Introduction to Functional Neurology
Functional Neurology is a new concept for many people. In essence, functional neurology, also called chiropractic neurology, is the clinical evaluation and treatment method for the central and peripheral nervous system. Very basically, functional neurology can be thought of as physical therapy for the brain. Just like training a muscle makes it stronger, training your brain will make it stronger.
What does it mean to make the brain stronger? By this, we mean improve the function of the brain. This can be achieved by making positive neuroplastic changes. Neuroplasticity is the term that describes the brains ability to make new connections in order to achieve a new function. Think about a developing child learning to walk or talk or write. It takes practice, but once the task is learned, it is hard wired. Through trauma, degeneration, or a developmental obstacle, the brain may not be wired correctly or it may have a weak or broken wire. A functional neurological treatment is one that promotes rewiring and/or strengthening a connection that is already in place.
Functional neurology is brain training. Smell, taste, sound, balance, vision, movement, and touch are utilized in specific ways to promote neuroplastic changes. Making a positive neuroplastic change requires specificity. Treatment needs to be specific for the part of the brain requiring change and then the treatment intensity needs to be done within the brain’s metabolic capacity. When working with fragile or broken wires (neurons), it is easy to cause more damage if the ‘weight’ of the treatment is not closely monitored.