Your brain is remarkable. It’s comprised of hundreds of billions of individual cells that are constantly receiving and transmitting information about your body and its place within your environment. The sum of all this activity is what you perceive as your personal human experience. Put more simply, the health and activity level of your brain determines who you are as a person.
In order for your brain to be healthy and perform its job at a level that allows you to enjoy life, each one of your individual brain cells needs to be healthy and maintain proper communication with it’s neighbors. Therefore, if you are to keep your brain healthy as you age, it is important to understand the three requisite factors of a healthy brain cell: oxygen, nutrition, and activation. Without the right amount or quality of any of these factors it becomes impossible for your brain to efficiently perform the countless functions that make you you.
Unfortunately, everyday life is not conducive to a healthy brain. Our jobs and schools require us to sit for hours limiting the amount of activation our brains receive. Technology forces us into positions that work against our natural breathing mechanics, and it has become exceedingly difficult to find high quality foods. To top it all off, there has been a marked increase in the amount of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) due to falls and accidents to the point that public agencies have declared mTBI “A Silent Epidemic.”
We all experience these forces to varying degrees, but the only time we can truly appreciate it is when our brain’s functioning declines to levels that make every day life more difficult. Headaches, pain, confusion, fogginess, vertigo, sensitivity to light and sound, anxiousness, dizziness, and light headedness are just some of the many symptoms that people can begin to experience as their brain cells decline in health.
Fortunately, modern science has discovered that there are strategies and activities that you can perform on your own to mitigate the deleterious influence of modern life on your brain. The one constant in most of these brain-healthy activities is movement. When you move your body, receptors in your spine, joints, and muscles send powerful signals to your brain that help to drive growth, forge new connections, and enhance the ones already in place. That’s why most people feel more alert and energized after exercise.
Study after study has shown that regular purposeful movement whether it be weight-lifting, running, yoga, dancing, or Tai Chi can help keep your brain functioning at high levels and even lower your risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, dementia, and more.
There are many times that the insult to our brains and nervous systems require professional intervention. Chiropractic examinations and protocols can assess the function of your nervous system and the movement in your spine to correct the cause of imbalances and restore proper function.
Don’t wait for a crisis to force you to take action. Be proactive, schedule an examination, and keep your nervous system healthy throughout your lifetime.
Article Contributed by Dr. Jacob Plasker, 100 Year Lifestyle Affiliate Chiropractor in Bend, Oregon.