The importance of crossing the midline

SAS Centre midline

No, the midline is not the line in the middle of the road, but while we’re mentioning that line, only cross it if it’s safe to do so. The midline I’m interested in is an invisible line, or more accurately a plane, that divides our body in two, that separates left from right. Let me explain why it’s important in relation to physical development and learning achievement.

The left side of our body is controlled by specialised processing centres in the right side of our brain, while the right side of our body is controlled by the left side of the brain. The body thus has two separate control centres coordinating the movements of the whole physical body, with an unseen ‘midline’ separating the left and right sides of the body. The control centres in the brain require good coordination and synchronisation in order to be able to move and act in a fluid and effective manner. We can observe that newborns are not very good at this as all their limbs are flying about without any coordination. But normally within months this improves considerably and by the time a baby starts to crawl, this coordination is already much better.

By the time a child start using his or her dominant hand, specialisation is starting to take place in the brain and this left-right division is starting to pay off. One side can become very good at fine motor skills for the dominant hand, relieving the other side to specialise in other brainy tasks. It’s a bit like a football team, where a (specialised) right-winger kicks more accurately with his right foot and a left-winger is better with his left foot.

When our limbs cross this midline, our brain will send control signals from one side of the brain to the other side. We can strengthen synchronisation in the brain by making there cross mid-line movements, for instance, by first moving the right hand to the left knee and then the left hand to the right knee. Doing these kind of exercises for, say, 15 minutes each day, can help reduce impulsivity and hyper-active behaviour and boost attention and concentration.

The SAS neuro-sensory brain training method addresses each brain-half separately with specially processed music, tones and speech with the aim to improve inter-hemispheric communication, speed up processing and strengthen language development.

The method does not require attention or movement and can be used by clients of all abilities. Courses are individually designed to ensure they fit the abilities and needs of each client. A full course includes over 100,000 cross mid-line processing movements.

Client feedback indicates improvements in attention, understanding, speech and language, social skills, behaviour and self-worth.

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