Manage episode 275449993 series 1155922
Neuroplasticity and Neurogenesis, Strategies to regenerate the brain – Dr. Jason Jones Elizabeth City NC, Chiropractor
You might have believed that every brain stops developing after a certain age, but that’s not true. Studies have shown that the brain has the ability to form new neural pathways and create neurons even as you grow into old age. This is achieved through a process called Neuroplasticity and neurogenesis.
Neuroplasticity simply means the ability of the brain to regenerate both anatomically and functionally. When you suffer from brain disorders, injuries, or degenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, Dyslexia, etc., the brain plasticity helps to reduce the effect of altered structures.
More, the brain is constantly changing, and a unique region of the brain called the “hippocampus,” which controls learning, memory, and mood, can grow new brain cells throughout our lives. This process is called “neurogenesis,” and it continues into old age.
However, the rate of neuroplasticity or neurogenesis is affected by our lifestyle. In fact, there are many natural methods or strategies that helps to boost the regeneration of the brain, including:
You already know how refreshing it can be when you have a good night’s sleep. But it goes beyond that; sleep is also helpful in repairing and growing new brain cells or neurons.
When you don’t sleep well or you have disrupted sleep, it impairs neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. So aim for 7-8 hours of sleep every night. If you find it hard to fall asleep, you can try measures like making your room as dark as possible or going to bed at the same time.
Exercise has huge benefits on the brain and the body. When you engage in aerobic activities such as cycling, running, swimming, and even sex, it helps to boost brain regeneration.
You might wonder how? Well, as you get the heart pumping (for over 20 minutes at a stretch), and from a routine from it, several growth hormones are stimulated in the brain.
More so, the increased endorphin production helps to reduce your stress level- something that could slow down neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.
Try new environments
Studies have shown that activities like traveling, learning new skills or language, and making new social connections, help to stimulate the regeneration of the brain.
The idea is to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself mentally on a regular basis. This triggers new neuron growth and sustains those new brain cells to stay with you for long.
Meditation & Prayer
When you practice meditation and/or prayer, it helps both your mind and body. Not only that, but it also supports neuroplasticity and neurogenesis by increasing hippocampal volume, grey matter density, and melatonin levels.
Meditation also helps to clear factors that restrict the growth of new neurons, including anxiety, stress, and depression.
Many studies have shown that fasting/calorie-restriction promotes neuron growth, improves cognitive function, and increases synaptic plasticity.
During fasting, the shift in metabolism lowers the levels of leptin- a hormone produced by fat. This way, the brain receives a signal for neurons to produce more energy.
You can try popular methods of intermittent fasting:
- A 16-hour fast- eating dinner at 8 pm and breaking your fast at noon the next day.
- Fasting for an entire 24-hour period, one day per week.
- “5-2” model – eating for five days and restricting calories (between 400-600 calories) for two days in a non-consecutive manner.
You can consult Dr. Jason Jones at our Chiropractic office at Elizabeth City, NC, to get more natural strategies to support your brain regeneration.