The brain is generally the most complex part of the human body. it’s the seat of intelligence, senses, body movement and control of behavior, as well as the source of all qualities that define humanity. Generally speaking, the brain has three main parts. The cerebrum controls movement, body temperature, touch, vision, judgement, sensory abilities and emotions. The midbrain focuses on hormones (which control emotional reactions, responses and stability), breathing. consciousness, cardiac systems, involuntary actions, swallowing, eyes and mouth movement. It also focuses on sensing heat, noise and pain. Finally, the cerebellum allows for voluntary muscle movement, fine motor movement and maintaining a balance in equilibrium.
Modern science also suggests there are total of three brains, or control systems, in the body. In addition to the “head” brain, there are also control systems in the “gut” and “heart”. The “gut brain” has 100 million neurons operating independently. These neurons play an important role in self preservation, mobilization, responses to challenges and determining a core sense of self. Hormones in the “gut brain” send messages to the rest of the body. Often, senses from the “gut brain” are referred to when people say things like “listen to your gut”, “listen to your instincts” or “my intuition tells me”. The “heart brain” also has 39 million neurons operating independently. These neurons are directly tied to expression of emotions, values and interpersonal connections. This part of the body is often referenced when saying “follow your heart”.
Signs of Optimal Health & Wellness
Indicators of thriving include:
- Good judgement and reasoning
- Problem solving skills
- Motor skills and movement
- Connection to senses
- Clarity of thought
- Healthy expressions of emotion
- Healthy instinctual insights
Indicators or warning or decline might include:
- Memory loss
- Issues with sight or vision
- Brain fog
- Movements issues
- Digestive issues
- Feeling of “fragmentation” or “disconnection”
In addition to proper nutrition, water, exercise and rest, keeping all three “brains” stimulated is essential to brain health. Crossword puzzles, participating in the arts, reading, and healthy interactions with others all keep the brain(s) functioning well. In addition, the brains have a symbiotic relationship with the digestive system. If digestive processes are upset, this can cause challenges with normal thinking and abilities, as well as emotional expressions. “Gut massages”, and movement of the abdomen is also important to brain health.
Participating in structured activities with others, particularly those that include physical exertion, help to keep the brain focused and connected with its symbiotic partners. Puzzles, continued learning, creative activities and other non-structured activities promote beneficial mental activity and neuroplasticity. A healthy diet, including dark chocolate, as well as proper hydration are important.
- Play games
- Continue learning
- Stay hydrated
- Get plenty of rest
Seeking intervention, and the types of intervention, very often depends on symptoms. Intervention should be sought whenever there is a danger to the brain, such as stroke or heart attack, or symptoms of degeneration are present, such as forgetfulness, loss of clarity and focus, severe mood swings, and loss of motor controls. Interventions might include following commands to help determine which parts of the brain might be impacted, MRIs, and other tests to determine brain processes, including hormonal and emotional testing.
If you have experienced a head injury or trauma, or are having hallucinations or an altered state of being:
- Dial 911: or
- Go the nearest hospital emergency room