June 26 - A fitness center for the brain opens in the Finnish capital, offering smells, sounds and light effects for enhanced and instant recreation of overloaded human brains. Jim Drury reports.
UPSOT: WASENIUS COUNTING WHILE PARTICIPANTS LIE DOWN A workout out at the gym will keep your abs and pecs toned, but this gym promises to give your most important muscle a mental boost. This is Helsinki's BRIIM brain gym - a place where stressed out Finns come to strengthen their memory and creative skills. Personal brain trainer Reidar Wasenius…. SOUNDBITE (English) PERSONAL BRAIN TRAINER REIDAR WASENIUS SAYING: "We are living in a society where companies are really in the harsh way demanding from people to remember in the short term things in the daily life, but also to study things, so memory is being overloaded." The Brain Gym has some similarities to a physical gym, with participants moving from one workout station to another. But these exercises here are focused on strengthening the mind. SOUNDBITE (English) PERSONAL BRAIN TRAINER REIDAR WASENIUS SAYING: "The BRIIM method that we are using is actually based to a large extent on existing ideas and exercises in cognitive psychology, but there are also a number of completely new exercise like 'Aivobics' which we do to music. The main thing is really here that we are able to create training programs." Wasenius says multi-tasking has gone too far, leaving people forgetful and absentminded. Aivobics is BRIIM's answer, teaching participants to focus on a single action using various games and tools. Heidi Tete regularly undertakes 50-minute Aivobics workouts. SOUNDBITE (English) PARTICIPANT HEIDI TETE FROM HELSINKI SAYING: "I think it's great that there is an area where you can focus and train your mind without any interruptions. It's great for your mind when you are doing one task after another and really seeing how you mind can stretch." New languages can be learnt in the Lingua Spa, while light therapy helps those starved of natural light - a common problem during the long Nordic winters. BRIIM is targeting companies who want better performing staff and has plans to open similar centres in Amsterdam, London and Singapore. BRIIM is convinced its gyms are the brainiest way of helping you bounce back from stress. Jim Drury, Reuters