1. What is Brain Gym? What is Educational Kinesiology (Edu-K)?
2. How were the Brain Gym Movements developed?
3. What is Dr. Dennison's ( the founder of Brain gym) Background?
4. Can Brain Gym help with special needs, such as Attention Deficit disorder, hyperactivity, brain damage or similar challenges?
5. What are the primary aims and outcomes of the Brain Gym program?
6. How is Brain Gym used in the classroom?
7. What ages can use Brain Gym? does it work for anybody? What abot seniors? What about preschoolers?
8. Does the use of Brain Gym promote permanent positive changes.
9 Does a person need to do the exercises every day in order to benefit form the program?
1. What is Educational Kinesiology (or Edu-K)? What is BRAIN GYM?
Kinesiology is “the study of movement.” Educational Kinesiology (or Edu-K) is the study and application of natural movement experiences to facilitate learning. It focuses on the performance of specific physical activities that activate the brain for optimal storage and retrieval of information. Edu-K is a process for re-educating the mind/body system for accomplishing any skill or function with greater ease and efficiency.
Edu-K includes both self-help and facilitated processes. BRAIN GYM and Vision Gym™ are taught in classes and feature self-help activities. Edu-K In Depth: The 7 Dimensions of Intelligence is a facilitated process that is experienced one-on-one with a Licensed Instructor/Consultant.
BRAIN GYM is the registered trademark for an Educational Kinesiology and is the introductory level Edu-K program.
2. How were the BRAIN GYM movements developed?
Many of the BRAIN GYM activities, like the Owl, the Elephant, and the Alphabet 8s, were developed from Dr. Dennison’s knowledge of the relationship of movement to perception, and the impact of these on fine motor and academic skills. Others were learned during his training as a marathon runner, his study of vision training, his study of Jin Shin Jitsu (a form of acupressure), and his study of Applied Kinesiology (taught to the public as the Touch for Health synthesis).
3.What is Dr. Dennison’s background?
After receiving his undergraduate education at Boston University, Dr. Dennison moved to California to teach elementary students in the Los Angeles public schools. There he assisted in the implementation of Dr. Constance Amsden’s Malabar Reading Program, well known as an innovative approach to teaching reading.
Dr. Dennison established his first reading clinic in 1969. Two years later, after studying the seminal work in neurology of Dr. Samuel T. Orton, Dennison began introducing perceptual-motor training to his students. Over the next three years, he worked closely with Louis Jacques, O.D., a leading pioneer in vision training, and Samuel Herr, O.D., with whom he shared a learning center. In 1975, Dr. Dennison received the Phi Delta Kappa award from the University of Southern California for outstanding research where he earned his Ph.D. in Education with a major in Curriculum Development and a minor in Experimental Psychology. His research study for his doctoral dissertation focused on the relationship of covert speech (thinking skills) to the acquisition of the skills of beginning reading.
In 1976, Dennison began working closely with chiropractor Richard Tyler and sports kinesiologist Bud Gibbs. Dennison continued an active chiropractic and optometric referral program for students through his nine learning centers. In 1978, Dr. Tyler helped him to implement a longitudinal research study at the centers to see how Dennison’s specific movement interventions might affect learning (see Switching On). In 1979, Dennison took the Touch for Health course and, modeling that workshop format, began to outline the Edu-K program. His first book, Switching On, was published in 1981. He discovered his Laterality Repatterning in 1982 and began focusing on the adult population. In 1983, he developed Educational Kinesiology: Seven Dimensions of Intelligence (previously titled the “Edu-Kinesthetics In Depth” course). In 1984, he began working with Gail Hargrove Dennison with whom he developed other elective courses. Gail Dennison helped to systematize the Edu-K materials and developed the Creative Vision material, Vision Gym™ activities, and Visioncircles program.
4. Can BRAIN GYM help with special needs, such as Attention Deficit Disorder, hyperactivity, brain damage, or similar challenges?
Children with special needs and severe learning challenges benefit positively from BRAIN GYM, as is attested to by thousands of families using the activities. Licensed instructors specializing in this area of work may recommend a more intensive program and a simplified or assisted application of the movements.
5. What are the primary aims and outcomes of the BRAIN GYM program?
BRAIN GYM is Edu-K’s readiness program. It prepares students of all ages to practice and master the skills required for the mechanics of learning. The program includes a simple teaching format, a language for stress-free learning, and a series of movements for integrating learning into the physiology. BRAIN GYM offers the learner a self-directed system with which to pace individual learning needs, building self-esteem through the successful mastery of skills.
This program is distinctive because it addresses the physical (rather than mental) components of learning. It builds on what the learner already knows and does well; it meets the learner just as he or she is, without any judgment of capabilities; and it teaches the student key elements of learning theory that he or she will be able to apply. BRAIN GYM requires little additional training for the classroom teacher, no testing, no technology, and it enhances (rather than replaces) current curriculum. The program is used as effectively in business, sports, and the arts, as in the classroom.
Specific strategies for improving reading writing, spelling, math, communication and organization skills are included. Patterns of stress and addiction are explained in terms of the brain and physiology. Tools for alleviating these stresses are included.
BRAIN GYM outcomes for the student or worker include:
the ability to harness motivation
skills to identify and avoid stress
increased awareness of and respect for one’s own intelligence, body and personal space
unique tools for team building, and for developing cooperation and co-creativity
6. How is BRAIN GYM used in the classroom?
BRAIN GYM is used in classrooms around the world. The movements are often done as a whole group activity before, during, or after school. A skilled teacher can also identify individual students as candidates to benefit from specific movements. Older students can easily learn to notice times when they could benefit from the various movements.
7.What ages can use BRAIN GYM? Does it work for anybody? What about seniors? What about preschoolers?
BRAIN GYM is currently being used by people of all ages and in all walks of life. Although the program was originally designed for kindergarten through college level students in the classroom, it is now being used successfully with infants, preschoolers, adults, and seniors. The BRAIN GYM for Business book offers an easy guide for applying these tools in the business environment. A number of BRAIN GYM Senior programs have shown BRAIN GYM’s effectiveness in helping older people to enhance and retrieve physical and mental skills.
8. Does the use of BRAIN GYM promote permanent, positive changes?
BRAIN GYM promotes the ability to learn and to retain learning at a deep, whole-brained level. New learning occurs when a person is relaxed and easily able to access their sensory system for seeing and listening, and to comfortably feel and express their feelings. Learning tends to be more permanent, accessible, and applicable when a person is not tense, stressed, or frightened. As self-confidence and self-esteem increase, motivation and behavior generally improve as well.
9. Does a person need to do the exercises every day in order to benefit from the program?
Doing the BRAIN GYM movements every day is fun, easy, energizing and reinforces positive movement and postural habits. Once new learning patterns are mastered, they become automatic and one no longer needs to do the movements daily in order to benefit from them, although they will still find BRAIN GYM helpful during times of stress.