March 2020 - Mindful March
It's National Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy
I have an intimate connection with both of these neurological disorders. My son is living with a Traumatic Brain Injury and his oldest daughter, age 9, deals with Cerebral Palsy every day. This is what continues to fuel my interest in the area of brain health and how Massage Therapy and Yoga can support those who live with these disorders.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a condition caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain. CP usually occurs either during fetal development, before, during or shortly after birth or during infancy. CP affects a person's muscle tone, movement and motor skill. Many people with CP also have other developmental disabilities including; epilepsy, autism, blindness, hearing and/or speech issues. Recent statistics indicate there are approximately 500,000 people in the US affected by CP. Through advocacy, research and education, improved awareness breaks down barriers many with CP face. We wear green this month (or on CP Day March 25) in support of awareness. Green represents new growth and inspires renewed life. You can learn more about CP at www.cerebralpalsynewstoday.com.
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is basically a disruption in brain function caused by an external force to the head. Over 2.8 million TBI's occur in the U.S. annually. These injuries range from mild to moderate or severe. However, clinical diagnosis is not necessarily associated with long-term symptoms which vary greatly from person to person even in the same category. TBI is often invisible to those around us which creates gaps in support and understanding. TBI causes a wide and varying range of effects from cognitive (ie; impulsive, memory loss, difficulty concentrating/communicating), physical (ie; headache, dizziness, loss of balance/coordination, chronic pain), and emotional (ie; irritability, sadness, anxiety). No two TBI's are the same and the journey to recovery can be long. For more information, check out Brainline.org.
Mindfulness Meditation, gentle yoga and massage therapy are all useful tools to support those with TBI's and CP. So please join me this month in spreading some awareness about TBI's and CP and wear something green!
- Elisa -
P.S. Today I signed up for Love Your Brain's 31 Day Meditation Challenge in support of Mindfulness March (nope, I didn't make that up). Love Your Brain (LYB), their mission is to improve the quality of life for people affected by traumatic brain injury through mindfulness, yoga and community. These programs are offered to anyone with a TBI or their caregiver or professionals who deal who support them. For more information or to sign up for the Meditation Challenge (which gives someone with a TBI an opportunity to receive a free class), visit www.loveyourbrain.org