The Alpha State
The brain operates in a number of states, shifting between states throughout the day. The Beta state is the common state of wakefulness and is the state in which we function most of the time during our conscious hours. The Delta state is the state we are in when we sleep. While shifting between the Beta and Delta states, we will pass through the Alpha and Theta states.
The Alpha state is commonly associated with enhanced ability. During this state, we are at our most absorptive and creative. For this reason, Shichida believed that children should be as close to the alpha state as possible when practicing Right Brain Education.
Entering the Alpha State
Shichida uses various methods for helping children enter the alpha state before Right Brain Education Practice. One effective method supported by science is through meditation.
- MBSR Meditation
- Mindfulness Resources for Families
- Easy Ways to Practice Mindfulness with Children
- More about Mindfulness and its Benefits
The Shichida Method – 6 Ways to Help Children Relax
If you’re wondering why there is so much emphasis on love and emotional bonding, it is because this is the base upon which all Right Brain Education practice is built upon. To use the analogy of a building, if the activities performed in a Right Brain Education class or during home practice are the house, then love and the parent-child (or teacher-child) connection forms the foundation for the house. Without a proper foundation, it would be like building a house of cards.
This is why Shichida was constantly reiterating the importance of love. You may recall that in the right brain education home practice guide Shichida shared preparation activities that are designed to foster the parent-child bond and to relax your child. Although these activities may appear unnecessary, do not omit them in favour of reducing the time of your home practice session because they are important. You may even find that these are the activities of home practice that your child looks forward to the most.
In his book “Children can Change Through Right Brain Education”, Shichida shares 6 ways to help children relax and grow up with a loving heart. When parents follow these principles, children will also develop remarkable abilities.
Right Brain Education – The 8 Second Hug and the Echo Method
It has been observed that without love, babies fall ill more easily and they do not grow well. Without love, children cannot focus on learning. To our children, feeling loved is not a desire, it is a need.
Makoto Shichida constantly emphasises the importance of the relationship between parent and child In Right Brain Education. Without that connection, children are unable to access their right brain. Without love, the right brain shuts down and the left brain (which thrives on stress) takes over. If we do not express our love sufficiently, Right Brain Education will not work.
It is without a doubt that most parents love their children. Unfortunately, we don’t necessarily communicate this love effectively because when asked, many children believed they are not loved very much by their parents. Often this comes as a surprise to the parents who believe that they express their love adequately.
To help convey our love to our children, Shichida recommends using the 8 second hug and the echo method. Read more about it:
Right Brain Education – The 5 Minute Suggestion
Children are a work in progress. At times, their behaviours can be difficult. In right brain parenting – yes, there is a right brain style of parenting – the approach to discipline should be firm but loving and gentle. In other words, we should apply methods of positive discipline. Read more about it:
- Right Brain Education and Positive Discipline
- Positive Discipline Book List
- Evidence for Positive Discipline
For overcoming difficult or troubling issues, Shichida recommends the 5 Minute Suggestion. It is a method of speaking to your child just after he falls asleep where you can encourage and introduce new behaviours in your child. Read more about it:
Getting the 5 Minute Suggestion right can take a bit of practice. Repeated practice is necessary for the suggestion to be taken on. For tips on the successful implementation of this right brain tool, Ruiko Henmi (founder of HEGL) also shares some tips. Read about them: