At last, you have permission to heal.
What is the Neuroplastic Functional Institute (NFI)?
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 (building a life of exceptional outcomes). NFI does this to help people achieve their goals of a pain free, life-long, high level of function for the whole person. NFI uses Neuroplastic Functional Training (NFT) to educate the brain for physical and mental health and performance. Ultimately, NFT advances the body, soul, and spirit by teaching people how to learn and self regulate.
Who developed Neuroplastic Functional Training?
NFT has been in development since 1977 by Neuroplastic Functional Institute’s Lauryn Maloney-Gepfert, LMT, MFA, PA-C. NFT is the effective integration of a lifetime of experience and an eclectic education. It is the brainchild of a woman who has spent her life teaching people how to love, heal, and acquire freedom. The result of which has been 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 of 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 Park City, Utah, and began to practice as a licensed bodywork professional. For three years, she combined classroom education, bodywork, 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, Utah. 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. The UOU, one of the top two dance schools in the country at the time, provided an enormous wealth of knowledge and expertise. Lauryn received stellar dance training from renowned 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 celebrated kinesiologist, Sally Sevey Fitt, PhD.
Drawing from her experience, Lauryn began to create a water and land program in injury prevention and management. These programs combined bodywork and education in the three planes of functional movement. In 1988, she moved back to her hometown. 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. This 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 at the Yale University School of Medicine and completed her studies as a physician associate in 1994. She continued her hands-on solo practice and added the medical disciplines of internal medicine, occupational medicine, ergonomics, and physical medicine and rehabilitation to her experience. Committed to combine holistic and allopathic (traditional) medicine, Lauryn attempted to integrate these healthcare models. It was not long before she realized that these two distinct, polarized camps were not willing to cross bridges.
Alternatively, 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 successful business back to a solo practice. She would now need to sacrifice operating as an administrator to continue her exploration and program development.
How did neuroplasticity become integrated?
One of Lauryn’s most important teachers is Norman Doidge, MD. His book, The Brain That Changes Itself, continues to be central to Lauryn's exploration of neuroplasticity. Additionally, Doidge's book, The Brains Way of Healing, has reinforced and expanded Lauryn's understanding regarding the principles of neuroplasticity. Doidge's work has provided Lauryn with a greater understanding of how healing happens. The fact that the brain is not hardwired or fixed has offered Lauryn endless possibilities, inviting her to develop and facilitate techniques that would allow people to change themselves. It has brought to light the brain’s ability to change its own structure and function in response to a person’s mental experience. The research Doidge invested in has confirmed effective avenues that Lauryn had previously developed intuitively. Doidge's books continue to provide information, inspiration, and permission to create new techniques that 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 effective healing method 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 spinal cord injuries, back problems, and adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder) 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 five primary areas: health and wellness, clinical medicine and rehabilitation, active aging, athletic performance, and building businesses. NFI offers the training in four formats:
- Educational events
- Classroom education
- One-on-one training
NFI is dedicated to sharing the most useful news in science and has found that techniques, including NFT, are the perfect union between 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. After rigorous rehabilitation, he amazed everyone by laboriously walking out of Denver’s Craig Hospital on crutches. At best, his movements were robotic. Although he pursued improving his biomechanics via many modalities, he could not find resources to significantly change 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.
The most profound results we have seen 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 and walking upright is assistive devices. See our "Blog" for more information on Soren and numerous other participants.
NFI’s HEALING OUT LOUD INSTITUTE VISION
Train Participants and Providers: 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.
Research and Study: Additionally, we would like to expand the study of NFT. While we have been able to provide solid research for individual case studies, we want to broaden our scope and study the outcomes that NFT has for many more people.
Build a Dedicated Pool: Further, we are committed to build a facility with a dedicated heated pool. To provide programming, we would like to have more space on land and in the water. Currently, we gratefully depend on the generosity of the Iron Mountain Hot Springs in Glenwood, CO. However, this is too small a venue to support the increased demand NFI is experiencing.
How does HOLI plan to bring its vision to life?
HOLI completed its 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 utilized bodywork. HOLI 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 offer this training for more people with spinal cord injuries and providers who want to serve them. As a result, HOLI is actively raising money to regularly repeat the CONNECT program. HOLI is also raising money to create online training materials for participants and providers and to build a dedicated pool.
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 click here and 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.