How your Mind & Movement can improve your Brain to Body Health & WellnessHeidi Hadley
In this week’s blog we are going to delve into the fascinating world of your brain! We will look at how the quality of your movement and mindset will mould the structure and functioning of your amazing brain.
Our Brain is like a Sponge!
I am sure you have watched little children explore the world around them and marvelled at how curious they are and they always challenge themselves. For instance how often have you watched a baby attempt to walk, only to land on their well padded diaper?!! They never give up. They keep trying until they start waddling!! There is a steely determination in them to keep moving forward. It is at times like this that we say their minds or brains are like sponges, absorbing everything around them, we are correct. However as we mature and leave the education system, many people feel that we no longer absorb information and develop from it. This opinion is flawed and I will explain why.
Your Ever Changing Brain!
Thanks to Neuroscientists around the world, we know the process of neuroplasticity has disproved people’s view of the brain being ‘hardwired’ and unable to absorb and develop from new information or experiences. Neuroplasticity is the process which demonstrates that our brain continues to grow new neural or synaptic connections every day and with every repeated action, encounter or behaviour.
We have five senses which help us navigate the world around us and our brain helps interpet our experiences. There are other avenues which influence our brain and the process of Neuroplasticity. Our thoughts, feelings, ideas, beliefs, internal dialogue, what we learn and our aspirations shape our brain. The more we practice an action, thought or habit the stronger that area of our brain will become. In a previous blog I have discussed how scientists studied the brain maps of London Taxi drivers and found certain areas of their brain were larger due to repeated behaviour of memorizing routes. To read more check out my blog, Cells that fire together, wire together.
A scientific study was conducted in 2007 with mathematicians and the results were published in the American Journal of Neuroradiology. They identified that areas of the brain which were involved with mathematical thinking, analysis and abstract thinking were larger than non mathematicians.
Earlier this year I had the privilege of attending a conference with Norman Doidge, The Author of The Brain that Changes itself. He discussed this subject in great detail. He highlighted how our experiences and thinking change our brain. The neural pathways are so active and constantly changing. As he discussed the brain is great detail, I imagined the brain connections firing away in the same manner as the flight paths around the world. There are many connections and the activity never stops.
Norman Doidge mentioned in his conference that the idea that the brain is like a muscle that grows with exercise is not just a metaphor, it actually happens. Regions of our brain will grow and become thicker the more we use them. If we repeat a movement, affirmation, belief, imagine or ponder the same thing, develop the same thought or idea, feel the same feeling or continue to hold a dream or aspiration very dear to us over and over again, the synaptic connections will become deeply embedded (or a well defined flight path appears!)
The Power of a Healthy Movement & Mindset Practice
As you have noted from this blog, the repeated actions will create a deep impression within our amazing brain. However this repeated action may actually be a habit which is detrimental to our health and well being. For instance, we may have developed a poor posture from a habitual behaviour such as slumping over the keyboard whilst working at the computer. It may be the way we read our mobile device, we may drop our head down into the device, rather than hold our device at eye level. This once again can create a stooped pose. The habit of a sedentary life may be creating the feeling of rigidity in your body. This will change the way your brain communicates to your muscles. If you have a sedentary life or stoop over keyboards or mobile devices, the sensors within your muscles which register your muscle length will relay information to your brain. This information will include recalibrating your muscle length to a ‘new normal.’ Your brain has been constantly informed from your muscles that a tight contracted muscle is ‘normal.’ So when you stand and move from a static position, your brain is working with a level of tension (which has repeatedly been communicated throughout the day) and will create limited mobility.
Likewise, when we hold negative or dis-empowering thoughts and beliefs which may be centered around our self worth or maybe our pain or health, we can become tight and rigid with our mindset. The inflexibility of our mindset creates a world around us which is negative and everything and everyone is bad. The reason for this mindset is due to an area within your brain called The Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS acts like a PA to the CEO, which in this instance your mind. Whatever you focus your thoughts, words and intentions on will be filtered with that bias. So the PA to your mind will filter negative, dis-empowering, fear inducing tabloid headlines and sensationalism as the only events happening in the world around you.
Can we change the negative actions created with movement and mindset? Absolutely! Your amazing brain and the process of neuroplasticity created the negative changes, however with focus and detemination, we can change these actions for healthy movement and mindset.
Within The Total Somatics Approach to Health & Wellness Online Program at www.TotalSomatics.com, I teach you how to develop Mindset, Mindfulness and Movement skills. You will learn how your brain changes and grows stronger. I will teach you how your brain is creating new synaptic pathways everyday. Consistent practice with Total Somatics can reduce pain, improve your posture, increase mobility and return or enjoy the activities you love to do.
I am available on Skype for consultations and personalised movement programs, so if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I am here for you.
Together let us start working intelligently with your mind and body to strengthen the healthy habits which will over ride the negative habits.
I look forward to teaching you these fantastic skills with your amazing brain and body!
Heidi Hadley xx