Brain based research has been around a very long time. I remember the first time it came around when I was teaching…how can I use this information to better my teaching? To engage students more? I used techniques that were thought to be ahead of the times…each and everyday in my class. I never thought that as I got older I would be applying that same idea to my research in depression and what causes us to become depressed. I found so many links to neurotransmitters in the gut I was astonished. I was finally getting somewhere and like each and every time I have found something important, I get this tingle. I knew that I was on the right path to helping others like me. Here are a few things I learned to boost my head:
- The dreaded word exercise. You know the whole a body in motion tends to stay in motion theory? Same for a body at rest. “A 2010 study on primates published in Neurosciencei also revealed that regular exercise not only improved blood flow to the brain, but also helped the monkeys learn new tasks twice as quickly as non-exercising monkeys, a benefit the researchers believe would hold true for people as well.” I just wanted to throw that in because sometimes I read scientific research for fun. But let’s suppose you have brain fog like I do…it comes from things like fibromyalgia as well as my hemochromatosis. Sometimes, I can’t remember things, so on days that I do yoga, I feel amazing and notice I have less brain fog. I know this is the day I can read up on new things and process better. So if you have a hard time learning new things, exercise before.
- The good fat…coconut oil. Sooooo. My family has a track record of some pretty ermmm crappy genes. I have inherited a few, but the thing I am concerned about it that at such a young age, I started showing signs of the above brain fog I mentioned. The brain needs glucose and it actually manufactures it’s own insulin to convert glucose in your bloodstream into it’s food…if it is starving, think Alzheimer’s patients. What I would like to know, is where was this research about 17 years ago that I am about to share? Maybe it was known…maybe not. BUT, I wish I could have slipped my grandpa some bulletproof coffee. What am I talking about? This! “According to research by Dr. Mary Newport, just over two tablespoons of coconut oil (about 35 ml or 7 level teaspoons) would supply you with the equivalent of 20 grams of MCT, which is indicated as either a preventative measure against degenerative neurological diseases, or as a treatment for an already established case.” P.S. That link is to one neat coffee recipe I found.
- Fix your gut…but seriously. I will never forget the day I started my second brain research. It was amazing to me what my doctors had missed when they had put me on proton pump inhibitors, and I started telling everyone who would listen to get off them. For those wondering, that’s acid blockers like omeprazole. Anyway, my gut was a mess, my acid reflux was a mess, but the pills actually were making everything worse. I got off them, and learned what gut health meant. It could actually be it’s own post…and oh, it was. Up there I linked it. But seriously…your gut bacteria is actually closely linked to food. That is why I counsel all my clients, ALL my clients, to tell me how they are eating. We really get into it and I start to get them to see a pattern. Because let’s face it, when you tell people your food is actually making you crazy, they get a little mad at you. Even if they know they need to eat better and get off processed foods, and white sugar. Probiotics are your friend.
- Vitamin D. This one is quite easy, but often overlooked. I went for years before anyone even thought to check my levels..and here I am not supposed to go out of the house without SPF 50. But let’s not check her levels. Hmmm. Moving on. IF appropriate sun exposure is not an option, cough porphyria, not an option, then get on readily available vitamin d. Basically it’s liquid form. Just get checked. Don’t skip this.
- Meditate. You knew it was coming probably. Since I completed my 200 hours of Vinyasa yoga teacher study…I know that I need quiet time. Okay, well, I kind of have a problem with noise now that I didn’t have before fibromyalgia anyway, but seriously, meditation is superb. After only 20 minutes, we start to show a decrease in beta waves, which is basically like we are learning how to halt the processing part. I know that I have probably put this in here at some point, but one such interesting brain researcher who I love is Jill Bolte Taylor. Her understanding of the brain after her stroke is outstanding and I cry every single I watch it. I can’t explain why…it’s just wonderful. Okay, maybe I can explain a little. I think about the part where she talks about not having to process and how she can just float…and everything seems to be a beautiful experience and that my friends, that is what meditation at the highest form would be like for me. If I was there. Which is why I keep practicing. Because sadly, I have a hard time. Imagine that. This point is technical, but it’s really interesting. The more we meditate, the less anxiety we have, and it turns out this is because we’re actually loosening the connections of particular neural pathways. This sounds bad, but apparently it’s not.
I created my own way of healing and invite you to join us in the Head|Heart|Health Club to learn more.