Making the Brain Body Connection


Sharon Promislow


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Sharon Promislow is a Canadian Kinesiologist who, through The Brain Body Connection, makes recent knowledge from brain research accessible and useful. She writes in a clear, light touch manner, yet provides a depth of neurological information that opens up one of the most complex subjects to non-medically trained people. The book does not set out to be a weighty scientific reference, but seeks to offer a practical user-friendly tool set, steeped in research, to enable individuals to understand the brain-body system.

Many writers have looked at "mind over matter" - how our conscious intention can influence how our body functions and how well we feel. This book takes the opposite angle "matter over mind" - how re-educating the brain-body response and ensuring healthy neural connections affects not only the body but also how you respond - your performance, your attitude, your learning and therefore your results.

The author tells us that at its simplest; it is stress that keeps us from being the best we can be. Not dealing with stress is blocking us from being more creative, achieving our goals and being as successful as we can be. When we experience stress, our brain-body integration breaks down, making us less effective - energy for the cerebral brain responsible for higher cortical reasoning can be blocked, communication between the brain hemispheres breaks down and our sensory organs can switch off. We revert to a dominant brain pattern geared for our survival which cuts off access to the non-dominant brain and senses making it difficult to think and do at the same time!

The skills taught in the book enable us to release the mental, physical and emotional blocks that sabotage our best efforts - and may pinpoint areas of weakness where additional medical support may be needed. Each chapter provides some input and explanation, with well illustrated exercises and questionnaires to allow you to check your progress. Much of the material comes from Promislow's specialised Kinesiology which is the study of the body in movement. Her specialism focuses on energy and teaches simple techniques for switching on the brain-body connection to enhance functioning, concentrating on restoring natural energy flow and releasing the classic stress response.

As an experiential learner, I didn't just read the book " I tried out many of the exercises and found them useful both physically and intellectually. I particularly liked the simplicity of thinking through problems by holding the Emotional Stress Release Points on the forehead; integrating the hemispheres by using Cross Patterning exercises " such as moving opposite arms and legs while marching " and drawing a "lazy 8" (like an infinity sign) for creative writing. This highly effective tool enables us to physically cross the visual midline while writing without interruption and activates both left and right eyes " therefore integrating the left and right visual fields and improving hand-eye coordination

Making the Brain Body Connection is a good and easy read and I would recommend it to individuals wanting to deal with stress in an interesting and helpful way. It will also be a great resource for coaches working with clients to become more brain-body aware and looking to find techniques to make them more effective. Readers interested in intellectual knowledge based books, may initially find this overly simple, however the premise upon which it is written promises positive results.

Published February 2009