YOU, US and EVERYTHING: Get Connected!
Prepare yourself for some big statements to be believed:
We are all connected…
You are deeply connected to everything within you…
Your brain is forging new connections, right now, as you are reading…
Let’s work backward, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, from the individual to the universal, because in beginnings we would like to start with YOU and we want to start small, it’s easier to join the dots.
‘The human brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10 thousand other neurons. Sitting on your shoulders is the most complicated object in the known universe.’ Michio Kaku
In factors of ten these statistics sit quite nicely, neatly quote-able over a coffee or chatty meal. Of course the real figures are far more complex than this fascinating quote: there are more of some types of brain cells (neurons) than others; some neurons are designed to make more connections to other neurons than others; and there are some changes to this phenomenon over the lifespan. But this number blows me away every time: A smiling 3 year old child has roughly a quadrillion neurons, this many: 1,000,000,000,000,000. Remember unfathomable numbers from high school, 1015 – this is one of them!
Stephen Smith (PhD) from Stanford University writes, to the now ‘www’ connected part of human understanding, when he states ‘A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and internet connections on Earth’. One SINGLE human brain.
How do these quadrillion brain cells connect and chat with one another?
Here’s the snapchat of the brain.
Electrical interactions transferring ‘brain rhythms’ from one dancing brain cell to another (that’s how I like to picture it). We could talk complicated voltage gradients and action potentials, but when it comes to the neuron dance these voltages or currents produce brainwaves (think of a Mexican wave in a stadium), and one neuron can trigger a stadium wave 5-50 times every second. Wow!
Even more wow as we can measure them, and as neuroscience develops and refines we get better and better at measuring brain waves and connections. QEEG Brain Scans and 3D Brain Mapping provides countless opportunities to detect and assess brain function and brain connectivity.
From this deep understanding of the intricacies of your working brain, and its connections, highly specialised programs can be developed with the right professional guidance. With Neurofeedback you can retrain these wave rhythms to work better individually and together as a team. Neurofeedback is an effective treatment, when a QEEG Brain Scan is done before and during treatment, to better regulate production of the brain waves you need to work at your best during the day and produce those you need to sleep well at night.
QEEG Brain Scans and 3D Brain Mapping studies can also guide recommendations for Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation or tDCS. Sounds like something straight out of science fiction, but this treatment is very much science fact: tDCS is a non-invasive brain based treatment that delivers a very weak current to the brain to change the excitability, plasticity and therefore the potential for positive change in the region of the brain targeted. tDCS can be so uniquely designed it targets areas of the brain for happiness and reduction of pain.
These electrical brain waves open and close doors to neurochemicals travelling between the brain cells (neurons). This production is influenced not only by our brain waves but how we look after ourselves. We cannot make all of the neurochemicals that need to travel through these open gates without feeding our bodies and brains the right stuff. The MIND Diet, developed by Professor Martha Morris and Team, has been researched at the University of NSW and proven to reduce the risk of dementia. The MIND Diet is an amalgamation of the Mediterranean and DASH Diets, combining 15 principles: 10 foods to focus on and 5 to limit. Try incorporating these mouth-watering recipes in your weekly menu, just look at this delicious rainbow of foods ideas on Pinterest.
Something in there to feed the brain cell billions – both with nutrient power and a wonder of sensory information. There is great pleasure to be found with food each of the many times we sit to eat every day. Food for thought indeed, something to think about when we mindfully sit with ourselves and really allow the time for the dark chocolate to melt in our mouths.
When we think about our brains we should be empowered to think of limitlessness, of the infinite, of stars. We ARE connected to the stars and our potential too is boundless. There is truth in this dreamy thought. From the individual to the universal. I have been consumed by the amazing Tom Chi the whole time I have been writing this, and feel it impossible not to share. He phrases this stellar sentiment so perfectly there is no call to summary, I would encourage you all to listen to his ‘story of the heart, a story of the breath, and a story of the mind’
About the author - Emily Goss, OT. Senior Clinician, The Perth Brain Centre.