5 Ways to Love Your Brain
Claire - March 11, 2014
Did you know this week is Brain Awareness Week?
To celebrate is here are 5 suggestions on ways you can tell your brain that you love it.
1. Give your brain a fat boost – aka “Fat-heads are healthy!”
Your brain is made up mostly of fat – about 70 percent of its dry weight is cholesterol. It is imperative to feed your brain good fats for two reasons. The first is that the process of “myelinisation”, which is a bit like insulating an electrical wire and it requires lots of good quality fats to occur properly. Without proper myelinisation the brain can “short circuit” or stop making adequate neural pathways. This leads to terrible things like learning difficulties, ADHD, Parkinson’s, MS etc.
The second reason fat is great for your brain is that diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s are now being recognised as metabolic disorders, now being coined “Type 3 diabetes”. The brain can only run on either glucose or ketones (by-product of fat metabolism). When the brain can use the alternative fuels, other than glucose, this allows the insulin receptors to stay sensitive and functional. As such, the brain stays healthy, rather than starving to death when insulin resistance comes into play in later life.
One of the best ways to feed your brain fat is to start your day with a “Fat Black” coffee. See here on our You Tube video on how to make a Fat Black.
2. Give your brain a break.
We spend so much of our time thinking about stuff. Not really important stuff and often just stories we make up in our heads that make us feel bad. In fact, it has been suggested up to 80% of what we think is complete rubbish that causes unnecessary stress. During hot yoga class, we often refer to this as the “Monkey Mind”. For great mental and brain health, switch this bit off for a while and give your brain a break.
A few easy ways to do this are:
1 Get in that Hot yoga room and do a 90min open eye meditation
2 Listen to some Hypnosis MP3’s
3 Tune into your breathing for a few moments
4 Learn how to meditate and start a daily practice
5 Start your day with some quiet time outside listing to the world around you
6 Have a nanna nap
3. Move your body.
The biggest stimulating factor for your brain is not calculus, but rather, movement or your body. If you want to get really specific, it is movement of your spine, particularly your neck. When you move your body you stimulate things called proprioceptors. These proprioceptors wake your brain up, lay down new neural pathways and release happy brain hormones.
According to Dr Roger Sperry (MD and Nobel Prize recipient for his work in this area), 90% of the brain’s energy comes via spinal movement/stimulation. The average spine goes through over 100,000 tiny little movements everyday, so it becomes a veritable powerhouse for your brain! The more the better!
Get in that yoga room, go for a walk or a run, play with your kids or play some sport. Sitting is like sugar to the spine and your brain.
4. Putting together the pieces of the puzzle.
Give your brain something to really think about. Turn off the TV and the computer and do a crossword, a sudoku or even a jigsaw puzzle. Use it or lose it is total truth when it comes to your brain. (Can you remember how to calculate the area of a circle?) If you don’t stimulate those parts of the brain, problem solving and lateral thinking could well be lost to you. Physical puzzles, like we did at the family movement workshop are doubly as effective.
5. Get Adjusted.
After a Chiropractic adjustment the brain produces more “Alpha” brainwaves. These are the waves that are associated with relaxation, healing and health. This means your brain is happier and healthier after each adjustment. Another benefit of chiropractic adjustments, particularly those in the upper neck region, stimulate those proprioceptors we spoke about in point 3.
So many ways to help your brain stay happy and healthy… stay tuned, there’s more to come!
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