Residential Treatment Centre Praises Film ‘Concussion,’ Offers Hope for Athletes

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Ontario’s Wellbeing Institute sheds light on the struggles and possibilities for athletes suffering from brain injuries.

A Wellbeing Institute team member uses the program's proprietary neuro-balancing technology, which helps optimize brain function post concussion.

This is the first movie that’s drawn a correlation between if your brain isn’t working, relationships can get destroyed, homes are lost, there’s violence and alcohol and drugs. Their brains hurt, and the concussion sufferers don’t understand it.

An Ontario residential treatment program—the only one of its kind in Canada—praises Hollywood’s portrayal of what really happens to brain-injured athletes, and offers encouraging news about how the brain can be optimized post concussion.

The recently released and ground-breaking movie Concussion starring Will Smith unveiled, for the first time on film at least, what often really happens—physically and emotionally—to the aging football stars who suffer from concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

“This is the first movie that’s drawn a correlation between if your brain isn’t working, relationships can get destroyed, homes are lost, there’s violence and alcohol and drugs. Their brains hurt, and the concussion sufferers don’t understand it,” says Dave Kenney, Executive Director and CEO of Wellbeing Institute, the only residential treatment program in Canada helping people with injured brains recover.

The effects of brain trauma, as Concussion illustrates, go far beyond the physical pain.

“Think of the brain as the master controller,” says Kenney. “It controls how we feel, our choices, our relationships, our sleep. It controls depression or happiness, anxiety or calmness.”

And so, with the master controller out of balance or dysfunctional, concussions are about so much more than injured tissue; we’re really talking about injured lives. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

For a long time, scientists and doctors believed that the brain was a static organ. If a woman drank too much and lost brain cells, too bad. If a man got knocked around on the field or the ring and wasn’t all there in retirement, too bad. But it turns out the brain, like other organs, can heal itself.

“What’s been discovered in the last 10 or so years is called ‘neuroplasticity,’” says Kenney, whose residential treatment programs all focus on improving brain health to improve wellbeing and positivity. “The brain actually has the ability to adapt and change to its environment, much like how the liver, for example, has the ability to regenerate and restore function.”

Since the impact of blunt trauma to the head touches almost every aspect of an athlete’s life and often causes them to make poor choices, Kenney’s residential treatment program focuses on improving brain health, through optimizing neuroplasticity, as well as all the other areas that have also suffered.

To help athletes and others optimize brain function post-concussion, The Wellbeing Institute uses a combination of proprietary neuro-balancing technology, nutrition, exercise, life coaching, mindfulness and often addictions recovery as well.

“It’s common for people who are coping with concussions to turn to drugs and alcohol for relief, or to self-medicate,” says Kenney.

The Wellbeing Institute employs the science-based SMART Recovery® approach to help clients overcome addiction. SMART Recovery, founded in Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT), helps uncover why people abuse toxins and how to make better life choices.

ABOUT WELLBEING INSTITUTE
The only program of its kind in Canada, the Wellbeing Institute is a progressive residential recovery and wellness center specializing in programs for men, women, and young adults with self-destructive behavioural, emotional and psychological problems. Wellbeing Institute’s holistic, drug-free and evidence-based program focuses on relieving the mind-body imbalances that trigger anxiety, depression, addiction, concussions, eating disorders, PTSD, ADHD and anger disorders. http://www.wellbeinginstitute.ca

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Dave Kenney, Executive Director & CEO
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