Did you ever wonder why we have the ability to learn new things?
The first time you tried to ride a bicycle, did you know exactly how to balance yourself on the bike so that you do not fall off? Did you understand the mechanics to ride the bike forward, backward, left, or right? So how did you learn to ride a bike? This brings me to my topic, Neuroplasticity.
What is Neuroplasticity?
Simply put, Neuroplasticity means that The Human Brain has the ability to permanently change, or is “malleable” based on one’s experiences or environment. Your Brain consists of Nerve Cells (Neurons) and Glial Cells which are interconnected. The “strength” of these interconnections is what constitutes our learning or behaviors.
For instance, lets go back to the riding a bike. The first time you got on the bike, you did not know the mechanics of riding a bicycle. Balancing was difficult, the physical motion of pushing one foot, than the other foot, in a sequence was foreign to you. So how did you learn how to ride the bike? PRACTICE and REPETITION! The more you practiced the easier it got. You built strong enough connections in your brain to learn how to ride a bike. This change was a PERMANENT change to your neurology because now when you ride a bike its second nature.
Understanding Neuroplasticity will help you realize that you have the ability to DO or LEARN ANYTHING! It will even explain how functional neurology works. In our office, our goal is to find out where in your Nervous System, you are “unbalanced.” Once we find that area we can put an effective plan together, that has a specific TIME, FREQUENCY, and INTENSITY that will strengthen those connections to cause a PERMANENT Functional change.
For instance, during our initial examination we notice that you have difficulty balancing, especially when standing on one leg. What do you have to do to learn how to balance? Practice and repetition right? So what we do is teach you balance exercises, specifically on the weaker side, to make the necessary “connections” to balance on that leg. If we do this for a long enough period of time, with enough frequency and intensity, you will learn how to balance on that leg.
Balance, Learning, and even changing neurological function is really that easy. Using the principle of Neuroplasticity allows us to change the lives of many people that once had NO HOPE for improvement.