- How big brains coincided with the intricate physical movement of the spine
- How stress and inflammation are a normal adaptive process that builds our brain
- Spinal movement send input into the brain that releases a cascade of neurobiological molecules
I am really excited to start you on this journey and I hope to add a lot of value to your life as a whole.
Nutrition is remarkable in its ability to have people with completely opposite views saying they have science to support completely opposite views.
Frustrating isn’t it? What are we suppose to believe?
In this training I’m going to explain why 90% of normal brain function is stimulated through the movement of your spine and how we were designed to translate that motion every day.
OUR BRAIN IS PLASTIC NOT IN THE LITERAL SENSE of the word; it’s malleable, shape-shifting, and moldable. In the old world, science thought the brain was an organ that was hardwired and compartmentalized. Today we know that the brain can rewire itself. It can repurpose bits and pieces and adapt and grow. The ability for the brain to rewire itself is called neuroplasticity.
You may heard of a similar term, neurogenesis. But did you know that neurogenesis or the creation of new nerve cells happens through spinal motion?
And that leads us to Dynamism Biohack : Rebuilding the brain Through Spinal Motion
You heard me correctly, your gonna want to tune in to this; SPINAL MOTION AND NEUROGENESIS or growing new nerve cells through the movement of your spine. Not a little bit. Not kind of. But over 90% of it is generated through the movement of your spine.
You know, The concept of neurogenesis is even more revolutionary. Science has learned that new cells and networks of the brain grow as needed, very much as muscles grow with exercise and movement. Today we know for a fact, that big brains coincided with the intricate physical movement of the spine. Through time, evolutionary changes used biochemistry, which adapted from the environment to enhance muscles, movement, and brains.
To explore and further our understanding of neurogenesis we need to define some terms, Yeah, im gonna get all stark trek nerdy geeky for a moment and use some big science terms; but again, i’m gonna then take out the latin so you can understand this stuff. Fair enough?
So what are the terms. Are you ready. Here they are, their are 2 terms. homeostasis, and hormesis. Homeostasis is an array of signaling mechanisms within the body that responds to a normal operating state bringing the body back to a normal state. Hormesis is a biological response to low doses of a stressor, that improves the ability of the body to handle that stressor. In movement patterns and exercise, we can apply the concept of hormesis. Unlike homeostasis, hormesis does not return the body to a normal state. It returns it to a better than the normal state.
Bodybuilding is a great example that best illustrates this point.
When we lift weights to build and rebuild muscle, heavy stress is placed on our muscles, a process that breaks them down by overload. The body reacts with an immune response and inflammation. This reaction is a normal adaptive physiological mechanism our bodies do to respond to any environmental stress. You will notice I used two hard words, stress, and inflammation.
Just like when we start playing with cliché’ like it’s genetic. We believe that all stress and inflammation is bad. What you have to understand that there is no such thing as good or bad in this model, the body is simply responding and adapting, and evolving into a more superior species. With that statement, the fact is, the body uses both to rebuild and grow.
This process builds bigger and better, an adaptive response. Your muscles are faced with a new challenge in the form of heavy weights, so the body responds by building infrastructure to meet that challenge, our brains work the same way. The body grows and becomes more resilient. Take the stress load away over time and it works in the other direction: use it or lose it.
In the example of the sedentary body builder, he or she loses muscle. In the example of the sedentary human, he or she loses brain size and function. You heard that right. Sedentary, and immobile people shrink their brain and damage their brain.
Eventually, I will attempt to tie all this into the profession of chiropractic. Why I believe, chiropractic care is the only profession that can help build both, muscle and brain development because of one misunderstood fact, the importance of spinal motion and it’s simulation to the brain-body connection. More on that later.
Movement, especially spinal movement places demand on the brain, just as it does on muscle, and so the brain releases a cascade of biochemicals. One example of this is the release of Brain-Derived-Neurotrophic- Factor (BDNF). I know, another geeky term. Hang in there, its easy. Im gonna call it BDNF for short.
BDNF is a chemical that triggers the growth of cells to meet the increased mental demands of the movement. Now The interesting thing, BDNF floods throughout the brain, not just the parts engaged in the movement. In other words, the entire brain flourishes in response to movement. Therefore, movement patterns and spinal movement send input into the brain that releases a cascade of neurobiological molecules like BDNF which flood the brain providing an optimal environment for brain cells to grow and function well. That’s right, we have the science to show how movement, especially the tiny spinal movement floods the brain with essential chemicals called BDNF that grow new brain cells and improve the function of your brain. You simple can never have a healthy brain without a healthy spine and regular physical activity.
Different movement patterns release other neurotransmitters as well. A neurotransmitters does what the name implies; it is something that transmits the nerve signal. Okay For example, chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are released at the result of exercise and even in response to proper specific chiropractic adjustments.
What we can take away so far in our story is that the body needs stronger or more refined movement to meet a given challenge, it will need more brain circuitry to guide that movement.
The movement to brain interaction circuitry is no longer conjecture or theoretical construct. Another reason the chiropractic profession is playing a major role in healthcare in the concept of movement to brain interaction because of the forgotten importance of spinal joint motion and the huge role it plays in everything we are discussing.
It’s very simple. We have become a sedentary society, coach potatoes- playing video games, texting on our phones and driving in our vehicles instead of behaving in ways our genome is programmed. Our hunter- gatherer ancestors walked 8 – 10 miles each day, made quick sprints and lifted heavy from time to time. Even our indigenous cultures that still hunt and gather food follow a similar pattern.
If you want to heal, you go to learn how to tap into your inner aborigine; a consistent theme I talk about in these shows.
Science has been busy assembling massive amounts of evidence that says the quickest, surest path to the health and well-being of the brain and body is movement and vigorous aerobic exercise.
A chiropractor is a movement doctor. In fact, if there is anything you need to remember from this lesson it’s about the art of how to lighten up, move better, and live fuller. The truth is, history leaves clues. The chiropractic profession is evolving into movement doctors, and today new concepts like spinal hygiene to supplement for our sedentary lifestyles is happening all across America just as Denistry took first took off in the mid 19th century.
Today, nearly 98% of americans practice oral hygiene. We bath, that’s body hygiene, we brush our teeth, that’s oral hygiene, and now- due to our sedentary lifestyle, we maintain our spinal health with chiropractic checkups, and stretch our back and necks often, that’s spinal hygiene.
Until next time, I’m Dr. Matt Hammett reminding you to lighten up, move better and live fuller. See you next Dynamism Biohack.