Origins Recovery Centers has partnered with the Lawlis-Peavey PsychoNeuroPlasticity Center to address brain patterns that may contribute to drug and alcohol abuse. Psychoneuroplasticity (PNP) is based on the idea that the brain is not static and has the ability to renew itself through changes in behavior, environment, thoughts and emotions.
The PNP treatment option includes brain mapping, which shows electrical activity and brainwave patterns. PNP is currently being used in Origins clinics for patients who have attention deficit; post-traumatic stress; obsessive compulsive and other disorders.
According to Frank Lawlis, PhD, Origins' director of psychological and neurological plasticity programs, PNP stimulates the brain with self-regulatory approaches to change brain patterns toward more constructive patterns.
“For example, people who feel like victims will persist in brain patterns and communications along that perception, making the pattern more ingrained into the brain unless the pattern is changed,” Lawlis says.
The neurological functions must be applied in real life situations for optimal results. In other words, the more a person can begin to recognize reinforcement with constructive behaviors, the faster the brain can change to maximum habitual responses, he says.
While the neurological plasticity program is designed to change a patient’s self-regulation, it requires a certain amount of precision. Brain mapping will point out specific brain patterns that can be changed for better treatment, especially related to addiction.
“It is best utilized with functional neurological testing to determine what specific functions are related to the brain mapping,” Lawlis says. “The process is significantly faster than guessing how the brain is operating, and can be directly observed on the brain map when patterns begin to improve.”
Lawlis says brain mapping is cost effective because it identifies specific patterns in each patient. However, brain mapping is one tool within a larger treatment plan that includes counseling and traditional methods.
Origins will use also use nutrition, hyperbaric chambers, mindful meditation, breathing training, balancing exercise and stimulation of specific brain areas in PNP treatment. To pattern the reconstructive brain currents, Origins will use a variety of techniques from biofeedback and desensitization approaches using entertainment, to sensory deprivation experiences. All of these approaches have clear scientific neurological grounding and clinical research support, Lawlis says.
“It is clear that the addiction brain has usually been scarred by the toxicity of substance abuse and lack of nutrients for the brain health,” Lawlis says. “But there is also evidence that some brain problems may pre-exist addiction, due to stress hormones and genetic prepositions.”
PNP can be reimbursed through insurance under self-regulation codes currently, and Lawlis says that more PNP modalities will soon be reimbursed as more data becomes available.