RECOVERING FROM TBI
Can the brain really heal after injury?
Our bodies have a remarkable capacity for healing from injury of any kind, from bones knitting back together after fracture, recovering from serous infection, or automatic healing of torn muscles. The brain also has an innate, evolved capacity to recover after injury.
Human beings are "top-heavy” in a way.. Our heads have the weight of a bowling ball, and they are perched atop our neck as we stay balanced on 2 legs. It's no wonder that fall injuries are relatively common, especially as we learn to walk in childhood but also throughout the lifespan. As a result, we have evolved mechanisms to recover from brain injury. Recovery occurs at the microscopic level within our neurons and other cells in the brain as well as at the level of brain circuits. Because the brain is so complex, this recovery can take longer than injuries affecting other parts of the body.
How does the brain heal after injury?
We work to support the body and the brain in its natural recovery process. The necessary ingredients for recovery include adequate rest and sleep, good nutrition, stress reduction techniques, mindfulness/meditation, light exercise, and returning to our previous activity patterns.
Basic science researchers have begun to understand the elaborate mechanisms responsible for this natural recovery, and in the future medications or other treatments may be used to accelerate the process. In the meantime we support our innate recovery process.