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  1. Dear Ones,
    I cannot tell you how meaningful this series is to me. I am learning and sharing with everyone in our meditation Sangha. You are all improving our lives and those we serve … “all beings”.

  2. I suffered a moderate brain injury in 1967 from a head- on collision. I was sitting in the back seat. There was no rehab back then. I had trouble concentrating and, with vocabulary and judgment. It has changed the way I have lived. I made it through school in easier classes. I took lots of vitamins. I am currently taking adderall, which is helpful. I have found water aerobics and jogging on a treadmill to be most helpful. It is like a tune up for my brain. I have been told that meditation would be helpful too. I listen to Mozart for focus, and drive without the radio on, so I can focus beter. I have become aware of when I am feeling spacy, and don’t drive. Fresh air helps, as does sitting by the ocean. I stay away from heavy traffic and large crowds. I limit the amount of stress in my life, so my brain will function better. When I am stressed, my short term memory goes out the window. I rarely talk on the phone, and I don’t get on the computer daily, as I find both tire my brain. I have read books about traumatic brain injury, to help me understand how a deficit in executive functioning effects me directly. I loved working with children, because there attention shifts rather quickly. I also got to move around a lot and be outdoors, which helped me keep a clear head. I am interested in hearing more from others who have had a brain injury and how they are coping. This is something that never goes entirely away.

  3. I would love to be able to listen to the broadcasts but in melbourne tthey are on a thursday morining at 8.00 am when I am on my way to work

  4. Posit Science (www.positscience.com) has created some excellent programs to assist hearing and sight, with their individually adjusting brain programs. Memory, processing time, attention, and other advances are made by each person and one is given challenges that utilize the brain’s plasticity to bring wonderful improvement that is recorded in each exercise and the purpose of each is explained clearly. I highly recommend them for everyone, whether injured, younger or older. I myself have experienced very gratifying results that were, in some cases, quite surprising: my eyesight has improved, as has my memory and the ability to hear better. They also produce a handy newsletter and will connect people into a community.

  5. I’d like to offer a suggestion of a cutting-edge therapy, Brainspotting Therapy, created by David Grand, PhD. He has a wonderful book out titled “This is Your Brain on Sports” about sports trauma – I highly recommend it for therapists and athletes, as well as coaches and parents of children who participate in sports.

  6. I would say that in addition to potential dangers of contact sports and other forms of exercise, it’s helpful to look at the emotional/psychological state in relation to exercise. Is it healthy to have rigid thinking about what exercise should look like or having a particular exercise regime?
    Bringing judgement and no enjoyment to any activity, including physical exercise or movement, probably doesn’t have a truly healthy impact on our bodies, brains or our minds. Are there studies around this or does anyone have any idea of how to really look at this relationship? I know I’ve heard it talked about… It can be a fine line between initial effort to develop a healthy habit, and forcing oneself into unhealthy rigidity.
    My sense is that the exercise can become a negative based on one’s attitude and relationship to it… perhaps ultimately damaging one’s health and well-being, especially longer term… and possibly harming other aspects of one’s life inadvertently and perhaps without awareness.

  7. Ruth,
    It is true that many, many people have had head injuries through sports or through falling or even resulting from domestic violence or street violence. However, we do know that the brain has plasticity and some of the results of traumatic injuries can be alleviated, even dispelled.
    One effective way to treat a person with brain injury is through somatic experiencing. Peter Levine has shown that animals in the wild shake off traumatic experiences by going into tremors and releasing the energetic blocks from within the body.
    Another way to treat this type of injury is through body therapy. There are many, many varieties of healing body therapy modalities, from traditional Swedish Massage to shiatsu, polarity, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais and many, many, many more. But the one that seems most appropriate to deal with brain injuries is Craniosacral Therapy which alleviates restrictions in the membranes within the brain and assists is the return of the natural flow of cerrebrospinal fluid.
    Science is just beginning to catch up with what we, as body centered psychotherapists, have known for decades.
    Dr. Erica Goodstone

    • Dr. Goodstone- I agree! I am finding that integrating various modalities and approaches is effective… perhaps depending on the extent of the injury, and how much functioning is lost initially. As an aquatic massage therapist, the warm water and bringing energy/craniosacral work into the water is also an excellent way to re-integrate the peripheral nervous system through providing the continual sensory input of water… for proprioception, stimulation, and to provide a basic calming/balancing of the nervous system.
      I also use the visualization/mind sculpting technique shared by Robert Maurer in and out of the water; as well as toning/vibration to release blocks and stimulate/calm the nervous system and cognitive awareness.

  8. FIrst off what great responses you have received! Sports related brain injuries are indeed on the rise, we as a nation are being negligent in not being more proactive about taking better precautions for our youth. With that said, if they didn’t make “Football” so glamourous to the public and pay such whopping salaries the interest might subside. However, brain injuries can happen in every day life in a variety of ways. As an example with the poor 88 year old who submitted a response about hitting her head at her house. I believe the key here is to educate the public which is what you are doing. So bravo!!
    Kind regards,
    Kyla

    • Your cranium must be prtencoitg some very valuable brains.

    • I stayed at a hotesl in San Francisco for two weeks and made delicious chicken marinara sandwiches pretty much every day. They’re very easy to make it you pick up some basics at the supermarket: wheat bread, a whole pre-cooked roasted chicken, Newman’s Own Spicy Red Pepper tomato sauce (this is key), mozarella, and then I add some crushed red pepper. Serve it with a salad or greens, and you’re good to go.

  9. Hello Ruth,
    The exercise that nurtures and supports me is Tai Chi. I have never been very disciplined, and spend way too much time in front of the computer. So I became a teacher. Once my classes are scheduled, I need to show up and move. It is a great way to stimulate mindfulness and bodily integration. Now I get plenty of exercise, and socialize with people who want to use it so they don’t lose it.
    Happily semi-retired,
    Jim

  10. It certainly is obvious that football injuries are terrible for the brain. It is scandalous that football coach Williams gave bonuses for his players injuring opponents. Let me add that bicycle accidents also cause head injuries and that the wearing of helmets is a necessary preventive.
    Ruth, your caveat about sports injuries is a helpful reminder, though non-dangerous exercise is helpful for the brain.
    Jack

    • I loved the suggestion of wine or bread. I alerday practice the other restaurant rules, but I have one other suggestion. Restaurant dinners are nearly always large enough for at least 2 meals. I will often ask for a take-home box WITH my meal and put at least half of my meal in the box BEFORE I eat. This works on the road, too, if you have a cooler and hotel room with a microwave.

    • మ థ ,జ డ పప ప ల న ఉప మ ల క ల శ ర అన చ ప పడ న క వ చ ర స త న న న . ఈ టప క మ రల ల ద . ఒక వ ళ ఉన నట ట ఎవర న ఫ లయ త అద ‘న న araban scoiisthpated క ద అన గ రహ చవచ చ ! ల ద ‘న క స త ఇ డ యన బ ర క ఫ స ట తప ప పడద ‘ అన క డ అన క వచ చ !వ టద మ ద డ , ఎవర న చ స పడ య య చ చ ! అదసల ప ద ద సమస య క ద !

  11. For Nick Drury, et. al.: See article in today’s New York Times’ Science Times, 4/3/12, p.D3: “Mind Games: Sometimes a White Coat Isn’t Just a White Coat” re: Embodied + Enclothed Cognition, from Web site of The Journal of Experimental Cognition.
    Those wearing (not looking at) a white coat believing it was a doctor’s paid much better attention (double!) than those wearing the same coat, thinking it was a painter’s. Reported by Adam D. Galinsky, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
    I am thus enclothed, therefore I think I am?

  12. I have been talking to people for years about eliminating football and other violent sports. I am able to convince many about the dangers, but the pressure on boys to play football is intense. We need to move toward cooperative activities and away from competition. Promote the principle of striving for excellence. You cannot make football safe. Why try? Let us allocate our resources to making the world a safe and loving place to live.

  13. Just as you are sending out messages about the brain, I tripped and fell, in my apt, the left side of my head striking, full thrust, on the point of the rocker on a small rocking chair. Needless to say, there was a lot of blood, which I staunched by pressing a towel agains my head.
    My vision remains clear. My memory as good as before the fall (I am 88) No nausea or dizziness. I do feel some pressure along the areas where there is healing and have had to reduce my activitiyfor the past 6 days.
    I had already signed up for the wonderful opportunity you are offering. Now, through personal experience, I see it as a response, through you, on behalf of the universe to a great cultural need.

  14. I would be very interested in hearing your webcasts, but they are during my work day and I’m unavailable. Will you be having any free rebroadcasts of your series whereby I could listen to the webcasts in the evening or on weekends. My time zone is PST. Thanks

    • Hi Jan,
      We have a free rebroadcast each week at 6:30pm ET (which is 3:30pm PT). The other option is the Gold Subscription for downloads of the videos, audios, and transcripts of each call. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at respond @ nicabm.com.

  15. I had a brain injury almost 2 years ago. I am still struggling with my walking. I do lumosity brain exercises every day and am on ritalyn and zolhoft. I dont know what else I can do. I am painting again and do exercises with an elastic is there anything else I can do?

    • I would like to suggest a few things: one, explore soft movement as much and as often as possible as your body will permit without injury. Soft movement, I mean simple floor and chair exercises and stretches, just moving and exploring through space. Feldenkrais is a good structure of movement exploration to start. Two, you may want to get the book The Open Focus Brain and the exercises associated with it. Designed by a neuro-feedback scientist, it also uses the exploration of space through still, imaginative exercises to provide release of narrow-focused gripping attention, especially that being held in the body. I understand that neuro-feedback as a therapeutic tool has been very successful in treating brain injuries. Open Focus attention training also helps immensely to improve creativity, peak performance in movement-related activities, and improving emotional well-being. Emotionally, when we turn our problems into challenges, much more information is available to us to explore solving them. Three, develop mindfulness, the ability to pay attention to what you pay attention to, and then develop the ability to notice that you are paying attention to what you are paying attention to. This doesn’t require meditation (though meditation is very good for the brain) but does require some persistence and the desire to explore reality through another observer contained within yourself. Also, try the Harry Kahne Multiple Mentality Workbook (you should be able to find it on the web). It helps develop mental positional angles for which we may look at any one thing in our mind, explore a phenomenon, or solve our daily challenges.

      • Hi Rex, thanks a lot for sharing this great advice! I fortunately have a healthy brain, but found your answer very interesting. I just ordered myself a copy of the Open Focus book. Maybe you should start writing a blog – you seem pretty tuned into this subject and have a great ability to communicate that knowledge. Sure people would find it interesting, I for sure.

    • Hi Gina,
      It is possible that homeopathy could help your progress. You would need to speak with a professional about your specific symptoms. Best wishes.

    • I would also say that visualization exercises can be really powerful in creating new connections and “re-learning” (neuroplasticity)… an excellent book is Kaizen by Robert Maurer. It’s also called mind-sculpting. What athletes and musicians use to practice and stay conditioned when injured. Some musicians live the whole performance of a piece in their mind fully experiencing it and don’t practice on their instruments as much. Athletes come out of injury without having lost body conditioning or muscle memory. It can also help shift emotional state in response to a challenging situation– say, release of frustration/fear to openness, acceptance and ease.
      I’ve been working with a client after severe TBI, and I believe that providing guided visualization including all aspects of the sensory/emotional experience and encouraging her to practice on her own is contributing to regaining movement and awareness of her body– after several years with no movement on one side! And noticeable increased effort to communicate verbally from session to session!

  16. Our brains are just amazing aren’t they? The brain should be taught about in schools. I am certain that if we taught anatomy and physiology to young people, they may be less likely to abuse their bodies with drugs, alcohol and little sleep…

    • Before I was a psych, I was a science teacher, and we definitely taught pupils about the brain. However, there is so much content in school, and making it relevant is always a challenge. There has to be a trick of getting them past the the bullet proof belief phase, which as yet hasn’t been found. First rule is to always choose your parents very carefully. 😉

  17. Hi Ruth
    Could you speak a little about radical embodied cognition and mindfulness? REC takes the view that rather than seeing thinking as something that goes on in the head (and hence the fascination with neurology), we can take the view that that thinking is the subtle positioning and re-positioning of the body in space, largely through the use of joint attention sharing activities the philosopher Wittgenstein called ‘language games’. REC is thus more interested in the role of bodily health or flexibility; and I would be interested to see what you have to say about mindfulness (or presence) from an REC perspective.
    Thanks in advance.