Do these 4 Simple (and quick) Brain exercises to easily switch between tasks and projects

Need to refocus? Do These 4 simple brain exercises take about 1-2 minutes total. Use them in the morning and whenever you need to switch mental focus between tasks and projects. These 4 movements quickly wake up the brain.

This is Dr. Sam Shay, founder of, where I teach you how to Macgyver your health with low-tech tools with high impact. I practice here in New Zealand as an acupuncturist, chiropractor, and functional neurologist. My goal here is to teach people how to become self-sufficient in their health and wellness as easily and cheaply as possible with everyday tools they have around their house.

So we are going to cover in this video the 4 main activities of BrainGym®. Now BrainGym® is a formal technique that was developed by Dr. Paul   Dennison, PhD. If you want more information, go to And this is how I got started in my trajectory on health and wellness where I started seeing a BrainGym® consultant when I was 17. Her name was Eliza Bergeson. She radically transformed my life and put it in a much healthier direction than where I was going. It inspired me so much that I went on to become a BrainGym® consultant myself when I was 20, probably one of the youngest in the states when I was certified. Since then I have continued on my education and became a chiropractor, acupuncturist, and studied neurology. My roots began in BrainGym®.

I want to share with you the 4 main movements of BrainGym® that start a process and also help with transitions for your brain between activities.

The very first activity is drinking water, a “positive”, drinking water is part of their ‘positive category’

The second activity is called brain buttons, which is part of their active category. And the way you do brain buttons in the BrainGym® world to wake up the brain. Put one hand over the belly button or just below the belly button. The other hand, you find your collarbone, which are the long bones here where the neck begins, and then you drop underneath them and bring your fingers in until they stop at the two grooves…this is the sternum where your ribs attach. Go down from the collarbone and in until you hit the notches, where the rib is below you and the collarbone is above you. And you rub and dig in there, probably pretty sore on most of you. That’s ok, it will go in time and you just rub on this and there is a lot of reasons this is done, one is it’s on Kidney 27, the end of the Kidney channel in Chinese medicine, it helps wake up your brain. This is brain buttons, can be done basically anywhere.

The third activity is called Cross Crawl, basically connecting any part of your right arm with any part of your left leg and visa versa. There are many ways to do this, tai chi style where it’s all ‘flowy-like’ or you can just go through it, there is even a version where you can behind you like this. The way not to do it is to just kinda wimping through it. You really want to cross over the midline. This is important because it stimulates your spine by engaging the cross crawl reflex. If you stimulate your spine you will stimulate your brain. That is the 3rd activity: cross crawl.

The 4th activity is called Hook-ups or Cook’s Hook-ups, I prefer to call it Pretzel time as one of my Braingym instructors Celia mentioned. This is called pretzel time because you look like a pretzel: a great way to describe it to kids, they get it.
How to do pretzel time? Put your arms out in front of you, cross your wrists over each other, point your thumbs down, clasp and pull in. So I will do that again: Hands forward, cross, point down, clasp, pull in. Then you cross at the ankles. You can do this sitting; you can do this standing, assuming you have good balance. This is very calming and very very effective especially with children who are acting out or anxious, unsettled, or agitated. It’s very good if you have two kids fighting with each other, because you can separate them and have them both go into pretzel time, that way a) they can’t keep going at each other, and b) they are calming down.

This is the first half of pretzel time, where you cross everything midline. The second half is where you uncross the ankles and uncross everything at the finger tips. The channels of Chinese medicine begin and end (half of them anyway begin and end) on the fingers. This is the second half to help complete that movement cycle.

Again with BrainGym®, the 4 movements:
1) Drinking water
2) Brain Buttons
3) Cross Crawl
4) Pretzel time: two parts to it. Cross everything, and then uncross the pretzel.

This shouldn’t take you more than 1 minute to 2 minutes. It’s a great way to help you transition mentally between projects, activities, and your day-to-day life.

If you want more information on that specifically, go to My website, has more tips on how to MacGyver your health, not just Brain but the other 9 categories of wellness. If you haven’t already, please go to my website and get your free ebook on more low-tech tips for better health and wellness and feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you very much.

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