I Am by Essential Minds

The Science Behind Our Success

Essential Minds

The Science Explained

Below are simplified explanations of three complex processes that take place within the human brain. These processes are Neuroplasticity, Neurogenesis and Epigenetics. While they are interrelated, they are not the same. These processes make our work possible.

Neuroplasticity

/ˌn(y)o͝orōˌplaˈstisədē/

noun

"Neuro" refers to the neurons and "plasticity" refers to the impressionable nature of our brain. Neuroplasticity involves creating new neural connections as well as removing old connections that are no longer useful.

For centuries, it was believed that if the brain was injured or diseased, the chance of recovery were nearly impossible. However, new scientific research is showing that the brain is able to change its function and structure based on thought, emotions, lifestyle, environment and experiences, throughout our entire lifespan. Neuroplasticity plays a role in everything from learning a new skill to recovering from serious medical conditions like stroke, Parkinson’s, Autism, and traumatic brain injury. It even plays a role in altering habitual emotional states. With the proper mindset and intention, along with the proper nourishment and stimulation, the brain can heal, grow, and adapt.

Neurogenesis

/ˌn(y)o͝orōˈjenəsəs/

noun

“Neuro” refers to the relation to nerves and “genesis” refers to the formation of something. Neurogenesis is the ability of the brain to grow new neurons (brain cells).

While Neuroplasticity uses the existing nerons in our brain, neurogenesis replaces neurons that have died. It was once believed that the nervous system was not capable of regeneration after the embryonic development phase, but we now know that we continually grow new brain cells in certain sections of our brain throughout our entire life span. Neurogenesis opens new and exciting frontiers in the treatment and prevention of cognitive decline, neurological disorders and other chronic health conditions.

Epigenetics

/ˌepəjəˈnediks/

noun

Epigenetics means "above" or "on top of" genetics. It refers to external modifications to DNA that affect how cells "read" genes rather than changing the DNA sequence itself.

If you have genes that predispose you to a certain medical condition, but that particular genetic expression is turned “off”, it has no negative impact. Research has proven that our genes do not control everything but instead, our genes are controlled by our mind, lifestyle and environmental influences. We see epigenetics in action with the placebo effect. As little as 5% of health issues are related to our genetics and we may have genetic responses more because our belief is that our health issues run in the family rather than because they are predetermined by our DNA.