Stroke is quite common worldwide, and is currently the third leading cause of death in the US If you or a loved one has had a stroke, there may be permanent loss of function on one or both sides of the body. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a part of your brain is disturbed or reduced, robbing brain tissue of oxygen and nutrients. A stroke can occur because of a clot or actual bleeding inside the brain. 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, laborated speech, and / or a headache. Treatment for a stroke is both immediate and ongoing. Immediate treatment often involves going to the hospital for testing and observation. Immediate treatment may also involve medications, physical therapy, and acute nursing care. Ongoing treatment is usually referred to as stroke rehabilitation. Stroke rehabilitation takes place in the hospital at first. And after a while, you can be transferred to outpatient care when you are functionally better.
Because the effects of a stroke feel permanent, it is hard to imagine that help for a 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 right and left (corpus collosum) the functional efforts of the unaffected side. This allows the affected side to have a "model" of function from which to learn.
- New neural connections around areas of damaged brain can be formed, a process called neuroplasticity.
- These new connections respond to stimuli in much the same way as the old connections, restoring lost function.
If physical therapy has not worked to your satisfaction, the Feldenkrais Method can be used to treat all problems for which surgery is not necessary. Feldenkrais uses simple, gentle movements to reorganize posture, flexibility, strength and coordination. Based on the neurological processes by which we learn movement skills, it is a novel approach to stroke therapy , harnessing the power of the brain to help the body function more efficiently. More efficient use of self creates environments within which chronic problems can improve. Limbs can move more freely, sitting and breathing improve, and everyday activities becomes possible again. Let Feldenkrais show you how to improve your ability to function after a stroke, and get more out of life.