YOUR BRAIN – HOW CAN WE UNLOCK ITS POTENTIAL?
Our brain. The structure that holds our amazing minds. This infinite and incredible part of our anatomy is something that wow’s me every time I read about it, learn more about it and talk about it! So, let’s dive in as we share information about the wonderful organ under your hat.
Just a few words to define;
Neuroplasticity: The brain’s ability to adapt, reorganize, adjust and compensate in response to new situations or changes in the environment of the brain and body. Basically, your brains ability to CHANGE.
Neurogenesis: How new nerve cells are generated. The birth of a sparkly new neuron!
Neuron: A nerve cell.
Synapse: A connection between two nerve cells.
Okay, now that we have a glossary to go by… let’s delve into the REALLY good stuff.
For those of us who don’t know… the concept of neuroplasticity is a relatively recent discovery. It wasn’t long ago that the common thought was that your brain didn’t change at all. That you were born with the lot. All of your neurons, all of your synapses.
Well – this theory has certainly been debunked!
It’s in even MORE recent times that we discovered that humans grow new neurons throughout our lifetime! When we are born, there are 100 billion neurons in our brains. There are also 50 trillion synapses. And, our brain only weighs 400 grams. That’s under the weight of large square of butter.
By the time we are one month old – we are forming neurons at 250,000/minute! Also, we now have a quadrillion synapses. To see that written out – 1 000 000 000 000 000.
That’s FIFTEEN ZERO’S! That’s a lot of connections.
To give you some context – in 2012, the internet had just more that 100 trillion hyperlinks. That’s only fourteen zeros. Which means, that the brain of a 1 month old has ten times more links than the internet!
Let’s now chat about what happens as we age and become fully functioning, well-adjusted and integrated-into-society adults.
According to Eunice Friesen of the Karolinska Institute (say that five times fast), we grow 700 new neurons per day. By the time we are 50 years old, we’ve replaced ALL of our neurons since birth. Furthermore, we have 300 trillion synapses and our brain can weigh up to 1800 grams. Go us! 
Don’t start patting yourselves on the back just yet though friends. Yes, we may be growing and connecting new neurons like a boss, however just like your morning coffee… the quality of the neurons and synapses count.
How are you shaping your brain?
Throughout our lives we are constantly pruning and strengthening connections in our brains. The more frequently we do something and the more attention we pay to something, the more our brain strengthens the connections to make this knowledge integrated. In other words – it takes time and repetition to cement a new skill/belief/way of thinking.
Example A. Learning a language. It takes consistency, persistence and regular attention to feel confident enough holding a conversation in said language.
Example B. Riding a bike.
Example C. Changing our internal dialect to be supportive and positive.
Point of the story is; give those synapses a chance to develop! Give them the time and energy they deserve! After all;
Neurons that fire together, wire together.
The quality of the information that you put IN is vital!! Positive affirmations, joyful activities, living a life ON PURPOSE all helps to form high quality neuron connections. Not to mention – a clear functioning spine and nerve system, good quality nutrition and appropriate movement.
So far we’ve established;
- We are born with a brain that has a BUCKET load of connections.
- Throughout our lives, our brains are constantly adapting and changing. We are pruning and strengthening connections ALWAYS.
- The quality of information that we put in is important.
Can those infinite minds of yours take in one further piece of information?
Yes, of course they can!
Getting your spine and nerve system adjusted by a chiropractor assists in positively changing brain function by 20%!! More specifically, the pre-frontal cortex which is important for; “behaviour, goal directed tasks, decision making, memory and attention, intelligence, processing of pain and emotional response to it, autonomic function, motor control, eye movements and spatial awareness.” Check out this article my loves, it will definitely add a nice step in your To-Do list for your brain health. So have a chat with your local chiropractor to maximize your brain health!
In other news – your posture and structure effects your brain health too! Read more about this amazing phenomenon here!
In summary: Pay attention to what you’re paying attention to, every interaction counts when it comes to your brain.
It’s infinite. It’s incredible. Just like you.