2018 Annual Conference

Breakthroughs International

Workshop information will be continually updated; check back regularly. To see the complete conference schedule, visit our program page! 

Books, Phyllis

Anatomy of Dyslexia

There are four telltale clues that dyslexia may be present.. Once you learn to spot them, you'll never "not see" them again. Come learn how to look for these clues, learn how each contributes to the problem, and what solutions are possible. Participants will:

  • understand how to visually scan the body to detect the four physical clues that dyslexia is present.
  • learn the 10 step quick survey to detect various components of dyslexia.
  • be able to use these tools on Monday morning.

Biography - Holistic chiropractor for 30 years, nutritionist, author of Reversing Dyslexia: Improving Learning and Behavior Without Drugs, founder of Books Neural Therapy (TM), Dr. Books specializes in pediatric neurological issues and loves incorporating Brain Gym exercises to help children recover the joy of learning.

Carroll, Larhken B.

Making Friends With Grief

Having lost 6 family members in the last 4 years, I have become intimately acquainted with grief, loss, and sorrow. Finding the silver lining has been important - it is always there, although often not obvious at first. Re-setting priorities, and the process of finding a “new normal”, has been my journey. In Chinese medicine, grief and loss are related to the metal element, which is represented in the Edu-K In-Depth as Rewards and Success. The metal element includes the Lung and Large Intestine meridians, represented in Brain Gym as the Worth and Letting Go meridians. How can we use these relationships to accept and move forward with grief, loss and sorrow? We’ll walk through a balance for making friends with loss in this presentation, with suggestions for some of the goals I’ve found helpful.

Biography - Larhken B Carroll has been a licensed BG instructor since 1986, and has taught BG 101, Visioncircles, and OBO classes internationally. She has presented at numerous BG Gatherings, participated in the BG network teleconference, co-coordinated 2 of the early Gatherings, edited the Edu-K Update for 7 years, and has twice received the "Outstanding Achievement" award from Brain Gym International. She has a private practice in Oakland CA, working with people of all ages and challenges.

Formosa, Pam and Schlupf, Christina

Primitive Reflex Integration

This workshop will provide a simple introduction to Primitive Reflex Integration and how it relates to setting up the nervous system for successful lifelong learning and emotional well-being. Pam and Christina will demonstrate strategies to identify unintegrated reflexes. They will also share movement and visual tools they are successfully using in their practice to empower children by understanding how their brain works, setting goals for success, and moving towards integration.

​Biography - Pam Formosa, BFA Co-Founder, is a Developmental Specialist with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. She is also a licensed Brain Gym® Consultant and practices reflex integration. Pam offers her expertise in understanding underlying neurological and developmental immaturities that interfere with growth, happiness and potential. Co Owner/Co-Presenter Christina Schlupf has a background in education, Brain Gym and Reflex Integration.

Gardner, Colleen 

Come to Your Senses - All 12 of Them!

Explore and journey into a deeper understanding  of the well-springs of our 12 Senses
              *EXPERIENCE-  4 body Senses linked to will and action
               *ENJOY-  our 4 Soul Senses associated with heart and feelings
               * REMEMBER- the 4 Spirit Senses via mind and thought 

Find out how they relate to Edu-K’s dimensions of Focus, Centering and Laterality and connect to the Meridian related Integrated movements.

Biography -  Colleen Gardner is a pioneer in the Holistic Health field for over 35 years. She was the first Faculty member in 1986 after studying extensively with Dr. Paul and Gail Dennison. She regularly teaches Brain Gym and Touch for Health worldwide. At home in Colorado she is in private practice at the Rocky Mountain Integrative Medicine Center.

Goh, Siew Siew 

Brain Gym & Early Childhood

Description and Biography coming soon!

Goldade, Cindy

The Art & Science of Storytelling

Every culture throughout time used stories to share history. This workshop will tell my story as a wife and mother of three children; it will focus primarily on Educational Kinesiology, Brain Gym, and Touch for Health. Come to listen and share kinesiology experiences that support miscarriages, births, deaths, trauma and drama. We will look at both the art of storytelling and the science making it a best practices tool. It is also a relevant and valid research model! Pass it on! Tell a Story!

Biography - International Brain Gym Faculty, Cindy Goldade, has taught all ages; currently she homeschools her pre-teen and teenage children. Teaching at two universities and independently allows her to share her love of brain based learning, especially Montessori theory. Adult education of intentional movement techniques is her gift and passion. To learn more about Cindy visit

Hocking, Claire

Brain Gym for Reducing Challenging Behavior

This session will focus on why some people experience challenging behaviours, including Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The session will include the latest supportive brain research.  Brain Gym can play a vital role in promoting positive mental health and wellbeing. The importance of retained and unintegrated reflexes, including the fear paralysis reflex and the Moro reflex, will be discussed.  Learn how and why Brain Gym can assist in reducing the frequency and intensity of challenging behaviours and how Brain Gym can be an invaluable addition to supportive strategies and management practices.

Biography​ - Claire Hocking is an Australian Educational Kinesiologist/Brain Gym Consultant and the Director of the Whole Brain Learning Centre where she consults privately with all age groups.  Claire also works in schools, aged care facilities and health centres. She specializes in researching the link between retained early and primitive reflexes and learning, behavioral and wellbeing difficulties; and has taught her Retained Primitive Reflexes kinesiology workshops over 20 years.  Claire regularly presents her research and workshops at many national and international conferences.  She is married 

Hornstein, Anne

Life Dancing 101

Kindergarten for adults - Play, Dance, Sing, Write, Move, Act, Paint and awaken your creative spirit. Explore the child within via art, music, movement, imagination, writing, acting and dance. Create, expand, play, be spontaneous, trust your intuition, discover the infinite possibilities of letting your life flow, remembering how to play and follow your heart! Up the quotient of fun and joy in your life!

​Biography - Life Dancer Anne Hornstein, a licensed Brain Gym® consultant since 1989, lives in Miramar Beach, Florida and guides adventures that empower individuals and groups of all ages including corporate teams, athletes, artists, families and educators to access and integrate their own creative wisdom. Her customized adventures offer the spirit of play and joy to all.​​

Khoo, Chengmay

Joining the Dots for Early Childhood Educators

This is an experiential session designed to inspire and create light-bulb moments for early years educators. The workshop aims to provide simple, highly effective integrated BrainGym and NLP techniques which can be easily used in class to bridge learning gaps.

​Biography - Chengmay Khoo is a licensed master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programing. Involved in educational approaches since 2003, Chengmay has a vast experience in setting up kindergartens, designing curriculum, implementing unconventional teaching methodologies and teacher training.

Kodiak, Eve

Deep Neutrality: The Basis for Integration

In a Brain Gym balance, we learn to set goals. But who is the “self” we are setting the goals for? What are the fears and assumptions that may underlie our ideas about that self? In this workshop, we will explore kinesthetic ways to access “Deep Neutrality,” a state in which nothing we experience is charged in a positive or negative way. We will work with some basic infant reflexes (Fear Paralysis and Moro), Brain Gyms, explore some ideas from Fred Donaldson’s Original Play, breathing, vocal and rhythmic techniques. The goal is to access that place where the reflexes are integrated and we are free to operate from the creative problem solving capacities in the frontal lobe. The focus is on practical techniques that work for various ages and in a variety of situations. Journaling, Q and A, and troubleshooting time included!

Biography - A licensed Brain Gym Instructor since 2000, Eve Kodiak, M.M. is author of Rappin’ on the Reflexes. A practitioner at The Lydian Center and a frequent presenter, nationally and internationally, Eve is also a professional musician and writer. She holds degrees from Harvard and the New England Conservatory of Music.

Leadbeater, Glenys

Port of Potential: Double Doodle Style

Working with two hands to discover your own innate ability to put marks on the page. Exploring color, shape and movement.

Biography - Glenys has been teaching Brain Gym since 1985. She has done extensive training in Educational Kinesiology under Paul and Gail Dennison, many more kinesiologies. She teaches the entire core curriculum as well as all the advanced classes and Teacher Trainings in Edu-K. She is gifted to take an extensive body of knowledge and teach it simplistically, enthusiastically and clearly.


Oleska, Paula

Your Secret Brain, the Key to Your Potential

Your Secret Brain is the limbic system. It is the pivotal link between our thinking brain (cortex) and our action brain (brain stem). It modifies both our thoughts and actions to be inclusive and considerate of others. It is the key to our potential because it provides the curiosity and motivation to explore and to become who we really are.

Biography - Paula Oleska, M.A., is one of the Brain Gym pioneers, and International Faculty since 1994, currently Emerita. She introduced Brain Gym to Poland, resulting in over 10,000 people are using it. Paula has enthusiastically presented at nearly all of the Gatherings and currently teaches her own modality, Brain Upgrade, focusing on creating outstanding results for entrepreneurs. She is the founder and president of Natural Intelligence Systems, a teaching and consulting center in New York City.


Pease, Felecia L.L.

Smooth Sailing for Success

Grab onto a life preserver and allow yourself to be pulled into the port of potential. In this fun and practical workshop, attendees will have an overview of Brain Gym® and learn how to incorporate the movements into the school experience.

Biography - Felecia Pease has been an Elementary School Principal for thirty years. Previously, she was a classroom teacher and general music teacher. Under her leadership, the Strong School received two national awards as a National Blue Ribbon School in 2005 and a National Title I Distinguished School in 2011.

Plaskett, Sharon

Five Elements and Brain Physiology

Are there possible correlations between major parts of the brain and developmental movements, including: cerebellar functions, reflexes, balance, turning, and cerebral integration? How do the characteristics of the Five Elements relate to major patterns of movement development? These questions are some of the topics that will be discussed. We will also explore some simple checks or activities that can be used with clients/students and some of their practical applications.

Biography - Sharon Plaskett first became a TFH Instructor in 1986. She is also Int. Fac. for the Edu-K Foundation since 1997 (and served on their Board of Directors for 3.5 years), she is Faculty for Developmental Kinesiology, and is the developer of over six courses for "learningmoves". Sharon teaches on-line courses (for the last five years) in a “face 2 face” format in real time. She has courses recognized by both TFH and the Edu-K Foundation.​

Promislow, Sharon

Discovering Learning Potential With the P3 Program

An exciting new way to facilitate self-exploration and balance with children, teens and adults in either large groups or in a private session. The Personal Performance Profile (P3) Program has a charming, interactive pocket-sized booklet “A book all about the amazing, one and only, awesome me”, for working with elementary aged children, and colorful record process sheets for the very young, teen and adult levels.  The booklet leads children on an exploration of how their learning works, how stress affects their lives, how to recognize the signs, and how to self-manage using Brain Gym in a simple balance process, The worksheets can be used with carbon paper or scanned, to keep records on client balances or to gather data for research.

​Biography - Sharon leads professional seminars for school districts and corporations throughout the world. She is a Certified Instructor of Brain Gym®, Stress Release, Touch for Health, Brain Compatible Learning and more. Sharon is the author of 'Making The Brain/ Body Connection', 'Putting Out the Fire of Fear'; 'The Top Ten Stress Releasers', and many other professional materials.


Sewell, Donna

Singing in Tune With Authenticity

The intent in this session would be to demonstrate and give the participants the opportunity to experience some in-depth checks that would help clarify various aspects of singing on pitch as well as finding one's authentic voice.

​Biography - I hold a Bachelor's Degree in Humanities, certification in Secondary Education, Elementary and Special Ed., plus an M.S. in Psychology. I have taught all grade levels, including college I started doing Brain Gym about 30 years ago, and initially did some research with three groups of students for matching pitch. Since then I have certified to teach Brain Gym 101, OBO, and Vision Circles and have taken In-Depth at least twice, Teacher Practicum 3-4 times, Creative Vision twice, Movement Re-education, Touch for Health, Brain Gym for Special Needs, Physiological basis of Brain Gym, and Integration of Reflexes, Speech and Hand Dexterity, Integration of Senses and Integrating Developmental Movements.


Shish, Sarah

Who is Speaking Inside Me?

According to the ''voice dialogue'' we have a lot of voices inside ourselves: the judge,the perfectionist, the pleaser, the child etc... In this balance I suggest to listen to this part of us which is stressful in a specific situation, to give it some attention and place, to ask him some important questions. Then we will explore what happens to it after balancing with some brain gym activity.

Biography - As occupational therapist I worked with delayed developmental children and with mental illness patients.that was about twenty years ago. From then I discovered applied kinesiology, one brain and brain gym. I am practicing for about 17 years and still learning all the time. Today I am part of the national faculty in Israel, trying to promote brain gym with teachers.

Smith, June

A Look Into the Present

We are familiar with the Seeing Balance and how to impact the visual system with traditional Brain Gym® exercises. We can quickly notice shifts in vision that can have a lasting impact. However, what about those clients who seem to have greater difficulty with their ocular motor system? What should we expect and what should we do if we suspect a larger issue? This workshop will provide answers to these and other questions through case study presentations with support from Brain Gym® strategies. The four case studies with focus on:

*Visual engagement and attention

*The Midfield vs. the Periphery

*Symmetry and convergence

*Automatic responses vs. reflexes

Biography - Background as Occupational Therapist; NDT; Sensory Integration; BG Instructor 101 and 170 (Special Needs); Present regularly on value of Brain Gym with strong focus on ocular motor system; Experience running vision clinics w/Developmental Optometrists. Presented at BG conference in Denver. I love Brain Gym!!!

Strahlberg, Mariola

​How to Love a Child

Janusz Korczak, Polish educator, father of democratic education and children's rights, wrote "How to Love a Child" in 1920s. His ideas are as pertinent today as they were then. How to we allow the children to have a voice? How can they take responsibility for their own learning? This session will introduce you to some of the Korczak's pedagogical ideas and show you how The Five Star Program(TM) is one of the ways that teachers, parents and practitioners can bring these ideas to children.

Biography - Mariola has been in private acupuncture family practice since 1999. In 2007, she founded the Shining Mountain Center for Peaceful Childhood where she offers an integrated program to children who experience behavioral, learning and emotional challenges. She recently published a book, The Five Star Program™ that brings elements of her program to schools, afterschool and homes.

Thies, Mariah-Jane

The Brain Dance

The “Brain Dance”** is based on the developmental movement patterns human beings move through in the first year of life to wire the central nervous system so that the brain can operate at its full potential. The baby does his or her own “Brain Dance” very naturally in the first 12 months of life, culminating with the neurologically advanced Cross-Crawl. In this interactive and fun workshop, we will explore a sitting and standing version of the Brain Dance for kids, teens and adults, utilized as a tool to ensure any neurological gaps are filled in through the necessary movement. This a great supplement to the Brain Gym 26 movements, during a basic balance and for an In-Depth balance. This is also a fantastic little “dance” to do to augment PACE, especially for clients who find the cross crawl to be a challenge initially. After the Brain Dance, the body and brain are both relaxed and focused and ready for the learning to follow. While similar to Carol Anne Erickson’s wonderful work in Movement Exploration, the unique attribute of the Brain Dance is its quick and easy to follow structure, and the ideas of music and movement suggestions that are ideal children. This workshop will present the children version and will also address music and movement suggestions for teens and adults. **Brain Dance, created by Anne Green Gilbert

Biography - Mariah-Jane Thies is a dance teacher with almost 30 years teaching experience. She is a RAD registered teacher, holds a dance degree from GMCC, is a certified Evans Laban based Modern teacher, a Brain Gym instructor, and BRMT consultant. Mariah-Jane's primary goal is to bring the world of Brain Gym and reflex integration into the dance community and to develop an injury prevention programme that includes these philosophies and material.

Experiencing and Balancing Our Movement Affinities and Dis-affinities


Truske, Caren

Five Elements Balance: Brain Gym Style

Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal....examine and explore the symbols, emotions, archetypes, flow, interaction and effect of the Five Elements recognized in Chinese philosophy, a continuous process of energy transformation. Join Caren as she guides participants using Brain Gym®'s "Balance" process and learning menu, to experience and express ease and flow within and amongst the Five Elements. Applications and possibilities abound as we honor and support the seasons and cycles of the Five Elements in our bodies and in our lives!

Biography - Caren Truske MS is a professional member Edu-K and a certified Brain Gym®, OBO and Vision Circles Instructor. Founder of Learning Moves LLC, Caren combines 18 years of Brain Gym®, Brain-Based Learning/Teaching and Developmental Reflex Integration with 31 years of K-12 public school teaching, athletics and college coaching. A dynamic, powerful and playful presenter, Caren's life mission is to connect, integrate, empower and evolve brain, body and spirit.

Wards, Barbara

​Working With Facial, Tongue, & Throat Muscles to Improve Communication

Facial muscles are constantly in use: eating, speaking clearly, communicating thoughts feelings and needs. Have fun identifying muscles unable to do their job well and learn how to enhance their function through the exciting process of surrogate muscle balancing. This work is part of the “small muscles project” developed in Barbara’s extensive clinical practice.

Biography - Barbara (International faculty New Zealand) has lived Edu-K since 1984, gaining vast clinical experience. Most of her child students need help for communication, coordination and/or learning. Inventing the “small muscles project” brought new skills to this process.

Wennekes, Renate

Brain Gym Activities in a Developmental Perspective

​The human brain and body develop in close connection to movement. Movement is inherent in all aspects of our life—important for our health, well-being and our ability to learn. In our “sitting” society, governed by success and achievements – movement is disregarded, diminished, and dismissed. The 26 Brain Gym® movements designed by Paul and Gail Dennison to bring movement back into all aspects of our everyday lives in the office, the family and in school. The 26 movements are similar to the movements that originally built our perception system in childhood. Therefore they are very powerful. Movement enhances the brain, supports our physical skills, increases our attention, intention and adds meaningfulness to life.

Biography - Renate Wennekes belongs to the first Kinesiologists in Germany and Europe. Her emphasis is self-help and leading the people to their innate potential and self-regulation. She is the founder of the Organization of Edu-K for self-help (Affiliate of the Foundation), Developmental Kinesiology, Joy Kinesiology and one of the leading Edu-K persons in Germany and worldwide. In her institute in Northern Germany students are in a three year professional track to become an Educational Kinesiologist. Joy of movement and play is her life.

Wetsel, Don

From Stress to Creative Success:

Integrating the Dynamic Brain with the Five Steps of Brain Gym

​​Brain Gym® is an amazing system which supports all aspects of development and creative expression. Discover simple dynamic ways to discuss Brain Gym® that supports individuals in living healthy, successful and joyful lives.   Experience the integration of our heart with our dynamic brain for creative living.

Biography - Don Wetsel, MA, LAc, BCMBT is a Brain Gym International Faculty member since 1994, a classically trained acupuncturist, bodyworker and whole foods nutritionist. He utilizes all his training as a generalist and his generous heart to inspire and support clients and student to achieve their goals and dreams with joy and wellness.