Transformational Recovery of Function After Stroke with Neuroplasticity Principles
Stroke Recovery with Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement®
Anat Baniel Method NeuroMovement is based in the understanding of neuroplasticity principles and how we all learn to move and acquire new skills. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to create new connections and patterns and change itself for the better. Click here to learn more about neuroplasticity.
How is Our Approach Different?
1. We do not ask our clients to do what they cannot do. If you ask stroke survivors to move their hand when many of the neural connections and patterns of moving that hand have been lost, they are certain to either do it very poorly, or be unable to do it all together. What is important to realize is that their brains are recording their experiences all the time. In other words, their brains are actually learning their patterns of failure—not what we are asking them to do and learn. These patterns are formed extremely fast, as shown by brain research, and get deeply grooved in.
So while the initial loss of function is due to the stroke, and some progress is made through the different therapies, with so many stroke survivors the eventual limitation in their recovery is due to the intervention. That is why so many stroke survivors are released from rehabilitation after 5-6 weeks since no significant improvement is observed anymore.
2. With NeuroMovement, we look to take advantage of the brain’s remarkable capacities to reorganize and restructure itself. We are very mindful and careful to create optimal conditions for the brain to wake up and be able to problem solve, and avoid learning the limitations that are a result of the stroke. We do NOT ask the stroke survivor to do what he or she cannot do! We understand that the loss of function is due to loss of differentiation (loss of connections) in the brain. (See our blog post on differentiation with Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor.)
3. We find ways to minimize the demand and stresses placed on the brain so that it can explore and learn, just like with a newborn child.
a. For example, we will initially work with the stroke survivor lying down, thus reducing the demand on the brain to be upright and to balance the body in space.
b. The sessions/lessons are limited to 30-45 minutes each.
c. We limit the number of sessions to a maximum of 3 per day.
d. We encourage our clients to rest between sessions, and sleep when they feel the need to. (Listen to the interview with Jill Bolte Taylor’s sharing the recovery process after her stroke).
e. We ask our clients to avoid trying to perform movements and exercises that are difficult and beyond their ability to do at present.
f. We make sure they do not do many repetitions of any function while they are still on a learning curve—physical or cognitive—to avoid adopting limiting and disorganized patterns.
g. We often work first with the unaffected side for our clients’ brains to have the experience of what it is that they are trying to learn.
h. We utilize many other unconventional techniques that for many people, initially, are counterintuitive, but are in full accordance with the most recent knowledge of how the brain changes and learns.
4. We use the Nine Essentials in everything we do! Each of the Essentials provides the brain with a condition it needs in order to receive new information and create new connections leading to positive change. All of the Essentials are fully supported by current brain research.
We recommend that stroke survivors begin NeuroMovement lessons as soon as possible after the stroke. ABM NeuroMovement Practitioners have even gone to the hospital to work with people shortly after their stroke. Practitioners provide at-home NeuroMovement lessons when the client is ready, which accelerate recovery and provide further independence.
Depending on the severity and type of stroke, we have seen remarkable outcomes that have exceeded expectations and gone way beyond what is believed to be possible at this time.
Below are two testimonials to these kinds of outcome when using NeuroMovement to recover from a stroke.
Miraculous Recovery from a Stroke by an 85-Year-Old Woman Using NeuroMovement
“My doctors were amazed at how well I responded to their initial examinations, the pressure and strength I had in my hands and legs. They are also amazed at my quick recovery less than 4 months later.”
A Stroke Survivor Discovers the Impossible IS Possible
“I was literally amazed at the level of improvement I was experiencing after only a few short (and relaxing) sessions. For me, the ABM is the closest thing to ‘brain surgery without a knife.’”
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About Anat Baniel
Anat Baniel, founder of Anat Baniel Method® NeuroMovement®, is the author of two highly acclaimed books about this transformational methodology: Move Into Life: NeuroMovement for Lifelong Vitality and Kids Beyond Limits. Anat’s work is at the forefront of the emerging brain plasticity field, helping wake up the brain to its greater potency for learning and change throughout life.