Kaplan Brain & Body https://kaplandc.com Functional Neurology & Chiropractic Care Wed, 08 Apr 2020 01:23:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.7 How to Prevent Sickness https://kaplandc.com/how-to-prevent-sickness/ Thu, 02 Apr 2020 01:15:14 +0000 https://kaplandc.com/?p=1461 The best way to stay healthy is prevention. Yet, most people are always looking for some medication to cure their condition, rather than looking for ways to prevent sickness. Medications might keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood-sugar levels down, but exercise, nutrition, sleep, and stress reduction are healthier alternatives. I hope that one day medical schools start focusing on how to prevent those conditions from ever occurring in the first place, rather than focusing on which medications are prescribed for each condition. In my opinion, looking at prevention of disease is the future of medicine. So while most people right now are talking about making a vaccine for coronavirus, or which medications or supplements can help treat coronavirus, I am going to share what scientists and researchers have been finding that helps to PREVENT the coronavirus.

90 percent of us can prevent it by following the simple rules of self quarantine, keeping social distances of 6 feet, wearing masks and gloves in public, and washing your hands, clothes, cell phone, computer, mouth, and body frequently. For the other 10 percent, lets review the best ways to prevent coronavirus in addition to these previously stated.

The most common way is to not only just wash your hands, but wash each individual finger, your wrists, and your face. However, do not use all of these anti-bacterial soaps and lotions. Remember that coronavirus is a virus and not a bacterium so antibacterial products do not help prevent coronavirus, but frequent washing with soap and water will help reduce your chances of transmission by about 50 percent. Not only is it important to wash your body, but also wash your clothes. If you leave your house, strip down and jump right into a hot shower immediately following your return home. Keep your hair tied back and clip your fingernails frequently to maintain good hygiene, as well.

If you are exposed to coronavirus, keeping your lungs in good shape is vital if you want to prevent Covid-19 from destroying your health. Scientists have discovered that patients with weak lungs are more susceptible to coronavirus, and a quick easy test to check the quality of your lungs is to see if you can hold your breath for 10 seconds straight. If you can hold it for 10 seconds then you are less likely to have lung fibrosis. If your lungs are strong they are more likely to be able to handle exposure to coronavirus without consequence. Exercising everyday is the first step to improving lung function. Do at least 2 days a week of aerobic exercise where you are sweating and your heart is beating fast. In addition, perform 20 minutes of weight resistance exercises on two other days. The other 3 days should consist of different activities such as walking, biking or hiking. Another really easy way to improve lung function is to perform specific breathing exercises where you inhale for 4 seconds, hold it for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat this exercise 3 times each session and perform at least 3 times a day. This will make your lungs stronger everyday, and the more consistent you are, the quicker you will build up your lung capacity.

Another way to prevent coronavirus is to drink lots of water. The moisture helps to kill coronavirus. It is recommended to take a sip of water every 20 minutes. Do not drink coffee or alcohol because those types of drinks will dehydrate you. If you work out, make sure you drink water with electrolytes. I recommend mineralizing your water with pink Himalayan salt which has about 86 different minerals. Also, make sure you drink an entire glass of water 30 minutes before each meal. This will improve your immune system and your digestive system so that if you are exposed to Covid-19, the white blood cells, bacteria, and hydrochloric acid in your stomach can help kill off the virus.

In addition to water, you can also help prevent coronavirus with heat. Drink lots of hot lemon water, tea and vegetable soup. Take a steam or a long hot shower. Go outside between 12 and 2 to get some powerful sunlight. If you do have a temperature, that is a good thing because your body is heating up to kill off the virus. Do not take medication like ibuprofen, motrin, or Advil to bring down your temperature because then you can actually help the virus to multiply and cause damage to the body. Many researchers are recommending not taking these medications because it might complicate recovery thereby increasing mortality rates. If your temperature gets extremely high, like 103 or 104 degrees, they have recommended taking Tylenol instead. There is no better doctor than the human body, so sometimes it is actually better to let the temperature run its course and kill off the virus itself, rather than taking medication to bring down your temperature. Always consult your doctor before going to the hospital or before taking any medication, even if it is over the counter. To help the community during this pandemic and to prevent overcrowding of the hospitals, I am offering free health care advice via virtual consults for any new patient. This can be done over Facetime or WhatsApp. Please email me at info@kaplanbrainandbody.com or call 201-261-2150 or 212-620-8121 to set up a FREE VIRTUAL CONSULT this week.

Lastly, and most importantly, remember to stop watching the news. The news is trying to scare you. If you are scared, stressed, and anxious, that will weaken your immune system making you more susceptible to coronavirus. CBS news was just caught using pictures of hospitals in Italy, claiming that it was a NY hospital over run with patients. The media will manipulate facts, pictures, and quotes to sensationalize stories to increase viewership and ratings, as well as push their agenda. I go to the CDC website once a week to get an update just to update you on the real numbers. The number of coronavirus deaths is currently 10,000 people in the US and it looks as though we have reached the peak already. Now, although it is never great to hear about 10,000 deaths. Every year the flu kills about 30,000 to 60,000 people in America. I am just giving you these numbers to put things into perspective. Learning about how many people die everyday from the coronavirus will not help you in any way. In fact, it actually hurts you. Your instructions will stay the same for the entire month of April no matter how many times a day you watch the news: Stay at home, wash your hands, and follow social distancing rules. I wish for everyone to be safe, be healthy, and stop watching the news.

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Coronavirus Update https://kaplandc.com/coronavirus-update/ Thu, 26 Mar 2020 01:22:27 +0000 https://kaplandc.com/?p=1464 This is a very strange time in the world.  We are all quarantined to our homes. The market is crashing. People are fearing that the novel coronavirus will kill everyone. All events are cancelled and all schools are closed.  The future is uncertain.  We have two options.  You can add to the panic and report all the bad news. You can talk to anxious friends who add more negativity to your day.  You can continue to read posts, articles, and social media that increases the hysteria.  You can blame others for breaking the rules and putting innocent people at risk.  You can relentlessly watch the news which will put you in fear mode thereby increasing stress levels.

Or, which in my opinion is the better option, you can see all the good that is occurring and appreciate this time of our lives. There is a silver lining.  The world is purifying itself now.  The air in China has never been so clean.  There is less pollution than ever.  China has closed down its last coronavirus hospital because there are not enough patients. Apple has actually opened up all 42 stores in China. India has been very successful at treating coronavirus. There are more and more recovery stories all around the world. The dolphins are even coming back to the canals in Italy.  South Korea is getting back to normal. All around the world, people who were overworked and were missing quality time at home are now able to relax and bond with their family.  People are exercising outside now more than I have ever seen before. Neighbors are genuinely looking out for each other in a way I have not seen since 9-11. Great things are happening now. This coronavirus quarantine is helping the earth to clean the water and air that were extremely polluted from human activity, as well as giving us the opportunity to cleanse our souls and declutter our minds.

In addition, unlike Italy, we are allowed to go outside and are not confined to our living spaces.  It is very important for people to go outside and move their bodies.  Get lots of exercise, sunlight, oxygen, and spend lots of time in nature. Do not become a couch potato, and obviously remain at your social distance of 6 feet when walking around.  Wash your hands frequently.  Clean your cell phone just as often as you wash your hands.  Be responsible and stay home if you are sick or have been exposed to someone who has been sick.  If you are elderly or immunocompromised, stay at home even if you feel well, and do not accept visitors.

My advice is to take action, get healthy, boost your immune system, build better relationships and clean up your life now!  Clean your closet, your basement, your attic, your storage area, your office, your house, your car, your yard, your inbox, your computer, your phone, your schedule, and most importantly clean your head and clean up your relationships.

Remember, in the USA last year the flu killed about 35,000 people and nobody panicked.  In 2020, Coronavirus on average has killed about 11 people a day, and in total has killed 802 Americans. Did you know that heart disease kills about 2,000 people every single day! The news, the government, and social media will not tell you about that.  Did you know that cancer kills about 1,900 people a day.  Why aren’t all of these toxic chemicals that cause cancer banned? Where is the outrage about sugar?  Why isn’t the news reporting about the lack of exercise in America?  Why do you not hear about stress reduction techniques?  If the news and the government really cared about your health, they would tell you to avoid pizza, ice cream, and bagels just as much as they are telling you to stay home and wash your hands.  If they really cared about your health they would ban food dyes, artificial sweeteners and flavors, Round-Up, cigarettes, Hookah, E-cigs, certain pesticides, cleaning chemicals, herbicides, perfumes, and preservatives just like they are banning work, travel, and events.  How come the news does not report all the people dying of starvation, all the homelessness, and all the countries that do not have clean water.  They will report the 8 people that died from coronavirus in Pakistan, but they won’t report the 100,000 people that died in Pakistan from low birth weight or the 60,000 people that died from drinking dirty water last year.  Stop watching the news.

Now although we cannot rely on the news, social media, and the government to give us the real information, we can get information about your health and well-being from your health care practitioners.  Just call or email your doctor.  If you are interested, to show our commitment to the community we are offering FREE virtual health consults for 20 minutes.   Each call is normally $125 but we are offering a FREE consultation for new patients.  Please email me at info@kaplanbrainandbody.com, call 201-261-2150 or text 646-221-6738 to set up your FREE virtual consult which can be done over Facetime, Facebook, Skype, or WhatsApp.  Looking forward to helping you during this health crisis.

 

 

 

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Ways to Help With Coronavirus https://kaplandc.com/ways-to-help-with-coronavirus/ Thu, 19 Mar 2020 13:53:53 +0000 https://kaplandc.com/?p=1322 Everyday, people are asking me about the coronavirus.  As with any disease, bacteria, or virus, the key is to build up your immune system so you do not get sick.  Take this time off from work or school to improve your health and improve your relationships.  Start taking more walks outside and more hikes in nature.  Getting the proper sunlight and oxygen is one of the best ways to help prevent getting sick from the coronavirus.  Please remember to stay at least six feet away from your neighbors (social distancing) and as you pass by people do not congregate.

Now is the time to start getting more exercise.  Since you are at home a lot more, there should be no excuse.  You do not need a gym to go running, biking, hiking, walking, rollerblading, roller skating, sprinting, or jogging.  At home you can do sit ups, push ups, lunges, squats, jump rope, rebounding, or jumping jacks.  You can use your children, your pets, water jugs, bags, or cans for weights.

Another good way to boost your immune system is being in nature.  Do some gardening and get your hands in the dirt.  Put your bare feet in the grass.  One great way to reduce stress and anxiety is touching the earth.  This is called grounding or earthing and has been proven to boost your immune system.    Enjoy some time outside in the sun by doing some yard work such as picking up some twigs or branches in your yard, trimming some of the hedges, or start weeding your garden.

Remember that stress weakens your immune system. Therefore, if you are stressed, your immune system will become weak, which will eventually make you more prone to coronavirus.  One of the biggest causes of stress right now is watching the news.  At this point, there are 75 deaths reported by the CDC. However, due to the hysteria created by the news, the government, and social media, the entire country is shut down, the economy is crashing, and people are more anxious than ever.  Please stop watching the news and checking the stock market every hour.  If you want to be informed about this current healthcare crisis, the CDC updates the numbers for coronavirus everyday at 12 noon.  You can also check out the information from WHO for the world numbers of this novel coronavirus. My advice is to take one hour, once a day, to check updates on coronavirus, politics, emails, and social media.  Afterwards, turn off all electronics and spend quality time with your family and focus on your health.

As of March 17th, total presumed US cases are 4,226 and total deaths in the USA are 75.  Most people that have died are the elderly with pre-existing conditions like pneumonia, asthma, diabetes and heart disease.  If you are over 80 I recommend you stay home, and do not have any visitors that may have been exposed to the virus.  Ask neighbors or family members to do the food shopping or get any other supplies you may need. Focus on boosting your immune system and reducing stress and anxiety.  Drink lots of water, eat hot vegetable soup, drink hot tea, go for daily walks keeping social distancing, read books, clean your house, go to bed early, meditate, listen to music, laugh, perform breathing exercises, practice mindfulness, have fun, make jokes, watch comedies, talk to family members who are not panicking, and give to charities.  These are easy fun tips that you can implement immediately.

All the younger healthy citizens should take care of themselves first and then help the immunocompromised and the elderly.  This is the time to love your neighbors (without touching).  We all need to stick together and appreciate each other. Hopefully a good thing that might come out of this disaster is that we start to appreciate our health, our lives, our friends and family, and our freedoms that we had before coronavirus.  I hope that the quarantine inspires us to get along and create a time where it does not matter if you are a republican or a democrat, black or white, poor or rich, Muslim or Jewish, male or female, old or young.  We will appreciate our health and show love to our friends and family, instead of worrying about the size of our house, the type of car we drive, or the materials we own.  Maybe this will put things in perspective so we stop complaining about the little things that really don’t matter, and show gratitude for things that truly make us happy.

To show our commitment to the community during this health crisis, Dr. Kaplan is now offering FREE Virtual Health Consultations via FaceTime, Skype or WhatsApp to help manage the stress and anxiety everyone is dealing with. Please email us at info@kaplanbrainandbody.com or call 201-261-2150 to schedule your FREE virtual consultation!

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How to Keep Your Immune System Healthy https://kaplandc.com/how-to-keep-your-immune-system-healthy/ Fri, 13 Mar 2020 16:15:38 +0000 https://kaplandc.com/?p=1293 Coronavirus has killed about 30 people in the United States this year.  To put things in perspective, that is about the same number of people that die yearly from champagne corks or coconuts falling on heads.  The flu, which is a lot more dangerous than coronavirus, kills about 20 to 30 thousand people a year. Interestingly though, the solution to preventing and stopping the coronavirus is very similar to preventing and stopping the flu.

The first step is to wash your hands frequently.  However, I am not a huge fan of antibacterial soaps, liquids, lotions, and sprays.  In my opinion, soap and water are more effective. Try not to touch your face or mouth unless you have just washed your hands.  Also instead of shaking hands with friends or coworkers, do a fist bump or knock elbows. Lastly, cough or sneeze into your elbow rather than your hands.  This will help prevent the spread of the virus.  

Now although these are very common ways for germs to spread, the dirtiest place for germs is the cell phone.  Most people do not wash their hands before touching their cell phones so there are so many different types of bacteria and viruses that are spread via the phone.  So please start cleaning your cell phones frequently because that will help to stop the spreading of the coronavirus.

If you are sick, have a sore throat, or are coughing or sneezing, do the right thing and stay home.  We have to be responsible citizens and self quarantine. If we are not responsible eventually the government will make the decision themselves and quarantine us without our consent.  They will also mandate medical treatments without our consent in the interest of “public health.” If we are smart citizens now and eat healthy, drink water, sleep 7 to 8 hours a night, reduce emotional stress, go outside to get sunlight and oxygen, exercise frequently, and educate friends and family, we will prevent this pandemic from spreading, and will not be in a state of emergency.  

The key is not to panic.  If you panic, that causes more stress.  If you have more stress, then your immune system becomes weak.  If your immune system becomes weak then you are more susceptible to coronavirus. The coronavirus is preying on people with weak immune systems.  If you avoid watching the news and stop panicking, you will reduce anxiety and stress which will boost your immune system making you more likely to stay healthy.  

The news will have you believe that we are all going to die, and we need government intervention to save our lives.  If the government was really concerned about your health and preventing death and disease, they would be working on the real health problems in America and the rest of the world.   The leading causes of death (in order) in the United States are heart disease, cancer, medication, chronic lower respiratory diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, influenza and pneumonia, kidney disease, and suicide. Heart disease kills about 18 million a year and cancer kills about 10 million people a year.  

Emotional stress is the most common factor amongst all of these conditions.  If you are emotionally stressed, you are more likely to get heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and coronavirus.  If you are interested in learning about quick, easy, and natural ways to reduce stress and improve your immune system, please call the office at 201-261-2150 or email info@kaplanbrainandbody.com to reserve a spot for our FREE Emerson, NJ lecture at 2 pm on March 21st.  You can also visit our website at www.kaplandc.com for more information or subscribe to our YouTube channel or Facebook page at Kaplan Brain and Body.      

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How to Improve Your Sleep & Energy https://kaplandc.com/how-to-improve-your-sleep-energy/ Fri, 28 Feb 2020 02:38:11 +0000 http://kaplandc.com/?p=1194 Many people start their mornings with a cup of coffee.  However, if you suffer from headaches, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, anxiety, or trouble with focus, drinking coffee may work against you.  Coffee is a stimulant and if you suffer from these symptoms, the caffeine will make it worse.  

Many of my patients say that every time they try to quit coffee they get headaches.  These are called rebound headaches and can occur when medications or stimulants are overused or suddenly stopped.  For example, these rebound headaches may occur after someone abruptly stops taking medicine without weaning themselves off.  Headaches are also seen when people quit alcohol, drugs, or sugar. In fact, if you get a rebound headache after quitting something, that means you should not be having it in the first place.  If you suddenly quit eating apples, you would not get a headache. If you stopped consuming carrots, you would not get a headache. You will only get a headache if something is bad for you.  

In regards to getting a good night’s sleep, it is important to not consume caffeine.  Your sleep is controlled by your circadian rhythm which is dictated by cortisol and melatonin.  When you consume caffeine it messes up your normal circadian rhythms and therefore can interrupt sleep patterns.  This causes people to have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. In addition, if you do fall asleep, consumption of coffee will prevent you from getting a deep, restful sleep.

When you do not get a restful sleep you are not getting into the REM deep sleep pattern.  When I have patients who do not get a good, deep sleep they report waking up feeling tired or fatigued. They usually do not understand why they are always tired when they are sleeping the proper amount of hours. However, the problem is that they are not getting the deep sleep so there is no time for the body to rejuvenate and re-energize.

When you experience fatigue, you are going to have a hard time focusing as well.  The first reason is that the brain does not have enough oxygen to perform properly. The second reason is that the brain is overactive and cannot shut off external thoughts that could distract you from the conversation or the task at hand.  The key is to relax the brain so it is not overstimulated.  

If the brain is overstimulated by caffeine, it may cause anxiety as well.  When people have an overstimulated brain and have anxiety, they may be suffering from an imbalance in the autonomic nervous system.  This will put someone in the fight-or-flight mode where they might get anxiety, as well as in increase in heart rate, blood pressure, or even breathing difficulties.  If this sounds like you, please do not hesitate to call our office to set up an evaluation so we can help you with exercises that will help you to get out of the fight-or-flight mode without taking sleeping pills or anti-anxiety medications.   

The best way to get energy in the morning is through physical exercise, eating a healthy breakfast, drinking lemon water, breathing exercises, meditation, complimenting your family, helping someone, ending your bath or shower with 1 minute of cold water, and listening to a positive podcast or inspiring music.  

You do not need coffee, tea, soda, juice, or energy drinks to boost your energy.  Those are all stimulants which can lead to anxiety, fatigue, and difficulty with sleeping and focus. Please visit our YouTube channel – Kaplan Brain & Body – for specific videos on these topics and for more information!

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Out With the Old, In With the New https://kaplandc.com/out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new/ Mon, 23 Dec 2019 16:52:51 +0000 http://kaplandc.com/?p=1184 As stated in my previous article, do not be a creature of habit. Make sure you “switch it up.” The brain does not like it if you are always doing the same thing. The top researchers and neuroscientists have found one of the top three ways to improve memory is to perform novel or new activities.

You must challenge your brain in different ways every single day. As mentioned, patients often tell me that they are challenging their brains because they do crossword puzzles or Sudoku every day. However, they are using the same parts of their brains and are strategizing the same way each time. Try a new game that you have never played before because as an alternate activity, it will require the use of a different part of the brain.

Even the simple things in life should be done in a variety of ways. Patients are always telling me that they exercise, which, of course, is very good for the brain. However, many of them always exercise the same exact way. One patient told me she jogs five miles a day on the exact same path every single day. Although it is fantastic that she is running every day, it would be even better to jog one day, run one day, sprint one day, power walk one day, bike one day, swim one day, and rollerblade one day.

Another patient said he always runs on the treadmill on Monday, lifts weights for the upper body on Wednesday, and lifts weights for the lower body on Friday. Although I do commend him for working out three days a week, it is better to keep changing up the routine with weights, bands, or balls. I recommended he use the bike, the stair master, the elliptical, the rowing machine, the free weights, abdominal equipment, the pull-up bar, and other machines at his gym. Take different classes like Crossfit, Soul Cycle, Pilates, HIIT, Yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, Hip-Hop Dance, Pole Dancing, Circuit Training, Boot Camp, P90X, and Insanity. There are so many ways to develop different muscles so that your brain is challenged in different ways.

Other novel activities that do not involve physical challenges include learning a different language, skill, or art form. If you only speak English, learn a new language. The point is to keep looking for novelty. There are so many novel activities that you can perform on a daily basis. You can start by taking a different route to work. Novelty can be applied to food, as well. Eat each color of the rainbow every day. Don’t keep eating the same meals every day. Don’t have a weekly menu. Change up the food you eat every day. Luckily, with the great variety of foods available to us, this task is very easy.

In conclusion, it is important to change up every activity you do and to keep learning new things. Start brushing your teeth or your hair with your non-dominant hand. Walk sideways or backward occasionally. Meet new people and visit places you have never been to before. Perform activities you have never done. These simple changes will help you improve your memory, increase your brain function, improve your quality of life, and lead to a long healthy life with your family and friends.

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about boosting your brainpower without drugs, surgery, injections, supplements, or herbs, please purchase my new book, Boost Your Brainpower: A Guide to Improving Your Memory & Focus. What better gift to give yourself and others this holiday season than the gift of health! Visit www.kaplandc.com/holidayspecial to purchase your copy for 50% off (usually $20 – now only $10) or call to reserve a copy at 201-261-2150 and pick-up in our office. 

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A Brain Healthy Holiday Season to Remember https://kaplandc.com/brainhealthyholiday/ Tue, 10 Dec 2019 00:05:17 +0000 http://kaplandc.com/?p=1181 Many people let the holiday season get the better of them.  They get stressed out and impatient waiting on long lines, running around bustling malls, gift-wrapping and cooking elaborate meals.  Do you notice that when you’re in a ramped-up state, you start forgetting things?  That’s because stress really does have a negative effect on your memory.  If you want to make sure you remember every trimming and trapping this holiday season, follow these tips to help alleviate stress and improve your memory.

It might seem cliché, but the holidays are really best spent relaxing and enjoying the simple things in life. Announce to your family that you want to have a low-pressure, super-relaxed holiday season.  This is definitely the best option for your health and your brain.  Maybe it will even become a family tradition!  Invite everyone to come to holiday dinner in funny sweaters or even pajamas.  It will definitely make for a memorable family picture, and everyone will benefit from the chance to kick back and get comfortable.

Many people spend the nights before the holidays staying up late doing last-minute shopping.  Make it a priority to get plenty of sleep instead!  Try shopping ahead of time or online.  Getting an early night’s sleep will improve your mood, memory, and focus so you can enjoy all that the season has to offer.  Plus, winter is the best time of year to get cozy under some blankets and have a nice warm beverage.

The start of a New Year is also a perfect time to make some achievable goals, and the perfect time to start some new habits that are good for building your memory.  Learn how to do Sudoku, or download an app designed to teach you a new language.  Invest in a new musical instrument to learn how to play, just for fun.  Meditation is another brain-healthy practice that you can try.  Did you know that acupuncture could help build new pathways in your brain?  Consider making an appointment with a local acupuncturist!  These simple approaches can eventually have a major impact on your memory.

With the holidays quickly approaching, what better gift to give than the gift of health!  Receive 50% off Dr. Eric Kaplan’s new book,
Boost Your Brainpower through the end of the year! Usually $20, you can get this amazing book full of brain tips, exercises, cutting-edge research, recipes, meal plans, and more for only $10! Visit www.kaplandc.com/holidayspecial  to take advantage of this limited time offer!

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Use It or Lose It https://kaplandc.com/use-it-or-lose-it/ Mon, 02 Dec 2019 23:03:51 +0000 http://kaplandc.com/?p=1176 To boost your brainpower, we should focus on discovering any areas of the brain that have weak signals and addressing those specific areas to help them develop and function better. In my practice, we have technologically advanced equipment to diagnose areas of the brain that are not functioning at optimal levels. Using technologies like Videonystagmography (VNG), CAPS posturography, Interactive Metronome, electromyography, pulse oximetry, neurosensory integrators, and video balance boards, we can find areas of the brain that are not working properly and then come up with exercises that are proven through neuroscience to activate those specific areas of the nervous system.

For example, if the VNG finds that the frontal cortex is not firing properly, activating olfaction with smell while patients perform fine finger movements and fast eye movements can create neuroplastic changes through spatial and temporal summation. Spatial summation is when patients perform many exercises at the same time, and temporal summation is when they perform these exercises repeatedly to create long-term results. If the right frontal cortex is worse than the left frontal cortex in a hemispheric distribution, patients would only do the finger exercises on the left side, the quick eye movements to the left, and the smell only in the right nostril. The more specific you are with these neuroplasticity exercises, the better results you get. By utilizing proper brain exercises, we can help stop the beginning stages of frontotemporal dementia.

If an evaluation finds that the area of the brain called the parietal cortex is not working properly, it is most appropriate to do a type of therapy called proprioceptive exercises. For example, a doctor may draw letters on certain parts of the body while the patient, with his or her eyes closed, tries to correctly identify the letter. Another test has the doctor touch a specific point on the body, which patients must then touch while keeping their eyes closed. Or we might recommend balancing on one leg with your eyes closed, as this can only be done with good proprioception. A final example of a proprioceptive test is where we have patients identify different objects only by feeling with their hands or feet, while keeping their eyes closed. Brain exercises focused on identified weaknesses are very important to maximize your potential and maintain high functioning levels. We can provide this for all of the different areas of the brain.

My patients are always saying, “I exercise my brain because I do the crossword puzzle every day.” Sure, that is a good start, but it may not be specific to the area of the brain that needs work. Because they do it every day, it probably isn’t working on the weak areas, but only on areas that are already strong. That is why we do a proper evaluation to determine which specific area of the brain most needs work. People ask me about doing brain exercises on the computer, and I respond that brain exercises are best when they involve movement. The brain loves movement, so it is recommended you do activities where you are not sitting at a computer or using a tablet or phone rather than moving your body.

If you want to work your brain while sitting, make sure you change it up. Do the crossword puzzle on Monday, Word Jumble on Tuesday, Sudoku on Wednesday, Word Find on Thursday , Scrabble on Friday, Lumosity on Saturday, and Memory Match on Sunday. The brain loves new activities, and brain function increases with novelty.

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about boosting your brainpower without drugs, surgery, injections, supplements, or herbs, please purchase my new book, Boost Your Brainpower: A Guide to Improving Your Memory & Focus. What better gift to give yourself and others this holiday season than the gift of health! Visit www.kaplandc.com/holidayspecial to purchase your copy for 50% off (usually $20 – now only $10.) 

 

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The More You Give, the More You Receive https://kaplandc.com/the-more-you-give-the-more-you-receive/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 22:59:10 +0000 http://kaplandc.com/?p=1173 At the end of an appointment, I always ask my patients if they have any questions. One question I get occasionally, usually said in a joking manner, is, “What is the meaning of life?” I always respond the same way, “The meaning of life is to help other people and the planet.” It’s important to stop worrying or complaining about your life and to start helping people. Preliminary results from two Yale University studies have shown that people who harbor a lot of negativity, anger, and complaints are more likely to get Alzheimer’s. If you start helping other people, you will boost your brainpower, thereby improving mood, memory, focus, and motivation. Go into every situation in life thinking of ways to help people. Maybe you can offer somebody a ride home, take out somebody’s garbage, put someone’s bag in the overhead compartment on an airplane, help someone move, drop someone off at the airport, or walk someone’s dog for them. These are just a few ideas, but you get the gist.

I have noticed that people who complain the most tend to watch the news and use social media more frequently. Please don’t waste your life watching TV and playing on the internet when you could instead be improving someone’s day and improving your brain function. The news is designed to shock and upset people, drawing them in to watch more by emphasizing drama and fear. Social media is largely a collection of people sharing the positive or exciting parts of their lives. These posts can make you feel like your life has more conflict or negativity than your friends and family, but this is an illusion. Everyone faces some degree of trouble or suffering in their lives. Perform an experiment: stop watching the news and using social media for two weeks, and see how much better you feel.

Service is a great way to use your energy positively to help your community. Even if you have no money, you can make a change. When I was in college at Emory University, for instance, many people participated in a program called Habitat for Humanity, where college students help the less fortunate by building them houses. When I was in chiropractic school, many students would go to foreign countries on mission trips to give chiropractic adjustments to children and adults in need of care. These students adjusted hundreds of people a day and helped them with a variety of health problems. Volunteer initiatives are great ways to give back, help others, and build community. You can even get involved in organizing service trips at a local temple, church, or community center. Your time and talents can make a difference in someone’s life.

If you are fortunate enough to have money to give to charity, remember that even a little can make a big difference in countries where resources are scarce. In many developing nations, people do not have ready access to clothes, shoes, or socks. Families in these countries cannot afford books, pencils, or paper, and sending their children to school is a huge financial hardship. Some hospitals in remote areas cannot afford scalpels, knives, and bandages. There are delivery services that provide large boxes with affordable shipping rates, thereby making it possible to buy many of these much-needed supplies at a dollar store and send them to little communities around the world for as little as a hundred dollars.

But remember, you do not need money to help people. If you know a lot about cars, help someone change a flat tire. If you are strong, help someone move heavy boxes. If someone is struggling with parking their car, offer your assistance. If someone is lost, give them directions. Or find something that you are passionate about and help people in your own way. Simply performing little acts of kindness every day can help. Whether it’s opening the door for someone, picking up something that someone dropped, letting someone cut in front of you in line, walking an elderly woman across the street, or donating old clothes and shoes to the less fortunate, this action will create a “pay it forward” mentality that will help change your communities in positive ways. The less you complain and the more you give, the better your brain will function.

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about boosting your brainpower without drugs, surgery, injections, supplements, or herbs, please purchase my new book, Boost Your Brainpower: A Guide to Improving Your Memory & Focus. What better gift to give yourself and others this holiday season than the gift of health! Visit www.kaplandc.com/holidayspecial to purchase your copy for 50% off (usually $20 – now only $10.) Offer valid through the end of the year. 

 

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The Link Between Love and Boosting Your Brainpower https://kaplandc.com/the-link-between-love-and-boosting-your-brainpower/ Mon, 18 Nov 2019 22:55:58 +0000 http://kaplandc.com/?p=1169 The human need for community and interaction is not just sentimental. The brain truly needs this type of stimulation to boost your brainpower. This need for community was researched in prisons, and they discovered that people who are in solitary confinement start to experience a quick decline in health. These prisoners hate being alone so much that they actually prefer to be next to murderers and violent criminals rather than in solitary. Because the brain needs interaction, communication, and social activity, prisoners will do anything to avoid this punishment.            

In regard to brain function, it doesn’t matter how many Facebook friends you have, but rather how many in-person social experiences you have with friends or family. People are fooled into thinking they are being social because they are getting “likes” and comments on social media. We should actually call it “anti-social media” because it is preventing us from having face-to-face interactions. If patients tell me that they have no friends or family, then I let them know it is important to make some friends. If you really think it is too hard and there is absolutely no way you could ever make a new friend, you might choose to have a meaningful relationship with a pet. If you can’t get a pet, try a doll. In Castaway, for instance, Tom Hanks’s character personified a volleyball to talk to and interact with, and that relationship saved his brain.    

My suggestion is to get off your phone, stop sitting at home on the computer or watching TV, and go out into the real world. If you don’t have a friend to go out with, just walk outside and enjoy some people watching. You might see people sitting at a cafe having their first date, an old married couple holding hands walking down the street, kids hanging out together, or a mother strolling with her baby. Watching these activities activates mirror neurons that will stimulate the brain as much as doing the activities yourself.     

Another idea is to stop wishing people a happy birthday on Facebook, and instead pick up the phone. They will appreciate it so much more. You can hear a smile over the phone, and that will stimulate your brain. Don’t send a text telling someone you love them; send them a card. They will probably never read that text again, but they will keep the card. Don’t buy people presents for their birthdays; do something special like taking a painting class together, going to a Broadway show, or going to Rockefeller Center to ice skate! Make a memory together rather than buying some materialistic gift. And keep all your memories in a book. That way, if you are having a bad day or are feeling anxious or depressed, you can flip through the book, and it will light up your day, releasing endorphins that will give you a natural high to get you out of that funk. Life is a collection of memories, not a collection of things.      

It might be hard to believe, but staying connected is an extremely important step to boosting brainpower. Staying engaged with people and having good, positive, face-to-face interactions, or getting out into the world and spending time in your community stimulates the brain while maintaining its health and strength. Start spending more time with your family. Neuroscience has proven that grandparents who spend time with grandkids live longer and report an increase in overall happiness. This is the result of a symbiotic relationship. Grandparents share their experience, knowledge, and love with their grandkids, and in turn receive a brainpower boost—improving their happiness, health, and quality of life. But don’t just think about it. In these modern times, you have to actually manage your calendar—not only for work, holidays, or special events, but for meeting up with friends and family. Social interaction is vital to boosting brain function.

If you or someone you know are interested in learning more about boosting your brainpower without drugs, surgery, injections, supplements, or herbs, please purchase my new book, Boost Your Brainpower: A Guide to Improving Your Memory & Focus. What better gift to give yourself and others this holiday season than the gift of health! Visit www.kaplandc.com/holidayspecial to purchase your copy for 50% off (usually $20 – now only $10.) Offer valid through the end of the year. 

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