Comment

Strengthen Your Brain By Transforming Negative Thoughts and Emotions

woman-girl-freedom-happy-39853.jpeg

We have all been in the kind of rut before where we don’t feel like ourselves, like something just has us down and we can’t shake it. We live in a fast-paced world that sometimes does not allow us the opportunity to share our feelings or reflect on our emotions during the workday or at school. While we know that eating a pint of ice cream or going on a shopping spree is not exactly a viable option, it is a tempting one. However, there are many healthy and holistic ways to help transform the way we feel!

It is important to understand where and how our emotions come about. Our brain’s nervous system is responsible for both basic and complex emotions. When we are sad or low on energy, that is predominantly a low activity frontal lobe issue that is dictating our emotions, judgement, reasoning and empathy.

When we are anxious or can’t seem to “turn our brain off”  that is mainly an issue with our Basal Ganglia, a system deep in our brain that helps us work through and shift thoughts. Those with Basal Ganglia issues tend to stay with a thought for an extended period of time as opposed to shifting away from it. So how can we transform our brain into thinking positively?

Write It Out:

  1. Put your thoughts, concerns and worries on paper.
  2. Ask yourself: Can it be true? Can I prove that it’s true? If you can’t prove that it’s true, then why worry about it?
  3. Create potential solutions and rid your self of those thoughts. Take a deep breathe and take a look at the other side of the equation. Your intuition will help guide you to a solution.

Give Your Brain What It Needs:

The brain needs activation and oxygen. We have all heard it a thousand times: EXERCISE! Why exactly is this? When we exercise, our body demands oxygen, so with a higher demand, a higher amount is supplied and makes for an overall healthier brain. Exercise also helps release endorphins (often referred to as the “happy hormone”) into our body. It should also be noted that playing sports takes a massive amount of coordination. This fires up the prefrontal cortex, located in the frontal lobe. The more activation we get here, the more we wake up the frontal lobe.

Meditation:

It is clinically proven that meditation gets blood to the frontal lobe and slowly powers down the other lobes. Meditation can help create more synergy in the brain and allow for proper frontal lobe function. An important aspect of meditation is rhythmic breathing. This activates the vagal nerve, which has a direct correlation to the Basal Ganglia, allowing your brain to shift from thought to thought more efficiently. I highly recommend finding a yoga teacher who specializes in mediation or download an application on your phone to get started.

Nutrition for the Brain:

It’s important to avoid foods that will create inflammation. Try to stay away from fried foods, high levels of sugar, processed foods and in some cases, gluten and dairy. The less inflammation in the body, the more efficient the blood flows to the brain.

On the other hand, some things to incorporate are complex carbs like sweet potatoes, brown rice and quinoa. Complex carbs promote high levels of serotonin, an important chemical that helps calm down the brain. This is more effective if added toward the end of the day to ensure proper sleep.

Supplementation:

  1. Fish oil: known to block cortisol, the stress hormone.
  2. Rhodiola: a plant that supports proper function to the prefrontal cortex.
  3. Ashwandha: a plant that reduces cortisol levels and increase blood flow to the frontal lobe.

When you logically come out on the other side of your sad or anxious thoughts, you will undoubtedly feel stronger and this is no different in working with your immune system. The more problems you work through, the more reasonable and reflective you will become. Empower yourself to transform your emotions!

Comment

Comment

The Concept Of Neuroplasticity

The Concept of Neuroplasticity

 

Neuroplasticity is defined by the Oxford dictionary as the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury.

 

The idea is that our brain and the neurons (cells) in our brain can be molded based on the information it is given. Example; if you spend 8 hours at a computer for work and slouch for the majority of those 8 hours your brain is continuing to get feedback that this is the posture you want. Everyday at work, when you take that posture it is reinforced in your brain as “normal” or “status quo”. The result is that when you stand, play sports, or are sitting on the couch, your brain does not know to correct your posture because of the load of information you have laid down during your work hours. The concept can work for or against us; take a sport like basketball for example. If the athlete has perfect shooting mechanics along with a proper stance and repeats those principles over and over again, that athlete will have great success shooting the ball as their proper technique is consistent. If the athlete has the elbow out of alignment, not enough follow through, and a poor stance repeatedly. Then the athlete may make a shot here or there, but will never have regular success as he or she is “programmed” with poor technique. 

 

 

How It Works

 

Our brain and nervous system work like a circuit board. There are many different parts ( 4 lobes, the brain stem, cerebellum, pituitary stalk, basal ganglia, etc) that communicate with each other in order to interpret information as well as carry out tasks. We have these specific Cerebro-pathways ( a series of neurons that “light up” a path through our brain in order to complete a task) that run almost like a railroad track through our brain. When information comes into the brain a Cerebro-pathway gets turned on to interpret whatever information is coming in and another will turn on in order to create a reaction to that information. The idea is that the more that railroad track is used, the more it is reinforced. Just like the athlete shooting the basketball. See video for this process at the chemical level. 

 

Approach and Application for Rehab

 

The approach is no different than weight lifting. If I want to get my chest stronger I'm going to exercise my chest with pushups and bench press. I can’t do 5 pushups and expect my chest to be stronger, I have to give it a large demand. That could be a high volume of repetitions or heavy weights. 

 

Neurotherapy uses the vestibular system (sensory system that provides balance and spatial awareness to the body) as a key hole into how the brain is functioning. This system involves eye movements, head movements,  and the inner ear canal. Once we sort out what parts of this system are mis-firing we can put together what parts of the brain need rehabilitation. This consists of simple exercises to stimulate pathways in parts of the brain in order to promote Neuroplasticity. In some cases certain parts of need be be activated or excited while others need to inhibited or calmed. For example, If I’m in pain doing a pushup, I may want to try going away from it for the short term and try reinforcing muscles in the posterior chain in order to create balance in my upper torso. 

 

The application of vestibular exercises are paired with nutritional consultation and physical exercise in order to get oxygen intake for the brain.

Comment

Comment

PRIME Introduces Weekend Classes

Join us for our new weekend classes at PRIME! Saturdays will be a Speed, Agility, & Strength Training course to address athletes and anyone wanting to improve their movement mechanics. Sundays will be a Hips & Abs class focusing on core strength and relieving pain in the spine and pelvis caused by our stressful lifestyles. As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, these classes can help to maintain a healthy level of exercise and activity. Hope to see you there!

PRIME’s Speed, Agility, & Strength Training course will address the proper mechanics of movement and will focus on reducing the risk of injury, increasing power & strength, and building endurance & stamina. Utilizing our facility’s 30+ yards of turf, the small groups of participants will learn proper movement efficiency that is critical for athletes engaged in Soccer, Lacrosse, Hockey, Basketball, Tennis, Golf, and Football. The hour long sessions will be in groups of no more than 7 participants. Classes will be lead by PRIME’s Sports Performance Director, Ivan Tchatchouwo. 

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 2.56.19 PM.png

Today’s lifestyle of commuting, texting, and desk work has left us with tight hips, cramped up necks, and lower back pain. PRIME’s Hips & Abs class will restore proper movement and tension in the spine, as well as its foundation: the pelvis. The “hip complex” has over 25 muscles that initiate movements such as flexion/extension, internal/external rotation, or abduction/adduction. PRIME’s Hips & Abs class will create synergy in the “hip complex”, strengthen the abs, bolster cardiovascular endurance, and reinforce good posture through the ELDOA technique. Geoff Rose will be leading the class as he has a plethora of experience with spinal injuries, mis-alignment, and orthopedic injuries. 

hips abs.png

Comment

Comment

Take Pride in Your Brain!

 
unknown-1769656_960_720.png
 

The heart of who we are, as individuals, is based on our personality, beliefs, temperament, and spirituality. Those traits bring out our ability to articulate our feelings and express our emotion to family, friends, and co-workers. These components are harbored and molded by our brain. 

Brain Aging

“Brain aging” refers to the “wear and tear” and speed of your brain. We are born with 100 billion neurons (cells) in our brain. Neurons provide vital connections via synapses (electrical bridges) to keep information running smoothly. As we go through life we lose and rebuild these neurons, but as we get to the age of 40 the brain cannot keep up the re-building process and begins to decline. 

Our habits and lifestyle can affect the age our brain. Brain aging is caused by weakened cerebral pathways and/or damaged neural material (think scar tissue) that destroy synapses. Both of these eventually slow down the transfer of information in the brain. This can lead to disorders such as dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. What makes us so resilient as humans is the fact that we can keep this decline at bay if we take pride in our brain. 

Big Players

  1. The Cortex: is the largest “mass” of the brain that is divided into four lobes. These lobes are responsible for processing and responding to different types of sensory information. 
  2. Cerebral Pathways: a series of neurons (cells) that connect to send to a signal from one part of the brain to the other. Think of the electrical wiring in your home.
  3. Cerebro-spinal Pathway: a series of neurons (cells) that connect to send to a signal from the brain to the spinal cord. This will allow us to complete and adjust physical movements. Think of an outlet, a plug, and a lamp. The electricity will move from the outlet, through the plug, to allow the lamp to turn on. 
  4. A. Temporal Lobe: area involved in long term memory and language processing B. Parietal Lobe: known as our “thought factory”, determines brain “speed” and “age” C. Frontal Lobe: involved in decision making, judgment, and emotions. 
  5. The Heart: organ that moves blood throughout the body’s circulatory system. 
  6. Blood Flow: the circulation of blood through our body
  7. Sugar: known as a sweetener

 

How to Empower Yourself

It all starts with understanding if you could be at high risk for early brain aging. Health issues such as cardiovascular disease, untreated depression or ADD, excess intake of alcohol, traumatic brain injury, and diabetes greatly increase your risk of early brain aging. 

Next, you understand what foods can support a healthy brain. 

  1. Omega 3’s, garlic, ginger, rosemary, berries, green tea, pomegranate are important to brain health as they decrease inflammation. The less inflammation in the body, the better the blood flow to the brain. 
  2. Oregano, cloves, thyme, berries, artichoke, and cocoa can fight off free radicals. Free radicals are toxins that can destroy the power source to cells, mitochondria, essentially leading to cell death. The antioxidants in these foods will inhibit the free radicals before they can enforce any damage to cells. 

Keeping a healthy blood sugar level is paramount to healthy gut and brain function. As sugar enters the body, your pancreas fires up insulin to transport the glucose (sugar) to your cells for energy. If the demand for insulin becomes extremely high the cell becomes resistant to insulin, the insulin builds up outside of the cell, like scar tissue, hindering the current of electricity (cell communication).  

We know exercise burns calories and releases endorphins (happy hormones!), but it also helps strengthen our brain. When we do physical exercise our Cerebro-spinal pathway fires in order to coordinate and adjust our movements in order to complete the task. The more coordination you can challenge yourself with; ping pong, darts, or basketball, the more “strength” you can build in the brain. Exercise also protects the brain against free radicals, improves brain metabolism of cholesterol, improves oxygen levels to brain, and increases tone in blood vessels in the brain (this is vital to long term blood flow). 

Lastly, find a hobby or an activity that you can fall in love with. This will give your brain the opportunity to shift away from the stresses and pressures we all face in life. Today’s world is fast and tough. Do something for yourself like hiking, joining a book club, or volunteering at a pet shelter where you can be in your element and meet like-minded people. 

Taking pride in your brain can put anyone on the path to a long, happy life. It will give you the opportunity to embark on exciting journeys, a fulfilling career, and build strong personal relationships. 

 

Comment

Comment

MY BROTHER'S KEEPER "TAKE A STUDENT AMBASSADOR TO WORK DAY" AT PRIME

Training Education

To provide students with greater opportunities to visit and explore a variety of nearby work environments, My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle has launched “Take a Student Ambassador to Work Day” on April 27th to coincide with the national “Take Your Son/Daughter to Work” campaign.

“The students are so excited about the opportunity to visit a workplace and learn about a company or industry and think about their own career goals,” says Camille Edwards Thomas, House II Principal at New Rochelle High School and co-chair of MBKNewRo’s Student Resources Committee. 

“We are delighted and grateful that our host employers have been so positive and are planning important informational sessions and events for our MBK students,” says Colleen Gardephe, Managing Director of MBKNewRo and co-chair of the initiative’s Student Resources Committee. 

Currently, host employers in Manhattan include John Gallin & Son, Credit Suisse, the law firm of Patterson, Belknap Webb & Tyler, publicist Lizzie Grubman, and the education non-profit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). In New Rochelle, host employers include Mayor Noam Bramson, Rice and Rice law firm, Judge Gail Rice, Judge Susan Kettner, Judge Anthony Carbone and the Creative Learning Center. Host employers in Westchester include The Journal News, Volunteer New York, Prime Performance & Development and Coriander Restaurant. 

My Brother’s Keeper New Rochelle (MBKNewRo) is a unique partnership between the City of New Rochelle and the School District and is supported by more than 120 community partners and 100 volunteers. MBKNewRo has launched or implemented more than two dozen events, programs and activities to help students make progress in all six of the Milestones outlined in this cradle-to-career initiative. 

To learn more about MBKNewRo, please visit its website at mbknewro.com or check out the organization’s posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. To volunteer or donate, please write to info@mbknewro.com

 

 

Comment

Comment

Rose Launches Functional Neuroscience Course

Prime’s own Geoff Rose has teamed up with Andrew Amigo of the Accomplished Brain to develop an educational course on Functional Neuroscience. The course, Core Concepts in Functional Neuroscience, is a crash course on the nervous system, vestibular system, brain pathways, and nutrition to work with those suffering from chronic or traumatic brain injuries. The course is built for Chiropractors, physical therapists, and strength coaches. 

See the promotional video:

 

 

Comment

Comment

Get in THE ZONE with Ivan's Youth Basketball Training!

 

We are happy to announce that our very own Youth Sports Performance Director, Ivan Tchatchouwo, is taking the MCATS today! He is taking a step on his journey towards becoming an Osteopath. We would like to also acknowledge that Ivan has started a basketball training program with his peers from his time in high level college basketball. They are handing down the skills and tools they learned from their playing days to adolescents looking to learn, enjoy and work hard at the game of basketball. Ivan was a two time captain for The Clippers at Concordia College, where he lead them to their first conference tournament appearance. Ivan’s background is not only playing, but coaching the game of basketball. He has honed his coaching skills at Iona Grammar School and The Minutemen AAU program, as well as running his own basketball clinics. For further information about his youth basketball training, check out the website: itsthezone.com or contact Ivan at: ivan@performbyprime.com 

 

Comment

Comment

Coach Rose Leads Iona Prep Lower School To Westchester County Champs 3 Times In A Row!

Iona took on OLPH of Pelham in the Westchester County Championships last week. Iona jumped out to an early lead, but OLPH slowly pulled themselves back into the game creating a see-saw battle all throughout the 4th quarter. The Gaels got pivotal stops down the stretch in order to secure it's 3rd Westchester County Championship in a row!

 

The Gaels take on St. Raymond's of the bronx this Saturday at 6:20 at the Ursuline School in the state quarterfinals. 

 

Sports Performance

Comment