Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How Can You Affect Your Brain Waves?

It is possible to consciously affect our brain wave patterns. Each brain wave has a different frequency and communicates with different parts of the brain. The external world has rhythms  with each sunrise and sunset. The brain picks up on the frequencies of light and sound and then starts to pace with these patterns. Have you ever walked into a restaurant and the music stirs a rhythm inside you causing a unconscious tapping of your foot to the beat. This is a very similar process that takes place with brain wave patterns.

There are five different types of brain wave patterns, each with their own individual functions:

The slowest is the delta wave- occurring while you sleep at half to four cycles per second. Slower paced music or quiet time and dim lights help create this wave pattern.

The theta wave is made predominantly from the middle brain and is the self-awareness frequency. This pattern creates a more lucid  or a meditative state at four to eight cycles per second.

The alpha wave creates more of an awareness of the world and is predominantly from the right side of the brain. This wave pattern has a frequency of about 9-14 cycles per second. It tends to be the more creative and emotional side of the brain. The alpha frequency can be elicited more by closing your eyes and taking deep diaphragmatic breaths.

The beta wave production is at 14-28 cycles per second and is predominantly left brain activity. This is the frequency made most when you are focused on your work or activities.

The gamma wave integrates several parts of the nervous system and is high processing at about 25-100 cycles per second.

Brain waves are the bodies electrical frequencies that are made by the brain nerve cells. The more these brain cells are communicating at the same frequency our brain is in a better balance. It is best for our overall health to get a good nights rest and start they day in a low frequency delta. Ease into the theta and alpha states to prepare for a active beta wave at work. At the end of the day start to slow down the activity of the brain with less light and sound stimulation to prepare for rest.

Better Brain Tip

Imagine a piano recital that starts out with just a few notes and a slow pace. Start adding more notes and then pick up the tempo playing faster with more chords. As the tempo builds you can feel your brain pacing the tempo. Now imagine the tempo begins to slow down to a series of simple chords ending with holding a single note.

In your mind you can create this same affect on your brain wave activity. Start designing your day with this pattern and it will reduce that fight or flight response reducing tour stress on your health.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

How is the Brain Affected by Gut Health?

Most of the neurotransmitters in your body are made in the gut, and if your gut health is not healthy, then your brain health is not healthy. Trans fats, pesticides, and GMOs which are a part of the average American diet, affect our neurotransmitters. This diet is creating a bigger problem with societys mental health!

With over 10 million people in United States on anti-depressants,  we need to step back and take a look at our thinking, our eating, and our actions. Start with your gut health today to improve your overall brain health and body health.

Better Brain Tip:

1) Regularly eats foods that build a healthy gut flora and/or supplement probiotics.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How Does Cranial Treatment Help Head Trauma Injuries ?

Cranial manipulation and treatment has been used for thousands of years to treat numerous ailments. There are 22 bones that make up the skull (Cranium). Manual treatment has a direct affect on the circulation around the brain and influences the function of the nervous system. Everything from Headaches, TMJ, sinus challenges and a multitude of neurological problems have benefitted from cranial work.

Your skull is made up sutures, like zippers to your brain. As these sutures ossify, or harden, it negatively affects your brain circulation. On an MRI Cranial treatments show how specific areas of the nervous system as well as the circulation of the brain are affected. With cranial work, you can actually influence your blood supply to your brain. If you've ever had a brain trauma or concussive force to the head, you may need cranial work or at least an examination. Cranial manipulation has been shown to affect your overall brain health which affects the health of your entire body.

Better Brain Tip:

1)    If you have every had a brain injury or concussive trauma see a cranial specialist to evaluate the skull and nervous system.

2)    A Spect scan or functional MRI evaluation should be done sooner rather than later after a trauma to evaluate brain injury and function. 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How Do Video Games Affect Brain Function?

Our mind is paced by light and sound and this affects brain wave activity. Have you ever walked into a room with flashing lights and high frequency music. Often times it feels palpable in the chest seemingly changing your heart rate and breathing pattern . Different frequencies of light and sounds have varying affects on different parts of the brain as seen on functional MRI analysis.

During a non-violent, educational video game, you're learning and creating using, the left and right brain, as well as the frontal lobe for focus. While playing, or watching, a violent video game, your brain begins to confuse fiction with reality, creating angrier and more agitated behavior. Splitting up game time or taking a walk in nature can snap us back to reality and calm your brain activity for better focus, better attitude, and increased brain function.

Better Brain tip:

1) Stop all video game activity at least 1 hour before bedtime

2) Start to limit or eliminate violent video game activity   

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Enhancing Sports Performance

Almost every professional sports organization has a Chiropractor on their team to enhance player performance and promote optimum recovery from injuries. Hand, eye, and foot coordination is one of the most important skills to develop for any athlete. Inches can be the difference between a home run and a strike out in baseball. Dr. Sperry won the Nobel prize for his work showing more than 90% of the brains messages are for coordinating the body and the affects from gravity.

One of the most important parts of the brain function is directing the messages from the brain to the body. This process is called "Proprioception" and is one of those background physical processes that make up your body's total IQ. Proprioceptors are specialized nerve endings located in your muscles and joints that inform your brain about your body's position in three-dimensional space.

You're able to write legibly because proprioceptors are sending instantaneous data about the angles of the small joints of your fingers and wrists as your pen moves across the page. You're able to run on the beach because proprioceptors are continuously sending signals to your brain about the changing shape of the uneven surface of the sand.

Without these specialized nerve endings, we'd never be able to hit a baseball, throw a Frisbee, or drive a car. But proprioceptors can be affected by posture and nerve stress. One person out for a stroll might trip over a crack in the pavement and suffer a badly sprained ankle. Another person might trip over the same crack, even badly turning over their ankle in the process, and keep on walking without even a trace of a limp.

The difference between injury and non-injury is the level of proprioceptor training, and this level usually is related to whether you're doing regular exercise. Exercise trains your muscles and joints to adapt to varying kinds of stresses (weight-bearing loads) throughout a variety of positions (the full range of motion of those joints).However, if an ankle, shoulder, or the back are injured it can disrupt the exact messages to and from the brain. This in turn can affect hand, eye, and foot coordination.

As a result, trained proprioceptors can withstand a high degree of stress (such as a sudden twisting of an ankle). The untrained ankle, possibly the ankle of a person who hasn't done much walking, running, or bike riding in the last five years, will be damaged by an unusual and unexpected stress. The result is an ankle sprain of varying severity and possibly a broken ankle.

Similarly, it is well known that older adults experience more frequent falls than do younger adults. Part of the explanation involves proprioception. Many older adults don't engage in regular exercise. Proprioceptive function decreases, changes in level or surface aren't recognized quickly by the person's feet and ankles, and the person falls.

It's easy to see that the effort to maintain an athletes proprioceptive system is time well spent. This process is also extremely important for anyone that wants to maintain a high level of mobility as you age. The fastest way to boost the brain body connection is by maintaining the best alignment possible and doing regular exercise. All kinds of exercise provide benefit, so the best exercises are the ones that have some interest for you personally.

Better Brain Tip:
  • Athletes -Do regular coordination exercises or drills for your desired sport
  • Non Athlete- balance on one foot with the opposite arm outstretched in front of your body for 30 seconds / then switch leg and arm sequence { this develops better brain balancing and proprioception}

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The All Star Break and Brain Health

The "All Star Break" just ended for Major League Baseball last week. I had the honor of doing evaluations on the team at  the last game before their time off and it was apparent that they needed a rest from a long road schedule. The "All Star Break " for most players is a great planned "time to revitalize" and pause to prepare for the rest of a long season .

In any season there has to be a natural break or our body gets out of rhythm. In nature there are rhythms and change that happen year after year. Our daily rhythm is probably one of the most important cycles to get into balance. Athletes have a rhythm to their training. If you ever go to a pregame warm up no matter what sport, there is a specific process to getting prepared for game time.

No matter how great an athlete is they all begin their pregame activities with light stretches, jogging or calisthenics. In baseball, batting practice or a pitcher warming up in the bull pen are all necessary to get the nervous system in sync and body loosened up. To reach peak potential and avoid injuries we need to adopt this same principle. Waking up rushed or not having time to let the brain get engaged properly puts our bodies in a stressful fight or flight. It's critical to reprioritize your day if you wake up in a stress response.

If you really want long lasting health and vitality don't just prioritize your schedule every day,
you must "schedule your priorities." This means getting your mind and body prepared for each day. When you master your days, you can master your week, when you master your week you will master your life!  Look at your future calendar  to schedule a" time to revitalize" break .This should be done at least once each season to maintain optimum health. Start looking at your life like a peak performer and begin your days slow then build momentum and then close the day for better mental clarity and less stress.

Better Brain tip:
·         Write down all the ways that you feel you can revitalize your body, mind and spirit.
·         Schedule a time each season to get away and design your life so you can  listen to your highest  voice, see your highest vision and trust your gut instinct.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The 4 step T.E.A.M Approach to Achieve Better Brain Power

This is the powerful and profound, the 4 step, keep it simple approach to Better Brain Health for LIFE!

Remember T.E.A.M as your health acronym

1)    Think Better today then you did Yesterday
2)    Eat  Better Today then you did Yesterday
3)    Act Better today then you did Yesterday

4)    Move Better today then you did yesterday.