Unlocking Potential: Exploring the Synergy of Functional Neurology and Movement for Optimal Well-being

July 5, 2016
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Functional Neurology and Movement | Innovative Health

Functional Neurology and Movement | Innovative Health

In today’s fast-paced world, where stress is prevalent and sedentary lifestyles are common, prioritizing our well-being has never been more crucial. While there are various approaches to achieving optimal health, exploring the synergy between functional neurology and movement presents a promising avenue for enhancing both physical and mental well-being.


Functional Neurology, Movement, and Brain Health

Many people work on strength, conditioning, and balance training specific to the extremity or muscle they want to improve. While our muscles must coordinate and work together to have appropriate movement, what controls these? Now let’s take a look at the brain and its impact on movement. Our brain is responsible for all motor output and sensory input. It is within the brain stem and cerebellum where muscle tone, sensitivity, and control are developed and maintained.

This is one of many reasons why those with neurodegenerative diseases, concussions, strokes, and head injuries have impaired coordination and movement abilities. We look at movement patterns in every patient from simple range of motion exercises to complex movements. We care about symmetry between both sides of the body. We compare upper to lower extremity and proximal to distal. These all correspond to slightly different areas within the cortex and cerebellum.


Understanding Functional Neurology

Functional neurology focuses on the relationship between the nervous system and overall health. Unlike traditional neurology, which often treats specific neurological conditions, functional neurology emphasizes optimizing brain function to improve various aspects of health. By assessing neurological function and employing targeted interventions, practitioners aim to enhance brain performance and overall well-being.

There is a growing emphasis being placed on movement patterns from coaches, trainers, physical therapists, and chiropractors. The question is, why do we care about movement patterns?

  1. Needed for optimal athletic performance
  2. Injury prevention
  3. Shows recovery from injury
  4. Brain Health

Many people would have guessed the first 3. When movement patterns are appropriate we can assume the muscles are coordinating together. This is needed for the activity to be performed at the highest level. If your muscles are not contracting and relaxing in sync with each other; this can decrease speed, power, and accuracy, and lead to injury.

This is commonly seen when individuals suffer ankle injuries or hamstring strains with no physical trauma. The body should coordinate these patterns appropriately, but when it doesn’t this is where the issues begin. Patterns are reflexive and become ingrained as a result of repeated actions. This is why it can be hard to change if the patterns are not identified and corrected in the right order.


The Role of Movement in Well-being

Movement is essential for maintaining optimal health. Regular physical activity not only strengthens muscles and bones but also plays a crucial role in supporting cognitive function and mental health. However, in today’s technology-driven society, many people lead sedentary lifestyles, which can have detrimental effects on both physical and mental well-being.


The synergy between Functional Neurology and Movement

Functional neurology and movement are inherently interconnected. The brain relies on sensory input from movement to function optimally, and movement, in turn, stimulates neurological pathways and promotes brain health. By integrating functional neurology principles with movement-based interventions, individuals can harness the synergistic benefits of both approaches for enhanced well-being.


Benefits of Integrating Functional Neurology and Movement

The integration of functional neurology and movement offers a myriad of benefits for overall health and well-being. Improved brain function, enhanced physical performance, and better mental health are just a few of the advantages individuals can experience by prioritizing both neurological optimization and movement in their daily lives.


Practical Applications in Daily Life

Incorporating functional neurology and movement into daily routines doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple exercises that engage various sensory modalities, such as balance drills and coordination exercises, can stimulate neurological pathways and promote brain health. Additionally, making small changes, such as taking regular breaks to move or incorporating movement into everyday activities, can have a significant impact on overall well-being.


Professional Guidance and Support

While there are many resources available for integrating functional neurology and movement into daily life, seeking guidance from qualified practitioners is essential. Functional neurologists, movement specialists, and other healthcare professionals can provide personalized recommendations and support tailored to individual needs, ensuring the safe and effective implementation of these practices.


Case Studies

Real-life examples illustrate the transformative potential of integrating functional neurology and movement for optimal well-being. From individuals overcoming neurological challenges to athletes enhancing their performance, case studies highlight the tangible benefits of prioritizing neurological optimization and movement in daily life.


Challenges and Solutions

Despite the numerous benefits, integrating functional neurology and movement into daily life may present challenges for some individuals. Common obstacles, such as time constraints or physical limitations, can hinder progress. However, by adopting a gradual and individualized approach, individuals can overcome these challenges and reap the rewards of improved well-being.


Future Directions

As research in the fields of functional neurology and movement continues to evolve, exciting opportunities for further exploration emerge. From innovative interventions to advancements in technology, the future holds promise for continued advancements in optimizing brain function and promoting overall well-being through the synergy of functional neurology and movement.



In conclusion, exploring the synergy between functional neurology and movement offers a holistic approach to optimizing health and well-being. By prioritizing neurological optimization and regular physical activity, individuals can enhance brain function, improve physical performance, and support mental health for a happier, healthier life.



What is the difference between functional neurology and traditional neurology?

Functional neurology focuses on optimizing brain function for overall health, while traditional neurology typically treats specific neurological conditions.


Can anyone benefit from functional neurology and movement, regardless of age?

Yes, people of all ages can benefit from integrating functional neurology and movement into their lives.


How long does it take to see results from integrating these practices?

The timeline for seeing results varies depending on individual factors such as current health status and adherence to recommended practices.


Are there any risks associated with functional neurology and movement?

When practiced under the guidance of qualified professionals, functional neurology and movement interventions are generally safe. However, it’s essential to consult with healthcare providers before starting any new health regimen.


Can functional neurology and movement help with chronic conditions like Parkinson’s disease?

While these practices may offer benefits for individuals with neurological conditions, it’s essential to work closely with healthcare professionals to develop a comprehensive treatment plan tailored to individual needs.

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