9 Steps to a Modern Brain – Step 1: Activate Your Brain

9 Steps to a Modern Brain – Step 1: Activate Your Brain

9 Steps to a Modern Brain – Step 1: Activate Your Brain

 

In my previous article I introduced you to the 9 Steps to a Modern Brain. By following these steps you will deepen your experience of the world around you and in you as well as boost your resiliency against stress. In this article I’m going to share with you the first and most important step in this whole process: Activate Your Brain.

 

Why Activate?

Your brain is the major organ through which you experience the world, your self and others. When it’s healthy your experience of life becomes magnified. But when it’s broken and imbalanced it can become a source of stress, fatigue and burnout. So how do we create a healthy brain? The answer lies in your physiology… 

 

Brain Health 101

The health of your brain depends on the health of your cells. And the health of your brain cells relies on three keys: fuel, activation and a nurturing environment. Your brain – just like your body – needs food, exercise and a healthy environment to survive. But when I say exercise here, I’m not just talking about physical exercise like walking or running. I’m also referring to all the different sensory experiences we have on a daily, moment by moment basis. All of this bioenergetic information feeds the brain and allows it to thrive. You see, sensory experience is one of the major drivers of the growth and maturation of your brain and nervous system. The sounds you hear, the food you taste, the aromas you smell – all of this energy gets transduced into tiny electrical signals that enter your nervous system by way of receptors and nerve pathways. These nerve pathways travel up your spinal cord or enter your brainstem to get to your brain – feeding it, fueling it with the sensory food that your brain thrives on.

 

Sensory Foods for the Brain

  • Touch

    • Feeds the parietal lobe

  • Vision

    • Feeds the occipital lobe

  • Sound

    • Feeds the temporal lobe

  • Movement & vibration

    • Feeds the cerebellum

  • Smell

    • Feeds the limbic system

  • Taste

    • Feeds the insular cortex

cute brain

Personal Training for the Brain

Just like you can go to the gym and train and build stronger muscles, you can also do things to build a stronger brain due to the revolutionary process known as neuroplasticity. Through specific, repeated sensory exercises coupled with awareness you can literally restructure and strengthen the areas of your brain that you would like to enhance. As an example, if you want to improve your focus and concentration you can train your frontal lobes through meditation. If you want to get better at music you can train your temporal lobe to be able to better distinguish between different notes and rhythms. If you want to get better at tasting different wines, you can train your orbitofrontal cortex to pick up subtleties in flavor. And if you want to get better at skateboarding or martial arts or figure skating you can train your cerebellum and vestibular system so you feel more solid and grounded and balanced.  

 

All of the sensory foods I described above light up specific networks in your brain and lead to enhanced communication among these different regions. The more you perform the activity and “eat” the different sensory foods, the clearer the communication becomes and the stronger the connections are forged. And when you see improvement in your focus and concentration or balance and coordination or are able to better tease out the characteristics of a particular wine, the reason why it’s happening is because the areas of your brain that contribute to those experiences are getting stronger and more complex. You are witnessing neuroplasticity in action.

 

Mike’s story

Mike was the owner of a very successful chiropractic practice in the Bay Area. He became interested in my brain training program after he witnessed the positive changes his wife was experiencing since starting my program. But he recently noticed that he wasn’t able to focus as well as he used to and that his memory was starting to fade – two things that he had really prided himself on. Through a comprehensive brain assessment we discovered that his frontal lobes – the areas of the brain that deal with focus, concentration and memory – weren’t working as well as the other areas of his nervous system. In addition he was always on high alert because of an imbalance in his hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis causing him to always be in fight-or-flight mode. I put him on a recipe for Frontal Lobe Maximization and Parasympathetic Balance that included a series of brain activation exercises as well as specific dietary guidelines, supplements and lifestyle prescriptions to help maximize his frontal lobe and calm his overactive sympathetic nervous system. After 12 weeks of being on the program his energy levels, memory and concentration had improved 100% and he was able to maintain focus 90% longer than he had ever been able to. In addition, he found himself more relaxed and better able to handle all of the stresses that running a business entail.

 

Mike’s story is just one example of how we can harness the power of neuroplasticity to Activate Your Brain, boost your resiliency against stress and deepen your experience of the world, your self and others.

 

To Your Total Potential,

 

Dr. Titus Chiu