Finding Your Best Brain Health for 2017
By Pamela Costello MD PC
Holistic Neurosurgeon, Neuroscientist
“Every man can, if he so desires, become the sculptor of his own brain” Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Neuroscientist, Nobel Laureate Medicine, Physiology (1852-1934)
As a holistic medical doctor and neurological surgeon, trained in biological and functional medicine, as well as a neuroscientist, I offer a comprehensive healing approach which is based pon identifying and correcting root causes of imbalances in the brain and nervous system. With one’s neurotoxin burden assessment complete, a customized repair program allows the patient to achieve or “sculpt” their best brain or neurological health.For the New Year, I’d like to offer an option of deep healing and restoration to a place of health to those who want to ensure their highest brain health, as well as patients who might be struggling with their health, particularly with their nervous systems. I’ve outlined below a list of questions that I traditionally ask as part of my patient evaluation, assessment.
1. Diet. Eat organically and with the intention of providing the brain with good fuel sources, rather than short term energy fixes. What are your greatest food sensitivities? The immune system and nervous system are inextricably linked. What antagonizes your immune system, also affects your brain.
2. Neurotoxin burden. Do you have mercury/silver fillings? Do you know the amount of heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, e-smog, radiation, etc, that is acting to prematurely age your brain?
3. Are you aware that a vast array and amount of retained toxins acquired while you were in your mother’s womb, as well as during your childhood, which are adversely affecting your neurological and physical health.
4. Environmental Exposures. Are your home and work environments safe and clean of molds, solvents, and other threats to your brain and good brain function? Does your personal hygiene, make up, or laundry and household cleaning products contain solvents, heavy metals, or other toxic agents? Electromagnetic fields from electrical lines, lights, computers, cell phones and towers, microwaves, nuclear radiation isotopes, plus infectious opportunists and allergens, also burden our immune and nervous systems.
5. Intellectual or mental exercise. Reading, crosswords, games. Exercise the muscle of thinking with daily mental exercises which strengthen your neural network.
6. Physical Exercise. Regular exercise increases both endorphins (natural morphine like substances) as well as strengthens the heart and cerebral circulation, upon which a healthy brain depends. It increases our heart rate and mobilization of brain damaging toxins, which we can then excrete through our skin via sweating. A simple daily walk is a gentle, yet effective, start. As per Sean Plake, exercise therapist/CPT, to sum it up, start off with 2-3 days of 20 minutes of controlled bodyweight exercises followed by 15-20 minutes of cardio/walking and gradually progress each week to 4-5 days of 30 minutes resistance exercise and 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise
7. Adequate rest, a good night’s sleep. Sleep apnea? Insomnia? Nighttime pain syndromes? Restless legs? Neck pain? Such issues keep you from the recuperative rest your brain and body need, and all can be successfully managed with a comprehensive neurological evaluation.
8. Proper Elimination. Keeping the bowels emptied on a regular basis keeps the excreted toxins from being reabsorbed, decreasing the level of neuroactive toxins.
9. Dental health. As biological dentist Dr. Bill Wolfe says, “your teeth are a big piece of the health care puzzle”. Do you have chronic infection, toxic filling or implant materials, obstructive malalignment of your bite compromising your best brain health?
10. Spiritual exercise/Inspirational support. Meditation and prayer raise your consciousness and bring you a sense of well being and peace. Pursue such practices to bring you joy and inspiration. Listening to or creating music, art, speeches, lectures, or seeing plays which inspire you, reinforce the pathways of higher cognitive functioning, supporting the brain’s longevity.