Our brain is such a fascinatingly complex organ. It is that part of us that holds our consciousness, allows us to perceive pleasure and pain, keeps all our bodily functions in order, and often is “out of sight out of mind”. Our thoughts are often linked to what we can see directly in front of us and within reach. Fortunately, this delicate and extremely important organ is located within the lock box of our skull. That doesn’t mean it is out of reach of injury.
I am grateful for the publicity and growing body of knowledge surrounding concussive brain injuries in our youth and in adults. Brain health is more than avoiding a bump to the head. There are small things you can do to improve your brain health on a day to day basis. Harvard Medical School lists 12 ways to keep your brain young including getting mental and physical stimulation, maintaining healthy cholesterol, blood pressure and weight (which can be as easy as eating a healthy diet), avoid alcohol and tobacco, care for your emotions and keep a strong social network. And the most obvious, avoid bumps to the head! The Harvard study suggests that experiencing a concussion increases your risk of cognitive impairment with aging by as much as 10%!
Post concussion syndrome (PCS) can last for days, weeks and even years depending on the severity of the damage and the area of the brain affected. The dendrites within the brain were once described to me like the seeded head of the dandelion delicately holding onto it’s treasure waiting for just the right gently breeze to carry it across the landscape. Imagine as we all did as a kid, either blowing the seeds into the wind or knocking them off to the ground. That is what can happen to the delicate nerves within the brain and brainstem. A concussion becomes no laughing matter when symptoms drag on.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST) is a gentle, yet effective approach to help the body heal itself. Dr John Upledger described the work as a conversation between the practitioner and the client’s body with the sole purpose of helping the body regain equilibrium. After administering CST on an adult client with PCS, she reported more clarity in her thoughts, an absence of neck pain (for the first time in years), more stability in her gait and no headache.
CST with an experienced practitioner is yet another way to keep your mind, body and spirit in tip top shape! There is no age limitations and very few contraindications for this type of work. I encourage everyone to try it and see what positive effects it has in your life.