Do you ever feel uncoordinated and out of balance? Or do you find it hard to focus and comprehend new information? Are simple tasks, such as reading, writing, and listening, overwhelming? Is it impossible to lose weight? Are you unable to heal? Have you lost your motivation?
What’s going on? Any sort of traumatic stress, or a continual level of stress, stops the body’s energies from “crossing over.”
Just as the left side of the brain sends information to the right side of the body, and vice versa, our energies are meant to cross over at the neck as well. Normally, our entire system contains these crossovers. Our DNA is built on this pattern. We thrive when these crossing patterns are fluent in our physical system and energetic body.
The good news is that walking is the natural motion that reinforces this crossing pattern. Unfortunately, often, when we walk, we inhibit the natural crossover by carrying a handbag, a suitcase, a briefcase, or a child. Even holding a dog’s leash sends the body’s energies off balance.
We are not born with these crossing patterns. As we grow, crawling, walking, and running stimulate the receptive as well as the expressive hemispheres of the brain. These crossover patterns improve coordination, breathing, spatial awareness, hearing, vision, and overall health.
Dr. George Goodheart Jr. developed applied kinesiology, the study of how muscle movements influence health, for use by medical professionals. Robert Frost explains in Applied Kinesiology how Dr. Thie simplified the program for use by laypersons in his Touch for Health manual.1 The cross crawl is one of these easy-to-learn techniques that does a lot of good. Even if done incorrectly, it is not harmful.
A branch of applied kinesiology, educational kinesiology is the study of using body movement to empower learners of all ages. Brain Gym,2 by Paul and Gail Dennison, explains how the cross crawl exercise reinforces the natural crossover of energy between the brain’s left and right hemispheres, making learning easier. The cross crawl is also a great exercise whenever you feel lethargic and unmotivated.
Cherise, who was living HIV for twelve years, was feeling sluggish and showing signs of attention deficit disorder. Although she was eating mostly fruit, she was fifty pounds overweight. Cherise’s body language reflected her increased energy level immediately on doing the cross crawl. Cherise reinforced her crossing energies with daily walks, lost thirty pounds in three months, regained her appetite and concentration, and slept more soundly.
If you don’t have time for a daily walk, take a minute to cross crawl, and help maintain your health.
The Cross Crawl
1. Stand in place and perform the natural walking motion of lifting the opposite arm and leg together while breathing deeply. This involves lifting your right arm and left leg simultaneously. As you lower them, lift your left arm and right leg.
2. If you are not able to walk or stand, you can sit and move the opposite arm and leg together, reaching to touch the opposite knee or ankle with your hand or elbow. For infirmed people, this can be done while lying on a bed. You can have someone else move your legs and arms for you.
3. As you repeat the motion, exaggerate the lift of your leg and the swing of your arm. Even more effective is tapping the opposite knee with your hand or elbow. The important motion is to cross the midline of your body.
4. Continue this exaggerated march for at least a minute, breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.
For best results, perform the cross crawl at least once daily. The positive effects could include
* improved focus and concentration
* boosted metabolism and overall energy
* greater coordination and balance
* enhanced breathing and stamina
* better hearing and vision.
There is a reason why most diet and exercise programs emphasize walking as a simple way to lose weight. Walking, especially power walking, not only burns calories, but more importantly, emulates the cross crawl motion, therefore boosting metabolism and overall energy levels.
Some people, however, will not feel immediate positive effects from walking or the cross crawl exercise; in fact, walking will actually weaken them.
Experiencing stress knocks our energies into a homolateral pattern. This means that our energies move straight up and down the body instead of crossing at the neck. Normally, we compensate, and as the trauma passes, our energies begin to cross once again. However, when we are under continual stress or experience a major trauma, this homolateral pattern becomes embedded in our system.
When our energies are no longer able to crossover, we feel slow and sluggish. Our physical body only gets about half the energy it needs; we are in survival mode. What little energy we have is used for breathing, digesting, and eliminating. Our metabolism slows.
We lack the energy needed to think clearly, to learn, to create, to concentrate, to be enthusiastic or passionate. As all our physical processes slow down, we feel less alive, and we might feel depressed. Our immune systems become hypervigilant, yet we may be chronically ill and unable to heal for unknown reasons. Donna Eden, in Energy Medicine, says, “You cannot get well if your energies are homolateral.”3
Henry’s father had passed unexpectedly a month before, and instead of his natural energetic, aggressive business persona, he slipped into an apathetic attitude. Losing all motivation, he stopped making phone calls, which was lethal for his home-based business. After a few minutes doing the homolateral correction, he was back to his positive self, and he continues to expand his business!
If the cross crawl is difficult for you, if you feel uncoordinated lifting your opposite arm and leg together, or if it exhausts you, then your energies are probably running straight up and down instead of crossing. Use the homolateral correction to gently instill the crossover pattern.
1. Stand in place, and perform the walking motion. But this time, lift the same side arm and leg, first on one side of the body, then on the other side, to a count of twelve. Keep yourself comfortable. If it’s easier to do this while sitting or lying down, that’s OK. If you are ill or weak, another person can lift your arms and legs for you. Do not strain as this will send your energies back into homolateral. It’s important to breathe deeply and rest when you get tired.
2. Next, perform the cross crawl motion: lift the opposite arm and leg to a count of twelve (each side).
3. This is one set. Repeat this two more times for a total of three sets.
4. Finish with an additional twelve cross crawls.
Perform this routine at least twice a day for ten to thirty days. Even though you’ll probably feel immediate benefits, it may take a month or so for the crossover pattern to stabilize.
Once the crossover pattern becomes established, keep doing the cross crawl on a daily basis to maintain long-term benefits. Be aware: this is often a life-changing experience!
** This article is one of 101 great articles that were published in 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health. To get complete details on “101 Great Ways to Improve Your Health”, visit http://selfgrowth.com/healthbook3.html
Gwenn Bonnell is an internationally renowned author, teacher, and trainer, sharing Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) and energy medicine with the south Florida community since 1999. Gwenn’s manuals include Tap Away Those Extra Pounds with EFT and The Foundational Energy Psychology Training Manual. Her audio programs include Tap Your Troubles Away (An EFT Tutorial), Remove Your Blocks to Success with EFT, Personal Peace, and Chakrativity. For more information, visit http://www.tapintoheaven.com or call (954) 370-1552.