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Brain Injury Awareness Month: New Hope for the Brain-Injured Person

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. It is of great importance to raise the general awareness of the prevalence of brain injury, since even mild brain injury can have devastating impact on a person's life.
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Did you know that 1.7 million people, including nearly 475,000 children, sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States each year?

This statistic comes from the Brain Injury Association of America, as well as this fact: 3.1 million individuals live with lifelong disability as a result of TBI. Learn more about brain injuries here.

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. It is of great importance to raise the general awareness of the prevalence of brain injury, since even mild brain injury can have devastating impact on a person's life.

2013-03-16-braininjuryanatbanielmethod.jpgOne of the problems with milder forms of brain injury is that the symptoms vary dramatically from person to person. The symptoms are often experienced internally, but are not obvious to the outside observer.

There are elusive and fluctuating physical symptoms like dizziness, occasional nausea, and greater sensitivity to light; while cognitive and emotional symptoms may include difficulty with concentration, thinking that is not clear, and one's memory not working as well as before. Very often, this milder form of brain injury leads to people feeling like perhaps they are "crazy." It can also create tension with loved ones who don't have a grasp of what's going on and don't know how to help.

With more severe brain injury, in addition to the hidden and elusive symptoms, there are overt symptoms to the outside observer such as an obvious disruption in the ability to organize movement, and oftentimes, impaired speech.

The importance and centrality of the brain and the nervous system is universally recognized. However, the big challenge is how to access the brain to help it heal from trauma.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to present at two recent brain injury conferences:

  • Third Annual Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference: "Building on the Legacy of Coma to Community," in San Jose, Calif., hosted by the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
  • Eleventh Annual Pacific Northwest Brain Injury Conference in Portland, Ore., sponsored by the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon and the Brain Injury Association of Washington
  • My focus was practical applications of brain plasticity principles in providing breakthrough clinical outcomes for those suffering from brain injury.

    From my observation over the years, when a brain is traumatized, its capacity to perceive and organize in relation to the stimulus that is coming in is greatly compromised. For the brain-injured person, the incoming stimulus is often times experienced as a blur that is hard to decipher.

    The Nine Essentials of the Anat Baniel Method help the brain of the brain-injured person improve its capacity to perceive differences. The perception of differences -- visual, auditory, olfactory, or kinesthetic -- is the source of new information to the brain. The more the brain is capable of perceiving finer and finer differences in the stimuli that are coming in, the more it has information to work with. These perceptions drive the creation of new connections, new patterns, and new solutions -- physical, cognitive, and emotional. The good news about the "Essentials" is that they are easy to learn and easy to implement.

    It was very inspiring and exciting to see many people in these conference audiences -- people with TBI, their loved ones, and professionals -- be so interested in adopting these concepts and practices that are a true paradigm shift from the more traditional approaches!

    Most importantly is that there are ways to access the brain, to help it heal, and do its job of organizing all action better. View this video to learn more about the Anat Baniel Method.

    One final note: The 11th Annual Pacific Northwest Brain Injury Conference was recorded, and CDs and DVDs are available for purchase from Backcountry Recording if you are interested. (To clarify, there will be no financial remuneration to Anat Baniel or the Anat Baniel Method.)

    Find the conference recording of "11 Key Breakthrough Practical Applications of Brain Plasticity Principles" by Anat Baniel here.

    For more by Anat Baniel, click here.

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