Author: Dr. Emily Kalambaheti, Staff Clinician
As the second part of my three-part book review series, I would like to share with you the second book I read by Norman Doidge M.D., “The Brain’s Way of Healing: Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity.” Dr. Doidge’s second novel allowed me to see more of Dr. Doidge’s personality expressed through the pages, while permitting me to further my passion for revolutionary therapies (and sometimes, treatments that appear revolutionary, but are actually decade-old ideas).
At Plasticity®, we utilize low-level light therapy, or photobiomodulation, on many of our patients. Dr. Doidge’s fourth chapter titled, “Rewiring a Brain with Light,” discussed the rich history of light-as-a-therapy that dated all the way back to World War II, with Sister J. Ward using sunlight to help jaundice infants (even further back if you consider the ancient cultures).
Chapter three, “The Stages of Neuroplastic Healing,” summarizes what I spent years of post-graduate education at the Carrick Institute understanding. The stages included neurostimulation to reawaken areas and pathways in the brain (using light, electricity, vibration, etc.), neuromodulation to balance the autonomic nervous system (fight/flight and rest/digest), neurorelaxation via improved sleep to increase energy and recycle waste, and neurodifferentiation and learning as the final stage when the brain regulates itself and becomes better at creating distinctions.
While reading “The Brain's Way of Healing,” Dr. Ramachandran, the name of one of the reviewers, caught my eye. He too has a book dedicated to plasticity and understanding the brain, titled “The Tell-Tale Brain”. This will be reviewed in the third part of this book review series.