NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
The New York Times–bestselling author of The Brain That Changes Itself presents astounding advances in the treatment of brain injury and illness. Now in an updated and expanded paperback edition.
Winner of the 2015 Gold Nautilus Award in Science & Cosmology
In his groundbreaking work The Brain That Changes Itself, Norman Doidge introduced readers to neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to change its own structure and function in response to activity and mental experience. Now his revolutionary new book shows how the amazing process of neuroplastic healing really works. The Brain’s Way of Healing describes natural, noninvasive avenues into the brain provided by the energy around us—in light, sound, vibration, and movement—that can awaken the brain’s own healing capacities without producing unpleasant side effects. Doidge explores cases where patients alleviated chronic pain; recovered from debilitating strokes, brain injuries, and learning disorders; overcame attention deficit and learning disorders; and found relief from symptoms of autism, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and cerebral palsy. And we learn how to vastly reduce the risk of dementia, with simple approaches anyone can use.
For centuries it was believed that the brain’s complexity prevented recovery from damage or disease. The Brain’s Way of Healing shows that this very sophistication is the source of a unique kind of healing. As he did so lucidly in The Brain That Changes Itself, Doidge uses stories to present cutting-edge science with practical real-world applications, and principles that everyone can apply to improve their brain’s performance and health.
Doidge (The Brain That Changes Itself) explores the idea of "using the body to treat the brain" by surveying specialists and patients who've personally experienced the power of neuroplasticity the brain's ability to reorganize itself and heal in cases of injury or deprivation. He offers personal accounts: a psychiatrist who used his own leg fracture to map how the brain processes pain, discovering that visualizing those areas helped beat his chronic pain; a Parkinson's patient who rigorously walks to control his debilitating symptoms; and a severely dyslexic boy whose communication, among other mental activities, miraculously improved after aural stimulation. Doidge also explores the medical breakthroughs concerning electric stimulation, such as the discovery of how to activate the tongue's sensory receptors to send " spikes' to balance neurons" throughout the brain (greatly aiding Parkinson's, stroke, and multiple sclerosis patients) and the use of stimulation in a device coined the "electronic ear" that has been fundamental in listening therapy to help children with autism. Each new therapy gives reason for hope, but, Doidge asserts, the "true marvel is less the techniques themselves than the way that... the brain has evolved neuroplastic abilities and a mind that can direct its own unique restorative process of growth."