Neurology - NTT Tango Therapy

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    • Stroke
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Parkinson's disease
    • Onset dementia
    • Alzheimer's
    • Relatives     of dementia patients (for prevention and psychosocial support)
    Neurological functions used by the Neurotango® method support health and well-being

    1) Learning processes on cognitive, motor, psychological and social levels
    Learning processes in the brain are linked with emotions. In NTT, this happens a) through the music (direct stimulus for the emotional memory, which is not affected by Alzheimer's, for example) and b) through the emotion towards the partner, teacher, and group. These are all unconscious processes that take place in the brain and promote or enable the learning process.

    The stronger the emotion, the more lasting the storage and the faster the absorption into the memory. A negative example of this would be trauma. An extremely emotional experience that causes extensive networking in the brain and usually remains as a memory for a lifetime. People with traumatic experiences usually remember a multitude of details, such as smells, colours, temperature, and visual and auditory impressions. All these memories in the brain are due to the strength of the emotional impression and its functioning of pattern formation, for example, to avoid imminent danger later.
    Conversely, positive behaviour patterns, habits and closeness can also be built up when the brain has recognised something as harmless, pleasant, and relaxing. Unfortunately, this is also a mechanism for how addictions arise where a particularly pleasant feeling, such as a pleasant state of intoxication from alcohol or drugs or sexual pleasure, leads to compulsive behaviour. Neurotango® is also used in addiction therapy. These are, for example, recognition in the group, praise from the partner or the trainer, personal development, and success, however, with no or far fewer negative side effects than with drugs or alcohol.
    2) New extensions through new experiences
    New synaptic connections can only be created when new experiences come into your life. Even a single network change through one expansion connects many new areas. The newly learned information in Neurotango® brings numerous effects to the most diverse areas of the brain. For example, spatial perception, counting, music comprehension, sensory and haptic stimuli, motor coordination, dialogue and communication. From every single new connection, a multitude of areas can be newly integrated into the network with exchange possibilities to all extensions. NTT can have a substitute function for unconscious needs lying behind the addiction.
    Not to be disregarded are the physical and neurobiological enhancements that the brain initiates during the movement and embodiment. Muscle development, metabolic processes, nerve impulses for movement, optimising cognitive processes and integrating new movement patterns and mobility. At the same time, this generates metabolic processes, hormonal processes, and messenger substances.
    All these processes are based on "feeding" the brain with new experiences and learning processes that take place simultaneously on a wide variety of levels. Optimal brain development includes the highest possible number of different information from sensory perception, mental learning and motor processes linked with emotion for being stored.
    3) Creating patterns instead of detailed information storage
    We have already learned in point 1 that the brain learns through patterns. Learned patterns and movements are, therefore, always linked with a multitude of other information and processes. Multi-dimensional stimuli have a better chance for long-term memory storage than individual pieces of information. Therefore, a holistic therapy method that conveys motor, cognitive and emotional information/learning content is much more effective than "one-sided" training (in the motor area) or, e.g., learning single vocabulary without situation-oriented use (in the cognitive area).
    All learned patterns will be mirrored on the physical level. Even any experienced positive or negative emotions we collect (joy, success, stress, bullying). These processes are also called embodiment. The body experiences external moods, stress, and problems and reacts holistically. Besides, e.g., bad moods like sadness, anger, and depression, somatic processes are initialized like high blood pressure, heart palpitations, hormonal reactions, metabolic reactions, etc. Prolonged, negative stimuli can even lead to serious diseases. We are normally aware of negative influences but very bad in changing these situations quickly and effectively. And we are highly insensitive and inexperienced about how negative stimuli are expressed through our bodies. Even less is known about embodiment processes used in reverse, for example, by imitating a laugh without any reason for it. After a short time imitating a smile, the body reacts by releasing happiness hormones (endorphins) as if it were a real smile. Neurotango uses embodiments to create movements and postures for psychosocial changes through body language stimulation. Learning through movements is a 3-dimensional learning that includes all sensory perceptions. This creates a multitude of new patterns and brain connections.
    4) Replacement of "lost" information

    Due to ageing processes and neurological decreases, a lot of information gets lost in the brain. This implies cognitive knowledge, motor abilities and biochemical information that the brain loses. So, we literally "unlearn" abilities like how to walk or move properly. These abilities are also linked in the brain network with countless other pieces of information to which there is suddenly no longer a connection because the connection has been interrupted. The brain works according to the principle of "use it or lose it". That means constant training without long breaks. All brain connections depend on the constant use of motor, cognitive and sense perceptive action. We know from many case studies in neurology that the brain can build new bridging for destroyed parts. Even people who are missing whole areas of the brain or who have been diagnosed with a high degree of Alzheimer's have had completely normal functions, reactions and abilities. The only explanation for this is the replacement of the synaptic connections in other parts.  
    Especially in the training of people who have Parkinson's disease, we observed that many motor, cognitive and somatic functions that had been already lost were restored. This also included psychosocial areas. However, the effect lasted only during the training period and up to about 6 weeks afterwards. Without further training, the degenerative processes quickly reappeared with serious symptoms, sometimes with worse symptoms than before.
    5) The more, the merrier
    Besides the principle of "use it or lose it", the brain functions according to another principle. "The more, the merrier". The Neurotango combination of motor, cognitive, sensory, and psychosocial training seems to be responsible for the fact that a quick and effective build-up of various abilities was observed. All of the participants seem to have much more energy.

    6) Multidimensional stimuli
    As already mentioned in point 2, the brain needs multi-dimensional or multi-level stimuli. It is, therefore, first and foremost a question of the quality of the information. The brain needs to make new movements in combination with cognitive tasks for long-time storage. For the brain, good quality means the involvement of all senses, such as smelling, feeling, hearing, communication, and movement. Alongside this, oxygen, daylight, and good nutrition. The brain cannot be deceived by television or computers. It needs real experiences, e.g., with smell, taste, temperature, and movement. The behaviour of the eyes when looking fixedly at a screen or television is rather negative because they are fixedly focused on one point and fall into a kind of meditative state from which they are constantly torn out again by new stimuli such as sounds or new images. The hearing behaviour in the case of devices is also different. The brain does not perceive the same sound waves as from a talking person face to face. Sound waves of a talking person not only come visible and audible from the mouth but reach the auditory system through frequencies and vibrations. The importance of recognising "real" vibrations of sound waves has been noted in young children who could not learn to speak through a person on the screen. People need to be addressed by real people. It makes a big difference for the brain and its diverse perceptual sensitivity. Movement therapy like Neurotango®, with a partner, group, music, spatiality, and all other requirements, as described in point 2, completely fulfils the requirements of multidimensional stimuli.

    7) Biochemical stimuli
    Often a lack of biochemical substances and the brain's ability to produce them is a reason why cognitive, motor, cardiovascular, metabolic processes etc., no longer function. For example, dopamine in Parkinson's patients. Immediately after the Neurotango® training, almost all participants rated themselves about 3 points (scale of 1 - 10) better both in the physical and the psychological area. All of them report a feeling of lightness, more flexibility, and light-heartedness. Studies have shown that dance can have the same effect as antidepressants (medication). Mobility, feelings of happiness, and freedom from pain cannot be explained by this alone. Similar studies have shown that the production of opioids, endorphins and dopamine are also stimulated by movement, rhythm, music, physical contact, and dialogue. All are components of Neurotango®.
    8) Mirror neurons
    A special feature of Neurotango® training is that all exercises can be done in a pair. This variation addresses a special area in the brain. The mirror neurons. We have made an interesting observation from embodiment. In everyday life situations, people unconsciously mirror people they like. This body language behaviour is probably meant to be an archetypal message to our counterparts that they have nothing to fear from us and that we are friendly. There is sympathy or more. This brings relaxation and harmony to our inner system. No alertness is necessary.
    In the couple exercises, mirroring movements are performed in almost all Neurotango® Tools (#NTT). After a while, one observes that even participants who were rather reluctant to practise together (for example, two elderly men) began to smile at each other and found pleasure in the joint movement and task. The activation of the mirror neurons also generates empathy and connects oneself with the outside world. On a psychological level, it means moving away from "one's own drama" and towards contact, encounter, relationship, and bonding. According to psychotherapeutic approaches, this is the basic issue for psychological and social problems.
    Closeness and togetherness are important factors for inner well-being, especially in an increasingly lonely and media-focused world. Real encounters and physical contact are important components of the brain for expansion and balance.
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