Oct/Nov 2007 -Your Brain Is Wired For Change
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Does the basic wiring of your brain stop growing and changing after childhood? The answer is “No”. Can you alter and change the wiring of your brain by changing your thoughts and behaviors? The answer is a resounding “Yes”.
Did you know that your brain and neurology can heal, grow and change? Perhaps you never thought about it, but the good news is, you can change your emotions and limiting beliefs using an amazing process known as Time Line Therapy that actually rewires the way your brain functions.
I have found Time Line Therapy to be one of the most effective, lasting and powerful techniques I’ve used for positive change in my clients. I’ve reprinted below a great article on this very topic, “Neuroplasticity and Time Line Therapy” written by Douglas D. Sumner, JD, PhDc, with Judy Kameoka, MD, PhDc. Copyright 2003.
“Neuroplasticity is part of the ability of the human brain and neurology to heal, grow and change. This way of explaining TimeLine Therapy changes has been useful with some clients.
We have known for quite a while that the brains of young children are changeable, or “plastic”, in interaction with its environment. The brain is still growing, and the internal “wiring” is still forming. That wiring provides the functional basis for the mental, emotional and physiological behaviors that the person will learn and manifest. The brain was thought to cease being plastic in that way after the age of 9 to 14 years or so, and basic wiring was thought to be set and fixed permanently by then.
It is more recent news that neurological plasticity continues throughout life. “Forming” is an ongoing process. The brain may change which parts it uses in a developing response or activity, or increase the amount of functional tissue available, as well as altering patterns of synaptic response activity for a given stimulus. For example, dendrites (which facilitate communication between brain cells) change shape and function, and neurons alter their responses to different signals. New brain cells may also be involved. These encompass actual physical changes in the brain and neurology, and they represent changes in behaviors and abilities.
Here’s the thing, though: neurological wiring can be changed deliberately, intentionally. Using PET and fMRI scans that track and map brain activity quickly, scientists can see that neural activity patterns are altered concurrently with, or following, deliberate changes in behavior. One can change behaviors internally, by using focused imagination such as in Time Line Therapy, or externally, by actually physically altering a sequence of actions or a response to stimulus. (The latter can be good mental exercise, but may not be fast or easy.) Again, physical changes are made in the actual mechanisms that facilitate signal transmissions between neurons, or in neurons themselves.
By the way, once new useful patterns do take over, old unused patterns tend to fade away (as long as we let go of the, but that’s another article). After a while, they no longer appear on scans at all.
So change your actions, your state, or your thoughts, and the brain tends to change to accommodate you. And once the brain has re-wired, the new behavior is easy. It becomes a natural tendency. Such changes in brain wiring take as long as they take, but sometimes they are completed in days, hours, or seconds.
Time Line Therapy seems to elicit those fast neuroplastic changes. If a new behavior seems natural and easy after Time Line Therapy, as it generally does, it probably indicates that the neuroplastic changes have taken place or are well underway, and now support production of the new behavior. The easier the new behavior, the more complete the neurological change probably is. Under this theory, the client can take any degree of difference as a sign that real neurological changes has happened or begun; actual physical changes in the brain that will continue to make the new behavior natural and easy.”
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