THE BRAIN IS THE COMMAND CENTER OF OUR BODY AND THE BASIS OF OUR HUMANITY. WITHOUT IT, WE COULDN'T THINK, FEEL OR MOVE; WE COULDN'T "BE".
When the brain and nervous system begin to communicate sub-optimally or experience any form of breakdown along the intricate pathways to or from the rest of the body, changes in function occur.
These functional changes cause a manifestation of symptoms that may present as seemingly minor, such as a pulled muscle or non-specific bout of back pain, or they may come on suddenly or intensely, such as waking with acute dizziness or unanticipated changes in balance.
Symptoms are the body’s means of signaling that something is awry, and indicate that some level of breakdown is occurring at some point along the chain of command.
The key to properly assessing symptoms lies in localizing the underlying source of the erroneous communication. It is only through this process that the necessary information can be collected to determine the most appropriate form of clinical treatment.
Disorders affecting the brain and central nervous system are complex.
Changes in physiological, anatomical, and pathological function can result in countless combinations of clinical symptoms that comprise a patient’s specific presentation.
Through an evidenced-based assessment encompassing a thorough review of health history, a complete Neurological and Physical examination, and the use of cutting-edge diagnostic equipment (Video-oculography and Computerized Dynamic Posturography) we are able to identify the source of suboptimal function or compromise.
This allows for the creation of a customized treatment plan that utilizes evidence-based rehabilitation techniques and is as unique as the individual for whom it is designed.
Functional Neurology is founded on the core principle of Neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to change and reorganize itself by forming new neural connections. This occurs in response to changes in the environment or in the presence or absence of stimuli. These new connections become stronger with repetition and intensity; this process is commonly understood in regard to the concept of learning.
Every experience we have, every emotion we feel, and every activity that we perform and practice result in an increased response of brain activity. This increased activity promotes the formation of new neural connections that will strengthen and become more efficient in response to the level of intensity and repetition of the stimulus. In fact, this is the neurological mechanism for the well-known saying, “practice makes perfect.”
It is important to understand that neuroplasticity doesn’t correlate only with positive change and adaptation in the brain. There can also be negative consequences of neuroplasticity. This is most commonly described in relation to cognitive decline. For example, if an area of the brain is not stimulated or if a neuronal pathway is not fired, neural connections may be withdrawn and the nerve cells may eventually die. This is the neurological mechanism for the well-known saying, “use it or lose it.” Negative neuroplasticity can also be referred to as the negative patterns that can occur in response to negative experiences, emotions, or activities that promote the formation of pathways related to negative emotions, thoughts, behaviors, or functional patterns.
The objective of rehabilitation in Functional Neurology is to promote positive neuroplasticity that will improve the function of an impaired nervous system and provide it the opportunity to thrive. This is accomplished by using the appropriate stimulation at a level of intensity and repetition that increases brain activity to create the desired change.