While ancient Egyptians discarded brain matter during mummification, the modern world recognizes the organ’s significance. This amazing processing center governs an intricate neural network, manages memory, and determines thought processes as well as behavior. Our quality of life rests largely upon the function of an organ with incredible plasticity.
Even within its skull housing, the fragile brain remains vulnerable to damage. Trauma easily damages the soft organ. Scans demonstrate the swiss-cheese appearance of brains exposed to marijuana, alcohol abuse, cocaine and other corrosive drugs. Other scans show improved tissue mass of brains in the process of healing.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the brain is its ability to change. Recovery seems unfathomable in such a delicate organ. The process is even more astounding when considering thoughts often determine its success.
This week’s book recommendation, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, lists detailed issues related to brain dysfunction. From anxiety and depression to attention deficit, Daniel G. Amen, M.D., relates case studies from his practice and reveals the organic causes of their symptoms. He includes brain scan images to illustrate the physiological effects of chemical and attitudinal toxicity.
Dr. Amen doesn’t leave us alone with the technical picture of these problems, however. The book also offers techniques for self-healing. These ‘prescriptions’ include exercises which readers can implement on their own to improve brain functioning. Behavior changes. Specific nutrients to add to meals. Planning activities. And most importantly, a guide to change destructive thought patterns.
I’m a fan of this cognitive-behavioral approach because it works (for those who apply it, of course). I also love the ongoing potential of thought-change. Counselors and life coaches help recommend specific techniques and craft a plan to reach goals. After the support period ends, however, people can continue to implement the techniques and increase the benefits over time.
You can find Dr. Amen’s book, Change Your Brain, Change Your Life on his website or through Amazon. Check it out and send me your comments. I look forward to hearing from you.