By Dr. Molly Brown, PhD, D.N.M
Wellness doesn’t just come from a good diet and regular exercise. In this article, Molly Brown, PhD, DNM, explains the powerful connection our brains have to our overall well-being and how finding neurological balance can be life-changing.
I have always been driven to help people in a deeper way than the typical standard of care. There is a creative art to health that listens carefully to the symptoms that are the language of the body and a cry for help. These symptoms can give a lot of information as to what solutions ought to be used. I aim to get results in the most challenging of cases and see change. Because of this, I have moved my work to a practice focused on neurological techniques and brain-based wellness. We can and will find our center point of balance given the proper tools and these tools for true change are typically not supplement or food-based, although they play a positive role.
There are different tools for different individuals and conditions. Sometimes the toolbox consists of nutritional and lifestyle changes, sometimes a supplement for specific organ or gland support, and sometimes, those don’t work at all. In fact, oftentimes these things work at first, until the body adapts to underlying thought patterns, immune conditions, metabolic dysfunction, or organ stress, and then it’s right back where it started. So, then we look for the next supplement or the next dietary change.
Often, it is the very people who have changed their diets, take a dozen supplements daily, and get weekly treatments of various sorts who feel that health eludes them. They continue to decline or become addicted to the supplements, treatments, or a certain diet. There are, also, people who can’t change their diet, are too reactive to supplements, or are too depressed or anxious to actually make changes in their lives. This is where brain-based wellness comes in – powerful tools to create significant change in people’s lives so that they act, feel, and respond differently – typically in 24 hours. The most powerful work I have ever been exposed to is what I employ to help people lead their best lives possible without chasing around symptoms.
The brain is the bio-computer that runs our lives. It filters our emotions, actions, responses, and relationships. Most care, typically, attempts to resolve issues from the neck down. I have found that to make powerful changes in health conditions, we need to go right to the brain. The good news is that neurological work “connects the dots” and allows everything to work seamlessly together.
We are in a state of mental and neurological decline spanning all ages across the country. Statistics show that one in eight seniors develop Alzheimer’s. One in eight children are diagnosed with a brain disorder. Twenty-four million people suffer from dementia, and this is expected to double every 15 years. Antidepressants are now the second most commonly prescribed medication in the U.S. Common early signs of brain dysfunction on the rise are: anxiety, depression, insomnia, learning disabilities, and cognitive decline.
Interestingly, studies show that answering texts and emails distracts us constantly and these distractions actually lower our IQ. This is certainly dominating our society. The disconnect and mania in society is certainly leading to a moral, ethical, and spiritual decline as well. But, we are strong and resilient, and I believe we will slingshot back to higher functioning with neurological balance and excellence. I believe brain-based wellness plays a key role in bringing us back to the level of health we desire.
Our brains are not designed for chronic and long-term stress. Emotional stress is the largest contributing factor leading to brain dysregulation. It actually changes the brain and shows up as a “trauma marker” on an EEG. Other environmental factors, mainly inflammation, will contribute to brain dysregulation including poor nutrition and lifestyle.
We are our brains. The health of our brains dictates everything about us: hormones, immunity, emotions, stress tolerance, metabolic function, addictions, and more. These can all be balanced through the brain. The brain maintains a high metabolic activity and consumes 20-25 percent of our entire body’s fuel source. It needs a stable source of glucose, and mental dysfunction occurs with drops in glucose, much more than being “hangry.” Healthy adrenal function is necessary to maintain a stable form of glucose that the brain needs. In fact, Alzheimer’s is considered Type 3 diabetes.
Another fact, not typically known, is that excess protein breaks down in the body as excess sugar and excess salt, completely throwing off the pancreas, kidneys and adrenals. The dietary fad of only eating meat or excess meat has serious consequences in the near and far term. High amounts of protein will break down to excess sugar and salts in the body and lead to neurodegeneration. The World Health Organization standards set daily protein consumption to about 35 grams for females, and 45 to 55 grams for males, more during high-growth periods. I find that to be accurate. I know some health or wellness practitioners out there who promote 12-200 grams of protein per day! This creates serious metabolic and neurological stress.
A system under extreme stress will decrease blood flow to the brain and body. By working on the sympathetic nervous system, we can positively change our health. Age is not a factor. The leading studies in brain science state, “There should be no evidence of brain degeneration through age 90.”
The tools I use for effective brain balancing are QNRT, a powerful results-efficient technique to reset the hypothalamus, and neurotherapy. The two, hand-in-hand, create profound change.
“Our brains are not designed for chronic and long-term stress. Emotional stress is the largest contributing factor leading to brain dysregulation. It actually changes the brain and shows up as a “trauma marker” on an EEG. Other environmental factors, mainly inflammation, will contribute to brain dysregulation including poor nutrition and lifestyle.”
Neurotherapy is a feedback system that trains the brain through auditory and visual stimulation. Our brainwave activity is made up of patterns of delta, theta, beta, and alpha brainwaves. A healthy ratio of theta (relaxation) and beta (focus and executive functioning) brainwave activity can lead to increased stress tolerance, increased relaxation, memory, and focused attention as well as learning, creativity, and processing. This clearly leads to decreased brain fog, depression, anxiety, and reactivity. For instance, overactive beta on the left side of the frontal lobe can lead to emotional volatility and depression/anxiety. This can be measured and trained-in to balance. A low theta/beta ratio in the back of the brain can lead to insomnia, decreased stress tolerance, and anxiety. This can be measured, pinpointed, and trained-in to balance. The results are efficient and effective.
Why are ADD kids/adults always on the move, touching, fidgeting, and talking? They have higher global theta brainwaves and feel brain fog, slow processing, and find it challenging to concentrate because of this. They actually are in a state of “under-aroused” nervous system. Typically the EEG shows not enough beta brainwave activity for focus and concentration. They are looking to stimulate their brains for a neurotransmitter shift that stimulates their beta brainwave activity through constant motion, games or intense emotions. They are often intelligent and creative, sensitive kids, who benefit from brain training and neurofeedback to balance out the theta/beta ratio for increased focus and concentration. The same goes for impulsivity and volatility.
Neurofeedback can train brainwaves, effectively balancing patterns and leading to better health and mental performance. I use a proprietary neurotherapy program in my clinic that begins with an EEG to assess brainwave activity in different brain lobes. This assessment identifies patterns with common physical, behavior, cognitive, or emotional decline. It can quickly pinpoint anxiety, depression, IQ, intelligence, stress tolerance, cognitive decline as well as focus and concentration issues. Then the “brain training” can begin. We then train the brain away from disrupted or unhealthy patterns towards more balance, improved sleep, increased creativity, and stress tolerance. We usually see change between 12 – 20 sessions, sometimes more, sometimes less. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that neurotherapy is as effective as medication for issues of focus and concentration. I would argue that it is more effective. The results for anxiety and depression are unparalleled.
Dr. Molly Brown, PhD, D.N.M has a health and wellness practice in Ketchum, Idaho, specializing in sleep, endocrine issues, autoimmune, anxiety, depression and pain and sports injury. In addition to her health practice, Molly opened GLOW, her plan-based organic cafe, in 2008 to provide a space for positive lifestyle and health to the community. She is a lover of all things plant-based and passionately holds space for limitless healing for our community.
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