B R A I N    I N J U R Y

How to Hurt Your Head and Blow Your Mind

I can no longer bear to watch “Funniest Home Video” programs on TV. They are mostly about children getting brain injuries. — Dr. Mary Lee Esty

The primary job of an ER physician is to plug the leaks and stabilize the patient. If the brain is working well enough that the patient is still alive, head injuries aren't normally recognized or tracked. Broken bones are.

Records from Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic show that over the last 30 years, forearm fractures have increased by 42 percent largely due to inline skating, skateboarding, skiing, hockey, and bicycling (males); skating, skiing, soccer, and basketball (females) — all sports involving speed or potential falls or collisions. A fall severe enough to fracture a forearm may also involve head injury.

American football is a major source of head injury. In the U. S., 1.5 million boys play high school football and some 250,000 of them suffer concussions in the course of the season. Those who make it to the big leagues take huge risks for their paychecks. Between 1988 and 1993, the 28 teams of the National Football League reported 445 concussions, or about 4 obvious recorded, documented concussions a week. There are certainly more “minor” ones that go unreported.

The most common sport involving speed and collision is driving. Auto accidents in the U.S. kill nearly 50,000 per year. Others are “merely" injured. One of the paradoxes of improved auto safety equipment and medical life support systems coupled with high speed impacts is that persons who are not killed outright will live — with extreme injuries and brain damage due to the forces of inertia and deceleration.

You can do much the same thing on demand at many amusement parks. “Super-coasters” no longer “coast” downhill under gravity. They are shot and flung by powerful engines. Riders are subjected to forces greater than those experienced by NASA astronauts and only slightly less than fighter jet pilots (who wear special protective gear).

These forces range far beyond what will be experienced in most martial arts classes. But even for a perfectly healthy student with no past history it may be worthwhile to consider the possibility of cumulative injury from repetitive microtrauma, such as constant unrelenting breakfalls. Avoid potentially damaging activities that are under your control.

This includes using appropriate safety equipment including brain-saving equipment such as sprung mats.

Avoid practicing in ways that increase the likelihood of head injury.

You cannot "toughen up" a bowl of jello or your computer by repeatedly smacking it with a hammer or throwing it on the floor dozens of times a day.

Similarly, you cannot you CAN NOT YOU CAN NOT “toughen up” your brain by doing more of what hurt it in the first place.

If you try, realize that in Real Life you will not escape unscathed.

In Real Life, head injury can be the End of Real Life.

Signs and Symptoms and how to repair the damage with Neurofeedback . . . coming soon!

Copyright(c) 2006 Round Earth Publishing. All rights reserved.
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