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Educational Kinesiology Foundation

Volume 1 Issue 2

"Not all athletes wear shoes"

I never considered myself an athlete until I ran my first 5K in 2013. That was the year I first felt a "runner's high" as I found a pace I could maintain longer than mere seconds and learned how to breathe, not gasp uncontrollably, while running. Knowing the athletic talents of so many, I found the articles flowing into the info@braingym.org inbox to be quite intriguing!

It delights me to put forth an issue that takes us into the water element as we look at Total Immersion Swimming and then Competitive Ice Skating! Pause and contemplate how you use the Edu-K techniques. We each have our own comfort zone: it might be the educational arena or the business world. It might be working with people on one end of the life cycle or the other. When and where has this work led you into a new and unfamiliar place?

Sticking with the sports theme, I have used various Brain Gym techniques at horse shows and football events. I'm a mom who doesn't have an affinity for animals and who knows too much about the brain to be comfortable watching guys purposefully tackle one another, all while risking a head injury. And yet, I have found the Positive Points to be especially helpful maintaining calm with injuries...assisting children, parents and even spectators! Besides sports, I've found the Edu-K work supports life and death, illness and wellness. It can be as simple as breathing deeply near someone to help him/her find coherence or as involved as muscle re-education.

The opening quote "Not all athletes wear shoes" invites readers to expand one's impression of athleticism beyond land sports involving shoes. Similarly, I believe that some of our most significant work happens when we least anticipate it, yet are ready, willing and able to expand beyond our comfort zone!
 
Cindy Goldade, Editor-in-Chief
Cindy@braingym.org 

Table of Contents

Balanced to Move On Land and Sea 


Emily Eisen M.Ed.,
Licensed Brain Gym® Instructor,
Certified Total Immersion® Swim Coach

 

"Learning to swim like a fish involves great communication between our body and our brain."

I chose to learn about my brain when I was diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor in 1995. I heard about a course being offered at a local hospital called Brain Gym® 101. This was the beginning of what developed into my current life of balance, connection, joyful achievement and service. 
           
Cured in 2000, I focused on becoming a Licensed Brain Gym Instructor so that I could begin teaching Brain Gym 101 and working with clients. I then created and built my company, Brainworks Plus, offering a diversified curriculum of Brain Body Fitness programs for the multigenerational community. After 34 years of being an Art Instructor, I retired and began teaching Brain Gym Professional Staff Development programs.  Following an introductory Brain Gym workshop, one vibrant looking teacher asked me if I ever heard of Total Immersion (TI) Swimming. She commented, “It’s like doing Brain Gym in water!” Her statement so intrigued me! 
           
When the timing was right, in 2010, on my 60th birthday, I declared it my decade to experience movement in water. I traveled to TI headquarters in upstate New York and immediately fell in love with the movements of TI swimming. Adding “TI Coach” to my vitae allowed me to help others learn to move gracefully, effortlessly, and intentionally in water, too.
             
Learning to swim like a fish involves great communication between our body and our brain. TI swimming calls upon all three brain dimensions to be active and integrated.  According to Terry Laughlin, founder of Total Immersion Swimming (www.totalimmersion.net), this is what makes TI swimming a life-enhancing practice of “focused, calm well-being,” rather than a stressful, competitive, time limited sport, wearing the body down.

Terry affirms, “The very act of employing thinking skills in the form of mini skills (steps) of swimming helps to bypass the survival fight/flight reflex stored instinct of the amygdala (brain’s fear center) and reactivate the cerebral cortex ability to be analytical, reflective, calm, and conscious promoting the Super Learning alpha wave brain state for the optimal learning experience. Though we are from the original float state of the womb, we are also wired for survival as bipeds, so the swimming experience can be one that the survival state overrides. This is where Total Immersion swimming helps everyone to swim from the brain and where understanding the brain-body connection helps everyone to swim naturally like a fish.“

Since becoming a TI Swim Coach, I have presented a “Switched-On Swimmer” seminar at the TI Coach Summit and by request, a repeat presentation in 2014. Coaches from around the world learned to “find their pace” and came to understand the possible effects of their own and their students’ Dominance Profile. In addition, they learned how to use Brain Gym exercises to turn reflex movements into deliberate movements of the TI swimming form. They loved it!

Some of the Brain Gym activities can be especially helpful for balancing in water, in particular the Gravity Glider and Arm Activation, the Energy Yawn and Neck Rolls, along with Earth, Space and Balance Buttons.    

By the time swim students experience intentionally positioning their body for balance, they are ready to learn how to streamline their “vessel.” TI Freestyle swimming is a core driven stroke form—the arm and leg motions are a result of the core rotating and the body lengthening. If you think of a fish swimming, it swims with little body mass facing into the water, hence it just slips through the water with little to no drag (resistance). To build this streamline position, I first teach how to do the skate position on one side, then the other side; so they start out swimming developmentally as they start out moving, homolaterally! The swimmer then progresses to alternate the skate posture laterally, skate to skate as in a cross crawl pattern. Since this is about Laterality, right and left, and simultaneously Focus, front and back, the Brain Gym Midline Movements and Lengthening Activities further promote integrated, intentional movement to move forward while being stable and lengthening the body line. I use the Cross Crawl, the Elephant, Lazy 8s (in the air with whole body movements), the Rocker, and Cross Crawl Sit-ups. Once the swimmer learns to rotate and drive their core from skate to skate position, while keeping their head-spine alignment stable, they begin to feel themselves smoothly gliding through the water with ease. The breathing comes last, because it is a natural result of proper alignment, balance, head position and neck turning. Brain Gym activities, including the Owl and Neck Rolls, and most definitely Belly Breathing, are great for this step.

Terry Laughlin thinks of Total Immersion swimming as a “practice,” developing mindfulness, intention and focus for life on land as well. He calls this ongoing mindful application “kaizen,” which means continuous improvement. After swimming for over 40 years, Terry holds his focus for hours of swimming by picking one “focal point” at a time to keep his attention.
           
Total Immersion Swimming, a true sensory medley, has physically and mentally sharpened my focus as well. The body comes to know itself in a very different way! Really feeling in the water, which I only imagined before becoming a TI swimmer and Coach, has been very refreshing, personally. Exhilarated, I continue refining and expanding into mini-triathalons and Open Water Swimming Camps. I express my gratitude to the founders of the Brain Gym® program, Dr. Paul Dennison and Gail Dennison, and the founder of Total Immersion Swimming®, Terry Laughlin, whose passion and drive led them to create their methods of learning movement on land and sea for others to feel naturally wonderful.
 
Emily Eisen, M.Ed., Director/Instructor of Brainworks Plus, Northport, NY www.brainworksplus.com is happy to continue this conversation with you anytime!

For more info on Total Immersion programs, visit www.totalimmerison.net or come to Long Island and swim with me!
  

Brain Gym is a registered trademark of the Educational Kinesiology Foundation, Ventura, CA

Total Immersion is a registered trademark of Total Immersion, Inc, New Paltz, NY

News and Events

August Auction...We'll be holding our first ever Online Action to raise funds. If you have an item to donate or want to help with this project, please email info@braingym.org and note AUCTION in the subject line. 

Congratulations to Brain Gym Faculty Svetlana Masgutova and Pamela Curlee, along with all the others involved with the MNRI Institute's Grand Opening in Florida last month. It was an exciting moment in the history of the Svetlana Masgutova Educational Institute® in the USA.

Licensure/Re-licensure Credit with these Pre- and Post-Conference Courses in Banff, AB, Canada!

  • 280 Neurophysiology: Mark, Set, Go! with Sharon Plaskett from USA
  • 325 Happily Ever After with Hanna Kok from South Africa
  • 385 Motivation of the Three Dimensions with Patti Leah-Shrewsbury from Australia
  • Remanlay AcuReflex Integration (RAI) with Henry Remanlay from Indonesia
  • And many many more!

Ice Skating

"Wow, that Brain Gym we did right before competition was amazing and special. It made everything feel so much better!" We re-patterned using Dennison Laterality Repattnering to go from effort to ease!! Attitude is Everything and Believing is Achieving!

Allegro! Synchronized Skating Teams know the value of aligning their mind-body connections for practice and especially for competitions.

Head Coach, Carrie Brown, notes that Brain Gym is practiced with ALL of the youth teams, as well as the two adult teams. She says, "We Bee-lieve in the power of Brain Gym and especially our Secret Weapon, Lucy French!" To see one of their gold-winning performances: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnwxBda-iUI


2015 Kinesiology Conference

Confluence means to "flow together" and is the theme of the 2015 Kinesiology Conference in Banff, AB, Canada!

Events begin September 19 with pre-conference courses and faculty meetings of the various kinesiology organizations.

The Conference begins the evening of September 23 and ends on the 27th. William Tiller is the keynote speaker!!!

There are many post-conference events available through October 1. You can receive Brain Gym licensure and re-licensure credit with most of these events...simply ask us for the details. 

Administrators Kari Coady and Cindy Goldade will be attending along with many other Brain Gym Faculty and notables from other organizations, too (TFH, LEAP, RMTi, RAI, DK, and MORE). Plus a banquet/dance and a tour into the mountains!

Early registration rates are open until June 15th; the exchange rate is currently in favor of the USD! Consider joining us in Banff!!

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