I talk a lot about brain integration and movement therapies in my video and blogs. A lot of moms have never heard of this therapy – let alone how it can re-organize the brain, strengthen weak connections or areas like corpus callosum which I talked about last week.
What is Brain Integration Therapy?
Brain Integration therapy also called movement therapies, educational kinesiology, primitive reflex integration as well as brain balance is the science of how muscles and the body moves and can affect and improve cognition, emotional regulation and bring better function and organization to the brain.
Brain integration therapy has several effects on the brain. It helps to ‘switch-on’ the right and left brain so they can work together, in harmony. It also activates the brain so that it is working top to bottom and back to front which is the way a well organized brain should work.
A Drug-Free, Root Cause Approach
Primitive reflex integration is a series of movements that simulates the same movements that infants do that target and activate those areas of the brain that are weak and underdeveloped.
The therapy is comprised of various exercises and movements that develop underdeveloped areas of the brain, better organizes the brain and integrates primitive reflexes that are still retained and causing difficulties with optimal learning, behaviour and emotional regulation.
The reason I was drawn to this therapy is the same reasons so many moms seek me out. Instead of bandaid approaches, they are looking for a drug-free method to help their child improve – and a method that addresses the root cause of cognitive and behavioural difficulties.
Opening Road Blocks in the Brain
This therapy works on actually correcting the neuro-pathway blockages or ‘learning blocks’ that contribute to disorders like dyslexia, visual processing disorder, ADHD, SPD, ODD, and ASD.
Brain integration therapy ensures that information coming through the eyes and ears is interpreted properly and sent to the right location in the brain and with the correct timing. Poor input and interpretation of incoming information is a hallmark of many of these disorders.
I gave them example previously of a child who may have a weak corpus callosum and therefore their brain stores information in their short term memory rather than their long term memory.
Balancing the Right & Left Brain Hemispheres
The first step with educational therapy is to ensure that the right and left sides of the brain are able to process information simultaneously, across the corpus callosum.
Left and Right Communication
Most cognitive functions require both sides of the brain. Yet, those with learning and behavioural difficulties have poor communication between these two hemispheres and thus must rely mostly on one hemisphere to do the work. This can lead to slow processing, misinterpretation of sensory information as well as poor memory storage or retrieval.
Back to Front Communication
Brain Integration Therapy is much more than balancing the left and right brain hemispheres. In the world of educational therapy there is a lot of emphasis on left and right brain balance which is totally important. However, this is where we should start – not where it ends. It is also essential to address back to front processing as well as top to bottom.
The Other ‘Midline’
Back to front processing enables the brain to connect the receptive back area of the brain with the front expressive area. Just as there is an imaginary line that separates the left side of the body from the right side, there is also a line that runs between the front part of the brain and the back part.
Movement therapies also need to cross this midline. When there are weaknesses or blocks between back to front processing, students often struggle with processing auditory information as well as expressing their ideas in either writing or speech. This weakness is common when a child has dysgraphia.
The Impact on Reading
Brain integration therapy will assist with such skills as being able to smoothly move the eyes left to right and right to left when reading all of which are impacted by the other midline, communication between the left and right hemispheres as well as factors like strong core muscles.
Top to Bottom Processing
An optimally functioning brain also works top to bottom. One clue that a child’s brain has a glitch and is working bottom to top is that when they print, they start their letters from the bottom and go up.
Weak top to bottom processing can create issues with poor handwriting, poor organizational skills from paperwork to how to begin an assignment. These kids might become overwhelmed with an assignment or task because they don’t know how to organize themselves or break things down into smaller chunks. They may also have difficulties with coordination.
Brain integration exercises are not hard to do.
The key for success is repetition + consistency = change
To learn more about how you can help your child rise above learning and behaviour difficulties, schedule a free twenty-minute consult so I can help you identify the main reasons why your child is struggling with learning, reading and behaviour.