Oct, 2016

Get over brain fog once and for all.

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Brain fog is not a recognized medical condition but you know it if you have it.
Your not as “sharp” as you’d like to be. Your thoughts are slow, you seem to forget more than you’ve ever remembered, and you catch yourself wandering around the kitchen wondering, “why did I come in here again?”
Last November the Journal of Neurology Research International published a study linking the posture of your upper neck and head position to clogging the brain’s cerebral spinal fluid and blood supply.
Here’s what the researchers said “Faulty craniospinal hydrodynamics may also play a role in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and motor neuron diseases. Lastly, faulty craniospinal hydrodynamics may play a role in migraines, silent-strokes, seizures, psychosis, depression, and mania”
The article had 257 references to support their findings.
Conditions like technology neck and forward head posture are contributing to this faulty posture.
It’s not just an old whiplash injury or a sports injury that cause these kinds of problems.
With more and more technology and more and more sitting, it’s becoming even more critical to identify and correct these postural abnormalities.
Many people don’t know they have a spine problem because they don’t have neck pain but they sure can identify with the “clogged up brain” feeling.
What can you do to unclog your brain?

#1 Watch your posture when at your computer

There is no getting around computers. As I type this blog I know that my body is not in a great position. I have a great office chair and am sitting up straight but if I was to spend more than 30 minutes in this position it would begin to damage my spine and nerve system.
A trick I teach my desk bound patients is to get into the habit of contracting the muscles in-between your shoulder blades for about 30 seconds every half hour when they have to be stuck at their computer. For a brief video on that CLICK HERE.
The mental imagery for that exercise is contracting the muscles so the shoulder blades sit down on the ribcage and that usually helps people get it right.
This works great for commuters that have long drives as well.

#2 Hold your phone up higher than you think

I know I will get groans from teenagers about this one but when spending time on a mobile device like a phone or tablet, hold up the device so you’re not flexed forward in “shrimp” posture.
Yes that mean’s you can’t use your phone in class under your desk:)

#3 Have your posture properly assessed and get some strengthening exercises

This mean’s making an appointment with an expert in posture. I even recommend having an x-ray of your upper neck to see if the bones are positioned properly. That’s a simple way to know for sure that your posture or the damage from an old injury isn’t clogging your brain, just like in the research paper above.
Once you know how your posture looks like on the inside then it’s straight forward for the doctor to prescribe posture based exercises based on your x-rays. If you want to see some of the spinal hygiene exercises we give to our patents just check out OUR LIGHTHOUSE YOUTUBE CHANNEL. There’s an entire playlist with video’s to explain some of the exercises that Dr. Ken and I prescribe HERE.

#4 Avoid the neurotoxins aspartame and monosodium glutamate

Your brain works hard and part of nerve cell metabolism are 2 byproducts that your brain needs to deal with. One is glutamate, the other is aspartate.
Under normal circumstances these byproducts are cleared out when your brain is at rest (sleeping). If you consume foods with aspartame and MSG you are adding an additional burden to your brain and eventually nerve cells will be impacted, in fact some research claims brain cell death is the ultimate consequence of aspartame and MSG. So you can imagine, this can be far more damaging then just brain fog.

#5 Brain inflammation

Less than a year ago the Amercian Journal of Psychiatry published a research paper with over 200 references making a rather bold claim that brain inflammation was one of the key contributing factors to depression? This is also a big factor in brain fog as well.
Taking a good quality curcurmin supplement is a great strategy for dealing with inflammation. Curcurmin is the active ingredient in turmeric, the bright yellow spice in curie.
I recommend a Pure Encapsulations product where in just one capsule you get 500mg of curcurmin, which is a great daily boost of natural anti-inflammatory.

#6 Calcium and Magnesium. . . the great reversal.

Some preliminary research in Alzheimer’s is showing a direct connection with over supplementation with calcium and increased risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Calcium works to keep your brain firing long after it needs to. Magnesium has a calming effect on the brain. It’s important to work with a doctor who is familiar with this new research in brain health to get your calcium, magnesium and vitamin D3 levels individualized for you.
I’ve seen this problem brewing for years and have worked with several patients who where supplementing with heavy amounts of calcium to try and influence their bone density. Ironically their bone density was still getting worse and all the calcium was doing was making their muscles stiff and achy.

#7 Avoid the grains and move towards healthy fats

There has been ample written in the past decade on how grains are hard on the brain. With books like No Grain, No Pain and Grain Brain people are starting to wake up to the damaging effects of grain based diets.
Healthy fats like like coconut oil, avocado and the fats found in a good quality fish oil are critical for brain health.
Again, it is important to work with a doctor who has had experience in working with people to come up with practical strategies on how to incorporate these recommendations into your life so you’re not overwhelmed and you’re doing it right.
Just this week I had a consultation with a patient who was surprised every time I said she should decrease this or decrease that in her supplement strategies. She was taking too much. She also is getting adjusted and looking after her central nerve system. When you have a broad and multifaceted approach to your health care you will get more out of each element.

What to do next?

If you think you might be suffering from some of the things that were mentioned in this blog then feel free to contact us at info@lighthousechiro.ca and we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.
If you are concerned about your brain health then reach out to us and we can start the conversation, you might be surprised what modern day research is showing us in building a healthier and more functional brain.