THE GIFT of a Healthy Brain: Strategies to Protect and Restore Optimum Brain Function

changeyourbrain

Updated February 25, 2020

As many of my friends, family and clients know, I have had my brain challenges.  The good news is that my brain now functions better than it ever has in the past and I intend to make sure it stays that way. My brain and I are a work in progress, just like a play dough creation. Some people’s brain challenges are visible while others are well hidden. Either way, there may be times when your brain may have some setbacks. Do not despair or lose hope. Wherever you are on your brain recovery, the information and strategies that I share about my recovery can help you. Brain neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to adapt and change. The brain is plastic at all ages (think playdough)

playdough

so we can continue to learn and create changes in our brains and nervous systems throughout our lives. You can change your brain by implementing strategies that increase brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which plays an important role in neuronal survival and growth, serves as a neurotransmitter modulator, and participates in neuronal plasticity, which is essential for learning and memory. As you read on you will find research about essential oils that promote the increase of BDNF naturally.  While a healthy, active lifestyle is a main contributing factor for increasing BDNF naturally, there are many researched botanicals, foods and herbs that also naturally promote increased levels of BDNF.

My past periods of depression and compromised brain function were the result of various factors including, body and brain pollution from toxins, toxicant induced loss of tolerance (TILT), stress and stress sensitization, and lack of life balance and resilience.  As a teenager I pumped leaded gasoline at my father’s gas station.  I started to suffer from depression at that time.  While investigating my depression equation later in life, when I once again suffered from depression after off gassing of a new house, I made the environmental pollution connection. You can read about how I was affected by all of these in my blog posts and website ‘about‘ page. I am grateful for the information, guidance and natural strategies that have helped to restore my brain and body health.

With the looming statistics for depression, dementia (which my mother suffered from) and Alzheimers, and the deep compassion I feel for anyone who has brain challenges;  my focus moving forward is on preventing mental decline as I age and helping others to do the same.

What did it take to restore and improve my brain to better health? What am I doing to protect my brain?

  • Learning and understanding the impact of brain and body pollution
  • Dealing with brain and body pollution is a primary ‘must do’ using natural and added detoxification aids (whole body detoxification method using Botanical Spa Therapy)
  • Avoiding brain (including blood brain barrier) compromising factors
  • Adapting a healthy plant based diet and avoiding processed foods.  I also eat wild caught fish and organic free range eggs.
  • Drinking filtered water
  • Ongoing assessing, restoring and maintaining of life balance
  • Regular walking in green spaces
  • Regular yoga and tai chi exercises
  • Meditation and meditation music while visualizing my calm, happy place- this has been extremely beneficial during times of distress and while sleeping.
  • Prayer – visually handing over my basket of concerns for me, my family, my clients, the needs of the world, daily to my higher powers, my God, for healing, protection and guidance.
  • Grounding – my daily affirmation “I choose to remain cool, calm and grounded in spite of everything (or specific)” while visualizating my Wisdoms from a Tree painting. Seeing myself grounded by deep roots and swaying like the branches of a tree in the midst of life’s challenges. I am a greater support for myself and others if I remain grounded and resilient. This also prevents feelings of anxiety and distress and an itchy HPA stress response.
  • mywisdomfromatree
  • Maintaining a healthy life balance. Maintaining a realistic priority list and healthy boundaries, allowing me the down and relaxation and ‘not available’ time I need to offset life’s stressors and challenges.
  • Learning about the neuroplasticity of the brain. Regular reading of health promoting books, especially those about brain health and recovery.  You can find my recommended reads in my book, plus Dr. Norman Doidge’s amazing books below which have been such an eye opener.
      • The Brain that Changes Itself – this is a paid affiliate link below.  Click on the book to learn more about what is inside.

      •  The Brain’s Way of Healing – this is a paid affiliate link below. Click on the book to learn more about what is inside.

  • Practicing mind body healing strategies including affirmations, visualizations and meditation.  You can find my recommendations in my book.
  • Adding in of natural supportive strategies including essential oils with healing properties. You can find my recommendations in my book and My Green Medicine Cabinet.

The preceding information may seem daunting.  It took me 10 years of research and trial and error strategies to make major gains in my health.  I now feel healthy, energetic and more resilient. I have condensed all of the information and resources that brought me to ‘my healthier brain and me’ and you can use my holistic protocol (self help guide), website and blog post to achieve your “healthier brain” and ‘healthier you’.  It works! Each new client receives a copy of my book and uses it as a guide to help them restore, maintain and improve their health.

Ebook Cover New_1-1

RESEARCH: Credible resources for using essential oils for dementia, Alzeihmers and increasing brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) to help repair damaged connections between neurons. 
is an online community dedicated to advocacy, education and supporting those whose lives have been impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Alzheimers.net was created by people touched by Alzheimer’s, to give caregivers and those with Alzheimer’s a place to share our passion for change and a cure for the disease. 
 
Mayo Clinic on aromatherapy for dementia – 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/consumer-health/expert-answers/aromatherapy/faq-20058566

Pub Med, US National Library of Medicine – “WE FOUND AROMATHERAPY AN EFFICACIOUS NON-PHARMACOLOGICAL THERAPY FOR DEMENTIA. AROMATHERAPY MAY HAVE SOME POTENTIAL FOR IMPROVING COGNITIVE FUNCTION, ESPECIALLY IN AD PATIENTS”. 
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20377818

Research Gate – ArticleinPsychogeriatrics 9(4):173-9 · December 2009 with 553 Reads

DOI: 10.1111/j.1479-8301.2009.00299.x · Source: PubMed  “In conclusion, we found aromatherapy an efficacious non-pharmacological therapy for dementia. Aromatherapy may have some potential for improving cognitive function, especially in AD patients.”  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/43079177_Effect_of_aromatherapy_on_patients_with_Alzheimer’s_disease
 
Alzeihmer Society – “There is some evidence that aromatherapy may be effective in helping people with dementia to relax, and that certain oils may have the potential to improve cognition in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Research has specifically highlighted the potential benefits of the use of lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) to improve cognition and mood in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, and lavender oil to reduce occurrences of aggressive behaviour in dementia.”
 
News – Medical Sciences:   
 
Japanese scientists have isolated active compounds in several plant medicines. These techniques helped the scientists identify and isolate active compounds found in Drynaria rhizome, a plant medicine that can improve memory. It has been proven to reduce disease characteristics in mice models with Alzheimer’s disease.

A 2012 study shows that rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), a common plant used to distil essential oil, can also help improve cognitive performance in healthy adults. Also, rosemary can boost brain performance.

In another study in 2013, scientists found that rosemary may enhance the ability to remember events. Also, it helps people keep future tasks in mind. Since memory loss is one of the hallmark symptoms of dementia, this function could make rosemary oil and important component of therapy to combat dementia.

Scientists also found that six essential oils, namely thyme, rose, clove, eucalyptus, bergamot and fennel, are capable of suppressing the inflammatory COX-2 enzyme. The effect is similar to that of resveratrol, one of the important compounds that gives red wine its health benefits.

Of all the essential oils, thyme produces the highest reduction in COX-2 levels by about 75 percent. The other essential oils reduced the COX-2 level by 25 percent. COX-2 is an inflammatory enzyme that has been also linked to the development of AD”  https://www.news-medical.net/health/Aromatherapy-for-Dementia.aspx

Alzeihmers & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzeihmers Association 
 
Anti-Alzheimer’s disease effect of essential oil from aerial parts of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bge  – 

http://www.ijcem.com/files/ijcem0059161.pdf

Neuroquantology – Progress of Essential Oils in Prevention and Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease –

EO, as one of the effective constituents of natural plants, is more and more recognized by people for its medicinal value and health care value. Through the analysis of different pathogenic mechanisms of AD, the anti-oxidation of EO against acetylcholinesterase inhibition, Aβ depolymerization, free radical injury and the protection of PC12 injured cells, it can be seen that EO of various plants has the activity of preventing and treating AD. The use of EO has many kinds of ways, such as oral administration, fumigation, smearing and so on. Combined with its excellent anti-AD activity, EO has the potential value of developing natural drugs for the treatment of neurogenic diseases. At present, more studies on anti-AD activity of EO are ongoing, but we haven’t made clear the key components of many plants’ essential oil, the synergetic effect of each component in EO, and in-depth anti-AD mechanism, which needs more researches.   https://www.neuroquantology.com/index.php/journal/article/view/1583
Lavender essential oil ameliorates depression-like behavior and increases neurogenesis  – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304394019301429

Modulatory effects of aromatherapy massage intervention on electroencephalogram, psychological assessments, salivary cortisol and plasma brain-derived neurotrophic factor – A 4-week-aromatherapy massage program significantly improved all psychological assessment scores in the Stat-Trait Anxiety Index, Beck Depression Inventory and Short Form of Psychosocial Well-being Index. Interestingly, plasma BDNF levels were significantly increased after a 4 week-aromatherapy massage program. Alpha-brain wave activities were significantly enhanced and delta wave activities were markedly reduced following the one-time aromatherapy massage treatment, as shown in the meditation and neurofeedback training. In addition, salivary cortisol levels were significantly reduced following the one-time aromatherapy massage treatment”. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965229914000582

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Moving forward, my brain protection and improvement strategy includes the essential oil brain protection blend below as well as aromatherapy massage.  Read the research information above to determine which oils you feel you should add to your personal blend:

My Dementia and Alzeihmer’s and Healthy Brain Neuroprotective Blend

  • Frankincense – 4 drops (according to research abates age related dendritic regression in the hipppocampus, anti-cancer )
  • Clove bud – 2 drops (according to research reverses memory and learning deficits, anti-cancer)
  • Rosemary – 5 drops (according to research improves cognitive performance, abates age related dendritic regression in the hipppocampus, anti-cancer)
  • Copaiba – 2 drops (according to research is neuroprotective)
  • Melissa – 5 drops  (according to research is neuroprotective, anti-cancer – glioblastoma)
  • Lemongrass – 4 drops (according to research is neuroprotective)
  • Lavender – 4 drops (according to research is calming)
  • Add the preceding drops to a 10 ml roller ball bottle and top up with Fractionated Coconut Oil or a mix of grapeseed/olive oil. Apply to the toes (brain reflexology points) and brain stem twice daily.

Get started using essential oils with neuroprotective properties for a healthier you and healthier brain!

Check with your regular healthcare provider before using essential oils or other recommendations found on my website, books and blog – there may be contraindications due to medications, health conditions or other factors.

Wishing you optimum health and happiness!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P. Holistic Wellness Practitioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca, elisabethlhines@gmail.com

Sources:

Melissa officinalis – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3555743/

 
                        –   https://draxe.com/hypothalamus-function/                                                                                                                                           Copaiba Oil – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3291111/

 

INDOOR AIR QUALITY: A Potential for Compromised Brain, Nervous System and Overall Health

The Good and Bad of Indoor Air Quality

From Visually.

Fall brings cooler temperatures yet maybe not cool enough to turn your furnace on. One of the challenges during the shoulder seasons of spring and fall is to maintain good indoor air quality. While a furnace is functioning there is usually a fresh air intake from the outside. During the shoulder seasons and for some all year, while you are using other forms of heating such as fireplaces, wood stoves, electric heaters (baseboards) or water boiler heating – your home is not receiving daily infusions of fresh air. The resulting accumulation of poor indoor air from painting, paint stripping, heating with kerosene heaters, cooking, daily activities or engaging in maintenance and hobby activities; can come with serious health challenges including compromised brain and nervous system function. To maintain optimum health it is important to lower the concentrations of indoor air pollutants in your home and to increase the amount of outdoor air coming indoors. So open your windows often, especially during shoulder seasons to clean your air and all year if your do not have a heating system with fresh indoor air intake. Run your furnace fan on auto to circulate the fresh air that you take in. Make sure your furnace has an external fresh air intake. Learn more about protecting indoor air quality at https://www.epa.gov/indoor-air…/improving-indoor-air-quality.

Protect your brain, nervous system and overall health by improving indoor air quality.

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P.

Holistic Wellness Practioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca elisabethlhines@gmail.com

#brainrecovery #depressionrecovery #braintraumarecovery #memoryimprovement #memory #AD #alzeihersdisease #nervoussystemdisorders #traumaticbraininjury #nervoussysteminjury #dementia

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MEMORY: Where, Oh Where, Have You Gone?

 

out of memory

The cartoon that I have selected above for this post has a double meaning.  Your brain/mind is like the operating system of your computer.  We all know how messed up our computers can get at times. We’ll, our brains/minds can also get messed up by a number of interfering/damaging factors – resulting in compromised brain computer memory.

I know that memory loss is no laughing matter.  My mother suffered from serious memory challenges – dementia – in her late 80’s. Our hope as a family was always that it never got to the point where our mother didn’t know us.  A fall in her 80’s where my mother broke 6 ribs, combined with her having no recall of the incident and prescribed limitations imposed due to the injury – has presented additional care challenges.

Memory loss is a sad reality that many people have to face as they watch their parents age. Many people even younger are experiencing memory issues. So what is going wrong? Do people who live in the ‘blue zones‘ of the world experience the same degree of compromised memory?

Memory involves three processes: encoding, storage and retrieval.  These processes are carried out by various parts of the brain. Obviously something is going ‘wrong’ in the brain – resulting in compromised memory.

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR COMPROMISED MEMORY?

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT COMPROMISED MEMORY?

Scientific studies on Melissa oil for Alzheimer’s has provided positive results.  In latest human trials, aromatherapy using rosemary is an efficacious non-pharmacological therapy for dementia and may have some potential for improving cognitive function, especially in Alzheimer’s disease patients, due to its free radical scavenging activity.  Essential oil therapy is an important holistic therapy to add to your ‘well-being toolbox’ to help in your pursuit of ‘symptom free’ status. Check out the neuroprotective ‘memory protection’ essential oil recipe that I use.

Wishing you and yours optimum memory as you age!

Let me get you started on your essential oil therapy for memory improvement.

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#memoryloss #dementia #Alzheimers #memory #improvememory #essentialoilsformemory

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P.

Holistic Wellness Practioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

Sources:

http://www.psr.org/environment-and-health/confronting-toxics/heavy-metals/

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003257.htm

http://www.webmd.com/brain/memory-loss

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/in-depth/memory-loss/art-20046326

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001033

Copyright © 2013, Elisabeth Hines
All rights reserved. No portion of this post may be copied and distributed in any manner without the written permission of the author or publisher and associates.

LOOK FOR THE CURE WITHIN THE CAUSE: The Health Costs of Beauty

THE HEALTH COSTS OF BEAUTY IMAGE_1-1

The Cost of Beauty

Cost of Beauty Poster-page-001

THE HEALTH COST OF BEAUTY?

“Search for the cure within the cause, the body itself is the best healer.”

Plato C 427 – C 347 BC

Whatever your collection of symptoms or health condition, there are many options to get you to 100% symptom free status.  Well-being is a journey not merely a destination. Although you are a unique individual, your symptom/condition equation will have some of the same common denominators as that of another person. What does your symptom/condition equation and body’s chemical equation look like? Rewriting your well-being challenging equations by cancelling out the contributing common denominators will bring you closer to your desired well-being goal. It is a good place to start on your journey to improved health.

How many toxic ingredients have you consumed today?

How many toxic ingredients have you consumed today through ingestion (eating), through absorption (your skin) and through inhalation (breathing)?

todays menu8

Did you know that medication from a pain patch reaches pain receptor sites in 12 to 24 hours,

painpatch

but toxic ingredients in nail polish are found in your urine in 4 hours?

Toxic Nail Polish

Read the research here – https://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2015/10/your-nail-polish-could-be-disrupting-your-hormone-system#.W3gAYehKhPZ

How long would it take for those same toxins and toxins in your personal care products  to reach the brain or other body parts? Possibly becoming a part of your health condition equation (anxiety, depression, memory, confusion, other symptoms and conditions)?

After using products with toxic or harmful ingredients our bodies can reach a toxic threshold.  Depending on the number of toxic ingredients we are exposed to on a daily basis, our total toxic load, our body’s detoxification ability; we can become sick. Symptoms may not appear until many months or years later. Some people sooner than others and some more seriously if the ingredients are considered partial carcinogens. The Halifax Project research in this area is “focused on the possibility that complex mixtures of commonly encountered chemicals in the environment may be capable of carcinogenic effects that have yet to be fully appreciated”.

What are your personal health costs of beauty? Many personal care products contain harmful ingredients.  Many of the ingredients in the personal care products you use are potentially harmful. There is a high degree of nondisclosure about what goes into personal care products.  The FDA does not require companies to test their products for safety before marketing. How many of unsafe products did you use today? Are the unsafe ingredients that you have consumed now a part of your body’s pollution and well-being equation? Are the products you used today causing you harm and possibly responsible for your symptoms or condition?

Always be vigilant about investigating the ingredients for the products you use. Consider changing your beauty regime to eliminate your health costs of beauty?Ingredients sources and processing can change potentially compromising the products safety. Just as a pain patch delivers its dose throughout the body, harmful chemicals used on the skin can enter and can be dispersed throughout your body becoming a part of your body’s chemical equation; causing interference and dysfunction. Many of the ingredients in personal care products contain carcinogens (or partial carcinogens), endocrine disruptors and neurotoxins; ultimately becoming part of your body’s chemical equation and symptom picture.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAvnbOX8QX4

DIRTY DOZEN ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS: 12 Hormone-Altering Chemicals and How to Avoid Them – https://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors#.W306EehKhPY

Check out the toxicity level of your personal care products at the Skin Deep Database here – https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/#.W3gR0ehKhPY

Learn more from David Suzuki at What’s Inside? That Counts! –  https://davidsuzuki.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/REPORT-whats-inside-counts-survey-toxic-ingredients-cosmetics.pdf

Please check out individual product ingredients at the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry database.

Safer Options:

For additional safer options visit

GO GREEN HEALTHY BEAUTY KITS: Create A Unique Gift For Kids, Teens and Health Conscious Adults http://mybodycanhealitself.ca/wordpress/?p=1461

Eliminate the Health cost of beauty for a healthier you!

My daughter Noël Ray is a Certified Makeup Artist who shares her healthy beauty tips:

” I am a certified Makeup Artist,Certified Hair Stylist and Certified Nutritional Consultant. I completed my certification for makeup and hair at the Blanche MacDonald Center in Vancouver BC. My Nutritional Consulting certification is through the Packard School of Nutrition. After a few years in the industry doing weddings, photo shoots, special events and retail at MAC makeup;  I became more and more aware of the chemicals and toxins in the products I was using every day! I decided it was time to make a change! I no longer wanted to support these companies who were pushing their toxic products on society, with false claims about how great they were…..performance wise maybe yes, but health wise it was a complete lie! I wanted my clients and the people I love to be aware of the cancer causing chemicals in the cosmetics that they were putting on their skin – the body’s LARGEST ORGAN; not to mention on their mouths and around their eyes! I slowly switched all of my cosmetics over to safer and cleaner options and started working with organic and natural makeup on a regular basis. Ingredients used in personal care products and their sources can change.”

Buyer beware and informed!

As you all know, sometimes the “organic” and “natural” product choices aren’t always the best performers! You can read some of  Noël’s beauty product reviews on her Hippy Princess Blog at http://thisismylifethesearemypassions.wordpress.com/

GO GREEN HEALTH AND BEAUTY for HEALTHY LONGEVITY

HARMFUL CHEMICALS IN HAIR DYE: Are You Affected?

Pacific 7 Free (considered a safer nail polish)

Gabriel Nail Polishconsidered non-toxic and “10 free”  is Free of: formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates and animal ingredients

ENJOY healthy beauty today! Consider changing your beauty regime to eliminate your health costs of beauty? You too can restore your health, one step at a time!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca, elisabethlhines@gmail.com

Resources: 

Copyright © 2013, Elisabeth Hines

All rights reserved. No portion of this post may be copied and distributed in any manner without the written permission of the author or publisher and associates.