Healing the brain after stroke requires hard work, and these 5 pillars of will help you hone in on what’s important.
Let’s get started.
1. Rewire Your Brain with Neuroplasticity & Exercise
To improve motor skills after stroke, you’ll need to perform rehab exercises. This probably isn’t a surprise.
But what might be a surprise is that rehab exercises aren’t solely focused on retraining your muscles – they’re also retraining your brain.
Since a stroke impairs your brain’s ability to properly communicate with your muscles, a diligent rehab exercise regimen can help restore this communication.
Rehab exercises allow the brain to rewire motor functions that were once held in damaged parts of the brain over to new, healthy parts of the brain. This rewiring process is known as neuroplasticity, and it’s your brains way of adapting and healing itself after stroke.
This is why we constantly remind you that rehab starts in the brain, not the body.
The next pillar of stroke recovery will explain how to maximize your neuroplastic benefits.
2. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
In order to fully reap the benefits of neuroplasticity, you need to utilize a high number of repetitions during your rehab exercises.
The more your repeat your rehab exercises, the stronger the new connections in your brain will become.
So if you’re diligent about your rehab regimen, you’ll see maximum results.
3. Don’t Underestimate Feedback
You need feedback during your rehab exercises to let your brain know that you’re doing the exercises correctly.
If you repeat an exercise over and over but you have no way of knowing that you’re doing it correctly, then you won’t reap the full benefits of your exercise.
Feedback could take the form of a therapist telling you that you’re doing it correctly.
If you don’t have another person available to give you verbal feedback, then you can use at-home rehab devices that provide real-time, visual feedback, like MusicGlove.
4. Set Goals to Accelerate Success
Goal Setting will help keep you focused and motivated on the road to recovery.
First set yourself a long-term goal and then break it down into a series of smaller goals that you can work on week by week.
That way, you’ll set yourself up to celebrate all the little victories along the way instead of feeling like you’ll never get to a seemingly impossible long-term goal.
5. Meditate to Heal Your Brain!
While meditation might seem a little out of place here, it deserves incredible merit in the world of stroke recovery.
Meditation has the power to help reduce anxiety, depression, and mental fatigue after stroke.
All three of these symptoms are common side effects during stroke recovery, and meditation can serve as a simple solution.
When first starting a meditation practice, it can be quite difficult to silence your mind.
But it’s just like rehabilitation exercise: the more you practice, the better you’ll get.
PS. We think you’ll like our other post about how mindfulness helps heal the brain.