You Can Change Your Brain!
In the last two decades there has been a proliferation of research and discussion about the brain. Many researchers are proving that we can make structural changes in our brains well into later years in life! We have more power to alter our own brain, our behavior, our personality, and our reality than previously thought possible.
Neuroplasticity- The human brain is incredibly adaptive. In fact, it is far more adaptive than previously thought. The brain’s ability to act and react in ever-changing ways is known, as “neuroplasticity.” This special characteristic allows the brain’s estimated 100 billion nerve cells, also called neurons, to constantly lay down new pathways for neural communication and to rearrange existing ones throughout life, thereby aiding the processes of learning, memory, and adaptation through experience. Without the ability to make such functional changes, our brains would not be able to master a new skill or adjust to a new environment. People would not be able to recover from brain injuries or overcome cognitive disabilities.
Stress, Trauma and the Brain
There are many sources of stress and trauma including: emotional, psychological, physical, chemical, and bacterial that have an impact on optimal brain function. This can overload the brain and put in a a chronic state of hyper arousal or dissociation resulting in many health problems, attention/learning disabilities, and physical/ emotional symptoms. This state keeps us stuck in old patterns keeping us from making change.
In recent years, there has been much written about the brain and how we have the ability to "rewire" it through something called self-directed neuroplasticity. This means that we can actually change our brains.
In Dr. Norman Doidge's new book, "The Brain's Way of Healing" , he describes how the mind and body can become partners in healing the brain. He gives examples of how body based approaches can help rewire the brain. Craniosacral therapy, myofascial release and mind/body medicine practices help promote plasticity and affect overall brain function by releasing structural restrictions and optimizing the nervous system.
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