At last, you have permission to heal.
What is the Neuroplastic Functional Institute?
NFI is a small, multidisciplinary collective of healthcare providers and professionals working with advanced brain-changing techniques to train people to heal independently. We combine neuroplasticity (the breakthrough science of rewiring the brain for better health); kinesiology (the study of movement, performance, and function); and life education (universal truths) to help people achieve their goals of a pain-free, lifelong, high level of function for the whole person.
We use Neuroplastic Functional Training to educate the brain for health and performance and to advance the body, soul, and spirit.
Who developed Neuroplastic Functional Training?
NFT has been in development since 1977 by Neuroplastic Functional Institute’s Lauryn Maloney-Gepfert, LMT, MFA, PA-C. Neuroplastic Functional Training is the effective integration of a lifetime of experience and an eclectic education. The brainchild of a woman who has spent her life teaching people how to love, to heal, and to acquire freedom, it is the result of learning how to learn from the most dedicated and knowledgeable teachers.
How did NFT come about?
Lauryn Maloney-Gepfert was raised on the East Coast in the shoreline Connecticut town of Guilford, where her love of water was born. As a young adult, and while at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, New Hampshire, Lauryn began studying the martial arts. From 1977 until 1982, she practiced a variety of Kung Fu and Karate systems, including Praying Mantis, Tiger System, T’ai Chi, and Ba Gua. Her interests focused primarily on Isshin-Ryu Karate and Wing Chung Gung Fu, for which she earned a black belt and red sash, respectively. She also engaged in a deep study in Hatha and Iyengar yoga and long distance running. Collectively, her experience in the martial arts, water sports, and running provided a foundational understanding of how the body moves within the physics of its environment. When she graduated, she opened a dojo and began teaching these techniques in the classroom and as a personal trainer.
In 1982, she traveled to ParkCity, Utah and began to practice as a licensed body work professional. For three years, she combined class room medication, body work, and personal training to help people heal. At the same time, she opened and managed the health spa at the Stein Eriksen Lodge in DeerValley.For almost eight years, her intuitive ability led to the recovery of numerous and diverse issues, from paraplegia to high-level athletic orthopedic injuries.
Seeking a greater understanding of the link between healing and kinesiology (the study of human movement), in 1984 she entered the MFA program in dance and choreography at the University of Utah. UOU provided an enormous breadth of knowledge and expertise. One of the top two dance schools in the country at the time, Lauryn received stellar dance training from top level instructors, and was introduced to structural integration techniques, such as Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, Pilates, and kinesiological functional conditioning. Serendipitously, she joined the department as a bodywork specialist, enabling her to treat some of the best athletes in the country. Fascinated by the usefulness of kinesiology, Lauryn stayed an additional two years to study as a protégé with renowned kinesiologist Sally Sevey Fitt, PhD.
Drawing from her experience, Lauryn began to create a water and land program in injury prevention and management that combined bodywork and education in the three planes of functional movement. In 1988, she moved back to her hometown to help care for her dying grandmother. She opened a solo practice to treat people with orthopedic issues, and eventually was recruited to own and operate a business called Body Therapy Systems. That practice combined mobility tables for paralyzed persons, bodywork, and movement education classes, and afforded Lauryn a greater exposure to all types of dysfunction and an opportunity to develop solutions.
Does NFT have a medical influence?
Encouraged by referring physicians to acquire medical credentialing, Lauryn was accepted by the Yale University School of Medicine and completed her studies as a physician associate in 1994. She continued her solo practice, but with the addition of medical disciplines: internal medicine, occupational medicine, ergonomics, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Her goal to combine holistic and allopathic (traditional) medicine began to take shape. However, after numerous attempts to integrate these healthcare approaches, she realized that two, distinct, unwelcoming camps existed.
Lauryn chose to be a liaison, and opened a multidisciplinary physical therapy and wellness practice in 1998 called Cross Therapy. It offered physical therapy, occupational therapy, massage therapy, kinesiology, and a network of medical referrals all under the same roof. In 2007, she chose to return this thriving, successful business to a solo practice. She would now need to sacrifice operating as an administrator to continue her exploration of program development.
How did neuroplasticity become integrated?
One of Lauryn’s most important teachers was Norman Doidge, MD, through his book about neuroplasticity The Brain That Changes Itself. At that time, the phenomenon of neuroplasticity was the most exciting scientific breakthrough in neuroscience (and remains so today). The book gave Lauryn a greater understanding of how healing happens. Doidge’s book brought to light the brain’s ability to change its own structure and function in response to a person’s mental experience. The fact that the brain is not hardwired or fixed offered Lauryn endless possibilities, inviting her to develop and facilitate techniques that would allow people to change themselves. It confirmed effective avenues she had already intuitively developed, while providing information, inspiration, and permission to create new techniques that would expedite recovery.
What are the results of NFT?
The culmination of Lauryn’s extensive experience and fortunate education resulted in the development of a highly effect method of healing called Neuroplastic Functional Training (NFT). NFT is a powerful way for people to independently change themselves. It has been shown that the development and practice of these neuroplastic functional skill sets create an opportunity for freedom in every area of a person’s life. For example, people who are suffering with long-term orthopedic issues such as back problems have been consistently helped. Even people with addictions and etiologies such as depression and anxiety are finding relief. The list is endless.
How can I participate in neuroplastic functional training?
The Neuroplastic Functional Institute is breaking ground in four primary areas: health and wellness, clinical rehabilitation, active aging, and athletics. NFI offers the training in three formats: classroom education, one-on-one training, and bodywork. NFI is dedicated to sharing the most useful news in science, and has found that techniques including NFT are the perfect union of science and spirit.
How did the Neuroplastic Functional Institute get to Colorado?
In 2016, Lawrence (Larry) Gepfert, a recovering quadriplegic from Colorado, heard about Lauryn’s work in Guilford, CT. In 2011, Larry had a spinal cord injury (SCI) that left him paralyzed from the neck down. He amazed everyone by laboriously walking out of Denver’s Craige Hospital on crutches after rigorous rehabilitation. Although he pursued improving his biomechanics via many modalities, he could not find resources to significantly enhance his poor coordination. NFT not only gave him a second chance, it gave him a new wife: Lauryn. Today, after practicing Neuroplastic Functional Training, it is almost impossible to tell that Larry was paralyzed.
About NFI’s charitable foundation HOLI...
We are committed to further study, implementation, and dissemination of this life-changing information. Realizing that a number of people with serious impairment are underserved and financially challenged, NFI started a not-for-profit organization called the Healing Out Loud Institute (HOLI). Our hope is that people will join us and donate to HOLI to help provide skills that promote independent healing to the people who need it most.
In our work, the most profound results have been with people who have spinal cord injuries (SCI). One example is extreme athlete Soren Lindholm, who fractured his spine in an advanced terrain ski race on March 4, 2017. The injury left him paralyzed from the waist down. In October of the same year, Soren began Neuroplastic Functional Training (NFT). He is now running in the swimming pool.
What is NFI’s Healing Out Loud vision?
HOLI has a crucial vision. On the one hand, there are many highly impaired candidates like Soren who could benefit from this work. On the other hand, there aren’t enough healthcare providers to serve these populations. Our vision is to do both: share this training with impaired people and equip providers.
How does HOLI plan to bring its vision to life?
HOLI completed it’s first successful Aquatic Spinal Cord program in June 2018. This was a four -week, six hour per day, six day a week immersion that took place in a pool, a classroom and massage table work. We raised $65,000 to take four paralyzed participants through the process. All four participants had new movement in the pool within this time frame (see our Blog). Our goal is to provide this training to more people with spinal cord injuries who want to learn to improve their function and quality of life.
How can I get involved?
The Neuroplastic Functional Institute would love to have you participate. To schedule training, reserve a spot in one of our classes, receive more information about our groundbreaking work, or contribute, CONNECT.
We will gladly use all the tools we have in our tool box to help you move forward into the space of being well.
Wondering how this healing can work for you? Click to learn more about our programs.