Neuroscience of Empathy, Emotions, Touch

yay-9914062How does neuroscience relate to what makes a massage feel good? What actions by a friend, partner or counselor make you feel heard and acknowledged? What is happening inside a child as he bursts into delight as for “getting it right”, or when she snuggles in to be held? The neuroscience study of interpersonal “feeling better” whether by massage, validation, the touch of a friend, good parenting, the support of family or a therapy session is partly about empathy in human relationship.… Read the rest

Parkinson’s, Mindfulness & Massage

yay-9860340Parkinson’s Symptoms–Not Only A Movement Disorder

Parkinson’s is known for the shuffling gait, the masked face, the stooped posture, the soft, almost inaudible voice, the slowness of movement, the trembling and rigidity. These motor or movement symptoms are what most people seek treatment for, and they form the basis of the diagnosis.

Non-motor symptoms such as loss of the sense of smell, constipation, depression, anxiety, fatigue, restlessness, irritability, and sleep difficulties may appear 20 years or more ahead of the motor symptoms.… Read the rest

Healing Moments: The Woo Is In You

Sometimes I work on people who have amazing experiences of healing. I don’t put myself out as a “healer” because I would rather empower you. Then, what is happening with the amazing experiences, the unexpected woo? It’s not in me. The healing is in you.

Ortho-Bionomy® and Self-Corrective Healing Reflexes: Not Woo

I usually explain Ortho-Bionomy® in terms of its origins in Osteopathic Positional Release and the principles of Judo.… Read the rest

Neuroscience of Touch via Aline Newton

Aline Newton, a Rolfer with many publications to her credit, has written the best post I’ve seen on the neuroscience of touch. Her main points, with my interpretation:

  1. Massage therapists and bodyworkers have long been aware of the power of touch to benefit our clients.
  2. Functional MRI’s show that touch influences mood, sensations, movements, thinking and learning capacities.
  3. The brain may have different responses to different kinds of touch, duration and depth, and more research is needed here.
Read the rest

Brain activity and meditation

yay-8982200

Research on the effects of meditation on the brain and central nervous system has taken off in the last 40 years, often involving collaborations between neuroscientists, psychologists and meditators. I first heard about this in the early 1970’s, when I was looking for any tiny clues that could help me recover from massive and global brain damage. I read that deep meditators have synchronized electrical activity across their brains, so that left and right hemispheric brain waves take on the same patterns.… Read the rest

Mind-Body Research and Massage

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, pioneer in mind-body researchMind-body healing has become widely accepted in public awareness! (Even if it hasn’t made it to your doctor’s office yet.) That is largely due to Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s research. Early in his career, he studied Zen Buddhist meditation and Hatha Yoga. He then adapted them to a scientific context for research. He has been publishing books since 1991.1 He is a Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS).… 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

Fibromyalgia Treatment: Exercise, Massage, O-B

Continued from previous post, Fibromyalgia Cause is Still a Mystery.

People usually undertake integrative approaches to fibromyalgia treatment with the support of their physician. Lifestyle changes with massage and exercises are often recommended to reduce stress and benefit immune and nervous system response. Doctors may recommend medications for pain relief and improved sleep. Some improve from psychological counseling and many benefit from fibromyalgia support groups.… Read the rest

Understanding Fibromyalgia Pain

Understanding Fibromyalgia

continued from previous post–Fibromyalgia: From Disbelief to Documented

fibromyalgia tender points

fibromyalgia tender points

Over the past 12 years, doctors have recognized fibromyalgia as a centrally sensitized pain condition. Central sensitization means the brain and nervous system are hypersensitive. How they interpret pain signals is not functioning properly. Also, a part of the brain that normally regulates pain perception doesn’t work well.… Read the rest