Boosting brain health with ABI Wellness BEARS™

Published - Feb 08, 2022

The following is a guest blog post from our partners at ABI Wellness. IRG Brain Fit providers are trained to use ABI Wellness’ Brain Enhancement and Recovery System (BEARS™) to help patients recover from acquired brain injuries (ABIs) faster while improving cognition and overall well-being.

Boosting brain health with ABI Wellness BEARS™

By ABI Wellness

Get to know the basics of our innovative cognitive health program.

Millions of people across North America live with the long-term effects of acquired brain injury, more face cognitive decline as they age, or struggle with experiencing brain fog and anxiety that hinders them from performing at their very best. Our proprietary Brain Enhance and Recovery System (BEARS™) is a research-based cognitive program that has shown remarkable results in helping people address their individual cognitive challenges and enhance their brain health.

BEARS™ fills the gap between what traditional cognitive programs offer and what cognitive patients truly need. While cognitive programs in the past have typically used compensatory strategies to help participants cope with their limited capacities after injury or illness, BEARS™ focuses instead on rebuilding cognitive capacities through neuroplastic programming as well as providing a way for anyone to improve their brain health. The goal is to help participants actually regain the abilities they’ve lost from injury or illness, enhance cognition, and improve their overall quality of life long-term, instead of helping people simply accept their circumstances and live within their reduced capacities. 

Neuroplasticity, the science BEARS™ is based on, is the brain’s ability to change and adapt. Through specific actions, the brain is able to generate new neurons and make new connections. This means that people are able to learn, or re-learn, new skills and strengthen cognitive capabilities. BEARS™ takes advantage of the brain’s neuroplasticity to help participants target their cognitive deficits and change their brains.

How does BEARS™ work?

Combining research and therapies to create a higher standard of care, the BEARS™ Program is a four-pillar approach to cognitive care:

Cardio Program – Aerobic exercise plays a crucial role in preparing the brain for more effective cognitive recovery. Research shows that exercise triggers the release of BDNF, a brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which primes the brain for faster learning. Cardio has also been found to improve mood regulation and executive functioning for patients with brain injuries.

Cognitive Training – Using the world-renowned BrainEx program, originally developed by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young, BEARS™ targets four areas of the brain that are responsible for executive functioning. Targeted exercises help participants with a myriad of cognitive functions, including information processing, memory retention, maintaining focus and attention, self-awareness and regulation, and communication.

Mindfulness Curriculum - BEARS™ integrates guided mindfulness exercises to reduce depressive symptoms, combat overall stress and fatigue, decrease pain after brain injury, and increase energy levels.

Progress Tracking – BEARS™ clinical providers have access to fully-automated tools to analyze and report real-time participant activity. This system allows BEARS™ facilitators to monitor changes in each participant’s daily life throughout their treatment program, improving the quality of patient care.

Who is BEARS™ for?

BEARS™ is an ideal solution for a wide range of cognitive difficulties. It addresses long-term symptoms such as fatigue, memory difficulties, depression, anxiety, irritability, impulsiveness, trouble concentrating, and impaired self-control.

You can benefit from BEARS™ if you:

  • Have sustained a traumatic brain injury or concussion
  • Have an acquired brain injury resulting from stroke
  • Are experiencing brain fog after COVID-19 infection or other illnesses
  • Are experiencing cognitive decline, either from ageing or other causes
  • Struggle with anxiety or depression
  • Want to enhance your athletic performance
  • Want to enhance your cognitive performance in other areas, including work

Read here about some of the BEARS™ participants whose lives have changed along with their cognitive health.

BEARS™ was designed with the vision of raising the standard of cognitive healthcare and improving the quality of life for everyone. ABI Wellness and providers with IRG Brain Fit want to offer hope and accessible treatment options to all those who face seemingly insurmountable cognitive challenges.

If you are interested in learning how to change and enhance your brain, click here to learn more about IRG Brain Fit and connect with one of our highly-trained clinical providers. IRG Brain Fit is here to help patients who have experienced an acquired brain injury such as a stroke, concussion or traumatic brain injury. Depending on your needs, care is available in-person at your local IRG clinic, at-home with IRG On-Demand, and virtually with IRG Telemedicine

Request an appointment to get started with IRG Brain Fit and the BEARS™ program now.

Click here to request an appointment with an IRG therapist — Washington is a direct access state that allows patients to self-refer to physical therapy. Call 425.316.8046 to find the clinic nearest you and start the journey back to your best self.

Learn more about our service offerings here, including physical therapy, hand therapy, massage therapy, performance enhancement, athletic training and more.