The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge

Summary

  1. This book is about the unique way the brain heals itself and diseases once thought incurable might not really be so
Key Takeaways
  1. Activities, thoughts, electrical impulses are all used as healing techniques as it spurs the brain to form new and/or stronger neural connections. As the senses are the brain’s way of interacting with the world, it makes sense to use one’s senses to stimulate and mold the brain 
  2. Pain is processed in the brain and it has the ability to turn it off at times
  3. Patient must actively engage and learn about treatments for them to have the biggest impact
  4. Exercise and mental stimulation are both key to a successful brain health program
  5. Lasers can be utilized to help heal and / or stimulate the brain and other areas of the body
  6. Do not underestimate the importance of natural light in the healing process 
  7. Feldenkrais, a French physicist was also an acclaimed Judoist and spent a lot of time learning about how the body and mind are interconnected.
    1. Awareness through movement – move your body very slightly and notice how it affects the rest of your body. Through these practices, he was able to help a lot of people who had chronic pain in different areas of their bodies become fully functional
    2. Aim to never move or do anything compulsively – do them slowly, gracefully and mindfully
  8. Speaks of people with eye issues and how they were able to heal themselves with certain Buddhist practices such as placing the palms over the eyes and imagining blue/black. Like everything else, the eyes are intricately tied to the brain and are the first part to change before the brain
  9. Music is also a potent way to reach the brain. Music can be used to rewire and teach the brain new connections 
  10. Dr. Tomatis figured out that one can only sing as well as one can hear. However, one can train themselves to hear better and therefore sing better (using the electronic ear)
  11. People tend to speak out of one side of their mouthes. Right side generally associated with better listeners
  12. Paul Madaule and Dr. Tomatis at the Listening Center – have had amazing success with autistic children and other mentally challenged cases
  13. Rates of autism have skyrocketed and many think that reducing inflammation is key to reducing the symptoms
  14. Dyslexia doesn’t just affect reading abilities but every aspect of their lives
  15. Chanting can either add or detract energy – high frequency adds. This is part of what keeps Benedictine monks energized on so little sleep
  16. Mozart is the most commonly used form of classical music for listening therapy
  17. Low intensity lasers, pons tongue stimulator and sound therapy have all been effectively used to rewire the brain. Light therapy, tai chi, yoga, music, etc. all used for brain health
  18. Electromagnetic currents and magnetic fields have been used to help bones heal faster
  19. Dr. Roth in Canada uses matrix repatterning to help patients rewire their brains and bodies
What I got out of it
  1. Fascinating book on how alternative approaches have been successfully used to heal and improve the brain

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