Monday, March 27, 2006

Brain Gym's bad science

Ben Goldacre has been foaming at the mouth about "brain gym" again.

"Nothing prepared me for the outpouring of jaw-dropping stupidity that vomited forth from teachers when I wrote about Brain Gym last week. To recap: Brain Gym is an incredibly popular technique, in at least hundreds of British state schools, promoted all over government websites, and with a scientific explanatory framework that is barkingly out to lunch.

They teach that there is no water in processed food. They teach that rubbing your ribcage will stimulate the carotid arteries beneath and increase blood to the brain and “activate the brain for an increased flow of electromagnetic energy”. But let’s not leave it with a recap. They promote strange physical origami exercises called “hook-ups” where you press your fingers against each other in odd patterns, because these “connect the electrical circuits in the body, containing and thus focusing both attention and disorganised energy”, as they say in the Brain Gym teaching manual..."


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