This week I'd like to give you some health tips to keep your nervous system firing and stay healthy as we age. Neuro pathways do breakdown over time and there are ways to slow this process down. Basically, the brain needs oxygen, fuel, and activation.
Oxygen and fuel I won't focus on, but breathing right can be helped by meditation, and remember to keep a balanced diet. Activation, however, is our focus for today...
Midline neural pathway stimulation is super important to maintain good posture, good balance and strong sensation in your feet as you age. The midline pathway mainly involves the eyes, tongue, soft palate, diaphragm, core spinal muscles and pelvic floor.
- Eye exercises: Move your eyes one side to the other quickly or at 'clock face' targets on a wall, bouncing from one number randomly to another. This helps balance and plantar response (feel your feet)
- Soft palate: Gargling while brushing your teeth or in the shower will keep good soft palate tone and neural connections strong.
- Posture and core spinal muscles: The brainstem's job is to stop the muscles at the front of the body from pulling you forward. A brain that is underactive does a poor job at this inhibition, hence as we age and our brain acivitiy decreases, our posture gets worse. A great way to activate this area of the brain and brainstem is to work large muscle groups like the glutes. So a simple squat (weighted or just a sit, hover and hold squat) will stimulate the part of the brain that inhibits the muscles that cause poor posture on the front of the body.
Here's a test for your nervous and vestibular systems. Stand on one leg, with your eyes closed and head turned one side, and you should be able to hold it for 20-30 seconds at age 40 years.
If you fail, wind it back and start working on stimulating the pathways: stand on both legs with your eyes open, then lift one leg off, turn your head left and right, and finally close your eyes. Do this in the corner of the room for stability and build on it over months to become more stable. A cervical, or neck chiropracitc adjustment will also help, as blockages in the neck cause havoc in the vestibular system.
If you find this test easy, then up the ante by standing one-legged, eyes closed, head turned, on a wobble board, doing a squat, gargling while brushing your teeth. Simple!
If you are experiencing bad health from poor posture or would like to learn more about the positive benefits from healthy posture set up a consultation in our office by calling 212-502-1803 or book directly on our website at: healthcarechiropractic.com