Brain Exercises from Brain Gym – the Exercises and the Debate

Brain_Gym_logoHere is a video that shows a teacher demonstrating some of the brain exercises from Brain Gym.   These are light hand eye coordination type physical exercises that many school kids have done prior to beginning certain schoolwork topics.   The exercises are simple and were developed based on the work of Paul Dennison.    The Brain Gym program began with Dennison’s work as a teacher and reading specialist in the Los Angeles public school in the 1960s.  He was interested in researching more effective ways to help learning disabled children and adults.  It was his contention that these physical exercises prior to doing certain academic tasks would make it easier to learn those tasks.

There is debate on the scientific validity of the Brain Gym concept, however.  Some claim success when using the methods and those at Brain Gym point to several studies that seem to validate the methods, however there are others that call the Brain Gym method pseudoscience and say there is no real evidence to back up the claims made by Dennison in his Brain Gym books.  What of the studies that the Brain Gym books point to for validation?  The skeptics claim that they weren’t rigorous enough and flawed in design.  For a review of the debate you can visit the Wiki page here.

Now, while these brain exercises may be designed for children they are worth checking out as adults as well.  For instance, the Owl brain exercise in the video is supposed to stimulate one’s creative writing juices.  If you are a writer you might give that one a try and notice if there are any increased writing skills flowing after doing it.  Likewise with the other brain exercises from the Brain Gym.  Ultimately you’ll want to test the Brain Gym concept for yourself and see if any of the exercises work for you or your kids.


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