How does movement address such a wide array of issues?

Very early in life we go through standard patterns of development that we make into reflexes. When that doesn’t happen, or when stress, trauma, illness or injury disrupts those patterns, our unconscious compensations add to the rigors of daily life. Which area of the brain experiencing the disruption determines what is made more difficult in life: reading, writing, math, reacting under pressure, social skills, etc. Careful analysis of the difficulties and coping mechanisms can yield clues as to which movements will help to re-establish these brain connections.

How does more movement help a child who has problems being still in the first place?

Actually, being able to be still is a very advanced method of movement! Many times children who are in near-continuous motion are trying to find the correct movement that will enable them to learn how to be still.

What’s the advantage to this as opposed to medication? Do we need to stop the medication in order to do this?

No medication is without side effects. They are rarely totally effective, and are a lifelong expense. Integrative movement is a very holistic way of helping many problems to melt away, allowing you to live your life much more effectively. No, you don’t need to stop the medications if you start doing movements. We strongly recommend, however, that you work closely with your health care provider because as symptoms begin to fade away, less and less medication will be needed.

How long before I start to see changes? How much time does it take?

We often see changes — sometimes small, occasionally dramatic — right in the session learning the exercises. Within one to three months, most are seeing compelling progress towards goals. Expect to do 15-30 minutes of these movements daily, anywhere from 3 to 6 days a week. The widest variation is on how long you do these for — depending on the individual situation, it’s complexity, and your definition of “Done” or “Healthy now!” “I’m where I want to be!” That can vary from 1 to 24 months. Like learning to play the piano, bat a ball, or anything else, practice at home makes this more effective, go faster, and cost less.

Can seniors benefit from these?

Absolutely! Movement re-establishes brain connections that are normally lost with the natural aging process, leading to better mental clarity, balance, reflexes, memory, and mental outlook.

One of the most dramatic changes I’ve seen has been with a lady in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease. I didn’t know that symptoms could get BETTER!

Is there any research demonstrating movement’s effects on the brain?

Dr. John Ratey, (Harvard Medical School) wrote several books. From A User’s Guide to the Brain: Perception, Attention, and the Four Theaters of the Brain to Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, he covers all sorts of links between body movement and brain function. For more information go to and download their packet for Brain Gym® specific research.

Where can I read more?

Movements that Heal by Harald Blomberg and Moira Dempsey

Educate Your Brain by Kathy Brown

Playing in the Unified Field by Carla Hannaford

Smart Moves: Why Learning Is Not All In Your Head by Carla Hannaford