Dr Demi has been thirsty for brains!

This week Dr Dem and Dr Em were joined by the wonderful pilates instructor Rosa from Pilates Plus Wellness.

Dr Demi has been thirsty for brains – more importantly the difference between the function of your left and right brain. Did you know that your left side of your brain controls the right side of your body and your right side of your brain controls the left side of your body?

Each side of your brain contributes to different attributes for example:

  • The left side of the brain is the more analytical side. This side also contains certain areas important for speech and hearing. This side of the brain is where you experience happiness and express pessimism/realism.
  • The right side of the brain is the more creative side. This is the side of the brain that has a holistic, big picture view of the world. It is the side of the mind where you experience joy and express optimism.

Like everything in your body, both sides of your brain need to work in balance for you to experience your world and express health at 100%. Depending on your exposure to lifestyle stressors over time – physical, chemical and emotional – imbalances in hemisphericity may develop. In practice we tend to see more manifestations of right sided brain imbalance where the right side of the brain isn’t as strong as the left side so requires more support.

  • Some ways that you can support the right side of the brain are:
  • Practicing gratitude daily – you can do this by keeping a journal
  • Putting your optimistic hat on
  • Use smell: peppermint, spearmint. Hold the left nostril and smell through the right nostril
  • Use sight: blue, green and purple. These colours are also very calming.
  • Be bored! Sit and let your mind wander or doodle mindlessly. Think of a child who is bored they use their mind to make stories or games or songs
  • Do something creative – paint, journal, draw, bake

Here is a great graphic which shows some of the associations or findings we see in people with brain imbalances. This is based on the work of Dr. Mellilo, a Chiropractor who works with a lot of families with children exhibiting expressions of imbalance. Through primitive reflex integration and specific left or right brain exercises, the balance between the left and right brain can be improved.

If you would like to learn more about Chiropractic, primitive reflexes and your child’s brain check out the blog here.

Dr Emma loves owning a business because that is her creative outlet. When she is stressed and in her left brain mode, she finds it harder to be creative, so smelling peppermint and being bored allows her to move back into right brain mode. For adults it may be as simple as taking something off your to do list to giving yourself a moment of doing nothing to start working at strengthening your right brain. For children it might be just sitting and being bored. For everyone who owns a screen – stop scrolling for 10 minutes and do nothing to let your mind run wild. Look at the clouds and figure out what shapes they make – there is never a shortage of clouds in London!

Dr. Em has called on the wonderful Rosa, owner of Pilates Plus Wellness, to help with the subject of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis (PF) can come from weakness or tension in the foot and calves.

Typically with PF, you feel more pain in the morning, and it can feel like a poker at the base of the heel as you put your foot down in the morning. It generally wears off during the day and with exercise However, for some people it may not and can flare up after activity. The PF on the foot is a thick band that has become inflamed and the reason why it gets inflammed is a multitude of reasons, it can be in the foot, higher up in hips, hip flexors, pelvic balance, calf tightness. It could also be the shoes you are wearing – new shoes that are stiff restrict movement of the foot or after wearing sandals or flip flops. As a Chiropractor these are the things we check – movement through foot, calf, knee, hips, pelvic balance and all the way up the spine. The fascial connection from the PF runs all the way up to the base of the head.

Rosa had a history of arthritis when she was younger which caused hammer toes and ended up having surgery to remove a bunion when she was 20. She sees Dr. Emma for adjustments to maintain balance and to remove the restricted areas. There are 3 exercises that Rose shared with us are:

  • Stretching the calf daily in a position that doesn’t cause pronation – see video above
  • Stretching in the hips – if your hips are stuck then that affects the movement of the feet. To stretch your hips place 1 ankle onto their knee so you are in a figure 4. If you need more intensity you can bend forward over your foot or knee – see video above
  • Mobilising through the ribs and thoracic spine – thread the needle stretch is fantastic. Starting with your hands and knees on the ground bring 1 forearm to the ground threading it under the other arm to feel rotation in your upper back – see video above
  • Mobilise through the feet – this is a great one to do over stairs. Start with your toes on the edge of the step come up onto your tippy toes and then drop your heel below your toes to stretch the calf.

All of these exercises can be done daily to get your feet fit for summer!!!