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Functional Neurology


Functional neurology can assess and interpret the current state of your nervous system

According to the American College of Functional Neurology (ACFN), functional neurology is a discipline that can be applied by any primary care physician or clinician, whether they be a chiropractor, medical doctor, osteopath, etc. The science is based on the best current information from research conducted and published all over the world. The clinical approach is to assess and interpret the current state of the patient’s nervous system and provide receptor-based interventions to improve the health of the neurons or the connectivity between groups of neurons. This process is based on the neuroscience principle of neuroplasticity.

Neuroplasticity is the inherent ability of the nervous system to create new connections based on the frequency, intensity, and context of how the neurons are fired. This is how we learn anything new and how we get better and more efficient at the new things we have learned. It is also how an individual who has had a stroke learns to walk and talk again using new areas of the brain to do jobs for which they were not originally used. In the book, The Brain That Changes Itself, author Norman Doidge, MD states, “[Scientists] showed that children are not always stuck with the mental abilities they are born with; that the damaged brain can often reorganize itself so that when one part fails, another can often substitute; that if brain cells die, they can at times be replaced.”

Due to trauma, inflammation, toxicity, disease, genetics or environmental considerations, a person may have one or more areas of the brain that do not function efficiently. If neurons have few connections and are infrequently fired, they undergo a process of degeneration that causes them to produce fewer internal proteins and limits their ability to perform when required. Naturally, we tend to use the neural pathways that are healthiest and most efficient, even if another pathway would be more “appropriate” for the circumstances. This is how adults with long-standing brain deficits compensate for their deficiencies, but it is also why their number of responses may be limited. Children show more obvious problems because they have not developed those compensatory responses, but they also show more dramatic improvements if appropriate care is started.

By improving the function of weaker pathways, an individual has a greater chance of responding appropriately to both internal and external stimuli. The key to improving function is to stimulate the neuron in an appropriate way, using the receptors that naturally excite that neuron, either directly or indirectly. This may involve the use of neuromuscular re-education, light, sound, vestibular rehabilitation, oculomotor training, somatosensory stimulation or other physical therapies as appropriate for the individual case.

If you are interested in scheduling a consultation and examination, please call (403) 346-2297 or click here to send us an email.

Hoffman Chiropractic & Wellness Centre | Red Deer | (403) 346-2297