Functional Neurology Program
“It’s good news that myths about brain deteriorating over time have been exploded. The old view made the brain seem fixed, mechanical, and steadily deteriorating. This turns out to be far from the case. You are creating reality at this very minute, and if that process remains alive and dynamic, your brain will be able to keep up with it, year after year.” ― Rudolph E. Tanzi,
Our Functional Neurology program is so cutting edge, the protocols are now being studied at Universities across the country.
Functional Neurology has developed from basic neuroscience principles and an understanding of how the most recent scientific research can be applied to patient care. Through careful assessment, a Functional Neurologist can not only determine which areas of a person’s nervous system are weak, but also devise an appropriate treatment to improve the quality of how their nervous system functions.
A key concept in understanding this approach is “neuroplasticity”. Nerve connections in the brain are considered “plastic” because they can be shaped or modified by sensory, motor, cognitive or emotional experiences or input. Simply put, what you are exposed to can rewire your nervous system.
The basic unit of the nervous system is a nerve cell called a “neuron”. There exists over 100 billion neurons in the human body, each one having a specific function and connection to other neurons, forming extensive electro-chemical circuits and highways of communication.
While this system was once considered “fixed”, we now know that this vast collection of nerve cells is capable of remarkable change. For example, by repetitively firing a pathway from one neuron to another, we can expect an increase in the number of chemical messengers (neurotransmitters) produced by the “talking” neuron as well as an increase in the number of receptors on the “listening” neuron (synaptic plasticity). Furthermore, a nerve cell can grow connections to new neurons (synaptogenesis) and can even extend to far reaching areas (neuronal migration). This is essentially how we learn a new skill and why “practice makes perfect”.
“Nothing speeds up brain and body atrophy than being immobilized in the same environment.
–Norman Doidge (The brain that changes itself)
Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation of the Nervous System
In the developing brain, as well as in the adult, research has confirmed that we have the ability to create new neurons (neurogenesis), a process long considered impossible. It is now also known that if an area of the nervous system is damaged, not only is regeneration achievable, but other nerve cells can take over the function of the lost neurons (functional reorganization). For example, a person who has suffered a stroke of the language centers of the brain may still regain the ability to speak.
It is important to note that neuroplasticity can also develop negative consequences. If an area of the brain is not stimulated or if a neuronal pathway is not fired, neurotransmitters and receptors may diminish, connections between distant neurons may be withdrawn and nerve cells may eventually die. The saying, “use it or lose it”, is indeed, a neurological fact.
A basic premise of Functional Neurology is to support healthy plasticity of the nervous system through proper stimulation and fuel. Treatment is aimed at not only protecting the nervous system, but giving it the activation that it needs to thrive. We now know that even a nervous system that is functioning poorly can be rehabilitated, often with progressive and permanent success.