Kids SHOULD Fidget in Class

Kids SHOULD Fidget in Class!

Movement linked to Learning!

The educational and scientific community for years has believed that thinking is thinking and movement is movement and that the two had nothing to do with each other. Then some maverick scientists begin linking movement with thinking and learning, but with little public support. The information in this paper documents and reveals the strong links between certain kinds of body movement and learning from the cradle to the grave.
We know that the brain processes neural information to make up one’s mind. Learning comes from information from all parts of the body, not just the brain and the five sense organs as previously thought. An example of the coordination of the brain and body is the unexplained reports from organ transplant recipients of speaking and understanding languages they have never studied.

The first evidence of a linkage between mind and body movement originated with Henrietta and Alan Leiner, two Stanford University neuroscientists. Their research began what would eventually redraw “the cognitive map”. The Leiner’s research centered on the cerebellum. They made critical discoveries that resulted in years of further fruitful testing by others interested in their theory.

For our mutual understanding, we know that the cerebellum makes up just one-tenth of the brain’s volume but it contains over half of all the brain’s neurons. It has over 40 million nerve fibers. This amount is 40 times more than even the complex optic tract.
The cerebellum has long been known for its role in posture, coordination, balance, motor functions and movement coordinated by information from the brains cerebrum that is sent to the cerebellum, and passed on to the motor cortex. But the cerebellum also sends cognitive information back to the sensory cortex by way of the dentate nucleus which is present in primates with the highest learning capabilities.

Neurophysiologist Caria Hannaford says both the cerebellar and vestibular systems are the information gathering and feedback sources for movement and learning. These impulses travel through nerve tracts back and forth from the cerebellum to the rest of the brain, including the visual system and the sensory cortex. The vestibular nuclei are closely modulated by the cerebellum that also activates the reticular activating system near the top of the brain stem. This area is critical to our attention system, since it regulates incoming sensory data. These interactions help us keep our balance, coordinates movement and turns thinking into actions.

Researchers Garfield and Calvin found that learning and movement have constant interplay. Parts of the brain known to control movement are also involved in learning. Surprisingly, there are no single “movement centers” in the brain. Novel movement’s shifts focus in the brain because it has no memory to rely on for execution. Novel movement is described as movements that are not part of daily activities. Novel movements engage the prefrontal cortex and the rear two-thirds of the frontal lobes, particularly the dorsolateral frontal lobes. These areas are often used for problem solving, planning, and sequencing new things to learn and do.

Neuroscientists at the U. of California at Irvine discovered that novel movement exercises triggers the release of BDNF, a brain derived neurotrophic factor. This natural substance enhances cognition by boosting the ability of neurons to communicate with each other.
All kinds of exercises have the ability to increase learning. However there is evidence that certain novel movements enhance the potency of learning. These novel movements usually start with the pelvic girdle moving through full range front to back, side to side and figure “8” motions of the hips like those created by forced fast-walking. This kind of figure “8”rocking motion has proven to improve learning capabilities of ADD, ADHD and Autistic children by having them ride a horse while the horse was walking. However, owning horses and their upkeep are much more expensive and impractical compared to owning the Therapeutic Wobble Chair™ which simulates the motions of riding a horse.
Throughout the years, additional research has revealed the benefits of motion exercise. They are:

1) Bradly published research explaining how motion Increases nutrition delivery to the brain and spinal cord. He explains that the filum terminale is a fibrous sheath that attaches to the lower end of the spinal cord and to the sacrum cornu (tail bone). Full range movements of the pelvic girdle cause an up and down pull on the fibrous attachment and to the spinal cords sheaths. This action pumps the glucose rich cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brains and spinal cord thereby increasing its pressure and flow into the surrounding tissues.

2) In 1980 the researchers Hymes and Nuernberger published research to explain how full range pelvic and lumbar spinal movements pumps the diaphragm muscles increasing oxygenation to the lungs while the pumping motion massages the heart by way of its attachment to the central tendon of the diaphragm muscle.

3) Virgin published research in 1951, that tested purposeful daily full range spinal exercises which caused the nucleus of the resting spinal disks to change from a hydro-jell into a motion induced hydro-sol. The hydro-sol is watery and is necessary before the protoglycon aggregate, (the solids in the disks nucleus) can be mixed and remixed. Then the disks nucleus at rest can reform into a “perfect jell”. The perfect jell provides for equal transfer of weight from the vertebrae above to the one below. In addition, daily full range spinal exercises keeps the disks supple and well hydrated. Further the action keeps vertebrae well nourished so that the spine can function pain free throughout life.

4) Nordin M and Frankle VH, published research on repetitive (up to 1000) full range loading and unloading cycles performed on avascular spinal disks, ligaments and cartilages. They found:
A) Rehydration of the disks nucleus with increased disk height and with restoration of the spine and vertebras normal position and function.
B) Increased disk, ligament and tendon strength.
C) Decreased potential for injury or severity of injury from sudden applied loads.
D) Lubrication of spinal joints and nourishment of their cartilages.
E) Prevention of adhesions during healing and improved integrity of healed joints.
F) Enhanced musculoskeletal performance.

The attributes of purposeful exercise with loading and unloading cycles and motion has been tested for a number of years by the Pettibon Biomechanics Institute, Inc. and found to not only be accurate but as time passes, new and more exciting benefits are continually surfacing. When these exercises are performed daily on the Therapeutic Wobble Chair™, the user can look forward to numerous positive benefits.

As new information about motion comes forward we are postulating the positive effects of use of the Therapeutic Wobble Chair™ on learning activities, such as learning a new language. If one can get their mind wrapped around the idea that motion in the body stimulates the brain to action then imagine the possibilities of learning ANYTHING new while in motion! Utilizing the hypothesis that learning is accentuated by motion, it is becoming apparent that our proposed new studies will include having subjects tested before and after motion exercise. We strongly believe it will yield incredible results.
Studies have shown that just jumping on a trampoline increased a child’s ability to learn; imagine a world where you, an adult, could sit at your computer using a Therapeutic Wobble Chair™ and learn and comprehend more than ever before!

Throughout the years, The Pettibon Institute Inc has donated the Therapeutic Wobble Chair™ to teachers of children with learning disabilities. Their reports were positive. Not only did the children NOT have to be reminded to use the chair but they were less disruptive and attentive to learning. We would encourage instructors to consider adding one chair to their classroom and share the results with their peers through the internet information highway.

Learning should be a lifelong quest. Those with issues with learning and retention must consider a Therapeutic Wobble Chair™ for use in their daily routine. Use it for ninety days and share the results with us. We want YOUR success story added to our own personal stories. This chair could revolutionize learning as we know it in less than 20 minutes a day! The full size Therapeutic Wobble Chair™ can be used at your desk if desired or a portable model can be taken with you everywhere you travel! This should be an important part of every executive’s luggage as they attend seminars and meetings and need to be sharp and focused.

We would like for every reader to send this on to all of your children’s teachers, as well as you friends and colleagues. We want your and their comments and suggestions. Further we will attempt to answer questions and give direction for further research on this very important subject. We realize that the last word hasn’t been written on this subject…

Burl Pettibon, D.C., FABCS, FRCCM, PhD (Hon)