The idea that the brain can change has been studied for thousands of years, but it hasn't been until the last 70 years that neuroplasticity has been verified & used as a treatment in modern medicine.
"IT'S ALL IN YOUR HEAD"
Is absolutely NOT the case for those dealing with chronic illness. Unfortunately, it’s what so many of us have heard from both practitioners and family members. It’s a difficult phrase to stomach for those who experience pain, dizziness, fatigue, rashes, gastrointestinal symptoms, and general suffering daily and know their symptoms are anything but false. Your disease requires the utmost respect and seriousness and should never be labeled as “all in your head.”
However, the extent of ongoing disease can be localized to the brain. The brain is the powerhouse of the body, responsible for regulation of blood pressure, temperature, digestion, immune function, gene expression, hormonal functions, balance, coordination, sleep, inflammatory responses, detoxification capabilities, breathing, heart rate, and interpreting information and sending it to other organs. It consists of over 100 billion neurons that communicate via trillions of synapses to perform a task, think a thought, and feel an emotion. The brain is the epicenter of your reality.
What happens to the brain if an event occurs in the form of physical trauma like a virus or bacteria? What about a traumatic event that is beyond stressful? Or an environmental exposure to mold or toxic chemicals? What if these traumatic events persist?
The limbic system or “mammalian brain” responds to these events in “Fight, Flight and Freeze response". This mechanism is a great way to ward off danger if you’re running from a lion, fighting off an acute illness, or if you’re facing any kind of immediate threat. But, if that physical, mental, or emotional trauma endures, the limbic system gets stuck using that same neural pathways that causes your brain to continually think you’re in danger, even after removal of the stress.
This is where the “chronic” part of illness comes into play. Shouldn’t our human bodies be able to fight off a virus or detox appropriately after a toxic exposure? The short answer is yes; it very well should, but not if the limbic system is using the same neural pathways it did when facing the stress. When the limbic system is impaired, it inhibits our organs from their normal functions. Take another look at the long list of functions the brain is responsible for in paragraph 2... and that’s the short list. Every single one of these functions can be compromised when the limbic system is dysfunctional.
Have you ever identified yourself as being a sick person for life? Maybe you think that your body doesn’t detox as well as other bodies or think you have limited healing capabilities because of a genetic mutation. Now you know that your brain is responsible for detoxification and genetic expression. And the good news is, if you have a limbic system impairment, you also can heal from this injury, which sets the body up to effectively heal"
Scientists are now coming out with more information on how the brain can and does change. Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to change, re-organize, and adapt. Entirely new neural networks can form and disappear, depending on our life's experiences. When we learn or do something new, we are actively forming new neural circuits, and when we repeat and practice new activities, we are strengthening or decreasing the strength of neural circuits. You can see neuroplasticity at work by looking at your habits, sensitivities, and tolerances. This means that YOU have the ability to change your genetic expression, detox capabilities, and much more. You can be consciously responsible for your own healing.
In 1949, Dr. Donald Hebb, “the father of neuropsychology,” outlined his theory that learning is accomplished within the brain. The Hebbian theory aims to explain how neural pathways are developed based on experiences, and when certain connections are used more often, they become faster and stronger. Dr. Marian Diamond continued to build on Hebb’s theory in the 1960s, studying the brains of lab rats. She continued to conduct ground breaking experiments, uncovering how the brain can change due to environmental stimuli. Dr. Diamond is considered one of the founders of modern neuroscience after she and her team of researchers published the first ever evidence proving that the brain can change and improve with experience and shrinks when it is not enriched, coining the term, “use it or lose it.” Many scientists and psychologists alike have now studied the effects on how external stimuli (the environment, nutrition, etc.) and internal stimuli (thoughts, self talk, emotions, etc.) can impact the brain and the rest of the body.
Neuroplasticity gives us hope that the brain can normalize after a stress response. It proves that our brains are constantly adapting. This means, with proper technique, we can teach our limbic systems to recover from viruses, bacteria, trauma, and stress. These techniques are similar to those used in cognitive functional therapy and are all based on your diagnoses and symptoms. During this training time, we are physically changing the structure of our neural circuits. You can literally see the changes to brain structure on functional MRI scans conducted before and after neuroplasticity training. And more importantly, you can see the results in the way you ACT and FEEL after learning to heal your limbic system.
Healing from a limbic system impairment is not difficult, but it does take time, patience, and effort. Everyone has a vital side, and we can help you find it. In as little as 6 months, you can be on your way to a full recovery from limbic system dysfunction and start living the life you’ve always dreamed about.
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