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Overstimulation

Why it's a brain issue!

Dr Brian and Sugar here! Today we are talking about overstimulation and what that means for you. We will cover three topics: what overstimulation means, where it comes from and how you would benefit from less of it?

I have been wondering about how much stimulation is too much and where it comes from. What's the impact of overstimulation of the brain? 

We know that the brain needs stimulation for health. What is an ideal amount, and what is too much? Most of you will know that too much or enough is dependant on your rest/stress balance. When we are tired our threshold for additional brain stimulation is significantly reduced. This is very evident with young children. When they are tired the path to tears is short. When they are rested the laughter will last much longer.

As adults we forget these basics and look for other more complex answers to some of the simple questions. 

The latest research confirms that healthy brain stimulation slows brain ageing. One of the best forms of brain stimulation is co-ordinated complex movements requiring balance in gravity. Think dancing, Tai Chi, Yoga and many sports and activities that challenge the brain during movement. 

There is a sweet spot in terms of brain stimulation that is particular for each individual. Some of us can comfortably take more brain input than others. Interpreting client data I can propose that when the body that we live and move in is not balanced and strong in gravity and the metabolic system is also unbalanced then our brain is wildly overstimulated. This leads to high scores in recognised questionnaires.

The proprioceptive system tells the brain where each joint is in space. This means that we can put the fork of food in our mouth. Babies learn this in the first year.

If a joint is not sitting in perfect alignment then this position signalling begins to send a huge amount of additional information to the brain about joint load. The accuracy of the 3 dimension positioning feedback loop is reduced. The more exacting your movements the more you will notice that you are missing the putt at golf or not catching the falling cup.

If we add pain information from the joint capsule going to the brain, it is easy to see that quite quickly the brain is literally overflowing with information. It is overstimulated. 

If we pick up the theme of a recent blog about weather and joint pain we can see that this can add another layer of stimulation. The atmospheric pressure and joint pain will keep you feeling miserable.

If we add a joint or many joints in a body that are not sitting correctly. We'll be firing additional proprioceptive impulses to your brain and sending the brain a lot of junk information. Now that means that when you try and relax, it's very hard because the brain is humming with this increased traffic. We all know how trying to listen to someone talk in a noisy room is so stressful. 

It can be very stressful trying to filter out the unwanted noise when listening to someone in a very noisy room. The brain is trying to do the same thing. Filter out the true movement information from the junk joint, gut and hormonal overstimulation information. 

When in this situation you will have more difficulty focusing or relaxing. The brain is being bombarded by increased information and overstimulation.

We know that the brain and the gut are in a constant conversation. Western medical research has confirmed the role of the gut as a second brain. Now that's been a concept inside natural medicine for many years. So it's not a totally new idea, but it has moved into the mainstream. So you're more likely to have heard of it by listening to TV programs and reading magazine articles. And even your Medical Doctor may talk about the role of the gut in health. It's your interface between the inside and the outside. Something they said at university that I found initially difficult to swallow, was the fact that it's not inside your body just inside your mouth. It's not inside your body till it passes through the gut wall. So that means it's gone into the stomach and gone down into the small intestine when the majority of the absorption of the nutrients takes place.

The blood supply to the gut is super important. The gut microbes break the food down into molecules that are moved into the blood vessels that surround the digestive tube. And there are all these very clever gateways that allow different molecules to get from the gut into the bloodstream. The bloodstream is the highway to move nutrients and waste around the body. Your blood work or tests indicate what the body is sending to the tissues in the body. From this it is inferred whether the body is within normal operating range for all the tested elements. What that doesn't tell us is the tissue levels. We know that the body is very sophisticated in its ability to use every body system to achieve real time adaptation to the environment that it finds itself in. This is the foundational element of health - the ability of the body to adapt to the environment both external and internal. 

What does that mean? The nervous system has a conversation with the gut and the brain to constantly update the progress of the digestion of your last meal. Where is lunch? So you eat some food and it processes over a few hours and your brain needs to know, do I need more hydrochloric acid from the stomach? Do I need a bit more pepsin from the pancreas? Is lunch moving smoothly through the digestive tract?

If for any reason digestion becomes less comfortable, produce gas, stretch the small or large intestine and create pain, this will cause a rush of nerve information to the brain. 

This overload of feedback messages will increase the perception of overload increasing the feeling of anxiety. Digestion is "silent" when it is working ideally. We are happily unaware of the many processes going on in our abdomen. Even when it is working quietly in the background, there is still a significant information exchange between organs, the brain and even our gut bacterial. New research has found that even our gut flora talk to the nervous system. The opportunity for overstimulation or sedation of the brain by the gut and digestion is huge. 

Some of the better understood functions going on during digestion is an increase in stomach acid for more complex foods to more digestive salts for rich foods. The pancreas is also keeping an eye on blood sugar levels and the need for more digestive enzymes. All this is managed and orchestrated by the brain and local nervous system. Its a huge job. Foods that disagree with us will cause an immediate increase in information to the brain that is both function related and also digestive stress driven. 

All if this is a real time process. As your meal moves through the process of digestion various processes need to shut off as their function is finished. Stomach acid will shut off as the meal moves out of the stomach and into the small intestine. Food breakdown and absorption is under constant monitoring and therefore the gut is very connected to the brain. If you eat rubbish food, there is much less nutrient and much more irritation. You may not feel it in your gut but it may show up in mood, energy and skin issues. 

A healthy gut leads to healthy digestion and this is driven by a good personalised pantry. You can't create good tissue or good whole body health from food that is low in nutrition. The foods that cause inflammation in your body deplete your health potential. You can't be more than the food you eat.

If we look at the quality of food that we're eating it is often a revealing exercise. A 3 day food diary is a useful tool to show us what we are eating. 

When we understand this idea that you are the sum of the food you eat we then understand that the food you eat either becomes energy, or new tissue or new You. 

So you can run and play and think, or our food becomes new you. So we're turning over cells all the time. The gut lining renews itself within a week. The skin has a 28 day cycle in an ideal world. Bones take more like a year to be replaced by new bone cells. With this in mind the quality of the food we eat has greater significance. 

When the foods we eat cause problems it is causing overstimulation of the brain. This is our core topic in this book. Choosing the foods for your pantry that are right for you is an important step toward reducing brain overstimulation. 

When we consider the foods that we eat it is important to distinguish between surviving and thriving. We can certainly survive on foods that irritate and cause a wide range of health issues. Eating foods that we thrive on is a different approach. But over time, a poor diet will lead to disease. 

James Chestnut, he's an educator, he's a chiropractor, he's a researcher. He offers a good illustration when he talks about the dilemma between the donut and the apple. So when you eat the donut you don't immediately feel unwell, though some may. The impact of the donut choice may show up many years later. Likewise the apple choice will over time build health benefits. If the effect of the poor food choices was immediate and severe, it would be easy to make good choices for the individual. 

If we are able to determine what our ideal pantry looks like and then make it the basis of our daily menu we can cause healthy tissue change and improve mental health. Our today is the product of what you ate a few years ago in terms of habits.

The money spent for good quality food, low pesticides, or no pesticides has great benefit over time. I can't over emphasize the benefits you receive in terms of health.

Poor choices that irritate your system and create overstimulation of the nervous system cause slow accumulating damage. You don't drop dead immediately. You just add another nail to the coffin. 

Here are a few tips to help you judge if a food is right for you. If you eat food in a short time later, you're clearing your throat or you are feeling like you want to fall asleep, you're feeling tired. That's a clear indication that food is not good for you although it could be a healthy food.

It doesn't have to be Twisties and Coke. It could be a perfectly good food that your body doesn't love. And that's where you begin to tune your pantry to you. We are all different. We will look at the advice of somebody online, but then see how we respond to the same food. What is right for us is the essential question.

We have found that the blood group food advice has much benefit for those who choose to use it as a pantry guide. The work of the D'Adamo family is based on decades of clinical work with many thousands of people. My key element or information is, make it all about you. Many stop eating various foods that they work out make them feel unwell. This is a really powerful tool that you can grapple with.

Small changes can give you disproportionate results. So our role here is to help you be super healthy, the healthy stay well, the super healthy thrive. So be one of those people, be super healthy and be your best self.