*Please note- this blog post was written during my time at Brain Fit Academy Inc. I have since continued this amazing work under my own company- Brain FUNdamentals LLC. I hope you enjoy!
My new, seven year old client looked at me and exclaimed “That was work?” I smiled and replied “Yeah- it’s not the same kind of work you have to do when you’re in school or something like that, is it?”
During our sessions with clients, along with noticing and goal setting, we always “work”, “rest”, and “play“.
The “work” that we do at Brain Fit Academy however- just like I said to my client- isn’t the type of “work” kids might think of. The work is different because our “work” is all about moving our bodies.
The movement may be in the form of developmental movements that we missed as babies. It may be rhythmic movements that help to calm the nervous system. It may be Brain Gym® movements to help get both sides of the brain working together. Or- it may be other movements that help our brain and body. As I spoke about in my post “The Body Knows- it Just Might Need a Reminder“, the client already knows what “work” is needed that day. They already know so we tap into that “knowing” using muscle checking.
When I first start working with a new client, the first session is about getting to know each other, and getting to know what a Brain Fit Session is all about. It’s about getting to know what “work”, “rest”, and “play” look like. And, it’s pretty common for me to get that puzzled look when I tell kids that this (whatever this happened to be that day) was our “work”.
I once had a mom write in a testimonial that for her daughter, the “work” never felt like “work”. That comment made me smile because that’s how it should be! I always feel like if I’m doing my job correctly, that kids won’t be opposed to the “work” of the session because deep down, they know it’s exactly what they need. And- it may even be fun!
Does that mean that the “work” is always easy for them? No- certainly not. It means that if we’re working on the correct things it will be just the right amount of a challenge- for their brain, or for their body- or both!!
As for the actual physical part of deciding what work we do that day- I already told you about how we muscle check.
In order to muscle check however, we might do it by using the laminated cards we have (with the primitive reflex movement on them). That helps us to find which movements the child needs to do. Or- for more options, we have these super handy folders.
Each of the folders is a different type of movement category and they are color coded to match the three parts of the brain. Each folder holds a number of small movement images that are stuck inside using velcro. So if we are going into the folders, we muscle check the stacks of colored folders- such as the “green stack”, the “red stack” etc. This gets us into the correct color stack. Then, from there, we see which folder we need that’s in that particular color.
So, for example, using muscle checking, we narrow down the folder stack to red. And then within the red, we muscle check again to find that we need the red folder titled “assisted movements”. Within the assisted movements folder, the child picks activities they are drawn to or- we can muscle check again.
It’s an easy method for sure- and I credit Pam Formosa (the owner director of Brain Fit) for the procedure. It’s a method that works well with kids. They like being able to pull the images out of the folder for when we are working on them and then sticking them back into the folder afterwards. It gives the kids a little “hands-on” time with the choosing of movements.
So yes- work is part of our Brain Fit Sessions, and of course it’s needed. But, it’s not necessarily work that needs to feel like work.
Work, rest, play. These are the important movement pieces of a Brain Fit session.
Often times however? The “work” can feel like “rest”, or even- like “play”. And that’s just how I like it.