Behind the Brain Gym philosophy 

They say a healthy body means a healthy mind.

Carmen Milan (yellow top) teaches Brain Gym exercises to Sandy Zanatta, Genevieve Milan and Sonia Iafolla. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Carmen Milan (yellow top) teaches Brain Gym exercises to Sandy Zanatta, Genevieve Milan and Sonia Iafolla. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

That idea forms the basis of the educational philosophy behind Brain Gym.

Brain Gym movements have been developed to facilitate whole-brain learning through body movement, increasing potential, reducing stress and overcoming learning challenges.

With benefits to concentration and focus, memory, academics, physical co-ordination, organisation skills and attitude, the Brain Gym concept can be used by everyone.

"It's a real eclectic mix of technique in terms of helping the brain and the body work at its optimum," explains Brain Gym practitioner Carmen Milan.

Milan discovered Brain Gym exercises about 15 years ago when a diagnosis of an underactive thyroid prompted her to look at treatments such as kinesiology, which she says is similar to Brain Gym.

"When I first started, I admit, I thought it was coincidental.

"But I felt fantastic. It enables you to separate issues. People like it because it's an alternative if they don't have the patience for meditation."

Milan has been a Brain Gym practitioner for about eight years and has worked with all ages.

"Kids who have learning problems often also have co-ordination problems with their body," she explains.

"We do what's called midline movements - movements that cross the body that activate certain points of the left and right of the brain."

These include acupressure, eye movements, drawing shapes and muscle lengthening. Milan explains that just five minutes a day at home can make a difference.

"By doing it you can build new pathways in your mind."

Milan says the treatment has been used successfully by those with Asperger's syndrome, ADHD and Parkinson's disease.

"There was a seven-year-old who couldn't turn his head without turning his whole body, so we did some Brain Gym and he learned to turn his head separately and at the end of the week his handwriting had become beautiful," Milan says.

There are 26 Brain Gym movements altogether. They are considered to recall the movements naturally done during the first years of life when learning to co-ordinate the eyes, ears and hands.

"When your brain's working properly you're calmer and your memory's working correctly," Milan says.

Milan holds one-day and four-day workshops according to demand.

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