It is one of the key brain activities that a Holistic Kinesiologist targets in a brain function session. If balance improves many functions usually improve.
The brain uses sight, mechanisms in the inner ear (vestibular) and feedback from muscles to help us to maintain balance. When these signals are out of synch or difficult for the brain to coordinate, we tend to be more readily motion sick.
The processing of signals from the inner ear is very important during early and later brain development. These signals are used a great deal by the brain to coordinate physical activity. Anyone who has had an inner ear infection can testify to how debilitating it is to have this sense disturbed.
Our ability to balance has wider implications for our health than just being important for movement. Problems with physical balance also tend to occur during times when we feel “off balance”, “ungrounded”, or “off centre” in life. These emotional states can affect balance and poor physical balance can also affect how we feel.
The simplest way to test for balance is to stand on one leg. Make sure the legs are not touching.
- First stand on one leg for 10 seconds.
- Then stand on the other leg for 10 seconds.
- Continue standing on one leg and close your eyes (balance for 10 seconds).
- Swap to the other leg, balance and then close your eyes (balance for 10 seconds).
How easy was it to stand on one leg?
If you have good balance you should be able to stand on one leg without a great deal of movement for 10 seconds with eyes shut.
Give yourself a score out of 10 for your balance based on the following scale:
- 10 where you could stand comfortably eyes open and shut for 10 seconds;
- 8 if you could stand comfortably eyes open for 10 seconds but wobbled and moved while standing eyes shut for 10 seconds
- 6 if you could stand 10 seconds eyes open but only stand eyes shut for 6-9 seconds
- 4 if you could stand 10 seconds eyes open but only stand eyes shut for 3-6 seconds
- 2 if you could stand only 7 seconds eyes open and had difficulty eyes closed
- 0 if could stand less than 7 seconds eyes open and had difficulty eyes closed
So your score here is important not just as a sign of your physical stability but also because it is an indicator of emotional balance as well. The difference between eyes open and shut is that you can only use your vestibular (inner ear) sense when your eyes are shut. When your eyes are open you can use your sight and vestibular to help you to balance. If the vestibular is not working well it will be considerably more difficult to stand with your eyes shut.
To help balance you can use an acupoint Du Mai 16. You could balance while someone holds the point or hold the point after you have tried to balance. Try holding the point for at least 10 minutes – preferably 30 minutes and then try balancing again.
The point is located on the base of the skull (occiput) in the depression immediately below the bump on the back of the skull.
The Du Mai is extremely important for brain function. This point is particularly useful because the Du Mai plunges deeply into the brain from this point. This point directly links with many aspects of the physical brain.
Adapted with permission from Neuropressure by David Corby
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