Can we heal our brains?
As I watch my mother move into the last stages of cognitive decline with dementia, I wonder how my brain will function at her age of 86. Will I be unable to speak, focus, move my arms or feet?
Many of my patients fear the thought of developing dementia. Is there a way to stop the clock when it comes to the brain's decline? Actually be able to heal our brains?
The good news is YES! As we learn more and more about the incredible human brain, we are finding that many of the myths surrounding its potential are untrue.
Super Brain: Unleashing the Explosive Power of the Mind to Maximize Health, Happiness, and Spiritual Well-Being, written by Deepak Chopra, M.D. and Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D. is one of my favorite books – both from an informational and inspirational standpoint.
I found these five myths (and the truth about them) uplifting and life-changing!
- The injured brain cannot heal itself.
- The brain’s hardwiring cannot be changed.
- Aging in the brain is inevitable and irreversible.
- The brain loses millions of cells a day and lost brain cells cannot be replaced.
Primitive reactions (fear, anger, jealousy, aggression) overrule the higher brain.
The amazing news why these myths are false is due to the incredible phenomenon known as “neuroplasticity” – the brain’s ability to heal itself, form new neural pathways, grow new neurons and override the most instinctual fears that we may have.
Pretty incredible, right?
The next question would be, how do we go from our “baseline” brains to becoming “super brains”? According to Drs. Chopra and Tanzi, to enter this golden age for our brains, we need to incorporate the following four roles into our daily life – leader, inventor, teacher and user.
“As leader, you hand out the day’s orders to your brain.
As inventor, you create new pathways and connections inside your brain that didn’t exist yesterday.
As teacher, you train your brain to learn new skills.
As user, you are responsible for keeping your brain in good working order.”
– p. 4-5 Super Brain
Fortunately, how our brain ages is affected by our conscious choices – with the latest research showing that we can enhance our brain health and possibly stave off Alzheimer’s disease!
I may not be able to change my mother’s present path but hopefully I can change mine and that of others.
Please join me in next week’s blog where we will focus on brain healthy foods – Eating for our BADASS brains.
In health and happiness,