NEUROPLASTICITY: What is it?
Neuroplasticity is a “buzzword’ often passed around amongst psychologists and neuroscientists and health care professionals like Chiropractors to describe the brain’s ability to be changed. That is; you are not stuck with the brain that you were born with, and the brain can be changed to help overcome limiting conditions that affect your physical and mental health.
This has exciting ramifications for all of us, but particularly for children who are struggling with learning problems, co-ordination and movement problems like excessive clumsiness or poor hand-eye co-ordination or even just an inability to concentrate for long periods in the classroom so as to keep up with their classmates.
The research is telling us that with frequent, specific goal oriented activity such as brain exercises, mindfulness and breathing and meditation, we can improve areas of brain weakness.
Neuroplasticity makes your brain extremely resilient and is the process by which all permanent learning takes place in your brain, such as playing a musical instrument or mastering a different language. Neuroplasticity also enables people to recover from stroke, injury, and birth abnormalities, overcome autism, ADD and ADHD, learning disabilities and other brain deficits, pull out of depression and addictions, and may reverse obsessive compulsive patterns.
How does NEUROPLASTICITY work?
It almost seems too simple – too easy – and the concept is. However, harnessing neuroplasticity requires: focus, dedication, and persistence, but it can be done. The home-care that Dr Michelle gives you is for this reason; exercises work to plasticise new brain pathways and strengthen areas of brain weakness to create improvement.
Neuroplasticity works under the same conditions as physical exercise does for the body. A single Zumba class or one run is not going to make much difference. However, the same home care exercises and practices done with consistency, over time, will gradually have noticeable, lasting effects on your body. The same is true for the practices which shape your brain.
Books and resources that discuss Neuroplasticity further include:
“The brain that changes itself” by Norman Doidge.
“Soft Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity can Change Your life”
by Dr. Michael Merzenich