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Be ‘selfish’ so those around you can be happier.

Be ‘selfish’ so those around you can be happier.
Interviewer Tom Bilyeu asked David Eagleman for insights on how he and his wife parent their children. Since the Eaglemans aren’t parenting experts, you might wonder why he would ask the question.
 
Both Eaglemans are neuroscientists, so are well aware of how the brain works and its connection with behaviour.
 
His response was not what I expected. Continue reading

House prices & lap pads.

House prices & lap pads.
If you’ve ever bought property, or even if you haven’t, you’ve probably heard the quote, “There are three things to consider when buying property: location, location, location.” Which means: although we can change what is on a piece of property, where that piece of land is located, because that can’t be changed, is most important.
 
Which explains the reason behind using a lap pad.  
 
Weighted lap pads are useful for deep pressure to stimulate proprioceptors found in muscles. Once the receptors are stimulated, it helps a dysregulated body by providing calming input. To paraphrase Temple Grandin, based on my memory, a light touch excites the nervous system and deep touch calms and grounds it.
 
Let’s calmly continue to look at lap pads and proprioception. Continue reading

Going deeper into a nervy subject

Going deeper into a nervy subject
A couple of weeks ago, I spoke about the vagus nerve. It’s the largest cranial nerve and transmits both sensory and motor information between the brain and body.
 
Some of the information it transmits has been gathered by proprioceptive receptors, located in muscles, tendons, joints, the inner ears and on the skin (the last two weren’t consistently mentioned as receptor locations).
 
Most of you who are reading this have heard of proprioception before. It’s the internal ability to sense the location of your body in space. For example, even if your eyes are closed, you can still bend your outstretched arms and touch your nose.


Continue reading

Let me think. Then I'll decide how I'm feeling.

Let me think. Then I'll decide how I'm feeling.
Have you ever experienced a pounding heart, sweaty palms, brain freeze, and maybe dizziness? When did you experience it? Was it when you were excited? Or when you were anxious?
 
It could’ve been in either case, because our physical symptoms of anxiety and excitement are very similar.
 
So, how do we know if we are experiences excitement or anxiety? It’s about which of the possible outcomes we focus on. If we are thinking something will be pleasurable, then we are excited. If we think it will be unpleasant, then we are anxious.
 
The interesting part of the excitement/anxiety option is just that. In many ways, which emotion we feel is a choice we make. If we consciously take steps to lean one way or the other, over time, we will more commonly react to situations with that leaning. Continue reading

No, what happens in the Vagus does not stay in the Vagus. Nor should it.

No, what happens in the Vagus does not stay in the Vagus. Nor should it.
Even though I don’t have autism, Asperger’s nor Sensory Processing Disorder, often the Action Ideas listed below help me improve physically and mentally (and couldn’t we all tweak and improve those two areas?).

Today’s topic is great for the general population but has specific application for those with the three conditions listed above.

The vagus nerve (vagus means wanderer in Latin) gets its name because it’s the longest cranial nerve and ‘wanders through’ many parts of the body. It literally connects the brain, heart and gut (including emotional reactions), as well as other parts of the body to the brain. It has both sensory and motor functions, meaning it can collect and send information, and can stimulate muscles. It’s part of the parasympathic nervous system (rest and digest) which is the calm physical state where healing occurs. Continue reading

The Leaky Brain: It’s not the name of a zombie restaurant. As far as I know.

The Leaky Brain: It’s not the name of a zombie restaurant. As far as I know.
When looking up info for a completely different future topic, I spotted the phrase ‘leaky brain’.

First thought: Sounds like a zombie diner.

Second thought: Is that sort of like leaky gut?

It turns out, the theories are related.

As with leaky gut, it’s thought there is damage to the semi-permanent wall, allowing harmful particles to cross the barrier into the brain. Continue reading

Wars aren’t funny but humour is essential

Wars aren’t funny but humour is essential
On Saturday, I attended the play “The Comedy Company” after three people told me how good it was. With a title like that, I fully expected 90 minutes of light-hearted/full-belly laughter and escape.
 
Imagine my surprise when the curtains were raised on a World War I setting.
 
“The Comedy Company” is based on the first comedy troupe created in hopes of lifting the spirits of those fighting on the front lines. Both the need for humour and the horrors of war were on stage.
 
I thought about the importance of humour, especially during difficult times (at a recent class, as a get-to-know-you exercise, we were each to share one strategy for surviving parenting/marriage/life in general. My contribution: have a sense of humour). Continue reading

Picture this: feeling better in less than a minute

Picture this: feeling better in less than a minute
Although I still have a dozen (or more) topics that can be related to Peru, it’s time to leave the Inca Trail for another day.

This fall, I joined a 12-week class on improving my health and I'm too excited to share what I'm learning to put it off. My most recent session gave me an idea that might be useful for you. It’s about muscle engagement and visualization.
  Continue reading

Peru: Limited heated and limited sunshine

Peru: Limited heated and limited sunshine
When people ask me about our trip to Peru, the first thing I say is, “Altitude trumps latitude.”
 
Although Peru is a large country, it's given the measurement of 690 km from the equator.

In my brain, equator = heat. ‘Heat’ was so locked into my brain, even though it was their winter, and I read the coolish forecasted temperatures for the various areas, and saw how indigenous Peruvians dressed (what a great clue!), it still didn’t register how chilly it would be. Continue reading
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