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Note's from The Brain's Way of Healing

This is a separate page that I'm using for notes mostly for my own use, but also for anyone else who may be interested:

The Brain's way of Healing (2015)

by Norman Doidge, M.D.

Remarkable Discoveries and Recoveries from the Frontiers of Neuroplasticity

also wrote the Brain that Changes Itself (2007)

How light, sound, vibration and movement influence the brain to make new use of itself.


On Light

Work of Fred Kahn, general and vascular surgeon b. 1929 Germany, later Ontario and California.  Got interested in low intensity laser light therapy about 2_ years ago after a skiing accident left him with a rotator cuff injury.

In 1986, two years after the accident and still in pain, a friend suggested he use an old Russian laser machine.  It worked, and he went on to research 20+ years with use of light in healing, mostly with orthopedic injuries, later by accident discovered helped with brain injuries.

Uses 4 different methods now to get light into cytochrome molecules (mitochondria stuffed with light sensitive cytochromes).


1. Red light, generated by 180 light emitting diodes (LEDs), laid out in rows, mounted on a soft plastic band the size of an envelope (660 nanometers) for twenty-five minutes.  This light penetrates one to 2 centimeters into the body.

2. Infrared band (840 nanometers) for another 25 minutes and this penetrates about 5 centimeters into the body.

3. (and 4.) Pure beam of lasers, beginning with a red probe (660 nanometers), followed by an infrared laser probe (840 nanometers). Short time in various spots - 7 minutes (not clear about 7 minutes each, or total time for both..? )

Light being used on acupuncture points.  Electronic meters can find acupuncture points.

On Movement :

Chapter 2 is a lot on the variables of how a man with Parkinson's walked it off.  John Pepper, a Parkinson's patient (was argued later that he didn't have Parkinson's) discovered after many years of going into decline with Parkinson's that walking helped him use his conscious brain to control movements which are normally controlled by the subconscious brain, triggering neuroplastic changes in his brain.  Pepper wrote own self-published memoir There is Life after being Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease, not claiming to have cured, but turned back the most dreaded symptoms.  He regresses when he doesn't exercise.  John Pepper was born October 27, 1934.

He has traveled on more than 75 international journeys (enriched and changing environment fires him up to walk).

He's still walking after many setbacks.

The key for him was slowing down and breaking each movement into smaller units of awareness.  Found this out after joining his wife's Walk/Run for Life program, where they start a person out 10 minutes a day every other day. When he was forced to slow down to his wife's pace, this is where he began to get the hang of using his brain in a different way to beat his learned non-use.


On Vibration/Mild Electrical Stimulation:

The PoNS unit is a device that provides the neurons just enough stimulation to fire their own electric signals to the brain.  The firing pattern is at 200hz in a rhythm of 3 signals, pause, 3 signals.  It is placed in the tongue and used for 20 minutes 6 times a day.

PoNS stands for Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator.

Developed at the Tactile Communication and Neurorehabilitation Laboratory by

Yuri danilov - neuroscientist - Russia

Mitch Tyler - bio medical engineer

Kurt Kaczmarek - electrical engineer


The PoNS "...appears to stimulate a huge network of the brain's own self regulating homeostatic system.."

Studies have opened up in the areas of:

Soldiers with TBI (traumatic brain injury) US Military

A study in Omaha is assessing the device for children with acquired brain injury after neurosurgery for brain cancer.

In Vancouver a study is commencing using the device on spinal cord injuries.

Groups in Russia are studying it for Parkinson's Disease, stroke, cerebral palsy, tinnitis and hearing loss.

From pgs 277 & 278

So, far the team at Madison "has seen anecdotal improvements in people with migraines related to balance disorders, nystagmus (an eye tracking problem), brain damage after chemotherapy, neuropathic pain (including trigeminal neuralgia), dytonia, oscillopsia (a vision disturbance where objects sem to occilate), dysphagia (trouble swallowing), spinocerebellar ataxia (a progressive illness in which the cerebellum wastes away, and the patient loses control of his movement), Mal de Debaquement syndrome (in which people get seasick and, back on land, find that a persistent sense of motion stays with the, and general balance problems.

They think the device may help improve functioning for autistic spectrum disorders (where the cerebellum is often affected, and where balance and sensory integration problems are prominent), neuropathies, epilepsy, essential tremor, cerebral palsy, sleep disorders, some learning disorders, possibly neurodegenerative diseases other than Parkinson's including Alzheimer's, and age related balance loss.

This isn't to say the inventors think it's a panacea.  However, a device that can tune detuned brain networks --- or rather, help them tune themselves --- and then neuroplastically reinforce vital homeostatic circuits may well have wide applicability.  The device may be especially effective in MS because it turns off chronic inflammation, a newly discovered effect of electricity on the brain.

Scientists have discovered a neuroinflammatory reflex that is housed in the vagus nerve (which the PoNS stimulates directly) and have recently used electrical stimulation of the vagus to cure rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune illness like MS, in a man for whom all medications had failed.  The details of th neuroinflammatory reflex, and how it works to turn of an overactive immune system almost immediately, are discussed in detail in the end notes.


On Sound:

Chapter 8 

The work of Paul Madaule of the Listening Center.

Influenced by Dr. Alfred Tomatis listening tests, developed a listening device that replicates, simulates mothers voice, and music filtered through the prenatal world - one has to find the distinguishable sounds.

Paul Madaule developed a portable Electronic Ear called the LiFT (for listening fitness trainer).

Uses movement with listening device, such as on a swing.

Ron Minson's important contributions to update Alfred Tomatis's theories was to resolve some important confusion about how sound therapy works - signals from sounds don't go directly to the frontal lobes, rather they go to various subcortical areas beneath the cortex, that are involved in processing incoming sensory input.

Sound therapy can correct attention problems by stimulating all the subcortical areas illustrated in the figure on pg 338.


On Music:

One of the above tried different classical music, then finally settled on Mozart especially where violins are used with high overtones and harmonics.

Tibetan monks can practice up to 20 years to get the high overtones and harmonics right when chanting OM.


Denver - Lucy Miller's STAR Center (Sensory Therapies and Research)

Ron Minson developed iLs music for Integrated Listening System or iLs.

The program integrates movement, balance & visual exercises with their listening program.  Also uses neuro feedback (described in appendix 3).

End notes from book.


Other related information - notes: click on LED therapy on the home page. 

or click here:

An electrical engineer explains LED lights used in therapy.  Cheaper versions of light with 660-850 nanometers.  Red stop light bulb, or hallogen 75 watt bulbs (outdoor light bulbs), also security grid lights: $11.  Also placing red dye in water in a ziplock bag, place on knee or affected area, and then shine light through. 

Also made/directions for a light helmet.  

Have to get the nanometers right and use general precautions.

Found a search item/review under willow curve (light and heat device $599) someone suggested get a heating pad (thermal kinetic energy :) and some lighting that provides light in the 660-900 nanometer spectrum (red). The idea is light is light. 

Old time nursing home remedy to heal pressure sore tissue:  40 watt light bulb for 20 minutes.

November 8: I'd be really careful not to not look straight into LED lighting, but wear some of those wrap around sunglasses to even turn the light on.  Very powerful.  Tried the grid light sold in the tool section at Costco, and the white reading lamp.  Took them both back.  Had spots in my eyes for days, not even looking straight into them. 







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