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Brain Integration Therapy
Brain Integration Therapy (BIT) incorporates performing specific tasks which are difficult for an individual, followed by “repatterning” techniques which stimulate the neurological connections within the brain and facilitate whole brain learning. “Repatterning” really means “retraining” the brain to more efficiently use both sides to perform tasks, rather than limiting itself to using only one hemisphere at a time. Neurologists have discovered that we can use the body to “repattern” or retrain the brain to change inefficient pathways into more efficient ones. This process which was created by neurologists, has been used very successfully for the past twenty years. The “repatterning” occurs through the use of simple exercises and stretches along with eye accessing (looking in a particular direction) and muscle sensing as feedback to anchor the changes the brain and body are making as information is being processed in a new way.
The knowledge of the connection between the brain and the body has been well documented. Medical Doctors Glen and Robert Doleman and Carl Delacato introduced a technique called “patterning” which consisted of exercises replicating the crawling movements of a baby to help students with head injuries and other severe neurological dysfunctions.
Dr Paul Dennison, an education specialist, incorporated research from many other fields to further explore the mind/body connection. His work resulted in exercises and techniques known as Brain Gyms®. He developed what is termed “Laterality Repatterning.” For more information about Brain Gyms® visit their website at Brain Gym – Education Kinesiology Foundation.
Dr Jean Ayers an Occupational Therapist developed a general theory of sensory integration and treatment from studies in the neurosciences and those pertaining to physical development and neuromuscular function. This treatment focuses primarily on the tactile, vestibular and proprioceptive systems of the body. For more information about sensory integration read an article at Autism.org/si.html.
Brain Integration Therapy was coined by Dianne Craft, MA, CNHP and Rebecca Kennard, Educational Consultants. They combined Brain Gyms® and eye accessing in their approach to “repattern” the nervous system in a systematic manner to address and remediate processing problems that affect learning. As a Certified Natural Health Professional, Dianne also incorporates her knowledge of how nutrition affects learning. Visit her website at DianneCraft.org. Rebecca uses an Acuspark instrument to augment and facilitate the integration process.
Effective in minimizing and/or eliminating the following:
- Slow labored reading
- Difficulties with hearing and understanding
- Poor memory
- Handwriting difficulties
- Motor incoordination
- Attention difficulties
- Mental disorganization
- Expressive language difficulties
- Speech delays
- BIT is a relatively new concept and as such research is limited to case studies.
- BIT and has not yet been acknowledged in the professional Educational Journals.
Brain Integration Therapy can be learned at home through study and practice of the information contained in the Brain Integration Therapy Manual by Dianne Craft. This manual can be ordered online for $25.99 by clicking the title.
Rebecca Kennard offers periodic classes that teach Brain Integration Therapy. Visit LearningHyperlinks.com for more information.
Therapy for Integration of Mind, Body and Emotions (IMBE)
This approach was coined by Yvonne Buck, OTR. The basis of its approach correlates with Occupational Therapy in that it addresses goal-directed activities that are purposeful and meaningful to a person in order to help them develop, improve, or regain skills necessary for their maximum independence and quality of life. Please refer to eGuide Occupational Therapy Chapter for more information about Occupational Therapy. IMBE Therapy combines the techniques of Brain Integration Therapy with additional techniques in order to accelerate the “repatterning” and integration process.
A six-year old boy had major difficulties with speech production to the point of being unintelligible. He also had difficulties with handwriting which caused his written work to be illegible. Through the practice of IMBE therapy, he was able to repeat tongue twisters and be understood and his handwriting became very neat and readable.
A boy in third grade had problems with inappropriate behavior and was able to read only at a pre-kindergarten level. His behavior improved and he became more cooperative with adult directives. His reading level increased by 3 years.
Source: Yvonne Buck, OTR, Aurora CO.