NeuroPlasticity as the ENEMY!

@SimonInEdinburgh @pando
Before I forget, I discovered Anat Baniel and her methods. So before I begin: here is one of her many videos:

I would encourage everyone to youtube her work. The thing I got from her “especially” is to slow down and be aware of the body in movement. She works with children and adults. Also stroke patients.

Now…getting back to our discussion. I think you can’t have movement for functional everyday tasks without SOME strength. Example: For your plasticity endeavors, and like I did, you decide to take out all the things in the upper regions of your kitchen cupboard. Then over and over you put them back. Always striving for a new arrangement. Well in the beginning there were some pretty heavy canned goods I had trouble with. So doing some curls with little dumbbells and wrist curls, and squeezing my putty helped me, thru time to get er’ done more easily.

Another task I was having trouble with was getting out of my soft chair/couch. So I got a hard chair and practiced sit-to-stand squats for a certain amount of sets and reps and found it easier to get out of said chair.
I think the combo of doing the “functional” with added strength moves can only help with plasticity.
What I learned for Anat Baniel was to go slow and be ultra aware of what my whole body was doing in real time. I learned that if you are doing repetitions without awareness “willy nilly” your brain won’t care to change.

Now Please note: I went to my Physiatrist the other day. I hope you have them in UK. They are so full of knowledge about physical therapy and are MDs. They prescribe medication. My physiatrist handles stroke patients on a regular basis.

I told him about our website and my experiments with exercise etc. he said To be a good test I would at least a month or more to really see results.

He tested my body, monitored my movements and watched me walk. He has never seen me walk so poorly. He was very honest and said I am one of those spasticity stroke survivors that can only manage my symptoms.

His favorite exercises are walking with nordic poles, resistance, bands and stationary bikes. he also likes QiGong and other fluid movements. Also: keep trying the weight exercises but do in a very slow fashion with light poundage.
I told him I tried to do the “nothing at all days” and that just made me worse. He said “You Have To Move”…of course.
Before I left the office he prescribed Dantrolene for those really spastic days.
I nearly cried and lost hope that night knowing that I could only “manage” my spasticity. Added to my routine will certainly include the ideas of Anat Baniel: perhaps she knows something my doctors don’t.

So…I have some time left to experiment.
I have to tell you, I’m so sick of stroke being the center of my universe.
Blessings, Derek


Hi Roland, I wonder if I posted that this will definitely work for a over sensitised area, my suggestion would have more of a benefit ?
I have found if I have an area which is giving a burning sensation, if I rub some moisturiser into it, it helps take the edge off it.

I think that area of the body having a different no danger sensation to contend with, possibly helps mask the over sensitive sensation ? Or that the body actually likes how the moisturiser makes it feel and can dampen the sensation. May be putting it somewhere warm would do the same.


Anat has come up before - Decompensation of stroke - #22 by SimonInEdinburgh

The UK doesn’t have a therapy discipline called physiarist- don’t know if we just called it something different or don’t have that combination?

Yes you have to keep moving to stay flexible and prevent atrophy - My suggestion was and you may have already understood it as I intended for us to see if the exercise everyday was like the last straw breaking the camels back.

I agree to see cause and effect a week wasn’t realistic. I don’t think at the beginning you would have countenanced saying give it a month but maybe you do now?

I think that " you’ll never walk again” type of prognosis are either routinely proved wrong or self-fulfilling - and probably sometimes delivered as an extrinsic motivator as in “prove me wrong”, and sometimes delivered as a lazy and damaging statement that should never have been uttered - and sometimes my actually be true!

Not sure if I’ve got the picture of where you are

Yeah would be nice if stroke wasn’t so ‘consuming’ - The fact that it is made the term a #StrokeWarriors see


Hello Derek, nice to hear from you,

Thanks for the Anat Baniel video. I have a good feeling about her, listening. I will say that noticing what you feel while you move is roughly what I did every day for 50 years playing my violin. But she gets the message across with passion.

What I can’t accept is someone putting a cap on your progress. I’m sorry, but I feel it is damaging, and, as we know, there are no authorities in the World on such matters. Of course you lose hope. But it’s your choice to believe who you wish to. Personally, and I’ve said it before, the only solution I feel is to believe 100% in a full recovery. How can you work productively, knowing in the back of your mind that you can only limit the bad days, or manage the bad days ? I would want to aspire to something higher than just manage… and don’t get me wrong, I don’t always manage, but I tell myself that is just a glitch, and my vision of progress, and my complete faith in my recovery is the only way I can function. Yes, perhaps Anat Baniel does know something they don’t… she offers hope, and gets you working.

We’re all sick of our condition, and being imprisoned by it, but we must imagine life and possibilities beyond those damming statements that you can only manage your condition. And if you make a recovery, one fine day, are these experts just going to apologize? and say sorry to have slowed you down? Why even listen to Anat if you can’t aspire to progress and improve?

I’ve spoken my mind enough. Forgive me. But take care & best of luck for now,
Thanks for the post, ciao, Roland


Nigel hi

I like your post, but I’m struggling to understand what you mean by “if I posted that this will definitely work for a over sensitised area, my suggestion would have more of a benefit?”

I’m out of my depth with this subject, I get the feeling you know more than I, though I am starting to get a feel for the problems involved…

Ciao, ciao, Roland


Hi Roland
I came across a piece which stated that the more you read about the negative side effects of a medicine, the more likely you are to encounter them. It’s called the nocebo effect.

“An example of the nocebo effect is the severe adverse effects experienced by patients taking a placebo during a clinical trial. Some experts state that the nocebo effect may have a larger effect on clinical outcomes than the placebo effect as negative perceptions are formed much faster than positive ones.”

A placebo can work even though you know there is no active drug ingredient in what you have just taken.
I actually feel the moisturiser works for me, not loads but a bit of a reduction.
If I told you, try this Roland, worked for me, pain has gone/reduced or if I said, try this Roland, didn’t really work for me so suspect it won’t for you either.

The power of the mind :grin::grin:


I’m thinking, if there was a box which contained tablets just made of flour, water and a bit of sugar and they looked and seemed like a normal tablet.
We get told it’s an experimental drug with proven benefits. The box might even say, will reduce over sensitivity in big bold letters.

If we believe it will help, it will, even if we find out later on it’s got no benefit.

What don’t Doctors prescribe placebos as a solution ?
Or a number of them ? One might work :grin:


Perhaps they do :slight_smile:

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That is a possible :grin:
Maybe they need to work on their convincing skills and packaging


Ah yes, I totally agree, Nigel,

Somehow the ‘negative’ is easier to identify and look out for. We can get hooked on spotting the ‘negative’. Likewise we can look for positives, and get on a roll, until we are hooked on ‘positives’… I’m all for the power of the latter in my thinking, placebo or real, as long as it leads to a plus.

Good post, I will try moisturiser, for sure.
Cheers, Roland


@pando @SimonInEdinburgh My Doc. actually said I’ve never seen you walk so poorly. After he said I could only manage my spasticity I ran into the works of Anat Baniel and thought, hey, there’s some hope after all. If this thing is bigger and tougher than me, I can still get in a few good punches and bang it against the ropes.
I’m not going to sit on my duff and let it knock me out. I’ll also let you know how this Dantrolene works out. Baclofen? useless and might as well be sweeties. Tizanidine just makes me sleep. We are getting warmer weather this week…should help.
Blessings, Derek


I’m all for the placebo. I was thinking about it the other day actually, from a return visit to a nursery. They had a section of air-purifying plants with planter tags stating the air-purifying quality of such greenery. I am to understand that a couple of these plants in a room won’t actually purify the air but if someone thinks it will, it will help them breath easier, get their lungs performing better, unstressed and full of wholesome air. It can only be of mental and physical benefit. And it encourages people to support plant life.

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Do you think Rups if you took some medicine from a packet which said “this will definitely make you feel better”, a bit like the style of the health warnings on fags, it would benefit the taker ?
I’m wondering if I might just write it on myself and see if I can feel a benefit.


Well, they say that placebos can even work if you know you’re hoodwinking yourself. I imagine though, after some time, as the brain cottons on to the nil effect of whatever you’re doing, that the placebo effect decreases over time. Placebos have their limits, no matter how remedying jumping into freezing, cold water might be popularised, it ain’t for me.

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I’m with you there @Rups I won’t be joining anyone in freezing cold water. There could be something in the placebo affect though.