Last October, I took an eight week online group course (via Zoom) called “A Change of Mind: Neuroplastic Tools for Healing.” 🧠
Course content was based around the workbook, “Neuroplastic Transformation” by two American pain physicians, Dr. Michael Moskowitz and Dr. Marla Golden. 🧠
The overarching message of this work is that persistent pain can be challenged and defeated by using the same principles that have created it: •What is fired is wired • What you don’t use you lose • When you make them you break them, when you break them you make them (neuropathways).
Simplified, Moskowitz and Golden’s research shows that there are nine thinking areas of the brain that control our personal experiences of pain and discomfort (prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, somatosensory, posterior parietal, supplementary motor, insula, amygdala and posterior cingulate). We can take an ACTIVE, EMPOWERED role and use these conscious parts of our brain to change our experience of pain, rewiring the brain away from pain and discomfort over time.
Each time pain spikes or intrudes into awareness, we do something to counter stimulate the pain networks. By activating the thinking brain to stimulate other networks, nerve cells are reassigned to these networks and taken from the expanded pain map. We can counter stimulate the nine brain areas using thoughts, images, sensations, memories, soothing emotions (e.g. gratitude, calm, hope), movement and beliefs. Example 1️⃣: cultivate a dose of daily pleasure (counter stimulates pain networks in the amygdala). Personal example: playing with my dog, writing comic verse. Example 2️⃣: Use movement (counter stimulates pain networks in motor cortex). Somatic movement, yoga, tai chi, walking... so many options here! 🧠
REPETITION is the key. And it takes perseverance, patience and TIME. And number one BELIEF. We are adaptable, bioplastic beings. Our brains and overprotective nervous systems have learned pain, and can unlearn it!
#neuroplasticity #painscience #centralsensitization #centralsensitisation #persistentpain #painrecovery #somatics #neurons #brainscience #pain #hope #belief #painresearch #movement #brain #brainrewiring