There are many aspects of chiropractic care which set it apart from traditional medicine, and one of the most prominent is the idea of chiropractic neuro-rehabilitation, also known as “functional neurology.”
Functional neurology epitomizes the overall chiropractic philosophy of healing the body through holistic means while avoiding surgery or medication whenever possible.
What does functional neurology mean in terms of chiropractic care? Let’s take a look.
Understanding Functional Neurology / Chiropractic Neuro-rehabilitation
The key concept at the heart of chiropractic functional neurology is the idea of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the ability of the brain, and by extension the entire nervous system, to change throughout the course of a person’s life.
You’ve probably heard stories of people who lose their sense of vision, only to discover that their senses of hearing, smell, and touch grow to be much more sensitive as a way of compensating for their inability to see. That’s one example of neuroplasticity in action. While there are a few aspects of your nervous system which are unchanging, in general, there is a lot about a person’s brain and nervous system which can be changed under the right circumstances.
This effect is what
chiropractic functional neurology seeks to harness.
There are many different practices associated with functional neurology, more than we could cover in a short blog. However, most revolve around exercises designed to stimulate the part of the brain where change is desired.
A simple example would be a patient who is having balance issues. Rather than feeding them pills, functional neurology would say they should be put through a series of exercises intended to improve their sense of balance. So, the chiropractic care specialist would, perhaps, put them on a wobbly balance board while having them perform a simple task such as catching balls which are tossed to them.
This would be challenging to the patient, but with perseverance, they would become more adept at the task. In the process, they would also be training their brain to have a better sense of balance.
In short, functional neurology is about encouraging your body and brain to heal naturally, rather than relying on knives and pills.