Cuppa & a Catch Up

Musings on movement, health, wellbeing & self-care

What is Dementia? What can I do?

BRAIN FOG, DEMENTIA, ALZHEIMER’S..

Brain health seems to be the word on everyone’s lips these days.  So what is it and what can we do?

Dementia is the umbrella term for symptoms of forgetfulness, brain fog and short term memory loss.  Whilst this list is far from exhaustive, it addresses the issue that dementia symptoms are caused by a myriad of factors ranging from something as simple as dehydration to the more complex realms of disease.  Alzheimer’s comes under the category of disease.  The build up of a plaque type tissue in the brain called Amyloid-Beta interferes with the neural pathways and causes memory loos starting in the front of the brain and working it’s way back until it finally affects the part of the brain controlling vital function.

Self-care plays a major role in the prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s.  Some hailing Alzheimer’s as the new ‘Type 3 Diabetes’, our diet, environmental factors and lifestyle choices are rapidly becoming our first line of defence against this cruelest of illnesses.

According to Dr Dale Bresden’s work on Alzheimer’s and the ReCODE protocol he created which addresses the range of factors contributing to cognitive decline; movement and exercise play a fundamental role in the prevention and (as part of ReCODE) the reversal of dementia symptoms and Alzheimer’s.

“Couple this with the stress relief provided by taking time out for yourself and concentrating  solely on something other than work or the school run and you’ve got a win situation all round!”

Brain fog and mild forgetfulness affects many of us at one time or another.  Much of the time it’s linked to periods when we’re overly busy, feeling stressed or overwhelmed.  Moving our bodies and taking time out for ourselves can be a key player in alleviating these symptoms and providing us with some much needed clarity.

The trick lies in reconnecting with something our modern life has distracted us from, our proprioception and interoception. 

Proprioception is the awareness of the messages being sent back from your body telling you where it is in space.  Literally knowing your backside from your elbow! 

Interoception is the awareness of our inner body, how we feel in the literal sense – close your eyes for a moment and become aware of your breath into your lungs and out, notice your heartbeat; this is interoception at its most basic.

Our awareness of these messaging systems, interpretation of the messages being relayed and our choice to act on them form a large part of our brain function.  Movement modalities like Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates, dancing and martial arts all require a deep level of learning as make new shapes with our bodies and develop body awareness inside and out so we can complete shapes and sequences as part of the system we have an interest in.

All this places a healthy demand on the brain and it’s wiring.  In response to learning, we forge new pathways in the brain as well as promoting fluid flow through the body which aids detoxification, toxins being another proven contributory factor in the development of dementia type symptoms.

Couple this with the stress relief provided by taking time out for yourself and concentrating  solely on something other than work or the school run and you’ve got a win situation all round!

Intelligent Movement sessions give you the tools to develop both proprioception and interception on a deep level.