross crawling and doing eye rotations. When this is done fairly effortlessly, count by 2’s, or 5’s or backwards from 100 instead of humming – depending on the age and ability.
This exercise helps the brain process auditory info.
1. Massage the neck and shoulders while looking both left and right. (3X)
2. Thoroughly massage the ears from top to bottom 2X. (This can be done several times a day.)
3. Rest the right ear on the right arm while tracing the lazy eights ( ∞ ). Remember to go up through the middle when you trace the ∞. Do this for about 20 cycles and repeat with the left arm.
4. When the lazy eights can be done smoothly and effortlessly, add humming or counting as above.
Visual Disorganization (Dyslexia)
These exercises help the brain to more easily process visual input (reading, identifying patterns, graphical information like charts, tables, maps, etc.)
1. Place the thumb up at eye level with arm straight. Trace the lazy eight pattern ( ∞ ) in the air with the right thumb going up through the center and staying within the vision field. Without the head moving, follow the thumb’s motion with the eyes only. The eyes must stay focused on the thumb as the trace is made going UP through the middle and out to the side loops 20X. It is important to not let the eyes drift from the thumb. Initially it is helpful to have someone observe that the eyes are tracking with the thumb.
For children with difficulty reading/retention it is helpful to tape newspaper to the wall and draw a large lazy eight on it. Have the child stand such that the whole ∞ is in their field of view. Then have the child trace the ∞ with a different color crayon (than you used) and have them keep their head fixed toward the wall and only follow their crayon with their eyes.
2. Repeat with the left hand
3. Joint the two hands together and trace with either the 2 thumbs or 2 index fingers.
4. When this is done easily without the eyes drifting from the pattern, humming or counting can be added as above.
When working with children the mom can use ‘tapping’ to help the child with their motor control while they are attempting the exercises above.
©Pat Block ND 2009
Consider this…..I have learned more from very sick people than I have from double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over studies. My sick clients taught me how to get them well - things that even my teachers didn't know. I have such smart clients.
** Important Warning **Nothing on this site is FDA approved. Nothing I write here is intended to be medical advice. Follow my recommendations at your own risk. Results may vary, and blah, blah, blah. So if the required warnings have not scared you away, then you have a chance. I'm reporting here what kinds of approaches actually helped very sick people get well, AND the kinds of things that actually made them sick (and it usually isn't lack of exercise, weight, menopause or smoking - it is the underlying cause of all those things.)
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