How the brain functions
Research over the last decade has taught us a lot about how the brain functions, and the interconnectedness of the body.
We used to think that:
- the brain was hard-wired like a machine or a computer
- the brain, mind and body were separate entities
- each part of the brain had a distinct and different function
- damage from strokes was irreversible and that there were no cures for certain brain related diseases
Now we know:
- your brain can make new neurons
- your brain is changing every second in response to the environment and your mind (this is called plasticity)
- your body, your mind and your brain are interconnected
- the entire brain is networked, not set in distinct divisions
- there are methods and tactics for helping people recover from all sorts of brain injuries.
“On average, 32 people have a stroke every day in New Zealand. That’s 11,000 strokes per year”.
Stroke is the second single biggest killer and the leading cause of serious adult disability in New Zealand.
For clients who have had a stroke it’s about healing the damage the stroke has caused not only in the brain but throughout the body. My focus is always root cause resolution, and there can be many root causes to a stroke.
A stroke is a brain attack
A stroke is a sudden interruption of blood flow to part of the brain causing it to stop working and eventually damaging brain cells. During a stroke, the cells in the affected part of the brain start to die and that part of the brain cannot work properly. This can affect a person’s ability to walk, talk, eat, see, read, socialise or do things they were able to do before the stroke. Many people with stroke may also have fatigue or problems with remembering, understanding or thinking properly.
Types of stroke
There are three main types of strokes:
1. Ischaemic strokes: Ischaemic strokes occur when a blood clot completely blocks an artery in or to the brain. They are the most common type of stroke, occurring in about 85% of cases.
2. Haemorrhagic Strokes: Hemorrhagic strokes occur when an artery within the brain ruptures (bursts) and leaks blood into the brain. The presence of this extra blood causes pressure to build within the area of the brain where the bleed has occurred, causing damage to the brain tissue. Hemorrhagic strokes are less common than ischaemic strokes but their effects are generally more severe.
3. Transient ischaemic attack (‘mini-stroke’): A transient ischaemic attack (TIA), commonly known as a ‘mini-stroke, occurs when there is a temporary disruption in the blood flow to the brain. Symptoms may last for only a few minutes or up to a few hours and resolve within 24 hours. If symptoms last longer than 24 hours the condition is diagnosed as a stroke. Suffering a mini-stroke increases the risk of having a full-blown stroke. Having a mini-stroke should be a clear warning that a more severe stroke might follow.
Working with me
I have worked with a number of clients recovering from brain injuries including: stroke, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), brain cancer, a broken neck, spinal fusion and others.
I focus on improving brain function by decreasing inflammation and improving the health of the entire body. My Health Engineering approach involves a focus on nutrients. Increasing good fats, decreasing sugars and carbohydrates, moderate levels of protein and lots of vegetables. I also recommend supplementation of specific nutrients to boost healing. I often recommend brain exercises to support and monitor healing.
The gut-brain connection is also key to improving health in clients who have suffered brain injuries. Improving the health of your gut can improve the health of your brain. This is where the vagus nerve comes into play. The vagus nerve runs from the gut to the brain with most of the communication running from the gut to the brain and not the other way around. This means the gut is constantly informing our state of mind. The healthier the gut, the better the state of mind.
Each client has specific needs dependent on their condition, their overall health and their age. I offer a personalised approach to meet each client’s needs and to help them heal.
If you are suffering from any kind of brain injury, please do book in for an initial consultation to discuss how I can help.