SMART MOVES X - BODY TRAINS BRAIN

Health & Wellness

The well-known Austrian kinesiologist and osteopath develops holistic approaches for her patients. Today, she introduces the trend-setting Smart Moves X program. Classy Dubai believes Smart Moves X has what it takes to create a new, future-oriented lifestyle hype. 

 

“WORKING SMARTER NOT HARDER” ...

is a term more and more people consider seriously nowadays. It applies to everyone in a company from the CEO to reception staff. Is it because physical work is tiring and excessively damages joints and bones or because time is of the essence? As our daily life seems to become faster and faster we need to find new ways of fitting in every task we need or want to do on a daily basis, and we need to be more mentally alert, more focused and physically able to perform a task quicker and better.

 

Routine and mundane functions will apparently be taken over and done for us very soon through robots, automation, drones, block chain and AI. Obviously good news concerning some activities - but then what? Millions of jobs presently performed by humans will be given to machines. What will these millions of people do in the future?

 

AGE OF IMAGINATION

At the recent World Government Summit in Dubai an emphatic call was made to Governments to shape up an embrace an ‘age of imagination’. At the same summit the opinion of some leading health experts was that mental health problem will become the ‘next global epidemic’, citing daily stress as the highest factor and children and adults unable to deal with it. There are of course psychological therapies available, however, for many people they are inaccessible because of the high price and time factor. Learning and experiencing stress control from a very young age through movement would help every person. 

 

Childhood (especially up to puberty) represents a sensitive period in the development of movement skills, and adopting these skills represent the fundamental resources upon which engagement with all later physical activity relies. Some theorists go further, arguing that the period of childhood is so critical for movement skill learning that if children do not develop a broad foundation of skills during this period, they never will. Luckily this view has become outdated as neuroplasticity has been discovered – meaning the brain produces new cells and new connections after all, even after reaching adulthood and also after disease and injuries and you can always produce new neurons, new connections and new thoughts.

 

WHAT MAKES US UNIQUE

Apart from the benefits of increased stamina and muscular strength as well as cardiovascular benefits and improved oxygenation of the brain, physical activity has been linked to a variety of mental health outcomes, including increased levels of self-esteem, anti-depressant and anxiety-reducing effects, reduced social isolation, general social benefits such as making new friends, enhancing social skills, and gaining confidence in relating to peers as well as learning about positive and negative emotions and strategies for regulating them.

 

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Mr. Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba, summed it up and said, “We cannot teach our kids to compete with machines. Teachers must stop teaching knowledge. We have to teach something unique, so a machine can never catch up with us.” What makes us unique and how do we teach it?

 

 

The skills CEO’s are looking for in future recruits – such as communication skills, ability to work in a team, problem-solving skills, leadership skills and a strong work ethic - to develop strategies to adapt themselves in a job and in a rapidly changing economic world as well as to challenges from a changing environment are already hard to find in many applicants. With time and funding for physical exercise being cut drastically in schools , children raised by and attached to electronic gadgets as soon as they can hold on and even writing by hand no longer taught properly - how will these soft skills be achieved? 

 

I decided to develops SmartMoves X©, a “work smarter not harder” concept for brain connectivity through physical movement. Smart MovesX © is essentially a brain training process – which might sound like a bit of a contradiction, as the desire to develop this program arose from my experience as an osteopath and kinesiologist, where one fact has become abundantly obvious over the years - how disconnected we are from our body and senses and to how much physical pain and mental and emotional turmoil and anguish this can lead. 

 

TRAIN THE BRAIN

So let me explain, why I nevertheless want to “train the brain”. The brain is of course the main processing part of our nervous system. There are quite a few brain training programs already available nowadays, however, they are mostly done by watching different exercises on a computer screen – the only movement these programs include come from the eyes and clicking the mouse. While they might help to improve working memory they certainly do not produce body awareness.

 

Smart MovesX © is different. It is a combination of physical movements from Educational Kinesiology, as well as a vibroswing system called smovey® and some movements from other training modalities to balance the body, nervous system and senses . Body awareness is essential as the brain and nervous system receive information from the senses and proprioceptors in joints and muscles to then form a decision and react.

 

You move your body to train your nervous system to increase your proprioception, spatial abilities and sensory perception. If the input is flawed, the output will be flawed. Movement problems like clumsiness, or difficulties with gait and balance are the result. The mental processes become sluggish and weak. Decreased movement leads to obesity with its resulting health problems but also to social isolation, withdrawal and possibly depression.

 

Every week new studies come out reconfirming the benefits of physical activity, not only for the body but also for the mind. Up until the late 1990s scientists did not believe that we could grow new brain cells. But in 1998, the journal Nature Medicine published a revolutionary report indicating that neurogenesis does indeed occur in adults. This discovery overturned generations of conventional wisdom in neuroscience and the effect this has on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

 

It has now been confirmed that throughout our whole lives, regular physical activity stimulates the growth of new neurons through a process called neurogenesis. Actually, it is really quite obvious: how does a baby learn? Through movement. Early movements in the womb, once it’s born it moves through spinal movements and then through arms and legs. Through these movements the neural connections are formed.

 

For training of the nervous system some movements should be done slowly with focus and precision, some movements can be done to simply wake up the brain. Music can be added for additional sound balancing. As we move in three dimensions the movements have to cover that. In the 60’s Dr. Paul McLean came up with the Triune Brain theory, which explains in simple terms how the brain has to be able to access all its parts starting from the oldest part, the Reptilian brain, to the Limbic system up to the cortex of the left and right brain hemispheres. Movement makes this connection happen.

 

WHAT DOES SMART MOVES X LOOK LIKE?

For training of the nervous system some movements should be done slowly with focus and precision, some movements can be done to simply wake up the brain. Music can be added for additional sound balancing. As we move in three dimensions the movements have to cover that. In the 60’s Dr. Paul McLean came up with the Triune Brain theory, which explains in simple terms how the brain has to be able to access all its parts starting from the oldest part, the Reptilian brain, to the Limbic system up to the cortex of the left and right brain hemispheres. Movement makes this connection happen.

 

TRAINING WAS YESTERDAY

I prefer to talk about movement as opposed to exercise, as the word exercise seems to have acquired a reputation of some sort of “punishment”. Movement is joy. It’s a great way to express ourselves. Body language and facial expression are movements and we know that body language constitutes upto 90 % of our face to face communication.

 

When we perform the same movements and tasks every day, the brain becomes efficient in some tasks on the one hand but bored on the other hand. It simply switches off and is not ready to come up with new ideas and visions when required. It operates from the most basic level, often getting stuck in stress-based behavior.

 

The movements we use at SmartMovesX© are designed to excite the brain, wake it up, remind it what it does best - think and have fun doing so. In the process new connections called synapses are formed between the neurons. Increased brain connections help to find new options if a problem arises and give the opportunity for whole-brain learning. Albert Einstein has been widely credited with the quote “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”

However, how will you be able to do something in a different fashion when your brain isn’t changing? How do you produce new thinking?

As the brain changes, function and behavior are modified in a parallel. In the worst case you see that from the behavior of people having Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. At its best you see it in top athletes as well as top business leaders. Brain Training enables you to think quicker, grasp concepts faster, come up with new ideas, lets you see more opportunities and navigate around obstacles because you can move better. Increased flexibility helps balance, makes your movements more fluid and graceful letting you appear vital, agile and youthful. An upright posture, level shoulders, and a straight spine create self-confidence and an energetic, positive appearance.

 

Exercise increases the release of several hormones: dopamine release, which improves motivation, focus and learning; serotonin, which enhances the mood; brain-derived neurotrophic factor, essential for protection and repair for neurons; norepinephrine release to improve attention, motivation and perception and a decrease in cortisol – one of the stress hormones.

 

SWING WITH ME

Because the training is combined with a small vibroswing exercise tool, which causes vibrations, you also give your body a good workout without spending hours at a gym and getting all sweaty. The vibrations are taken up by multiple sensors in the hands, are absorbed to cell level and improve metabolism, increase fat burning effect and enhance lymphatic system drainage, which is a big part of the immune system. Only as recently as 2017 it was discovered that even the brain clears its waste products through the lymphatic system. If your lymphatic system is clogged you are more like to pick up infections, have a blocked nose, resulting in breathing difficulties, and have more allergies as well as “brain fog”. 

 

The smovey rings are a useful tool for mobilizing the body in a safe, contained way. Muscular strength and spinal flexibility become better. They organize energy through sound, movement and rhythm and are helping to link the autonomic and somatic systems. The rings are small enough to be carried with you on travels and used even at the office or in a hotel room.

We seem to think that once formal schooling is completed we no longer learn or need to learn. Learning is also associated with hard work, huge effort and boredom. I consider learning a privilege. To be given the opportunity to either get a new angle on something I have heard a hundred times before or be shown something completely new is a marvelous experience.

If we want to change and adapt to new fast changing situations of life in the 21st century – we need to learn. Learning is fun, if we are taught how to learn and if we prepare our brain and body for learning. We are all natural learners. Various stressors, however, can introduce blocks that inhibit the learning process – from physical ailments like ear infections, to the present educational style, which doesn’t catch our interest at school.

 

Every single one of us is uniquely wired. Some of our neuronal wiring is determined by innate factors. For instance, we all show a preference for one hand over the other, one eye over the other and we also exhibit a preference for one brain hemisphere over the other. How we take in information will determine our decisions and actions. When the learning experiences, however, do not match your learning style, you may become disillusioned with learning.

 

HOWEVER, IF THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE DOES NOT FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE, YOU MAY BE DISAPPOINTED WITH LEARNING.

To create a learning experience, it helps to know your preferred learning style. At SmartMovesX © you’ll be shown how to identify your unique learning style. It will give you insightful information as to know how you best take in new information, process it and which of your senses and movements are easily accessible to you in times of stress. This knowledge is precious and helps when dealing with difficult decisions at work, as well as at school. It can show parents how to approach their children when they are having an emotional meltdown.

 

The Dominance Profiles, as they are called in Educational Kinesiology, should be quite flexible in everyday life. To ensure this flexibility, essentially an easy switching back and forth between all the brain parts as required, can be trained with easy to do physical movements.

 

SIMPLY CHALLENGE THE BRAIN

To learn, we need to challenge the brain. This way our brain has to figure out a new appropriate strategy to a new external challenge, as done during the training, thereby creating new synapses in the nervous system.

 

To keep it simple in the beginning, we give the brain a chance to prepare itself for a new, never before done, activity. This is achieved by announcing the activity shortly before it is expected to be performed through visual, acoustic, tactile or olfactory stimulations and cues in a way that the information is presented just with a minimum of preparation time and therefore becomes a challenge. Neurological changes can be experienced after training this way with a one hour per week training only.

 

These newly created networks between different areas of the brain also increase the thinking processes for multi-tasking, presentation abilities, concentration, improved self-esteem, independence and stress tolerance, as well as mindfulness, patience, focus and relaxation. It can improve the quality of your sleep. A well-rested brain enhances the decision making and taking process.

 

Try a basic exercise yourself: hold a small ball in each hand. Hold the balls in front of your body, throw them 10cm straight up in the air, parallel to each other. Cross your hands and catch the balls. Keep your hands crossed and throw the balls up again, parallel to each other. Uncross your hands and catch the two balls. Not a difficult exercise to do, but an unusual one, which makes the brain think. Depending on your level of connectedness it might only take you a view tries to master this exercise and you immediately move on to a more challenging one to keep the challenge going.

Moving your body to train your brain to keep up neurogenesis and build more synapses is so far the only way to keep yourself fit and healthy into old age and enjoy quality of life. As I said in the beginning: “Train smarter not harder”.

 

by Evelyn Brey, Kinesiologist and Osteopath, Austria / United Arab Emirates 


CONTACT

Evelyn Brey 

Bsc (Hons.) Ost. Med., D.N. 

Kinesiologe, Osteopath, Naturopath, Bioresonance, Reiki 

WhatsApp:  00971 50 4282847

Facebook: smart moves x

 


Photos: (c) Paule Knete