(NaturalNews) Neuro-plasticity refers to the capacity of the nervous system to change its structure and function over a lifetime.
Most people understand that if a right-handed person loses the ability to use his right arm, he will soon adapt and come to depend on his left. The process of learning will take place slowly and force the brain to forge new neural pathways that make using the left hand easy. Brain plasticity. It is well researched.
What many people don't realize is that mental and emotional learning also force the brain to develop new physical connections. When these new connections develop, they can be permanent.
This alone should be evidence that 1) you can recover from mental and emotional issues and 2) psychotherapy and related disciplines are the best options (as they facilitate learning), compared with drug intervention.
Listen to what researcher Ernest Rossi, Ph.D. says about the effect of therapy on genes and the brain:
Gene expression and brain plasticity are the physical basis of the natural transformations of mind, consciousness, and behavior. Direct evidence for gene expression and brain plasticity facilitated by psychotherapy is being rapidly documented at this time (Kandel, 2001; Lichtenberg, et al., 2000, 2004; Rossi, 2002b,2004b, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008).
Evidence for the involvement of gene expression and brain plasticity in psychotherapy was originally emphasized by Eric Kandel (Kandel, 2001, 2006), who recently won a Nobel Prize for his lifetime of research in this area. Kandel (1998) states this perspective as follows:
"Insofar as psychotherapy or counseling is effective and produces long-term changes in behavior, it presumably does so through learning, by producing changes in gene expression that alter the strength of synaptic connections and structural changes that alter the anatomical pattern of interconnections between nerve cells of the brain. As the resolution of brain imaging increases, it should eventually permit quantitative evaluation of the outcome of psychotherapy.
Stated simply, the regulation of gene expression by social factors makes all bodily functions, including all functions of the brain, susceptible to social influences. These social influences will be biologically incorporated in the altered expressions of specific genes in specific nerve cells of specific regions of the brain. These socially influenced alterations are transmitted culturally. They are not incorporated in the sperm and egg and therefore are not transmitted genetically."
This will make sense to most people who have undergone successful mental health therapies. The changes in perspective and feeling are deep and abiding. Why? Because after undergoing effective therapy, you are rewired.
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