By Margery Keasler
I was feeling discouraged the other night and, with half-steam, went to my book shelf to find something to read. The book, The Brain that Changes itself, was my choice. I read seven pages of it and my faith in humanity was restored and my sense of awe at our potential as human-beings filled me with hope and inspiration.
Scientist and rehabilitation physician Paul Bach-Y-Rita was renowned in his field for the study of the brain. He was able to grasp the fact that we are energetic beings. This 44-year-old scientist who was known to wear five dollar Salvation Army suits and drive a 15-year-old car (much to his wife’s chagrin) asked questions that no one asks: “Do we need eyes to see? Do we need ears to hear?” His questions brought him to a place in rehabilitative medicine where he could restore sight to the blind. He devised a chair that the patient sat in whereby “Electrical signals were conveyed to four hundred vibrating stimulators, arranged in rows on a metal plate attached to the inside of the chair back, so the stimulator rested against the blind subject’s skin and stimulated the neurons all over the patients back and body [to] restore some sight in the blind” (pg. 11). This now forgotten machine was one of the first and boldest applications of Neuroplasticity–an attempt to use one sense to replace another and it worked” (pg 12). He found a way to stimulate the brain through other parts of the body as well. He invented a glove for lepers which allowed them to have tactile senses in their hands which were full of dead tissue.. A condom with electrodes on it for spinal injury patients so they could achieve orgasm.
He understood our potential and our bodies’ amazing way to compensate and heal. His medicine had nothing to do with my medicine but it is the same. Our bodies are full of vital energy which can be manipulated to heal in order to live to our full potential.
I woke up the next day and felt so restored, so inspired, that I took my dog to the waterfront and hung out in the sun thinking about Acupuncture and all it can do. We are remarkable beings and this man, this scientist somehow knew it on a level that is profound and without bounds.