About Emily

 
 
 

    It is 1995.   I am teaching art in Hicksville, N.Y.when I am diagnosed with a brain tumor (on my pituitary gland). That’s when it all began. I was determined to learn anything about my brain that could help me be cured. I heard about this course called Brain GYm® 101. Brain Gym® is an educational program, not a medical program, but my first Brain Gym® 101 Course just happen to take place in Jamaica Hospital, New York. It was the 24 hour course that I  am now licensed to teach, fifteen years later, now cured as of 2000.

    After that Brain Gym® 101 course, my life was considerably different. I wasn’t exactly sure why!  In retrospect, I understand that what I had learned took time to cognitively process and physically-neurologically integrate.

     I was seeing things differently, hearing things differently, organizing and thinking differently and I was motivated to learn more. So I took OBO course, Optimal Brain Organization and learned how my right and left hemisphere effected everything I do and how I could utilize the Brain Gym® exercises to further balance myself for the challenging tasks of my life. This further developed the pleasing and effective manner in which I lived my life, physically, emotionally and mentally. I was eager to learn more and continued to take courses.

    Concurrently, I was taking what I learned into my classroom and teaching my students some of the exercises. EVERY class began by getting in P-A-C-E, the 4 learning readiness exercises. My room had a Lazy 8 station. My students knew how to use Dr. Paul Dennison and his wife Gail’s Brain Gym® exercises to focus, concentrate, settle down, wake up, stop and think clearly, see and listen better,  understand their work, themselves and each other. I was more relaxed as well and the creativity and productivity soared! Other classroom teachers wanted to know what I was doing and they started doing some of the exercises especially before the state tests. They were amazed at how their fourth grade students could relax and focus more.

     It was then that I began to think how valuable it could be for every teacher to know what I had learned and so I saw myself teaching other teachers Brain Gym®. This vision was the seed of what was to become Brainworks Plus.


    First I had some things to take care of.

    One, get cured. In the summer 2000, I flew to Los Angeles , California  with my family to a neurosurgeon, highly successful at what is called, Low Invasive Brain Surgery. His Endoscopic procedure contributed to curing me. Check that off.

    Next was to complete my Curriculum to receive licensure from The Educational Kinesiology Foundation.  2002 - check that off.

    Next was to complete my teaching career. 2004 - check that off.

                            Next, Happy Birthday Brainworks Plus!


    The rest is an ongoing journey of reaching thousands of people of all ages who are now doing Brain Gym® for their life’s balanced learning and living.  I am one of the hundreds of Brain Gym® instructors in over 80 countries who share this vision and journey. I am delighted to announce, that one of my students, Tricia Allen, an Occupational Therapist has just received her licensure to be a Brain Gym® Instructor and is conducting classes and seeing individuals for Brain Gym® Balances.

   

    The journey continues and in the summer of 2003, I am introduced to bouncing racquet balls at a Brain Gym® Conference at Marquette University.

    What is this? It is called Bal-A-Vis-X, my friend tells me.

    I am immediately excited and motivated to learn how to do this rhythmic, integrating series of exercises bouncing balls and tossing sand bags while standing on a balance board. It was fun!  It was entrancing and it was causing me to use my eyes and ears in a sharp and keen method that effected my hearing and vision for everything else I did in my life. I felt mentally sharper as well and the balance board was now another “sport” that influenced not just my balance, but also my stability, my alignment, my gait and my leg strength.

   

    On to New Hampshire in the autumn of 2003, my 13 year old daughter (who got special permission to attend Bal-A-Vis-X Level 1, 2 and Adaptive) and I drive, to learn from Bill Hubert (creator and founder and instructor) and his  student assistants and his sponsor, Candi Cosgrove, Adaptive Physical Education Teacher, now master Bal-A-Vis-X Instructor. This was an extraordinary experience and I knew Bal-A-Vis-X was going to be a part of my life as a developing human, as well as something I would make available for others to learn on Long Island.

    After bringing Bill and his team, and occasionally his wonderful wife Barbara, from Wichita, Kansas, to do trainings for 6 years every July on Long Island, Bill sanctioned me as a Bal-A-Vis-X Instructor in 2009.

    This Bal-A-Vis-X path of brain-body connection is one that has the added fulfillment of person to person connection as well. Shining out of our classes was a core group of classmates who continued this journey taking the Bal-A-vis-X Trainings each summer.

    In 2008, we began to have our own “ BAVX Lab” (meetings to practice and learn together) as a result of Marie Passaro, Occupational Therapist at Island Therapies in Deer Park , saying, “Let’s have monthly  BAVX Labs. I will find out if we can have them at Island Therapies.” Our Labs  began to meet monthly and continue to for the third year.

    The core group consisting of Marie Passaro, Diana Keegan, Christine Rockett, and Lynn Berry, all  Occupational Therapists, brought BAVX into their schools, practices and therapy centers with enthusiasm and success. When Bill sanctioned me as an Instructor, I knew I was part of a set!  I approached them to ask if they would be  my assistants as a team to begin to teach BAVX on Long Island. I received a resounding yes!

                Happy Birthday  Long Island Team Bal-A-Vis-X®!

    During this past summer’s BAVX training, Bill sanctioned the whole team as  instructors. We are now delivering BAVX trainings on Long Island and traveling to other locations to present Introductory Inservice BAVX Programs to schools and centers for other teachers, therapists and practitioners to understand and experience the value and power of the BAVX exercises and principles. We love being a team, we love teaching together and we love sending people forth to help others to use the BAVX exercises.

   New Chapter:

    December 17, 2010, I become a certified Total Immersion Swim Coach.

In  the Spring of 2007, I presented a program to the Northport-East Northport Staff called “The Integrated Teacher,” a combination of several Brain Gym® Exercises and introductory Bal-A-Vis-X exercises. After the program, one of the staff members asks me if I ever heard of TI, Total Immersion swimming. I had not. She said it is like doing Brain Gym® in water. She had hip replacement done and attributed her wonderful condition to TI swimming. I went home, googled Total Immersion swimming and was instantly fascinated. I ordered the book,  Extraordinary swimming for every body, by TI founder Terry Laughlin as well as the DVD for beginners. I was mesmerized and googled u-tube after u-tube of swimmers from all over the world swimming the TI technique.

    I love swimming and had never been a “real” swimmer, as in I did not swim with my head in the water! I love the water and as soon as Long Island warms up, I am in the water as often as I can. In August 2009, I drive up to New Paltz, TI headquarters and spend 2 days of training from Petra,  one of the Swim coaches. I was instantly impassioned. I knew I would be a lifelong swimmer.

    I arrived back to Long Island, found a  TI coach in Bayshore, Joe Petrush, and continued my training. Joe really helped me build on my TI foundation.  He helped me to understand the physics, the neuro-muscular imprinting by visualizing the movements in my mind to understand how to actually get myself to recreate those movements in water. He empowers with a good balance of slowing down to improve technique with swimming for the purpose of conditioning the body.

    TI swimming  is a practice, similar to yoga and tai chi that uses focal points, highly concentrated attention to all the small micro-mini movements that make up the beauty and flow of the “whole” stroke. Joe’s swimming demonstration make it easy to mirror and learn.

      Also upon my return from New Paltz, I joined a sports club with a beautiful pool and my life as a swimmer developed thereon.

    It was very slow going for me. And then a new piece of my  swimming puzzle filled in......

    I was heading up to Boston for a Brain Gym® related training. I thought it would be a nice pause in the trip to see if there was a TI Coach to take a lesson with on the way up.  I went to the TI website and found Cathy Adams in Springfield, MA. I contacted her and she was happy to schedule a lesson with me that fit in with my itinerary.

    Learning from Cathy helped me turn a corner on my understanding and technique of whole stroke. I learned to slow it down more (that patient hand), not work so hard on my kick by beginning to do the 2 beat kick, maintain better balance in a skill called the Skating position, and use a device called the Tempo Trainer for keeping a steady rhythm and also adjusting my swimming pace. 

    What remains fixed in my mind is watching Cathy swim the “TI Whole Stroke.” She swam so gracefully, and effortlessly and quietly...she modeled moving through the water like a fish, with seamless moves for maximum propulsion. I held that image of fish Cathy and noticed that my swimming had changed dramatically after just one 1 hour lesson with Cathy. I had a new confidence that motivated me even more. I was happy to have another TI coach to learn from and a new friend as well.

   The TI coaches I have learned from are the kind of people who are attracted to this mindful, patient, effortless and beautiful swim style, and their very alignment with this way of learning and swimming has a positive effect on living as a land creature as well!

    It took me  8 months of learning and practice to be able to do 2 laps without stopping. I was determined. My brother got me a swim cord for my  birthday for my ABG pool and I began to build my rhythm and endurance and technique with a steady stroke. I knew I was closer to TI, and also had much to improve.

    I continued to train with Joe and by August, I was swimming up to 20 laps of varying strokes without stopping, still feeling more of a struggle than I knew TI could be. By September, something clicked. I felt like I was a TI swimmer working on their technique.

    I receive notice of the next Teacher training in Coral Springs Florida and I apply to be a candidate. I had the passion and the dedication, but would my videos  make me a qualified candidate.  Terry had just arrived back from a 5 week TI trip to Asia, viewed my videos and accepted me into the  Total Immersion Teacher training.

    I was thrilled! Excited! A little scared too! Could I keep up? Yes, I did and on December 17, 2010, I was awarded my Total Immersion Swim Coach Certification. The rest is history and true to the TI practice ethic,  history in the making. There is always more to develop as a TI swimmer and it just gets better and better.

    My most recent achievement in August of 2013, was getting certified as a ChiWalking Coach.

    This is a most wonderful approach to walking that is an essential part of    my personal fitness program and the Brainworks Plus Fitness curriculum.

                                          

   

   

    Emily Eisen (aka Coach Em), M.S. from Queens College in 1975 (Phi Beta Kappa), Director of Brainworks Plus, taught in the Hicksville School District for 34 years. In 2002 she became a Licensed Brain Gym® Instructor, and in 2004 she retired from her 34 year teaching career to create Brainworks Plus.
    Emily became a Bal-A-Vis-X Instructor in 2009 and taught her first Level I/II/Adaptive Training at Suffolk County Community College’s Occupational Therapy Department with the Long Island BAVX Team.
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Getting to this moment in time.....

 

Links to Learning:


The Educational Kinesiology Foundation

www.braingym.org


Bal-A-Vis-X®

www.bal-a-vis-x.com


Mastery Systems

www.masterysystems.com


Total Immersion Swimming

www.

totalimmersion.net


ChiWalking

www.chiliving.com



Brain Body Resilience

www.brainbodyresilience.com