The Brain’s Way of Healing by Norman Doidge, M.D.
This New York Times bestseller is an utterly fascinating look at the field of neuroscience, which is in the midst of a radical shift. Its author, Norman Doidge, M.D., is a Toronto psychiatrist, professor, and poet (!) who provides great insight into the latest understanding of neuroplasticity—the brain’s creative way of adapting to its conditions. In his second book on the subject, Doidge masterfully explains to a lay audience how the brain and nervous system interact, and describes how many neurological problems are actually motor problems/problems of learned non-use or habitual limitations. This approach has profound implications for people who’ve suffered strokes and brain injuries, as well as for those with sensory processing issues. It also holds interesting possibilities for creative people and athletes. Doidge describes how the brain can change its own structure (and improve its functioning) through natural and non-invasive inputs, such as light, sound, vibration and movement. This solidly researched effort—backed by a thorough understanding of Eastern and Western medical history on the subject—turns out to be a surprisingly accessible and engaging read.
Christina Shah was born in Ottawa and lives in Vancouver, where she works in heavy industry. Her poetry has appeared in Qarrtsiluni, Blast Furnace, and Spring. She recently completed her first full-length poetry manuscript, if: prey, then: huntress. Her poems, "sunset crew" and "pinky laundry," appeared in The Fiddlehead no. 281 (Autumn 2019).