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Pyramid of Potential
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Burnt Hills, NY 12027

In This Issue
Your Phone vs. Your Heart
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Read Kathy's blog about how her training is going, as she prepares for a grueling 275 mile walk across New York State.
September 8-22


Changing the Social Brain
March 27, 2013  
Hi All,

Despite the snow, April is just a few days away.  With that, I'm reminded that we are quickly approaching testing season.  For many of us the word test can cause anxiety.  Think what it must do for a child who struggles with everyday learning?  The buzz about testing must be overwhelming.   Read more on anxiety and the moro reflex below.

Social media, smart phones, staying connected. I just finished reading an article that I felt compelled to share with all of you, read on about changing the social brain.  I think you will find it quite interesting!

All my best,
P.S.  Heard this from a client who suffers from persistent stress and is working on integrating his moro reflex:  "I am doing the exercise every day and my pulse seems to be staying at my normal relaxed pulse of about 60 and I feel great!  It's a  miracle!! 
Your Phone vs. Your Heart
NY Times March 23, 2013

CAN you remember the last time you were in a public space in America and didn't notice that half the people around you were bent over a digital screen, thumbing a connection to somewhere else?


Most of us are well aware of the convenience that instant electronic access provides. Less has been said about the costs. Research that my colleagues and I have just completed, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science, suggests that one measurable toll may be on our biological capacity to connect with other people.


Our ingrained habits change us. Neurons that fire together, wire together, neuroscientists like to say, reflecting the increasing evidence that experiences leave imprints on our neural pathways, a phenomenon called neuroplasticity. Any habit molds the very structure of your brain in ways that strengthen your proclivity for that habit.


Plasticity, the propensity to be shaped by experience, isn't limited to the brain. You already know that when you lead a sedentary life, your muscles atrophy to diminish your physical strength. What you may not know is that your habits of social connection also leave their own physical imprint on you.


How much time do you typically spend with others? And when you do, how connected and attuned to them do you feel? Your answers to these simple questions may well reveal your biological capacity to connect.


My research team and I conducted a longitudinal field experiment on the effects of learning skills for cultivating warmer interpersonal connections in daily life. Half the participants, chosen at random, attended a six-week workshop on an ancient mind-training practice known as metta, or "lovingkindness," that teaches participants to develop more warmth and tenderness toward themselves and others.


Read the complete article here:  


I will never forget the day my child's principal said that because of the big state-wide tests that were coming up, the entire staff was having the kids chant, "I think I can, I think I can!" Everything I read says that a positive attitude will help anything, but when he said that, my heart sank. For the child who struggles every day with normal reading, writing, and mathematics tasks, spending so much time on preparing for the tests and chanting these things, only made her anxious.


More often than not, when there is a child with learning issues, there is also anxiety.  Everyone is different, so this isn't true in all cases , but many times there is a correlation between the two.


Think about it. A child who is smart but cannot easily read looks around the classroom every day and realizes that the rest of the children can read. They ask themselves why can't I? I must be STUPID! So, every day the child has to go to a place where he try's to hide his stupidity from his friends. What if they found out? He might be teased, or worse. He can try to hide it from the teacher, but the teacher always knows. He has to hand in the class work and then she will see the mistakes in his writing or math. After working so hard to hold all this inside all day, by the time he goes home to Mom, he lets her have it!!  


Poor Mom, because she is a safe person, because she will always love him, all the anxiety of the day comes out as yelling, frustrated fuming, and general angst.


As a mom, I know. I've been there.


Fortunately things did not stay that way. The brain can change and that includes overcoming anxiety.


One of my best friends has a daughter who started college this past fall. Even though she was a good student in high school, college was new and much harder. She was getting test anxiety like she never had before. My friend gave her exercises to combat the anxiety and they worked so well, that she shared them with her roommates and her dorm. The exercises? Integration exercises for the Moro reflex.


The Moro reflex is there when a baby is born, and through the integration of this reflex, the nervous system becomes mature.  If this reflex fails to integrate then the person can be left with an immature nervous system, and is therefore, well, nervous!


Take a look at this video to learn more about the Moro Reflex.  


The Moro Reflex
It takes some time to integrate, but if you get started now, by the time tests and exams come around, anxiety should be under control!  



Now all that has to be done is the studying. Arggghhh!


MARCH Special

Academic Success Center Workbook and Training DVD

 A day by day curriculum designed for cognitive development including working memory, visual processing, attention, processing speed, logic, comprehension and more.
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A program designed to provide a workout for the brain s cognitive functions such as working memory, mental processing speed, chunk sizing and the ability to multitask.
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