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NIMBLE BRAIN, NIMBLE BODY
Right brain/ left brain – The complexity of brain development.
When we are first born, the brain is very general in its response to the world. As we mature, the brain becomes more specialized. The specialized sectors of the brain allow for greater and greater mental precision and the body develops greater physical coordination.
Brain specialization is a part of normal maturation. Gradually, the right side of the brain, or right hemisphere, develops different functions than the left. They each develop their own “specialization” of brain function and they all have to work together.
Right Brain Hemisphere
The right brain is involved in processing nonverbal communication. It allows us to read facial expressions and to recognize faces. The tone of speech and the emotions conveyed through these tones are processed in the right hemisphere. Mothers communicate to their infants principally through these types of nonverbal interactions, in order to reach their infant’s right hemisphere.
Left Brain Hemisphere
The left hemisphere is for organizing, judging, and critically analyzing events in the external environment. The left brain thrives on multitasking and, left unchecked, can perform excessive thinking, analyzing, criticizing, calculating and catastrophizing on an ongoing basis. It is the left brain that sets up the continuous mental activity inside the head.
Strategies (Mind Games)
1. Set guidelines for catastrophic thinking.
Designate a specific time of day when the left brain is allowed its storytelling and excessive thinking. The time of day must have a start and stop time.
Our Fall Yoga Series begins this weekend. Let us help you ease into the holidays with peace and relaxation. Reward your body and mind with a series of yoga practices. Each session will be unique to work and progress your yoga in different ways. Sign up online for one session or buy the series.
You, Your Child and Recess Time
The concept of a morning and afternoon recess for elementary school age children seems like a nice break for the students and for the teachers. But, it’s a lot more than just a break. The physical and cognitive skills necessary to navigate an outdoor recess have a tremendous impact on the effort students provide when completing written worksheets back in the classroom.
Did you know that the same perceptual skills essential to the game of tag are also an integral part of arithmetic? Were you aware that playing on the swings and the other playground equipment contribute to the students’ sense of calmness and well-being back in the classroom? What about the arguments over who’s turn it is at tether ball? Can this annoyance actually have value for academic success? You bet! What’s tag got to do with arithmetic? Plenty! A child’s ability to successfully navigate while running full tilt on the playground and being pursued by a participant designated as “it” (as in, “you’re it!”), involves conceptualizing relationships and variables that are basic arithmetic.
Think about it, arithmetic incorporates manipulating numerals. The number system was developed to provide a symbolic language that allowed us to better appreciate the physical world in which we live. The great thinkers of days gone by assigned numerals to allow us to consider the physical characteristics of objects. The length, height, and width could now be studied. This symbolic language gave rise to leaps in our thinking. The parts of the world that had an understanding of math (such as the Mayans, Greece, Persia, and the Orient) advanced at a far greater rate than other societies.
Now, back to the playground: Running over lumpy obstacles on the grassy field, around other students focused on collecting 4 leaf clovers and running between the bushy hedges and the trees, all require an innate understanding of three dimensional space. Length, height, and width of obstacles on the field as well as the distance between theses obstacles are being calculated by the child’s brain as they sprint along.
Children need to get out of doors and experience their own bodies running, jumping, climbing over, sliding under and whizzing around stuff, so they can manipulate their own bodies through three dimensional space. In the classroom, they may need to use physical objects, sometimes referred to as “manipulatives” to internalize the magic of arithmetic. But most importantly, they need recess.
For more information about physical therapy for the school age child contact Cresswell Physical Therapy. We have a clinic inside Sun Oaks Tennis and Fitness Center and a physical therapy owned clinic at 2449 Court Street, Redding. Let us treat your adult, child or senior sports-related injuries as well as other orthopedic and neurological conditions. We accept most medical insurance payors. Call us now: 244-7686.
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