Living with the impact of a brain injury and a stroke can produce unforeseen challenges. These challenges can lead to frustration and a loss of hope. Several days ago, after re-posting my article, “Improving Our Brain and Body’s Ability to Excel after Brain Injury 2018” on Facebook I received a comment.
To watch and listen to the video presentation of the article, click on this link: Stroke, Paralyzed on One Side of Your Body and Creating Hope Video Presentation.
Later that Day
Later that day I received a question from another individual after watching they watched my demonstration on YouTube.
After thinking about the comment and question, I responded to the comment and question.
Comment: Again, no practical info for anyone that’s completely paralyzed by stroke 🙁 “ .
The question “Any thoughts on starting out for those that are totally paralyzed on one side?”.
Below is what I shared with the individuals, in response to their comment and question.
This is merely a suggestion as you asked for a suggestion in your comment on YouTube.
I have been thinking about your comments and question. I am not a Dr., nor do I have experience with stroke or being paralyzed on one side of my body. Consequently, I can not offer any medical advice. With that being said I have a suggestion. Concentrate on the movements that you make with the unaffected side of your body. As you make those movements with your toes, feet, lower leg, knee, hip, core muscles (stomach and back muscles), fingers, hand, arm, and shoulder focus on the brain-body connection that you are using to make those movements. Start with your toes.
As you move your toes on your unaffected side, transfer the same mind (brain) body energy to the affected side of your body. Visualize moving your toes on the affected (paralyzed) side of your body.
Then repeat this process over and over again throughout the day. By duplicating the same energy to the affected side of your body, as you move your toes on your unaffected side of your body. As you repeat this process, you MAY create new neural pathways and brain reorganization over time. Repeat this process with your feet, knees, legs, hips, fingers, hands, arms and shoulders. As with my experience, the process takes a lot of time and effort to make strides to create new neural pathways and brain reorganization.
Previously Developed Muscle Memory
After I shared the response to the above comment and question, I spoke with my My friend, Ken Collins. He reminded me of something that I will share with you. Over time and before your brain injury/stroke occurred, you developed muscle memory on your now affected (paralyzed) side of your body. Consequently, muscle memory can be reactivated through the process of creating new neural pathways and brain reorganization. With this awareness that the muscle memory is still present (theoretically) reactivating those muscle memories are possible.
No Guarantees, But…
There are no guarantees, but if we give up and don’t try, we have already lost what might have been.
“By staying committed to the process before long we will be able to look back and see how far we have come because we did not give up.” Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA
Neal Isaac, who I have showcased in my Facebook Community (Building Your Life After Traumatic Brain Injury) is an example of using mind-body energy to create new neural pathways and brain reorganization. He uses various tools and techniques to enhance his recovery process.
In My Experience
In my experience, my neuropsychologist in his report (after completing his neuropsychological examination of me) said/told me that I had achieved far beyond all reasonable expectations through sheer. persistence and motivation. Tenacity, persistence, being resourceful, and not giving up have been my ongoing companions in my ongoing brain injury recovery process.
10, 000 Kicks
I have a difficult time learning sequences of information, therefore I need to do things over and over again. I like a quote by Bruce Lee. He said, “I don’t fear the man who has done 10,000 kicks. I fear the man who has done 1 kick 10,000 times.” In my experience, I have had to learn each skill by doing that skill a bazillion times to be able to master that skill. I have then had to do the same with another skill. After learning both skills, I combine those skills into a skill set. I then have had to drill that skill set a bazillion times to be able to develop the muscle memory to be able to master that skill set. I then begin the process of learning a new skill by practicing that skill a bazillion times, and a new skill, then a new skill. Each skill and skill set along the way just take a bazillion times.
The Journey of a Thousand Miles
I repeat the process over and over again. Has taken a long time to be able to accomplish what I am now able to accomplish. 23 years of repeating the process over and over again. So be encouraged although the gains you are making may seem at a snail’s pace. I like a quote by Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” I follow that quote up with my quote. “By taking the first step and by keep moving before long we will be able to look back and see how far we have come because we did not give up.” Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA I also need to remember the line from the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare, “Slow and steady win the race”.
In the Process, I Create Hope in My Life
For more information on using the mind (brain) body connection, click on this link: Neuroplasticity, Small Successes, and Learning/Relearning Skills and Skill Sets
To read about 9 Habits that have helped me in the process of developing new neural pathways and brain reorganization, click on this link: Nine Habits to Benefit from Using the Principle of Neuroplasticity
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