Maintaining our physical and mental health is a very important focus for us as a population. We all obviously want to be able to age well and live long, but often with the qualifier that we are also in good health and with all of our faculties. Aches and pains of various types often accompany the passing of age, but of course, this can be kept to a minimum if we take care of our bodies. Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction can also have an effect on the body, especially the mental aspect. One mental faculty that many grow concerned about as they age is memory. Virtually everyone has heard some sort of phrasing of “As I get older, my memory has gotten worse.” Obviously, no one wants this to happen, but it is commonly accepted as something that just does. People will do whatever they can to try to maintain their memory as much as possible, with some of these methods including medications, supplements, or some other type of substance. While it may seem to some that the only refuge lies within these substances, that is not necessarily true, as there are several holistic ways that may be able to help enhance your memory as well.
Holistic Methods Can Benefit the Brain
The brain is an absolutely magnificent organ, as the amount of information it processes daily is enormous. There are billions of cells called neurons within the brain that are constantly shooting signals back and forth to each other. These neurons pass these signals through various junctions within the brain that are called synapses. The speed at which these signals are sent is phenomenal, and the brain is continuously passing these and creating new pathways for us to be able to learn, remember, memorize, plan, reason, and of course, move the various parts of our body. And while the brain is vital as the major control center of our body, various other sections and areas of our bodies are also important to operations, and when some of these other parts are ailing, it can wreak havoc in the brain and other areas as well. Sometimes, addressing an ailing area can help to restore the mutual operations and functioning.
Many different diseases and conditions of the brain and nervous system like autism, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s have been linked to synapse issues. But, several of these have also been linked to another area that many would not think – gut health. There is something called the gut-brain axis which is where these two areas have an intimate relation. Impairment in gut health could include bad digestion, fogginess, poor memory, and certain food intolerances. Interestingly enough, an early sign of poor brain function is bad digestion. Without going too much in depth into this subject, there is a good way that many can begin to improve their gut health, and in turn their brain health as well, which is diet. Of course, diet is a broad subject, but obviously includes the balanced meals, vegetables, protein, and minimal sugar and junk foods.
Exercise is also a great holistic method to benefit the brain and memory, and also improve the health of the overall body. It helps to build muscle memory, which increases learning of physical skills. It can also improve long-term memory by releasing the stress hormone norepinephrine, which is a chemical that plays a huge role in memory. Exercise improves the functioning of the heart and circulation, which in turn provides adequate blood flow to the brain, allowing it to function in tip top shape. Studies have shown that those who exercise more and have aortas in good condition tend to have better performance on cognitive tests.
Music is yet another way that one can work to improve their memory. It has been shown to be able to boost IQ and mood, increase concentration, and improve overall memory. It has also been shown to be assistive in improving sleep disorders, and of course, one must have adequate rest for their brain and memory to function best.