Therapists know the value of movement and recognize its contribution to both wellbeing and remediation. Ongoing learning about movement and its relationship to various functions is a part of continuing education for us all. Occupational therapist, Liz Duffy, has a particular interest in Educational Kinesiology, the study of movement and its relationship to learning. She has been taking Educational Kinesiology (Edu-K) courses in Brain Gym, Edu-K’s fundamental program since 2009. In July 2018 Liz attended a four-day experiential class, Movement Exploration 1 (ME1), taught by educator and long-time Brain Gym faculty member Carol Ann Erickson. Here’s what she had to say about it- ME 1 was based on active exploration as a means of learning! No sitting for extended periods of listening and note-taking in this course! Each day involved in depth experiences of developmental movement patterns and underlying reflexes that begin in utero and develop through adulthood. These patterns and reflexes are the foundation for the physical skills of learning. We got on the floor, moved about and learned manual and coaching skills to set goals and facilitate change in ourselves and in others, all aimed at enabling us to do what we want to do with greater ease. When we’re under stress, we tend to rely on our most primitive stable movement patterns, and if the developmental patterns along the way are not successfully integrated, we develop less efficient ways of performing. When our movements are integrated and we’re moving efficiently, there are so many more possibilities, physically, emotionally and mentally to do our best! ME 1 offered me the opportunity to experience this first hand and it was life changing, both personally and professionally.
With its application to the children and families we work with, we know that movement is a powerful agent for change. But “noticing” (or being aware of our own bodies) at a deeper level is equally as powerful first. During any given task, I invite you and your children to notice your breathing, muscle tension, balance and motivation for doing what you are doing. Notice how these things feel during both easy/fun activities and those that are more challenging. Through using playful activities that incorporate developmental movement patterns, along with Brain Gym movements, there are so many opportunities to make learning, moving, doing and being more integrated, efficient and richer experiences!
Liz’s interest and that of a few others at Pediatric Therapeutics who are either experienced in Brain Gym or eager to learn, led to an Intro to Brain Gym class hosted by Pediatric Therapeutics this past spring!
To learn more about Brain Gym, schedule a session with Liz or join us for our next Brain Gym workshop.