The conversation among my chiropractic patients has recently revolved around the Olympic Games, generally and Simone Biles, specifically.
I’ve had the good fortune over the past 20 years to work in a fairly new field of medicine called functional neuroscience, measuring the brain’s energy output and its capacity to deal with stress using QEEG brain mapping.
In the medical world there is a question a doctor must answer prior to treatment: “Is the benefit of this treatment worth the risk?”
Imagine for a moment that you are the 24-year-old, 4-foot-8 Simone Biles. Considered the best in the world at your craft and having over 30 medals to prove it, you develop a problem your peers call the “twisties.” It is thought this phenomenon occurs as a result of timing errors in the messaging from the brain to the muscles of the body. When these electrical signals are even a fraction of a second too fast or slow, the ability to know “which way is up” can be lost.
So, Simone, you are the best in the world. Is the benefit of vaulting yourself 8 feet in the air a good idea? Are the benefits to you, your team and your country greater than the risk? That’s what the neocortex – the rational portion of the human brain that sits just behind your forehead – is asking. Benefit versus risk. When you said “No,” you recognized that your brain, your master computer, was not receiving accurate information about your environment. Since the brain’s ultimate mission is survival, I believe you made a good choice. It’s your body. You know more about your body than anyone else.
What about us? Regular people. Even though we are not constantly being judged, videotaped or interviewed by TV analysts, how many of us perpetually tell ourselves we should be slimmer or we could’ve been successful if we were a bit taller, prettier or a smidge brighter? These subconscious patterns of negativity directly affect the production of chemicals in the brain. These chemicals can create anxiety, depression, loss of motivation, pain and, eventually, autoimmune diseases.
It is now possible to see patterns of brain activity that lead to these chemical imbalances before the brain becomes overloaded and symptoms appear – which then erode confidence, mental stability and physical well-being. In most cases, the answer to undoing the damage caused by years of stress lies in recording over old, negative brain programs and replacing them with new “software” that can “rewire” the brain using neurofeedback technology, meditation and lifestyle modification.
Here are five things you can do that have helped hundreds of others cope better with the stressful world we all live in:
1. Take a break from TV news, social media and everything but sports and the comics in the newspaper. Start with a 24-hour moratorium, then go for a week – or two.
2. Go to bed. Sex is good, and so is sleep. Get 8 hours of the latter, every night.
3. Eat slowly. Chew your food. Consider intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet.
4. Move. Whether it’s dancing, walking, biking, hiking or chasing down that cockroach that keeps eating your stash of Corn Pops. Your brain gets more oxygen, and your memory improves.
5. Hydrate. Your brain is like a rose, you have to water it.
Originally Appeared Here