Motivation, Motivation, Motivation and Neuroplasticity

motivation

Hello and welcome back to my blog

This week I’m going to talk briefly about neuroplasticity,  which is the changeability of the brain. To drive neuroplasticity you need to train your brain, like you would a muscle.  The brain likes to just stay as it is, so you need to make an effort to ‘push’ it to change or to be technical to ‘drive neuroplasticity’. This week’s FREE brain training video is on motivation, as you need motivation to drive yourself to train, master an art or learn a new skill.
The FREE 3min follow along video, contains a vision exercise with visual subliminal affirmations so if that’s something you are interested in that you can work on becoming more motivated today!

So in a nut shell this is what neuroplasticity is all about ? Your brain is changeable and will adapt !

• Plasticity is a fundamental property of the CNS (central nervous system), its is neither good nor bad, it just happens.
• Use it or lose it
• SAID principle Specific Adaptation to Imposed demand – practice makes permanent, also if you train with ‘bad form’ that is what you will get good at. So the quality of training is important.
• When training your brain or body, Intensity matters, repetition matters, timing matters and age can matter.
• Novelty is key, your brain loves a new challenge and will respond.
• It can be maladaptive eg complainers , pain and addictions. This is neuroplasticity gone bad as the person repeated negative activities, which then became a habit.

 

There is no neuroplasticity pill, you have to actually train, practice  and persist in order to improve at the skill you are working on. This skill might be a magic trick, your sport or  a new language.

Thank you for reading and please get in touch if you have any questions

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Hello and welcome back !

Last blog  I told you about some different kind of eye movements which are important for driving, being good at sport or just general well being, also how  you can improve your brain and vision with the correct exercises. In this weeks blog there is a free follow along video for you to download to get you started.

Previously, I talked about pursuits or eye tracking movements which is when  the eyes to follow a moving target. This is key for driving as well as sport, particularly those involving a  ball or tracking the players.  I also talked about peripheral vision which is ‘how well can I see what I’m not looking at’, I will come back to this in another blog post. Finally, I mentioned fast eye movements from target to target, there are called saccades.

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The Frontal Lobe

I said  fast eyes = fast brain. So this means if you train your self to get better at saccades it will (in a nutshell) make an important part of your brain called the frontal lobe work faster. The part of brain which in part controls saccades (fast eye movements), the frontal lobe  also controls movement, so your movement will get better too. The frontal lobe does lots of things, its the king ! its the logical,  conscious part of you, your personality, creativity, planning, self control  AKA executive functions   it also  controls movements of joints  is involved in does fast eye movements. So all the amazing things we have like iPads, Google, aeroplanes, CGI movies etc somebody’s frontal lobe thought of and created  those.

  The other part of the brain which is important in all this is the parietal lobe which has many task but for today we will say that sensation is processed in the parietal lobe. So if you step on a pin, put ice down your shirt, pick up  a warm mug or stroke a cat, your parietal lobe is key in how you process these sensations and know what they are.

Sensory before motor, if you can’t sense or feel  it you can’t move it.

This is very important for pro athletes or mum athletes as not many sports coaches, physios or trainers  know about the parietal lobe and how it is key in improving movement, so this is a gem if you want to be ‘in the know’ on something that can improve your game and also when you watch the video you will see how ridiculously easy it is to stimulate this lobe of the brain, and you will be able to invent your own warm u .  The parietal lobe is involved in eye tracking movements and attaching meaning to incoming objects, which of course we all know is key in sport and daily life.

If your parietal lobe is very slow at working out ‘What is this shape coming at me?’ it will affect your driving  and you won’t be performing at your maximum so its a good idea to have a fast parietal lobe.

The parietal lobe is also involved in turning shapes around in your mind,  this is important for reading, some people with dyslexia see letters upside down. Again in the video as you will see there is a short vision drill I made to encourage your parietal lobe to work a bit. So if you know anyone with dyslexia then send them over! In the next blog there is more on dyslexia.

The Parietal Lobe

The Parietal Lobe

       

The parietal lobe also  deals with  joint proprioception, which means knowing where bits of your body are in space, so you can move around well. Children and  adults who have body awareness issues need to work on their parietal lobes, you might have issues or you might have a friend that is uncoordinated or crashes into furniture often.

My favorite part of the brain is the cerebellum, its the little brain behind the brain and its like the 2nd in command. It does the ABC of neurology. Accuracy, balance and coordination of movements as well as other processes in the body from vision to emotions. It is also involved in cognition, vision, balance and learning new skills. So be be an excellent athlete you need a good cerebellum.

The Cerebellum

 

To summarise, the frontal lobe is the king, the parietal lobe is all about knowing where you are in the world and feeling what is around you. The cerebellum manages the input and output to make sure the movement is  accurate, balanced and coordinated.

These three parts of the brain are key to moving well and of course driving well.  People with frontal lobe and/or cerebellum issues often have emotional outbursts which of course are part of road rage. Emotional outbursts spoil sports performance and success in the workplace.

If you prefer to listen and learn about the brain, then check out my show on Stray FM

3 Ways To Be a Safer Driver

busy super human safer driver

Hello and welcome back to my blog !

Today I am going to dive into talking about vision as it’s one of  my favourite subjects and 75% of the stimulus your brain  receives is from your eyes.    Vision  is extremely important for pro athletes who want to be elite, as many studies show that the difference between a pro athlete and an elite athlete is usually vision.

Like the saying ‘see if first, be first’.  This is the same for driving as 1/4 of a second can be the difference between a fatal car crash or a near miss.

 

If you DON’T train you visual systems and other senses  they start to degrade in your 30s and 40s, most people don’t  know how to train  vision as nobody has ever explained what it really  is and how it works.

  • Vision goes beyond eyesight, which is the ability to see clearly
  • Vision involves the ability to take incoming visual information, process that information, obtain meaning from it and act accordingly, so its a brain based activity.
  • Vision is NOT just the test you do at the optician looking at stationary black letters on a stationary white board

These are key aspects of vision which I will introduce to you

  • Eye movements – Can you visually follow a moving target, and shift efficiently between targets, while still seeing clearly?
  • Visual clarity – Can you see it clearly? Can you see low contrast objects?
  • Depth of vision – Can you precisely identify where an object is in relation to everything around it?
  • Peripheral – How much and how well can you see what you are not looking at?

 

In terms of improving your driving we will focus on just eye movements to keep things simple, here are 3

1. You must be able hold your eyes on a target, this is called gaze stabilisation, you can start right away, buy finding a spot on the wall and look at it for 15s, blinking, tearing, getting irritated are all signs that you need to work on this skills. The  ability to hold your gaze on a spot as well as  quickly re-focusing your eyes on a target are both key for developing good visual skills.

2. The speed at which you jump your eyes from target to target or side to side is an indication of how fast your brain can process, so slow eyes = slow brain. When your  eyes are in the process of moving, as in you jump from looking at a car to the road, to the traffic light and back to the road, you are blind as your eyes can’t fix on a target. When your eyes are actually moving you  can’t see anything but blurriness  when your eyes are moving fast you will be blind for less time, slow moving  eyes = blind for longer. Being blind while driving is bad news.

3. Being able to keep your head still and  track moving objects with your eyes, such as other cars and pedestrians without the visual system becoming fatigued is a valuable skill. We all know tired eyes is a potential killer. The visual system is like the cardiovascular system or muscles, there are ways to train it to make it ‘fitter’ or have more endurance.

Train the eyes to go faster will make a faster brain. This is why athletes and high achievers are so interested in vision training.  In  terms of driving, fast reactions and  fast brain are key.

Just to note, while we are on the subject of driving, whiplash injuries mess up the part of the nervous system which controls eye movements, so if you have had whiplash then stay with me as I’ve got heaps of vision exercises to help  fix that.  If the eyes stop moving properly, then often chronic neck issues develop, so to fix the neck the eyes need to be sorted.

 

In part 2,  which is coming soon  I will share some vision training  videos with you, so that you can begin to get the basics of vision training under your belt

Hello and welcome to my blog

Hello and welcome to  my page !  This page is  about something called  the Neuro Revolution, which is  focusing on training the nervous system to get a better body and better brain. Professional athletes and top performing executives are already know about this, which is why they are at the top of their game.

My aim is to take lots of complicated functional  neurology which I have collected over the last 4 years, make it interesting, make it accessible, make it simple and make it useful, so that you can get the most out of your brain and body. We all know that often very simple tips, tricks and gems are the ones which have a huge effect

I’m a huge fan of the nervous system and brain because they control everything in the body, in future posts I will be talking about memory, reflexes, energy levels, driving cars, stress pain, flexibility, strength, sports  vision, balance, sleeping, emotions, sex, headaches and how to get the edge over your competitors by sharpening your nervous system and improving how you think.

I studied Genetics and Biochemistry went on to do a PhD in protein folding, which in a nut shell  was about  disease such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, after that I worked on a project on the effect of statins on heart cells, about 13yrs worth of science.

Young scientists conducting an experiment together at the laboratory

Then I worked in the fitness and wellness industry for 8 years teaching groups and individuals how to move and how to change their minds with hypnosis. After a few years I realized there is more than just joints and muscles.

teaching full size

One of my clients enjoying herself on the roller

 

A famous strength coach said  “Your muscles are already capable of lifting a car. They just don’t know it yet.”

“I want to be able lift a car ” I thought “how do I learn how to tap into this secret resource?”

“How do I become a superhuman?”

I then started out on a journey to learn more about the brain and nervous system  which took me round the world, cost me tens of thousands of dollars, put me in touch with some of the brightest  and most talented people on the planet, I looked in the performance world, particularly stage hypnosis and magic as well as the medical world for answers, tools, tips, tricks. I still do stage hypnosis shows as a hobby and its so much fun.

Steampunk

My alter ego Dr Karla Mistry

I then had the best training ground ever for many years, the school of hard knocks,  which is the real world, with real people like you, not a nice laboratory, the good old general public. The public are not easy to please, they pay money, they are busy, if something is bollocks they will tell you, they tell facebook and twitter you are a moron and want a refund, quite right though! But when things start to work the public are amazing! They tell lots of people how great you are, they bring friends, they like your facebook posts, even if it is a picture of a baby with chocolate face or a cat sat on a mat.

Let me tell you briefly about how the brain works, we will call it the 123 of brain function, I don’t want to be all school teacherish, I want to break it down so it’s easy to manage so that that you don’t miss anything important. Like eating a bar of chocolate, one piece at a time, not shoving the whole lot in at once.

  1. The brain’s primary objective is survival, your brain wants to keep you alive and safe
  2. To function well your brain needs 2 things – fuel and activation. Buy fuel I mean good breathing and proper nutrition, both of which are HUGE topics. Activation is stimulus which needs to be the right kind, at the right intensity at the right time, this is what I want to share with you
  3. A brain basically has 3 primary tasks. To receive input, understand and make a decision and produce an output

 

If you prefer audio here is part of a recording I did on Stray FM about the brain basics

 

To function at your best and be fast, your brain needs to be good at taking in information, processing it and then doing something like jumping, moving or speaking.

Each week I will give you some tips and ideas on how to get a better brain so you can be an even better version of you !