What is Functional Neurology?
Functional Neurology is a way of working with the body that stimulates the nervous system in very specific ways. It takes advantage of the neural plasticity of the brain by manipulating outside input from the senses or movement to stimulate specific areas.
Come again? Just exactly what is neural plasticity?
Neural plasticity is just a really fancy way of saying neurons can change.
Remind me, what’s a neuron?
A neuron is a type of cell in your body that is responsible for receiving, understand and executing signals.
So how does Functional Neurology work?
Look, here’s the basic logic behind Functional Neurology:
- Your brain can change.
- Disorders happen when one or more parts of your brain don’t work correctly.
- Each part of the brain can be activated through specific stimulus (or exercise)
- Every time you do the exercise, neuron connections are being made and strengthened.
- Over time, the area of the brain that was full of broken connections becomes filled with working connections.
Symptoms begin to disappear. Progress is made.
It’s not. There’s tons of factors that go into determining what are the correct exercises for your particular situation. And if you choose the wrong ones you can regress, so it’s definitely not a self-diagnosing situation. Functional Neurologists use special equipment to look at eye and body movement to understand what parts of the brain are underperforming and need stimulus.
Who practices Functional Neurology?
First off, a practitioner of functional neurology can go by several names. Although I am familiar the most with the term Functional Neurologist, they can also be known as a Neurological Chiropractor or Chiropractic Neurologist. That being said, Functional Neurologist are usually Chiropractors (although they can come from other fields of healthcare) that have an additional 300+ hours of additional training. Also each candidate is required to spend time interning with a Functional Neurologist before they can take the boards.
What can Functional Neurology help with?
Ah! One of my favorite questions. To make a long story short… Everything. Well, not quite. But there’s a lot it can help with. Because a lot of problems begin in the brain.
I’ve either had personal experience or know someone who has had it help with the following issues:
- Learning disabilities
- Balance disorders
- Secondary Endolymphatic Hydrops (similar to Meniere’s Disease)
- Movement Disorders (Dystonia and Myoclonic)
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Memory issues
- Reading difficulties
- Eye coordination
- POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)