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Category Archives for "Optimise Your Brain"

Articles related to the brain and mind. Learn why it is important & how to improve your thoughts to reduce stress. It covers the topic of psychoneuroimmunology which leads to uncontrolled inflammation and degeneration in our bodies.

Reduce Inflammation and Loneliness: Latest Mindfulness Training Research

Lonely

Mindfulness Training Can Change Your Feelings

I came across some very cool research from July 2012 showing how changing your mind can change levels of inflammation in your bloodstream. When looking at inflammation which is causing pain and disease in your body most people only think of taking an anti-inflammatory or pain-killer medication. This kind of research is important I believe because it shows you that you have the ability to change your body without medication only.

In this study they used a technique called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) on older adults (55-85 years old) to see if they could change their feelings of loneliness and change the inflammation marker in the blood called C-Reactive Protein (CRP). Could this be a simple treatment tool people in acute and especially chronic pain are missing to help heal their bodies? I think so. Continue reading

The Power of PsychoNeuroImmunology: How To Fix Your Brain Chemistry

Learn how improving your psychoneuroendocrinology will make learn how to make you smile againI know that is a very long word. Psychoneuroimmunolgy, or PNI for short, is also called another long phrase sometimes, psyhconeuroendocrinology (PNE). These confusing long terms are a very interesting field of medicine that you need to actually know about. I just finished listening to a neurosurgeon do a two-day seminar on it and want to tell you what I learnt. Trust me, you REALLY need to know this stuff.

Why I believe you need to know what PNI is because this is you right now. Sitting there reading this article what state is your nervous system? How strong and well controlled is your immune system? Do you have the right amount of hormones floating around your body? Are you unknowingly squirting nasty chemicals called pro-inflammatory cytokines into healthy organs or joints and breaking them down? Want to know how to create a chemistry of wellness in your body? Have I got your attention yet, hopefully 🙂 Continue reading

Mindfulness Training: How To Control Stress Levels

how-to-reduce-stress-mindfulness-training-Jon-Kabat-Zinn

How to Reduce Stress with Mindfulness Training

Mindfulness training guru, Jon Kabat-Zinn, teaches you today in a 1 hour 25 minute video how to reduce stress today by using mindfulness training. Jon was at the Googleplex corporate headquarters complex of Google, Inc in 2007 presenting to Google employees what is mindfulness training and how to perform mindfulness training.

We are all living with some degree of stress in our lives. It is normal to have stress. However, prolonged stress will kill you I believe. A patient told me her mum had just died recently. She used to exercise everyday, never smoked and lead a ‘healthy lifestyle’. Except the patient felt she had lots of stress in her life running her own business. Can stress kill you? Jon Kabat-Zinn feels that we are still stone age people living in a permanently connected world. This is what can stress us out and cause burn out. If you have wanted to learn how to practice mindfulness meditation or wondered why people practice buddhist meditation or yoga meditation everyday then watch the video below to feel better today.

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The Better Way: How To Tie Your Shoelaces

How to Tie Your Shoe Laces

Tie Your Laces Properly

I love watching TED talk videos for inspiration and positive motivation, and came across a funny but interesting video from Terry Moore on “how to tie your shoes” properly.

In this video Terry mentions how he went to a shoe shop and bought some expensive shoes with round nylon laces. He then struggled to keep the laces tied properly when wearing his shoes. To Terry’s amazement the shoe shop owner said he was tying his shoelaces incorrectly. In his video Terry wants to show you the difference between the way he had always assumed you tie laces on your shoes and boots and the way the shoe shop owner showed him to tie his new shoes correctly. Quick Tip: If you have a low back pain I’d recommend just using slip-on shoes.

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James Cracknell Inspiration Story

james-cracknell-accident-recovery

James Cracknell Road to Recovery

Did you hear the news about the James Cracknell accident? Great Britain Olympic rower James Cracknell has made a heroic comeback from a traumatic head injury. You will remember James apart of the famous mens Olympic coxless four rowing team of Sir Steve Redgrave back in 2000. I have included a video below of that amazing rowing race back in Sydney 2000 so you can re-live that goose bump moment.

Looks like James hasn’t stopped since then with his endurance sports. The accident happened on the James Cracknell race across america episode. The endurance race was in the USA when James was hit by a truck whilst cycling and ended up with a brain injury. You can read more extensively about the James Cracknell recovery story from his wife Beverley in the Mail Online article at the end.

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Jack Lalanne Quotes: Health Motivation Messages To Live By

Jack Lalanne

Jack Lalanne: Bodybuilding

I think I can confidently say most if us want to achieve better health in our day to day lives and to do so we need regular motivation to keep our energy levels geared towards living a healthy lifestyle.

If you grew up in the UK then you probably haven’t heard of a 1950’s/60’s television and fitness star from Hollywood called, Jack Lalanne the “Godfather of Fitness”. Didn’t he look amazing from his bodybuilding days as you can see in the picture on the right?

I recently came across some archive videos of Jack’s television appearances from the black and white TV days. What he has to say in these old videos is still, I feel, highly applicable to all of us in today’s day and age. Jack was a master motivational speaker about taking care of your mind, body and gut in a simple to perform way, everyday.

So in memory of Jack Lalanne who died on 23 January 2011 aged 96 I thought I would share with you some of his keep it simple stupid principles of health, which he talks about in the videos below. I wanted to share these hoping to motivate you to change your health for the better starting right now.
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Want a Better Nights Sleep? How to Stop Pain Keeping You Awake Tonight

How to fall asleep when you have back and neck pain

Getting a Good Nights Sleep

We all love the stuff, we all do it everyday not matter how old or young we are, and it is vital for our health. This magical stuff that I’m talking about is sleep. Getting a good nights rest is my focus here.

However, here’s the problem most people have: “how do you get a better nights sleep?”. Maybe you think that you are suffering sleep deprivation like an insomnia? Is it pain somewhere in your body that is keeping you awake at night? These are some common questions around sleep hygiene. That is why in todays post I want to address questions like: how much sleep is too much or too little, why exactly do humans need to sleep, how sleep is liked into our pain levels, and lastly, 5 top tips to try get you to fall asleep tonight.

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World Health Day 2010

World Health Day 2010 starts today 7 April and runs till 11 April 2010. This years World Health Day theme is “1000 cities, 1000 lives”. The aim of this year health day are:

  1. 1000 cities: to open up public spaces to health, whether it be activities in parks, town hall meetings, clean-up campaigns, or closing off portions of streets to motorized vehicles.
  2. 1000 lives: to collect 1000 stories of urban health champions who have taken action and had a significant impact on health in their cities. Continue reading

Protective Effects of Mindfulness Training in Army Recruits

Mindfulness Training Research

Feel Better with Mindfulness Training

I came across an article in Science Daily discussing the use of mindfulness training in US army recruits going to the Iraq war to help them cope with the stress of war. To be honest I had never heard of mindfulness training before this article.

I found out the definition of mindfulness is “a mental mode characterized by full attention to present-moment experience without judgement, elaboration, or emotional reactivity”. Mindfulness training (MT) programs offer exercises and didactic guidance to help participants cultivate this mental mode¹. Well mindfulness sounds interesting and I had heard that it was touted Continue reading

Is Google Making Us Stupid

I stumbled across a great read today called “Is Google Making Us Stupid”. This article is discussing how our minds are being re-shaped by how we use the internet. I must admit that what is being said in The Atlantic article by Nicholas Carr, about skimming information on the web and in books is so true for me.

When you get used to jumping on the net and Googling something you want to know it seems to become intuitive to rather data mine and scan sentences in articles rather than actually stop and read the full article and then think what is being said. Being a fan of understanding neuroplasticity I would agree our brains are being re-modelled according to what we are presented on the internet. I found the complete pdf for you to read.

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Dr Kawashima Train Your Brain Book and Nintendo DS Game

Dr Kawashima Brain Training GamesDo you want to give yourself some brain exercise? Today I will talk about using Japanese neuroscientist, Dr Ryuta Kawashima, brain exercise recommendations.

If you haven’t already seen or heard about Dr Kawashima then he is famous for being the neuroscientist behind the Nintendo DS, Dr Kawashima Brain Age 2 game.

Dr Kawashima has also published some brain exercise books. Today I will give a basic overview for you of what Dr Kawashima tries to get you to do to improve your memory. Also try see how fast your basic maths skill are using the online daily Maths Brain Exercise Game below. Try the game in both normal and hard levels of difficulty. Tell me what your high score is for doing the math test brain exercise. Continue reading

The Harvard Brain Bank: Donate Your Brain for Research

Harvard Brain Bank

It’s a No Brainer

Have you ever heard of the Brain Bank at Harvard University? The Brain Bank at Harvard University is the world’s largest brain repository where more than 7,000 human brains are donated, stored, and used for brain research.

In the following brain video you will see a fresh brain dissected after being donated by a 70 year-old man. The brain anatomy is preserved in different ways to save the brain structures like the amygdala & hypothalamus for later brain studies. You will also see the difference between an Alzheimer’s brain and a normal brain. Did you know: only 10% of the brains donated are good enough for brain studies? See what Harvard is doing into research of brain function at the Harvard Brain Bank in this following brain video.

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Check Out The Spinning Lady Brain Test

Spinning Lady

Spinning Lady Test

This “Spinning Lady Illusion” is, I think, going to drive you a little mad today. I came across this brain illusion recently at a Chiropractic seminar that was discussing brain wave activity. It is quite interesting to see if you can get the spinning lady image to change direction.

The idea behind this spinning lady test is to see if you can use more of the left or ride side of your brain in order to alter the way that she is spinning. This is said to be a “Right Brain vs Left Brain test”. So do you see the lady spinning clockwise or anti-clockwise?

If you see the spinning lady clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain. If you see the spinning lady anti-clockwise it is said you are using more of the left side of your brain.

I personally have the spinning lady going clockwise more. Which way does she start spinning for you? Let me know be interesting to see which way people see it going mainly.

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Bat and Ball Problem

Bat and Ball Puzzle

How Much Does The Ball Cost?

I am busy reading a book called ‘Risk’ by Dan Gardner. In the book ‘Risk’ there is a riddle. It is the bat and ball question. Author, Dan Gardner, says that we have two ways of working problems out and what we will eventually say.

System One and System Two are, apparently, what we use to solve puzzles. The bat and ball riddle tests these two psychological systems. I have solved the question of “how much does the ball cost?”.

Can you work it out for yourself before seeing the answer below 🙂

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How To Read 300x Faster by Today: Free Speed Reading Online Course

Speed Reading Course London

Improve Your Reading Speed Today

I was reading a link on twitter about how to improve your reading speed by 300%. That is a massive increase which is why it caught my eye. It was a link to a speed reading course promoted by US self-improvement blogger, Tim Ferriss. Tim is also famous for other experiments like the Four Hour Body. Tim published an article that I found intriguing. It was about how to increase your average reading speed.

Spending quite a bit of time working on my laptop I find it can be hard to absorb all the information the internet can throw at you. It is so time consuming when I’m trying to read so many great articles online. Most people only skim articles they read just like you are probably doing right now. When I searched Google I found there were many free or paid for speed reading courses in London. All of thee courses teach various speed reading techniques. However, today I want to give you the free speed reading lesson which I discovered Tim’s article. Continue reading