Brain Gym


Throughout their lives, people with severe physical disabilities must deal with the chronic pain and musculoskeletal stiffness that comes from overusing the functioning parts of their bodies to compensate for those that are impaired. Over time, their limitation of movement increases—and so does their pain.

The Cerebral Palsy Center’s Wellness and Aging Program is one of the only programs of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It offers a comprehensive, integrative approach that is highly successful in helping people with disabilities in many ways.  The Wellness Program helps participants increase functionality and relieve pain and discomfort through the use of such integrative health therapies as adaptive yoga, Jin Shin Jyutsu acupressure, Feldenkrais movement therapy, and massage therapy.  Classes in nutrition, healthful cooking, movement and exercise, and making healthful lifestyle choices are also available for a full wellness experience.

The knowledge and skills acquired in this program empower participants to improve their lives by learning how to care for themselves and, when necessary, how to seek appropriate interventions from others. Equally important, this program provides them with tools they can use for the rest of their lives.


Offered on a one-to-one basis with a certified therapist, gentle finger pressure is applied to specific points on the body to promote relaxation and ease tension.


Feldenkrais-ClassHands-on manipulation and directed physical movements are used in individual or group instruction. This method is a basis for expanding and refining individual use of the body through a greater awareness of how the body functions. 

Health Topics

This class teaches participants the affects and benefits of healthy life style choices and how to manage their own personal health. Topics covered include: who to contact in case of personal emergencies, how to communicate that you are in pain or uncomfortable, what to expect and what questions to ask at medical and dental appointments, symptoms of common illnesses, and how to best care for yourself. This is done through expressive communication and self-advocacy. Receiving personal assistance with hygiene and other personal care is also discussed.

Health and Fitness

Expands student’s awareness of their health through exercise, learning about muscles that they use for movement, and identifying healthy foods.

Healthful Cooking

Healthful Cooking ClassParticipants will learn about the joy of food preparation and to make choices based on their body’s needs and also satisfy the cravings of their palates. Emphasis is placed on the social aspects of eating with others, eating seasonally, preparing nutritious foods, and trying new foods.

Massage Therapy

Massage-Therapy-Provides-Great-BenefitsOn an individual, not regularly scheduled basis, participants have the opportunity to receive therapeutic massage from a licensed massage therapist. Massage improves overall well-being by alleviating cramps and spasms, releasing general muscle tension, and decreasing uncontrolled movement.


The importance of eating nutritious foods and well-balanced meals is taught in a fun class that also involves skills such as: proper methods of handling food, proper methods of cleaning up after cooking and eating, and how to properly set a table. Basic culinary skills are practiced including: selecting a recipe, identifying ingredients, measuring, and preparing ingredients.

Yoga/Adaptive Yoga

Savasana-YogaAs a part of the CP Center’s Wellness and Aging Program, this Adaptive Yoga Class involves moves and poses that help relax muscles, ease tension, and reduce stress. Participants learn ways to better control movement and gain greater, more purposeful use of their bodies.

Yoga In Wheelchairs

Wheelchair-Yoga-Cat-CowThe same stress reduction course is adapted for people to use while they remain in their wheelchair.

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