At Lisa’s Holistic Rehab and Neurofeedback, we believe in addressing the whole person when assessing and developing programs to address our clients’ concerns. As part of our holistic approach to your health and well-being we are now offering nutrition services. Our passion is to help our clients achieve optimal brain function and we are always seeking the best, evidence-based methods through which we can do that. We feel strongly that optimizing nutrition is a key piece of our strategy to optimize brain health.
Our nutritionists work with you to evaluate individual nutritional needs and eating patterns, identify health imbalances and develop nutrition plans that support your specific needs and are tailored to help you reach your health and function goals. There’s so much misinformation regarding our food and our nutritionists can help you sort through it and guide you towards positive changes in your approach to nutrition and health that suit your unique body and lifestyle.
Food for Thought – Literally
As the command center of our daily rhythms and cycles, hormones, motor patterns, speech, memory, balance, and mood (to name a few), the brain is a key consumer of the nutrients our body extracts from our food. While there are wonderful protections in place for our brain health, we are vulnerable to poor nutrition sources and choices. Like any highly sensitive and complex machine, the more we improve the fuel source, the more we improve the results.
Sleep and The Brain
The brain holds the control center that regulates hormone production, release and monitoring. This center works to maintain equilibrium within the body system by ensuring the correct hormones are produced at the right time and in the appropriate amounts by sending signals to either increase or reduce production of given hormones to maintain levels in optimal ranges. Much of the work of cellular repair in the body occurs while we sleep. Our body shifts resources to repair damage done during the day while there are fewer needs competing for those resources and energy. Our sleep cycle is controlled by various areas of the brain including shifting hormone levels to reduce alertness, lower heart rate, deepen breathing and increase drowsiness all of which signal the body of the need for rest and repair. This cycle of wakefulness and restorative sleep lead to optimal brain and body function which improves life quality through good energy, cognition, physical performance, immune function, emotional well-being and even regulation of food intake. When the body works overtime trying to find nutrients that are not available in sufficient quantities or trying to deal with overloads of nutrients or toxins, stress increases in multiple systems, including the brain. If hormone levels fall out of equilibrium the signals to sleep centers get mixed up causing disrupted sleep, ineffective cellular repair, and a cycle of stress, sleep loss and disrepair that accumulates and affects all aspects of life. Sleep loss alone can cause brain fog, irritability, anxiety, depression, illness, immune suppression, cognitive dissonance and disorder, and lay the groundwork for chronic illness.
Gut and Brain Health
Research is quickly developing a base of information that supports the connection between our nutrition and gut health and our neurological well-being physiologically, cognitively, and emotionally. Despite seeing rapid growth, research into this area is still developing, however researchers are discovering a number of major pathways that connect the gut and the brain that (Oriach, Robertson, Stanton, Cryan, & Dinan, 2016) strongly suggest nutritional approaches to neurological health may provide previously under-utilized interventions for neurological dysfunction. Ref: Oriach, C. S., Robertson, R. C., Stanton, C., Cryan, J. F., & Dinan, T. G. (2016). Food for thought: The role of nutrition in the microbiota-gut–brain axis.Clinical Nutrition Experimental,6, 25-38. doi:10.1016/j.yclnex.2016.01.003