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)

Basic functioning of the brain used by Neurotango® to promote health and well-being

1) Learning processes at the cognitive, motor, psychological and social levels.
Learning processes in the brain are stimulated by 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 and the 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, 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 pleasant and relaxing. Unfortunately, this is also how addictions arise where a particularly pleasant feeling such as a pleasant state of intoxication from alcohol or drugs or sexual pleasure lead to compulsive behaviour. Neurotango is also used in addiction therapy. The needs satisfied in neurotango, which are otherwise taken over by the "addictive substance", can also take on a substitute function. 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, for example.
2) New extensions through new experiences
New synaptic connections can only be formed when new information is provided. Even a single network expansion through a new connection connects many other areas. And the newly learned information in Neurotango is not only numerous, but also affects 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 networked again.
Not to be disregarded are the physical and neurobiological enhancements that the brain must initiate. 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 information and learning processes that take place simultaneously on a wide variety of levels. The brain develops optimally with input that includes the highest possible number of different information from the areas of sensory perception, mental learning and motor processes, which are then linked at best with an emotion to be stored
3) Create patterns instead of detailed information

We have already learned in point 1 that the brain learns through patterns. Learned knowledge or learned movement is therefore always coupled to a multitude of other information and processes. Multi-dimensional stimuli/learning information is more likely to find access to the memory 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" such as training a leg (in the motor area) or learning individual vocabulary words without situational application (in the cognitive area).

All learned patterns are mirrored on a physical level. Even any positive or negative experience we have (joy, success, stress, bullying). These processes are also called embodiment. The body takes in external moods, stress, problems and reacts holistically. Besides e.g. bad mood, sadness, anger, depression, somatic processes are set in motion like high blood pressure, heart palpitations, hormonal reactions, metabolic reactions, etc. Prolonged, negative stimuli then lead to illness. We are mostly aware of this and also mostly without changing these situations quickly and effectively. We are much more insensitive and inexperienced about what and how this is expressed in our body language. And even less is known that body language processes can also be used in reverse. For example, by imitating a laugh without any reason to do so. After some time, the body reacts by releasing happiness hormones (endorphins) as if it were a real laugh. Neurotango also uses embodiment to bring about movement, posture and psychosocial changes through body language stimuli. Learning through movement is a 3-dimensional learning involving all sensory perceptions. This creates a multitude of new patterns.

Neurological effects of NTT
4) Replace "lost" information

Due to the ageing process and neurological diseases, a lot of information is lost in the brain. This implies not only cognitive knowledge, but also motor and biochemical information that the brain no longer has. So you literally "unlearn" things like how to walk or move properly. This "knowledge" is 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 broken. The brain constantly functions according to the principle of "use it or lose it". That means use it or lose it. So there is no longer a connection to a lot of information that was there before. We know from many case studies in neurology that a kind of "redirection" is possible. 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 function, which was then taken over by other areas of the brain.

Especially in the training of people suffering from Parkinson's disease, we observed that many motor, cognitive and somatic functions that were thought to have been lost were restored. This also affected psychosocial areas. However, this was only the case during the training period and up to about 6 weeks afterwards. Without further training, the degenerative processes quickly reappeared and were very seriously visible.

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 combination in Neurotango of motor, cognitive, sensory and psychosocial components seems to be responsible for the fact that a quick and effective build-up of various abilities and generally more energy was observed.

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 that the brain needs to make new movements or cognitive memories quickly and for a long time. For the brain, 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 wants real experiences. 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. Hearing behaviour is also different. The brain does not perceive the same sound waves as a talking person who is really opposite. Sound waves not only come visibly and audibly from the mouth, but also 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 the screen. People need to be addressed by real people. There is a big difference here for the brain and its diverse perceptual sensitivity. Movement therapy 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 in the psychological area. All of them report a feeling of lightness, more flexibility, light-heartedness. Studies have shown that dance can have the same effect as antidepressants (medication). Mobility, feelings of happiness, freedom from pain cannot be explained by this alone. Similar studies have shown that the production of opioids, endorphins and dopamine is also stimulated by movement, rhythm, music, physical contact and dialogue.

8) Mirror neurons

A special feature of Neurotango training is that all exercises can be done as 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, people unconsciously mirror other people they like. This body language behaviour is probably meant to be an archetypal message to our counterpart that he or she has nothing to fear from us and that we are friendly. There is sympathy or more.

In the couple exercises, mirroring movements are performed in almost all Neurotango Tools (#NTT). After a while, one observes that even couples who were rather reluctant to practise together (example of 2 older men), that they smile at each other and find pleasure in the joint movement and task. The activation of the mirror neurons also generates empathy and turning to the outside. On a psychological level, this means moving away from "one's own drama" and towards contact, encounter, relationship, bonding. According to psychotherapeutic approaches, this is the basic problem for psychological and social problems.
Togetherness and togetherness are beneficial. Especially in the increasingly lonely and media-centred world. Real encounters and physical contact are an important component for the brain for expansion and balance.
Owner: Kai Biermann
Schwartauer Allee 26
D-23554 Lübeck
Created by Simone Schlafhorst
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® is a European word mark of Simone Schlafhorst
Kai Biermann
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