Functional symptoms and today’s neuroscience

Massage therapists and functional symptoms

assessing and treating functional symptoms of lower leg numbnessAs massage therapists, we treat functional symptoms all the time. Functional symptoms means you may have pain or other complaints, but the doctors can find no cause. Nothing shows up on scans.

This can be frustrating to doctors. But for those of us who work with the body, it is normal. We figure out how to resolve your pain or stiffness by getting your body to function better.… Read the rest

Bodywork and Mild Frontal TBI

Public awareness of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is growing. That’s a good thing.

61991336 - whiplash effect on the brain can include TBI

Unfortunately, disability and the need for care of people with TBI is also growing. Sports-related injuries, war trauma, whiplash or concussion in an auto accident, even toxic chemicals and stroke can result in TBI.

Mild to moderate frontal brain injury, or frontal TBI may give people trouble with memory, reasoning, emotions, and social relations.… Read the rest

How Does Functional Neurology Massage Work?

20948508_sFunctional neurology massage works to bring about better cooperation of the body, emotions and nervous system. It uses learning and feedback principles of neuroplasticity–how the brain can rewire itself–to improve functioning. The assessments (see Functional Neuro–A Different Approach to Massage) may give me information about how sensations are limited or distorted–numbness in one arm, or down one side of the face, or continued pain from an old injury.… Read the rest

Meditation: the Secret to Brain Power

Research on the effects of meditation on the brain has taken off in the last 40 years. Neuroscientists, psychologists and meditators are all collaborating to make the benefits clear. For example, the University of Massachusetts Medical Center has enrolled over 20,000 people in their Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programs. These benefit both the body and the brain. (See more about Mind-Body Research and Massage here.)

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I first heard about meditation benefits in the early 1970’s.… Read the rest

Neuroplasticity for Parkinson’s Research, Why Not?

Could neuroplasticity for Parkinson’s (PD) be developed by following the same principles that have been effective for recovery from stroke, spinal cord injury, memory decline, loss of use of a limb, hearing impairments, blindness, severe vertigo, and obsessive-compulsive disorder?1

Complete neuron cell diagram, components of a myelinated vertebrate motorneuronRelated Research Has Focused on Neuroprotection, not Neuroplasticity for Parkinson’s

Much of Parkinson’s research has mostly been on drug or surgical options to slow the rate of decline, or to protect the remaining brain cells and their connections.… Read the rest

Neuroplasticity, Brain Injury, Massage

yay-12759848Brain Injury and Neuroplasticity

The ability of the nervous system to adapt, change and repair itself is called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity means you can change how your own brain functions. When you have had a brain injury, what you can do for yourself is key. But you don’t have to do it alone. Integration Massage has the knowledge and experience to help.… Read the rest

Functional Neuro–A Different Bodywork Approach

Functional neuro tracks the brain-body connection. Brain_human_normal_inferior_view_with_labels_en.svgMy capacity to make a difference with massage and bodywork changed enormously in 2012, when I took a year-long advanced course called Functional Neurology for Bodyworkers.1 It increased my understanding of the relationship of brain, nervous system, body, and emotions, and how we create neuroplastic changes. I learned to perform a functional neuro assessment. It can be used to treat chronic pain, numbness, “brain fog”, head injury (see Head Injury), or other neurological conditions.… Read the rest

Birth and Infancy of a Research Massage Therapist, Pt. 3

continued from Birth and Infancy of a Research Massage Therapist, Pt.2

a research massage therapist uses a pulse-oximeter to know heart rate and blood oxygenationIn 2011, at the Oct. AMTA conference,1 I learned about the importance of research to advance the field of massage therapy. In 2012 I enrolled in Functional Neurology for Bodyworkers taught by a chiropractic physician, Dr. Paul Thomas. It was a year-long, rigorous study of human neurology, brain and nervous system structure and functions, applications of neuroscience research, principles of neuroplasticity, and how massage, acupuncture, other bodywork, diet and specially designed movement exercises could impact a variety of health conditions.… Read the rest

You Can Heal Your Life & Your Body

You Can Heal Your Life book cvrLouise Hay is a popular metaphysical teacher and author. I bought her first book, Heal Your Body in the late 1970’s. That little blue booklet had a chart of the beliefs people use to create bodily and mental distress or dis-ease, along with affirmations of new beliefs to create health. In You Can Heal Your Life, the chart was expanded and some items amended.Read the rest