Your brain probably is the biggest tool in your toolkit to achieve better health, wellbeing and performance. What 34 years in clinic taught me is, that few people know how to make their brain work best for them, other than in academic or artistic ways. Also, because I always asked patients to make a timeline, it became pretty obvious that, what presented itself as physical issues, often had a toe in mental-emotional murky waters. In this Brain Gain page, Han van de Braak BSc LicAc MCSP MBAcC (Retd.) helps you to easy DIY techniques that may make your brain work for you instead of having it work against you.
The longest road is from your head to your heart, and from there, to the ‘here and now’.
Stress lowers your immune system. It weakens your microbiome (beneficial vs. unhealthy bacteria balance) not just in your digestive tract or in your respiratory tract, but also on your skin (e.g. alopecia areata), on any (mucous) membrane actually. It alters hormone levels (e.g. cortisol). Grieving (and not just for loved ones who passed away) equally lowers your immune system, as does fear, as does any level of gnawing anger. Then there’s the internal conversations, the mental chatter (e.g. I’m not good enough) that fuels your brain filtering (changing!!) anything coming in via your ears, via your eyes, via your senses… Homotoxicology (about stuff toxic to man) always featured in my lectures and the below slides (swipe the image) served the discussion about incidental exposure to, say, Formaldehyde or Glyphosate, as compared to 24/7 exposure to toxins that some patients generate in their mouth. My point is of course, that background stress, fear, grief, anger is with you 24/7 also and they too are toxins of sorts. They do not exist without biochemistry and they alter your biochemistry! No detox programme would be complete without giving this proper attention. Han van de Braak BSc LicAc MCSP MBAcC (Retd.) helped stress with acupuncture, complex homeopathy, medicinal herbs (incl. diet) as well as with counselling and coaching.
Let’s make this simple. You know that stress is the fight or flight response. The ‘shall I stay’ or ‘shall I go’ conundrum, the ‘do I go left’ or ‘do I go right’ enigma. Keeping to the traffic example, the simple truth of the matter is, that any journey is easier when you have a reasonable idea of the route (destination and way points). Why road maps were invented… so, bring some clarity to your life, map your journeys. Imagine there’s North, East, South and West to go to. Quite understandably you may not be able to pinpoint it down to a detailed 350° North-northwest, but it would be useful though to know that Your Bliss (where you’re in Your Element) lies neither in Southwesterly nor in Northeasterly direction. With life being finite, there’s lots to be said for not wasting too much time on going in unhelpful directions. For those who think that mapping narrows down the spontaneity of life’s exploration, two things: 1) mapping a sailing course from Falmouth to Brest doesn’t dictate sea state or alter wind direction or tell you the boats you may have to give way to underway, and 2) there is a long list of lost explorers who at best arrived somewhere they hadn’t expected to be and then spent time making the best of their lot. Your mapping will never diminish Life’s capacity for the unexpected. Creating clarity more often than not helps to lower stress when there’s no plan. So that’s one aspect of brain gain.
When fear is based on fear of failure then there are a number of things you can do to take the sting out. Reduce the stress of the flight response. Loving parental encouragement possibly is the best medicine, but even mums, dads or other significant relations give advice from their perspective. You too may know of ‘Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance’ (the 7Ps is good advice from the British Army) and this, together with training one step at a time, will help massively with fear of failure. The aim is to build your internal strength to overcome fear of failure. When you have more internal strength, it is easier to find and mobilise courage. It includes building a physically stronger you, and that’s the rocket fuel, probiotics, Aloeride, sleep and exercise combined. Yup, that’s our broader approach again.
You know about the five stages of grieving (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) by which you ‘learn’ to live without someone you lost. Everybody will go through these, but what do you do when such past, emotional events continue to influence your health & wellbeing years later? This goes well beyond grief depressing your immune system. It can be that the loss knocks your confidence. There is a personal story to tell that may help. This is shared by private invitation only, so our customers need to contact Han van de Braak BSc LicAc MCSP MBAcC (Retd).
Misprojected anger probably is what most anger is about, A growling at B to vent the heat of the friction between A and C, or between A and A him/herself. Yes there are anger management classes but you know what… if you’re A and you want to change, then any behaviour modification techniques you may learn will work A LOT better if you add Our Approach to it. If you’re B or C and are stuck with A, then being stronger enables you to cope better with A. Medical herbs and acupuncture offer remarkable help in anger management, but they’re not the big lines I talk about in my approach. For anger to resolve, stress, fear and grief need to be eased. Anger within families is rarely resolved by a focus on one individual, seeing stuff from someone else’s perspective can be helped by systemic family constellation. This is useful but, more useful still when participants do their 7Ps beforehand.
All the above is what you want to have less of, stress notably, irrespective of it being fuelled by fear, grief, anger or something else. It’s the stuff that is holding you back. No detox programme would be complete without giving them a wipe with an approach that has worked well for my patients. At the other end, there are the things that make your brain work for you, other than in academic or artistic ways. Meditation and visualisation, but without the dogma, these techniques and disciplines are used by all the top athletes in the world. But you know what, you’re so not a top athlete when you feel cream crackered, and molehills will look like mountains, fuses become shorter, sadness more tearful… That’s why next to Brain Gain, you do something about your energy. And call on a friend, see if you can team up for some of your journey, one logical-next-step at the time.
Many people with gastrointestinal issues look to aloe vera for succour. Our view is that, whilst we are happy to make the proven best in aloe vera much more affordable, we would be so much more delighted if you would embrace the bigger picture. Changing the impact of stress, of fear, of grief or anger very directly affects the health of your every molecule.
Not one for too much psychobabble, Han looks at life from a sailor’s perspective… using metaphors like the call of the Sea (life’s adventure, projects – Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey), Weighing anchor (love of the old vs fear of the new), Foraging (what’s needed for the journey), Prerequisites (RYA Day Skipper, Swimming certificate), Navigation (Departure Port, Waypoints, Destination Port), Moorings & Anchorages (Likes, Dislikes). It may not sound sophisticated perhaps, or appropriate at first glance, but it relates well and is very effective. How does brain gain work? Simply because of time restraints, this service is available only to customers of ours, so make contact and we’ll take it from there. Much of this is free with our compliments and love. Some of it requires private consultation and for that there is Skype so we can speak ‘face to face’ remotely.
In the interest of patient anonymity, the testimonial was read out by a voice artist.
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