So what is NEUROPLASTICITY?
many scientists used to believed that the brain was hardwired, and fixed after childhood.
Times have changed.
It wasn’t long ago that the brain was thought of as fixed. It could not change- recovery was way out of the question. Today, there is plenty of research, and extraordinary stories, that prove the brain changes in both structure and function according to experience and habit. The human brain is much more flexible and trainable than was once thought, but most of us never really realise or think about this.
So let me give you a very quick run-down.
Every time we think, feel or do something, we a sending a signal down a neural (nerve) pathway. If this pathway is used a lot, the brain rebuilds itself moving the nerve cells together, to make the signals journey easier for us. When we think about something differently, or learn a skill we are digging out a new pathway, and over time the old path that is used less and weakens. The brain physically changes.
Its a bit like that language you aced at High School, if you didn’t continue (like me), what happens when you try to speak French? You can probably remember a few random sentences, but that’s about it! Its the saying - use it, or loose it. This is neuroplasticity and it’s always working.
But sometimes theres a bit of a problem. The brain changes to benefit us - to make life easier. Generally, thats great because we want to thrive; but what happens when the brain learns something is dangerous so tries to ‘benefit’ us by protecting, or keeping us safe. Whether this has been learnt through past experiences, trauma, conversations, media, stuff other people say or sensory input from way back in early development, it can cause us to get stuck, really stuck neurologically also. Over time, repeated emotions, feelings, behaviours rewires the brain and eventually it all becomes automatic, effortless.
So what about in health? When looking at health issues through Neuroplasticity, there is less emphasis on healing, and much more on re-training. With more understanding of how our brains work, scientists and practitioners are beginning to incorporate simple neuro - plastic techniques to help many common chronic health conditions. There are even stories of those with long- standing brain injuries who have dramatically improved through the power of neuroplasticity.
It also underpins much of the LP training, as you are taught how you can train the brain and body through language, posture, visualisation and self - coaching to activate more life - enhancing neural pathways. And yes, there are other ways to improve neuroplasticity too; sleeping & eating well, moving your body, connecting and practising stress reduction and of those good habits we know about.
The topic of Neuroplasticity is huge, and is relevant across all areas: health, education & high performance, the list goes on, but if you are wanting to skill up, then check out the following and let me know what you think!
The Brain that changes itself, Norman Doige
The Brains Way of Healing, Norman Doidge
Rewire Your Anxious Brain: How to Use the Neuroscience of Fear to End Anxiety, Panic and Worry, Catherine Pittman & Elizabeth Karle