The focal dystonias are a group of disorders characterized by excessive involuntary muscle contractions leading to abnormal postures and/or repetitive movements.
The word “dystonia” is derived from the Greek dys-δυσ, a prefix meaning “difficulty” or “anomaly”, and ton(o)- τόνος, meaning “tension”, "frequency" or "rhythm".
The term “dystonia” tends to be used within a clinical context when a patient presents abnormally increased muscle tone (hypertonia) in any muscle of the body. This over-activity can be expressed as excessive force in the primary muscles used for a movement, overflow activation of additional muscles that are not required for a movement, or co-activation of muscles that antagonize the primary muscles.
One or several muscles can produce increased muscle tone or periodically experience involuntary contractions. Dystonias tend to affect the hands, legs, abdomen, laryngeal musculature, and the muscles of the neck, the lumbar, the face, jaw or tongue.
In the majority of cases the dystonic symptoms appear after some months experiencing some of the following symptoms; irritability, difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep, hyperalgesia (increased response to pain), feeling of weakness in the muscles, muscle tension, rigidity, excitability, nausea, palpitations, gastrointestinal distress , dry eyes, or hair loss.
The treatment options for dystonia generally consists of several approaches such as physical Therapy, movement re-education, alternative medicine, oral Medications, botulinum toxin Injections, and surgery.
Since 1996, Dr. Farias has been working on providing effective alternative and complementary care for patients affected by movement disorders, revolutionizing the thinking behind the concepts of Dystonias and Focal Dystonia Treatment.
Dr Farias discovered that most of the patients affected by Dystonia experienced some unexpected moments of freedom of movement due to unknown reasons. He realized that both proper coordination and dysfunctional coordination coexist simultaneously in patients affected by F.D. That made him hypothesize that the body is naturally able to restore proper coordination by itself in less time than previously supposed. As a consequence, the goal of the training is to facilitate this process of reorganization known as neuroplasticity. His method is called Dr. Farias Neuroplastic Training and Neuroplastic Movement Therapy.
In addition, he discovered that the involuntary tensions occur due to various factors. Knowing them allows you to get control over them. The recovery process can be induced moving naturally . During this process you should use your imagination and pay attention to the subtle relationship between emotions and movements.
Dr. Farias’ theory is to consider muscle spasms and tremors as logical and meaningful reactions by the human body. He has classified the different reactions observed and has linked them to different meanings by the body. He considers that spasms respond to unconscious defense patterns that follow a predetermined sequence which was programmed in the past. He believes that this sequence can be analyzed and dismantled sequentially.
Dr. Farias has been working in the phenomenon of entrainment of the brain activity, hemyspheric synchronization and the use of Rhythmic Sensory Stimulation to induce neuroplastic changes in the brain during rehabilitation of neurological disorders.
He is also researching adressing Thalamo-Cortical Dysrhytmia inducing synchronization through exposure to external and internal rhythms during exercise based training. His work takes into consideration the connections between emotions and movement and pays special attention to the role that rhythm and timing play in movement coordination.
Dr. Farias has opened new fields of thought in comprehending the neuroplastic processes involved in movement training. He has brought to the table the concept that people who are affected by dystonia are also affected by agnosia and specific task-related amnesias. He points out in his work that by giving specific attention to these agnosias and amnesias reeducation effectiveness is boosted.
He considers that the term dystonia does not accurately describe the reality that these patients encounter. He has coined a new term for the phenomena which is Movement Confusion Disorder, because he believes it more precisely encompasses the mechanics at play in the brain.
He considers Dystonia to be a temporary lack or loss of accuracy and precision in brain activity. For this reason Dr. Farias Neuroplastic training aims to retune the brain and restore proper function of cognitive processes, perception and motor functions.
This new vision of what is implied by the phenomena of dystonia has allowed him to achieve unprecedented improvements and recoveries in patients affected by Musicians' Dystonia, Writers’ Cramp, Blepharospasms, Athletes’ Dystonias/ Yips, Surgeons' Dystonia, Cervical Dystonia and Ankle Dystonia, generalized dystonia, Parkinsons' Disease.
Dr. Farias has developed a system to induce neuroplastic changes in the brain in less than 15 minutes. This unmasking of silent neural pathways in the brain so rapidly has challenged the mainstream thinking about the possibilities that retraining has to bring about actual changes in the structure and function of the brain.
Dr. Farias’ neuroplastic retraining is based on the remembering of lost functions as a way of reinstalling them. For this reason Dr. Farias first referred to his method as the art of remembering. In his opinion patients affected by dystonia live trapped in a brain loop that actualizes memories of erroneous movements. In order to break the loop, it is necessary to make a regression to the original memories of the proper motion rescuing and using them to regenerate functional neural pathways.
Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) has shown that after completing the training, normal cortical activity in the brains of patients was restored.