Optimizing Brain Function & Movement - Keys To Health and Happiness!
Optimizing brain function and movement is vital to how we perceive and respond to our environment. Our thoughts, our ability to move gracefully, our ability to enjoy sights, smells, sounds and taste are all senses that we interpret/experience through our central nervous system.
Therefore, an optimum functioning brain is vital in every aspect of your life and it is the master control center of your body. The health of the brain dictates everything about you – your personality, how much you enjoy life, how you think, how you feel, how you act, and how well you get along with other people. Your brain controls your hormones, your lungs, your blood vessels, your muscles and even the rate and rhythm of your heart.
Unfortunately, brain care is not part of the healthcare paradigm, in either conventional or alternative medicine. In both branches of healthcare, care seems to be a “neck-down” approach; despite the fact that the brain is one of the organs most fragile and susceptible to trauma, toxins, poor diet and stress. The health of the brain and central nervous system is thoroughly evaluated on day one in my office, and it is an important ongoing part of my 6-Step Protocol to reverse chronic disease.
The average brain is about three-pounds, and it is very soft, having a gel-like consistency similar to firm jello. Your brain is more complicated than any computer imaginable and has roughly one hundred billion nerve cells. Every nerve cell makes thousands of connections to other nerve cells, creating 100 trillion neural connections or synapses in the human brain, which is 1,000 times the number of stars in our galaxy. http://discovermagazine.com/2011/mar/10-numbers-the-nervous-system
Diagram of a neuron - Picture from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neuron)
Your brain is one of the most metabolically demanding organs in your body, and it requires 3 things in just the right amounts to function properly: oxygen, glucose and movement. Without a constant supply of oxygenated blood, your brain cannot function properly. Your brain also requires just the right amount of glucose (blood sugar) to feed its high metabolic demands – too much glucose and it forms advanced glycation end products (AGEs) which have been linked to diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline. Too little glucose and you feel very lethargic and can’t concentrate. Your brain also requires constant feedback or stimulation in the form of movement. Without constant feedback from your muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and joint capsules, your brain literally starts to shrink! Your grey matter gets smaller the longer you sit, and it grows when you move, dance and learn new things.
Functional Medicine offers a reliable system of analysis to evaluate many aspects of human physiology and how they relate to one another. Functional Neurology and Functional Movement are two new fields emerging as more holistic/integrative ways to look at neurology and movement. When Functional Medicine is combined with Functional Neurology and Functional Movement analysis, we can effectively analyze and treat all aspects of human physiology.
This is why I have incorporated these new fields into my 6-Step Protocol, to make it the most comprehensive and proven protocol anywhere.
Movement is the kinetic energy that drives the brain, helping to facilitate the electrical and chemical signals it uses for all communication.
However, movement is also controlled by the brain.
As is true of any holistic system, everything is connected to and reliant upon everything else. This is a complex and intelligent system where the command center of our body (the brain) not only needs movement to function correctly, but also controls that same movement.
Therefore, the structural integrity and movement of the joints is of vital importance in brain health. If the joints do not move properly (particularly those of the spine and the jaw or TMJ), the brain does not get the feedback it needs to orientate itself in space. Over 50% of your central nervous system is devoted to orienting you to gravity and your surroundings. If you spend more than a couple of hours per day sitting, or have joints that are not moving and functioning well, the cerebellum (smaller spaghetti-like part of the brain in the back) does not get the input or feedback it should. The cerebellum then in turn does not fire into the cortex and down to the brainstem like it’s supposed to.
Optimizing your movement and brain's function is essential to being the best you can be, at work, at sports, at play and in relationships.