2022 Context for understanding Paul Dennison’s Brain Integration and Laterality Repatterning
“Brain Integration testing and fixing with Dennison Laterality Repatterning” (2013) — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma1SQ536LAI
In this eight-minute video, practitioner Stan Giles does a client demo. Further below, an expanded transcript is provided. The purpose of this article is to provide in 2023 the useful context for understanding what Stan is doing.
Outside of Paul Dennison’s approach to assessing and remediating disturbed neurology; and, outside brain imaging neuroscience, ideas about neurology have been evolving. Both Iain McGilchrist and the Holistic Neurology book point to these changes. In this article, I try to bring these outside changes to support what Paul Dennison was doing.
From right~left brain to stroke damage research
In 2009 Iain McGilchrist published The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World (2009, 2019). Iain employed stroke damage research to give the 1975–1985 pop-psychology intuition about right~left brain hemispheres a new, more evidence-based foundation. Indeed, accurate as it was in most respects, experimental evidence was scarce to non-existent for its claims and assertions.
Using research showing consistent patterns of which perceiving faculties were reduced or lost by damage to one hemisphere or the other, Iain provided much more solid evidence for the correct intuitions of right~left brain.
PubMed tells me in the period 2000–2013, efforts by brain imaging experts, imaging the brains of typical patients, were unable to discern patterns of differences between the two lateral side brain hemispheres corresponding with the claims of right~left brain proponents. The lack of evidence for brain side differences discredited the whole idea. The correctly intuited idea of two hemispheres, each gifted in different, yet complimentary, intelligences — became the proverbial “baby thrown out with the gray bath water.”
This new language resonates more with how — h — Iain McGilchrist describes how left~right hemispheres are each gifted in different; yet complimentary, intelligences and competencies. Iain’s account of stroke damage and related research largely confirms the conventional wisdom of left hemisphere as the seat of logic, language, and advanced, abstract thinking and analysis. Meanwhile, right hemisphere is where our more feelingful, creative, artistic, and intuitive lives reside.
Iain’s 2009 book also took things further by giving right~left brain solid, dependable moral and ethical dimensions. Between 1975–1985, these were only vaguely intuited if at all.
From win~lose to win-win thinking
Right about here, i believe many readers may have this question. “How is it useful to rehash the topic of right~left brain from 1975–1985? We already have common and widely understood concepts of the different gifts of each side.”
The answer is, the flowering of right~left brain pop-psychology 1975–1985 had little to no effect on mainstream culture and commerce. The world continued to be run by wealth extractors bent on raiding the Earth’s resources; and, stable businesses, for whatever short-term profit could be wrung from them. This is the Wall Street mentality, a gambler’s mentality, always destructive to sustainable growth and development if unmoored from truly human values and providing benefits for the 99%.
What Stan demonstrates here is the “retail version,” one-on-one moving a client from win~lose (right and left functioning alone and only independently), to win-win (right and left functioning as cooperative-collaborative teammates).
From “right~left brain” to holistic neurology”
Put right, our whole neurology is neither right nor left, but both together, working as teammates, often expressing in alternating, rhythmic fashion, as in walking and running; yet also, as thinking and feeling on the same topic.
The languaging of these topics as “right~left brain” is clumsy and in-elegant. The Holistic Neurology book suggests new terms which may be more accessible:
- ‘right hemisphere neurology’ and
- ‘left hemisphere neurology.’
How is your neurology flowing?
Applied to Stan Giles demo of Paul Dennison’s methods, we are lead to this language:
What is normal-natural-optimal flow of neurology for a person? All-the-way-healthy personal neurology is equally willing to flow thru either:
- Our right hemisphere and left side of body; or
- Our left hemisphere and right side of body.
In other words, equally willing to cross-over from neck-up to neck-down. Neither side neglected nor isolated; both sides work together enjoyably.
What Stan is doing, what Dennison did, is in many respects the opposite of stroke damage research. Switching-on a “sleeping” cross-over neurology results in an increase of the characteristic abilities, the same ones stroke damage research documents as lost when damage occurs to one hemisphere side or the other. Stroke damage research and Stan’s demo of Dennison Laterality Repatterning both agree, for at least 90% of people, the same abilities are lost when the flow of neurology on one side is lost; or, found when remedial movement and exercises are practiced.
Serial vs. parallel processing in computers
Another piece of context may also support understanding of Stan Giles’ demo. Just before the Internet, many of my generation learned this in the early days of personal computers.
dg-serial-sequential & parallel procdessing1
dg-serial-sequential & parallel procdessing2
The “pipeline” of serial-sequential processing is strictly linear. One problem at a time. Give Little Johnny a math problem. Ask how much is 2 plus 3? Johnny uses his fingers and outputs 5.
Next ask Little Johnny how he feels about school and his new homeroom teacher. Little Johnny may or may not be able to switch over to emotional processing to identify and then language how he feels. His ability to switch from math to emotions, depends on how safe and trusting Little Johnny’s child within feels flowing thru both sides of his neurology.
The pipeline of parallel processing is multiple processors, each processing the same or different kinds of information simultaneously. For humans, the best practical demo of healthy parallel processing may be the step-wise whole brain switch-on. It employs a raquet ball or tennis ball, using a hard surface, no rugs:
- Walking backwards and forwards,
- Throwing the ball under the opposite leg,
- Catching the ball with the opposite hand,
- While alternating 30 seconds periods of out-loud math problem-solving; and
- 30 seconds of singing “Mary Had a Little Lamb or “Over the Rainbow.”
The exercise is detailed here: “Step-wise whole brain switch-on exercise” — https://holisticbrainbalance.wordpress.com/2022/08/15/step-wise-switching-on/
Notice in video how rigidly Luiz moves
When Little Johnnys child within does not feel safe to flow thru both sides of his neurology, you get bodily rigidity as Luiz demonstrates. Paul’s method is a very elegant method to unburden disturbed neurological flow.
Stan may have offered a gift session to Luiz because he noticed what any viewer can notice: Luiz moves very stiffly, towards how a robot might move.
Add to Stan Giles demo: assess dominance
Side-preferences for eye, ear, brain, hand and foot are discussed here: https://holisticbrainbalance.wordpress.com/2019/06/23/testing-eye-brain-hand-foot-preferences
Start of video transcript
Stan: You can assess whether a person has good integration of the two sides of the brain; or, if there is a problem there. This is my good friend Luiz who is from Portugal. We’ve been sharing a tent for a few nights and he’s a really great soul. He’s volunteered to help us with this little bit of filming.
First of all I ask Luiz to hold his arm out here. I’m gonna press it fairly firmly. So hold. I’m gonna press for two seconds — then I release. This shows me a baseline for a strong indicator muscle.
Now if we find an exercise which stresses Luiz’s system, his indicator muscle will behave differently.
Next, I ask Luiz to march in standing, right where he’s standing, making sure he moves his opposite arm with opposite leg each time. This movement forces his neurology to cross over so he is using both brain hemispheres.
Okay stop. Hold out your arm again and hold.
This time when i press with the same amount of pressure the arm gives way (weaker) because of stress in the system. His indicator muscle shows as weakened.
so we know that when Luiz does the more integrated movement, using both sides at the same time, it stresses his unconscious neurology. Why? Because his brain is currently not integrated as well as it could be.
It turns out when we are babies, two patterns of movement and hemisphere integration are offered to us. One pattern is where the two brain hemispheres function separately and more independently. They aren’t in the bit of being synchronized They are in the habit of working separately
The other pattern is the two brain hemispheres functioning more as equal teammates, working alternately and rhythmically in a synchronized way.
Perhaps Luiz’s neurology is habituated to the simpler brain use pattern. We can easily test which brain use pattern Luiz’s neurology is habituated to.
I ask Luiz also to look at a cross [Stan has him look at Stans two crossed index fingers. Better is a large drawing of two lines making an X. Bruce thinks best if one line is blue and other red, neither black).
i’m going to move my hands and ask you to imagine this cross going right into your head, into the center of your head.
Okay Luiz hold your arm out and let’s test. Hold.
Okay, lets do the second test pattern. Vertical parallel lines [Bruce thinks best if both vertical lines are black here.]
Please look at these two straight lines and imagine those straight lines moving into the center of your head.
Okay Luiz hold your arm out and let’s test again. Hold. You see his indicator muscle is stronger again. Visualizing the two parallel lines doesn’t make his stronger; rather, visualizing the two parallel lines doesn’t make him weak like the crossed lines do.
What does this tell us? When Luiz uses both sides of his brain by walking in a crossing-over way, it stresses his neurology. Why? Because his two brain hemispheres are habituated to working separately, in an either-or way. They are not yet habituated to working together as a team, in rhythmic alternation.
So what can we do about it? It’s remarkably simple. We simply do three minutes of exercises twice a day for six weeks. I’ll go over those exercises now with Luiz.
Correction 1) First of all i’m going to ask Luiz to walk in the integrated way, crossing over, moving the upper arm with opposite leg.
Continue walking. While you are walking look up to the left at my finger. And also hum “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” We do all these together for 30 seconds.
Correction 2) Then we’re going to walk in the less connected way, same side arm with same side leg. Continue walking. While you are walking look down at my finger in the lower right.
This time i’m gonna ask Luiz to look down to the lower right. While marching and looking down to the right, count by one to 30. 1 2 3 4 5 6 … Keep the head still if you can. That’s excellent
Correction 3) Luiz, you can do with me now, just follow along. I ask Luiz to put his left hand on the left side of his head. Put his right hand on the right side of his head. Now imagine taking your left brain in your left hand; and, your right brain in your right hand. Bring your hands out to the side and then in front of you; then, bring them slowly together at a speed representing their willingness to integrate together. [Different people do this at different speeds]
Then like this and then remove the hands out as if we’re taking those two hemispheres and putting them together in front.
Then we bring them on top of our head right in the middle.
Okay. Fantastic, perfect.
Then we have a couple more exercises to go okay loose we’re going to walk in standing again crossing over, raising each arm with the opposite leg on each side. [Luiz starts off incorrectly lifting same arm with same leg]
So you see Luiz still has a preference for using the same side arm and leg. I asked him to raise the opposite leg with each arm. He started same side arm and leg. This is because his neurology still prefers — is habituated to flowing thru only one side of his whole brain at a time (more limited parallel processing).
If Luiz practices these daily for a while, his neurology will learn the habit of crossing over, and how it’s easier to flow thru each side of his neurology in a rhythmic, alternating pattern. This is how both brain hemispheres can work together as a team (serial processing), rather than only one at a time in isolation.
Right here is a useful insight on why we from habits. We learn new desirable habits today so for tomorrow, our neurology can remember and perform new behavior comfortably. We call this “learning.” It’s mostly the initiating and repeating of new behaviors until they become learned habits in our UNconscious.
[Stan has Luiz still marching in place, holding his head still, and with his eyes, following Stans finger as it moves in a big circle clockwise a few times then counter-clockwise a few times.]
Keep your head still. Look at my fingers. Keep walking and follow my fingers around so the eyes move in a nice big circle — in one direction — and then the other direction.
[Luiz’s initial failure to do cross-over walking, is corrected and tested again to show his neurology is willing to learn the new cross-over pattern.]
Good. Carry on — and look at my fingers. We’re going around in a circle — that’s better. Around in the circle again. okay.
[Stan has Luiz march in the homolateral pattern, and watch his finger make circles both directions.]
Then a final exercise which i really like. We’re going to make an X because for our neurology X can be a symbol of crossing-over, integration of both hemispheres. Holding the X at arm’s length we bring it slowly to between the point between the eyes as if it’s going right into the center of your head.
Can you manage that Luiz? Maybe easier if I do it for you. [Stan makes an X at Luiz’s eye level. He brings it slowly towards the bridge of Luiz’s nose.] Okay so look at the X and simply keep imagine the X as if it’s going right inside to the center of your head. Okay.
These are the exercises we do. You do them twice a day for six weeks. At the end of six weeks you are very likely to have re-established natural-optimal connections between the left and right neurologies. Maybe once a week you do the exercises just to maintain the habit. You can do them anytime you want to be really at your most switched-on, both hemispheres working cooperatively.
This time the arms stay strong even though he’s been using both sides of the brain. Why? Because he’s been marching using the left leg right arm or the right leg and the left arm together activating both hemispheres. Yet the arm stays strong now because his muscle memory remembers just doing the exercises. The benefit doesn’t last, doesn’t become permanent, until the new habit becomes learned in his UNconscious Habit Body.
If you keep repeating these exercises twice per day for six weeks, you are inviting your neurology into the easier habit of flowing thru either side, either hemisphere according to a rhythm set up; or according to the needs of the moment.
Once your Habit Body accepts and prefers flowing thru both sides of your neurology, you only need to do the exercises once a week or once a fortnight; or, whenever you feel like it, to maintain the easier habit of crossing over between hemispheres.
This makes decision making easier, enables you to express emotion appropriately. For people who get overwhelmed with emotion, it permits an easier way to “brake” slow down, or change course on feeling overwhelmed, without having to leave the room.