Using Your flexible brain to Relieve Pain


Your brain has a fantastic ability to physically change itself when faced with a new and challenging experience. This ability is called neuroplasticity. Living in chronic pain definitely fits this description. 

As our brains develop, neural pathways change. Less-used pathways are pruned away while pathways you use regularly grow stronger. Athletes have some of the strongest pathways, as do those who live in a state of constant fear. And every action you do, every thought you think, every emotion you feel, relies on and strengthens a specific neural pathway. And, more importantly, we all develop a specific way of using ourselves dependent on these actions, emotions, fears, thoughts, and even the chronic pain we experience. 

Neuroplasticity is your brain's ability to create new neural pathways and reshape existing ones, even as an adult. New pathways equate to changes in thoughts, behavior and patterns of action. Your brain makes these small changes naturally throughout your lifetime. But when neuroplasticity's potential is thoughtfully and methodically explored, this reorganization can make your brain faster and more efficient at performing all kinds of things, from perceiving to understanding, and even to moving without pain. These more efficient, effortless movements create environments within which chronic pain and injuries are finally able to heal.

Using the approach of Lori Malkoff, MD you will learn, from the beginning of your first session, to mindfully use your brain's ability to relieve chronic pain.  Each treatment reorganizes the way the parts of your body work together, enabling you to feel and perform free and easy movements without the usual pain you've experienced in the past. The results can be remarkable. Most people obtain substantial pain relief from their very first session.  Visit me at Lori L. Malkoff, MD and envision your life pain free, and full of potential!

Case Study using Feldenkrais and Diet to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

A compelling new short film has just been released detailing the results of a mom with multiple sclerosis and her successful journey to maintain independence using the Feldenkrais Method. Please share this film with those you know who suffer from this disabling disease:

click here to watch!

Successful brain aging

A special issue of Science looks at the mechanisms and contexts of successful brain aging. The development of the brain through one’s entire life is affected by genetic, physical, and psychological factors. One thing we know for certain, our mental lives benefit when we lead lives that are not only physically healthy, but also intellectually challenging and socially engaged.

As we age, our brains constantly reorganize in response to new experiences, a process called neuroplasticity. Reading, writing, games and puzzles are incredibly fun and helpful. Even after horrible physical or psychosocial trauma, such as a stroke or a loved one's sudden death, there is a phenomenal level of flexibility in the brain that enables an individual to compensate and cope, and return to brain health. 

How can we interpret this brain aging study? Stay healthy, be mindful, have good friends, and have novel experiences that create strength and joy. Feldenkrais Awareness through Movement is a perfect example of a novel experience leading to better overall organization and brain health. See if you can find the joy in it!

Exercise is a key to keeping dementia away

Research reveals that exercise is one of the best ways to protect against dementia in later life and the earlier you start, the greater the effect (from Exercise and Dementia).

However, it is only those ENJOYABLE hobbies, activities, concerts, and book clubs that seem to make a difference in brain health. “The minute a provider prescribes an activity people hate doing…most likely the effect in terms of being beneficial for brain health is lost.”

“It produces so much stress in the body not wanting to do the prescribed repulsive activity that the stress becomes more harmful than the benefit of keeping the brain active.”

Would you like to exercise more for both brain and general health, but have chronic pain issues holding you back? Contact the Feldenkrais Center at 760-436-2403 and let me help you return to those activities that bring you joy.

Lori L. Malkoff, MD 

Lori L. Malkoff, MD