In our last Blog we explored the way Chinese medicine looks at the pathology of senility, dementia and Alzheimer’s diseases with the focus on the movement of Qi (bio-energy) and the formation and movement of blood and its components or essence.
Now we would like to look at preventative measures that we can all take, regardless of family history and age, to help keep our minds active and clear for our full 120 year life span!
Dietary tips to improve brain health begin with the adage “a little bit of everything and not too much of anything”.
The foods that have been shown to directly improve micro-vascular circulation are avocado, beans of any kind, beets, blueberry, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cayenne pepper, coffee, dark chocolate, eggs, fish, garlic, green tea, goji berries, nuts of any kind, oranges, spinach, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, turmeric and watermelon.
Adding one or more of these foods into your daily diet, in moderation, have been shown to greatly benefit the circulation of the entire body and of course, the brain.
Breath and Movement
We are only as healthy as our breath is good. Richly oxygenated blood comes from two sources, the food we eat and the air we breathe. Any exercise that increases the flow of blood systemically will also increase flow of blood to the brain and that exercise should be a daily occurrence.
We recommend bringing your heart rate up to twice its resting level, so if my resting heart rate is 60 beats per minute I would perform my preferred aerobic exercise to bring it up to 120 beats per minute and maintain that for 20 – 30 minutes every day.
This number can change depending on your age, weight general fitness level etc. but doubling the resting heart rate is a very attainable goal for just about everybody.
Another part of the equation for better mental health is Qigong. The practice of Qigong in ancient times was primarily to promote longevity and mental development through promotion of the whole body system. The combination of posture or movement, controlled breathing and, what the Chinese call mind-will, are the three principles of Qigong exercise.
Qigong styles have been constantly scientifically studied since the 1950’s and have been shown to improve microcirculation and peripheral circulation, prevent vascular spasm and help in treating conditions like Reynaud’s syndrome, angina and migraines.
Jade Dragon Qigong in particular increases slow, high amplitude brain waves and improves cerebral blood flow so that there are fewer incidences of stroke.
Qigong practice decreases stress response, anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder, while subjects show marked improvements in memory, concentration and interpersonal sensitivity.
Jade Dragon Qigong practice regulates blood pressure, cholesterol and hormone levels as well as mental acuity, vision, hearing, skin elasticity and bone density. Qigong also enhances immune function and physical strength moving one toward a longer, healthier life span. Sixty plus years of research in China shows that daily Qigong practiced by geriatric persons significantly increases life span and quality of life.
Jade Dragon Qigong instructional DVD’s can be purchased through our website, at our office in Vero Beach Florida and at http://soenlightening.com/rk-jade-dragon.html
Yours in good health,
Robert Kienitz, DTCM