Here are some natural things you can do to strengthen the brain:
- Eat a whole foods (clean eating) diet high in omega-3s and tryptophan. Take 3 tbsp of ground flax seed in juice every morning for a complete daily dose of both and then whatever you eat during the day is bonus. I also switched to a vegan diet, which is optimal for getting the nutrients you need across the blood-brain barrier. Not everyone wants to go vegan, but the most important thing is that you are eating whole foods and not processed or sugary foods.
- Be sure to stay well hydrated. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily (i.e. if you weigh 100lbs, drink 50 oz. of water).
- There are also hot and cold water treatments you can do to increase circulation to the brain. In the shower, alternate 3 minutes of hot water with 1 minute of cold for at least 3 cycles. The greater the temperature contrast, the greater the benefit (just be sure not to scald yourself). Don't get the very hot water on your head, but do get it on your shoulders. Cold water is okay to get on your head. Always end on cold.
- Sunlight through the skin is good for vitamin D and through the eyes is good for melatonin (sleeping at night).
- Listening to baroque music (such as Bach) can help strengthen frontal lobe function (provided it does not increase symptoms).
- Exercise (even light exercise such as walking) can reduce harmful biochemicals and release endorphins. Again, be sure you are keeping it gentle enough to avoid symptoms.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and other non-prescribed drugs.
- Avoid or strictly limit television, video games, smart phone, and computer usage.
- Get fresh air daily and take 10-20 minutes specifically to do deep diaphragmatic breathing.
- Try to have regular times for sleeping and waking.
- Connect with spiritual practice, even something as small as making a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for.
These things will strengthen the brain naturally and shouldn't interfere with any medications or treatments your doctors want to use.
38-yo female with mTBI and PCS after sledding accident 1-17-2011
Persistent headaches, fatigue, slowed cognitive functions, depression
Symptoms exacerbated by being in a crowd, watching TV, driving, other miscellaneous stress & sensory overload
Sciatica/piriformis syndrome with numbness & loss of reflex
Largely recovered after participating in Nedley Depression Recovery Program March 2012:
Eowyn Rides Again: My Journey Back from Concussion