In May of 2016, the Brain Injury Society of Toronto (BIST) organized Brain Fitness training workshops led by Paul Hyman: A Movement-Based, Multi-Sensory Brain Stimulation Program. Of the many exercises and strategies that we learned, one stood out to me, because I had discovered its benefits by chance as a teenager. The technique is called a hook-up, also known as over-energy correction. It is the easiest and fastest way to relax and reduce stress. It can also help improve coordination, balance, clarity and concentration. It works by correcting neurological disorganization or switching.
Switching (Neurological Disorganization)
Switching is when the Central Nervous System (CNS) has a polarity imbalance and disorganized electrical signals between the left and right sides of the brain, the front and back of the brain, and the top and bottom of the body.(1) Switching can contribute to learning disabilities such as dyslexia, mental confusion, physical discoordination, and persistent limping from healed injuries, etc.(2) So if you’re finding yourself bumping into table corners, saying the opposite of what you mean, having difficulty doing what you know you should do, or feeling anxious and out of control, it’s possible that the signalling within your CNS has reversed.(2) The hook-up technique, also known as over energy correction, can help. It is quick, easy, and doable anywhere. It is also effective at helping children calm down.
Hook-Up or Over Energy Correction Method
Note: See below for variations.
- Sit comfortably. You may stretch your legs out in front of you, if preferred. Cross your left ankle over your right ankle.
- Extend your arms out in front of you with the backs of your hands touching and your thumbs pointing down.
- Raise your right hand up and cross it over your left hand so that your palms are now touching.
- Clasp your hands together and interlock your fingers.
- Bend your elbows and tuck your clasped hands under and up until your hands are resting comfortably against your upper chest.
- Hold this position, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, and breathe slowly and deeply for 1 to 2 minutes. Close your eyes if desired.
- Then untangle your arms and legs. Repeat the steps, alternating direction so that your right ankle crosses over your left ankle and your left-hand crosses over your right hand.
- When completed, notice how you feel and then move on to Part 2 of the exercise.
Variations to Part 1:
- The hook-up can be done while laying down or standing.
- If you are unable to tuck your locked hands under and up onto your chest, you can simply rest your locked hands on your lap.
- If you are unable to lock your hands, you could instead cross your arms and place the palms of your hands on your chest below your shoulders.
- Uncross your legs. Hold your hands in front of your chest with your palms facing each other, but not touching. Touch the fingertips of your left hand to the fingertips of your right hand and form a steeple or pyramid.
- Breathe slowly for one minute. Then notice how you feel. You should feel relaxed and centred.
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‘Mind Yourself with Alison’ is a collection of self-help tips, research, and personal experiences dedicated to helping people thrive after brain injury (or other health problems). Check out Alison’s other BIST Blog articles Women and Brain Injury: What you need to know and How to be a Good Friend to a Survivor. You can follow her on Twitter, HERE.