Brain Buttons are a tool that we use every day here at the Healus Neuro Rehab Center. Using Brain Buttons regularly will improve your ability to pay attention, increase your coordination, reduce your risk of physical injury, and mediate the impact of stress in your life. It is the single most effective tool we can recommend to clients with occasional but recurring pain patterns.
First, Jocelyn shares how we test Contralateral Coordination. Contralateral Coordination is the brain’s ability to coordinate motion across the midline of the body. When this ability is impaired by stress or trauma, we are unable to rotate the segments of our body (our low back, upper back, neck, and eyes) in both directions. She then demonstrates how to use Brain Buttons to restore communication between the two halves of the brain. This turns on bilateral (both sided) brain function and restores contralateral coordination.
You can do Brain Buttons at home! They are a great way to optimize your brain function in the morning, before a workout, before a test, or before speaking in public. Try for yourself to see how effective this simple tool really is!
Have you ever had a muscle spasm that came out of nowhere? Do you have any chronic pain patterns that show up worse when you are under a lot of stress? Most of us understand that stress causes dis-ease, but not many people understand how or why.
Muscular coordination depends on easy communication between the two hemispheres of the brain. We call this Contra-lateral coordination, because both hemispheres of the brain must be functioning and in communication for our bodies to coordinate movement bi-laterally (on both sides). Stress shuts this down this function.
This disconnect is one of our essential survival skills, it enables us to react quickly without thinking. However, prolonged stress, or the after effects of traumatic injuries can create a permanent condition of disconnection between the hemispheres of the brain. On a hormonal level, this results in an increase in adrenal activity, leading to chronic anxiety difficulty sleeping, and the feeling of being on edge and restless.
Adrenal hormones put us on our toes, and cause us to tense up a predictable group of muscles: the low back, back of the neck, calves, and our diaphragm. Adrenaline also affects our muscle tone and resilience. Muscles all over our body tense up: the tight ones get tighter, and the weak ones have spasms. This is what leads to the phenomena we call “My back went out.”
Coordination confusion resulting from a prolonged stress effect is the underlying problem with many physical conditions and symptoms that most bodywork modalities cannot resolve. Luckily, there are a few simple techniques that can resolve this complex coordination problem. Once this underlying “operating system” is corrected, the nervous system will allow the body to change, heal, and reorganize more quickly.
One technique that we use every day at the Healus Center is called “Brain Buttons.” This simple tool comes out of educational kineseology, and was developed to help students prepare their brains for learning in school. It also helps to correct the contra-lateral coordination system, and can correct a wide array of functional inhibitions in the body. Using Brain Buttons regularly will improve your ability to pay attention, increase your coordination, reduce your risk of physical injury, and mediate the impact of stress in your life. It is the single most effective tool we can recommend to clients with occasional but recurring pain patterns.
Brain Function Facilitation enables us to reconnect the communication between the hemispheres quickly. Clients feel better immediately, sometimes with an immediate cessation of muscular pain patterns. The best part is: You can do this for yourself! Click Here to learn how.
Mental clarity and physical coordination are intimately connected. If you have a chronic or acute physical condition, you can come in for a free 1/2 hour assessment and we will give you a copy of Brain Buttons and show you how to calm your nervous system so your body can heal. Stay tuned to the Healus Neuro Rehab Center blog for our next piece on the correct biomechanics of your low back and hips.
Breathing with the diaphragm is crucial to healing from structural injuries, whether they are generated from injury or shock. When we get into accidents, arguments, or other physically or emotionally traumatic experiences, our initial response is to hold our breath. By locking the diaphragm, we signal our body to go into a state of shock. This shuts down many of our restorative physical systems, and re-routes energy to our muscles so that we can fight or flee as necessary to get through the situation we are in.
Once that moment passes, it is necessary that we consciously release the contraction from the diaphragm. If we do not, the contraction (at this point, a fixation) in the diaphragm will persist, and will continue to keep us in a state of shock, during which the body cannot heal tissue or perform vital functions.
The diaphragm has 3 essential functions:
1. It provides a platform of support between the top and bottom of the body.
It is at the diaphragm that our body twists to accomplish contra-lateral coordination between our shoulders and hips as we walk and work. When it is fixated, not toned, or not working properly, our structure collapses and twists, creating weakness in some places and stress points in others.
2. It regulates the shift between the state of alarm and the state of relaxation. When it locks or collapses from having “the breath knocked out of you”, the nervous system can become stuck in the alarm response. This is called Sympathetic Hyper Arousal. SHA shuts down many restorative functions of the body (like digestion, immune system function, and detoxification of chemicals in the liver) in favor of emergency functions. This condition will not resolve until the diaphragm is unlocked and able to function properly.
3. It is the one autonomic nervous system function that we can consciously control! Though you can’t think your way into digesting food more quickly (wouldn’t that be nice) it is possible to speed or slow the breath just by thinking about it. We can use this mechanism to self regulate our nervous system and shift ourselves into a more relaxed state. It is only in a state of relaxation and slow breathing that our body performs important tasks like repairing muscle and joint tissues, nourishing and hydrating the skin, actively absorbing nutrients from the food we eat, deeply relaxing into restorative sleep, and allowing the body to enter a state of sexual arousal. That’s right, beauty, health, and a great sex life, all by taking some time out to breathe! No wonder the disciplines of yoga and meditation incorporate a focus on the breath as a steppingstone to personal mastery.
Try it out! Down-shifting the nervous system by slowing the breath is not as complicated as some make it seem. Start simple. Count to 2 on the in-breath, and then 2 on the out-breath. Do this until your breathing evens out and becomes comfortable. Then, count to 3 on the in-breath, and 3 on the out-breath. Continue this for about 10 breaths, until it is comfortable. Then, increase to a count of 4 on the in-breath, and 4 on the out-breath. This is the frequency that dials in what is called the “Therapeutic State”. You may notice some changes as you slow your breath, like gurgling in your tummy (organs releasing and draining), or a softening of your vision. You may also begin to yawn, or feel sleepy. These are all positive changes. If it’s uncomfortable, just stick with it! You may experience moments of discomfort or anxiety while you slow your breath. This is normal, just stay with it and the feeling will pass. And remember, just 5 minutes of slow breathing each day can enhance your body’s ability to heal and stay healthy.
Few people understand the significance of shock to our body’s healing processes. It is the most consistent measure by which we can project a quick and easy (or a drawn-out) recovery. Shock can create or exacerbate a whole host of imbalances in the physical structure, including digestive disorders, constantly torqued (or subluxated) vertebral segments, brain function problems such as focus, concentration and organization, psychological anxiety and depression, ADD, low energy, constant low back pain, and persistent muscle weakness (even when exercising).
The breath is the most important tool that we have to shift ourselves out of a state of shock, and is vitally important for the recalibration of metabolic and structural imbalances. It is one of the easiest things that you can do for your body, today and everyday, to nurture a state of vibrant well-being.
At Healus, we incorporate abdominal massage and stress reduction techniques into our treatments to address diaphragm fixations, organ stagnation, and SHA (Sympathetic Hyper Arousal). Click Here to find out how!
Hidden Hyperventilation is a state of metabolic imbalance that produces a felt sense of worry or anxiety. Test yourself by following these simple steps:
Sit quietly and observe your breathing. How fast is it? Is it shallow or deep?
Now see if you can slow it down to a count of 3 on the in-breath and 3 on the out-breath.
At the end of a regular out-breath, hold your breath with no air in your lungs and count the seconds. Don’t breath until you absolutely have to. Relax if you can, you’ll last longer. The goal is 35 seconds.
If you can’t make it to 35 seconds, your blood chemistry is NOT normal. If you hit the panic button at 15 or below you do not have enough carbon dioxide retained in your blood and your body has shut down your oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange rate. This is a crucial problem for many metabolic activities. Thus when you hold your breath out, you quickly run out of oxygen… And survival becomes a question. Hence the panic response right below the surface. Some people experience regular panic attacks. This is why. Their metabolism is out of control.
If you can’t push past the first limit to get to 35 seconds, you should call the Healus Center clinic and schedule a FREE NEUROMUSCULAR Assessment/appointment.