If you or a loved one has had a stroke, there may be a loss of function on one or both sides of the body. Stroke symptoms occur when the blood supply to a part of your brain is disturbed or reduced, robbing brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. Within minutes, brain cells begin to die. As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, causing symptoms like the inability to move an extremity, labored speech, and headache. Treatment for stroke is both immediate and ongoing. Ongoing stroke treatment is usually referred to as stroke rehabilitation.
The capacity for Healing in response to experience or injury, is known as neuroplasticity.
The evidence for movement training, especially in limb rehabilitation, is clear (Ramachandran VS, Doidge N). It is known that visualization and using symmetrical and bilateral movements post stroke, enhance changes within the brain, the process of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity allows healthy nerve cells in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and to adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment. Theories suggest that the Feldenkrais Method can improve one’s use of the brain, allowing increased access to spared neural pathways within the damaged brain, increased activity of pathways in the affected hemisphere running to the spinal nerves, and increased activation of the pathways from the unaffected hemisphere to supplement damaged crossed pathways (Byl, N). This all means improved functional abilities for you!
Treatment for stroke is possible
A Feldenkrais approach to stroke treatment takes the following neuroanatomy into consideration:
- Areas of the brain responsible for specific functions are vastly underused
- The body has a way to communicate the efforts of the unaffected side. This allows the unaffected side to be a “model” of function from which to learn
- New neural connections around areas of damaged brain can be formed, the process of neuroplasticity
- These new connections respond to stimuli in much the same way as the old connections, restoring lost function
Have you had PT and OT and still feel room for improvement? Feldenkrais therapy and exercises involve the whole body to improve function, optimize mobility, and eliminate any pain that may be present. At the Feldenkrais Center, our approach to treating your stroke allows a faster and more complete stroke recovery than traditional treatments. Many patients report substantial stroke symptom relief with each session.