As infants, humans naturally move through patterns of movement that connect and organize their bodies and brains. Over time, the movement patterns of modern life combined with illness, trauma, and other injuries can disrupt those connections, causing a disorganization of the central nervous system.
BrainDance is a centering tool of eight movement patterns for body and brain created by Anne Green Gilbert of the Creative Dance Center. These patterns are designed to mimic the movement patterns developed in the first year of life as cycling through these movements has been found to be helpful in reorganizing, oxygenating, and healing the body, and reorganizing the nervous system. These movement patterns are easy to learn and to adapt, and can be practiced by people of all ages and abilities.
The BrainDance is comprised of developmental movement patterns that healthy human beings naturally move through in the first year of life. As babies, we did these movements on our tummies, sides, and back on the floor. However, cycling through these patterns at any age, daily or weekly while sitting or standing, has been found to be beneficial in reorganizing our central nervous system. Repeating these patterns over time may help us fill in any missing gaps in our neurological system due to birth trauma, illness, environment, head injury or not enough floor time as a baby.
We do this work in the way that works best for the individual: standing, sitting in chairs, sitting or lying on the floor, in a swimming pool, and with props.
Effects of the BrainDance
Most of us have heard about the great benefits we receive from exercise, not just on body function, but also on brain function. BrainDance feeds the brain – increases oxygen & blood flow to the brain; it re-patterns neurological system / reboots the computer; it develops body connectivity and alignment; it creates deeper understanding of our bodies and it aids in healing our mind, body, emotional and spiritual selves
Enhanced balance, connectivity, and alignment: The BrainDance reviews for us the early baby patterns that lay down structure in the neuromuscular system, influence brain development, and help us cope with the world in an embodied way. These patterns, done in an orderly progression, help us remember the parts of our visceral and muscular system that support our body structure. Each pattern underlies and supports the next pattern. When done in succession, they bring a wholeness, aliveness, and connectivity to our use of the body, which reflects an integration of body and mind. By separating the eight patterns we become more aware of each pattern. This allows us to focus on a particular pattern to ease blocked body/mind areas. The developmental patterns are the foundation for all movement. Patterns establish internal and external gradated rotation in proximal joints, laying foundation for correct and clear alignment in the upper and lower body and correct use of scapula and arms and rotation in the hip socket. Awareness of body mechanics and inner connectivity develops physical balance, and coordination needed for moving through our lives.