NOW:53209:USA01012
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA01012
63°
H 63° L 52°
Cloudy | 7MPH

Growing the Brain to Help Children Learn

July 22, 2011

Can the brain continue to grow? It was once believed that our brains were developmentally fixed. This thinking led to the belief that as we age our brain becomes rigid and we can’t change how our brain processes information. In essence, an old dog can’t learn new tricks. Thankfully, current research has shown this to not be the case.

 

We are talking about neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to grow and develop throughout one’s life span. But what exactly is neuroplasticity and how does it impact learning? Well, the term neuro refers to the brain and plasticity means pertaining to plastic? Does this mean that the brain is plastic in form? Of course not! However, the brain is moldable like plastic. More specifically, as we learn new things in life, our brain actually grows like a muscle. It does this by increasing the size of its cells and, more importantly, through the process of developing new connections between cells. With a basic understanding of neuroplasticity, parents and educators can better shape the development of our children.

 

The concept of brain plasticity is in direct opposition to the old adage, use it or lose it. To be able to grow and develop new cells and connections within the brain, one needs to partake in learning. The process of brain development stems from a basic understanding of what brain cells need to survive and grow. The recipe is quite simple and consists of: fuel + activation+ oxygen.

 

1.) Fuel is in the form of glucose and, no, that doesn’t mean that candy is the best fuel for the brain. This means that the brain uses glucose as energy and our diet is the primary source of glucose. This is why it is important to eat protein along with your carbohydrates (glucose). The protein acts to slow digestion and provides a more balanced and sustained release of glucose to the brain.

 

2.) Activation comes in the form of stimulation from the environment. Environmental stimulation is provided through many of our day to day activities, including: exercising or moving our bodies, listening, communicating, learning, teaching, planning, goal setting, playing music, socializing, and anything that is considered an activity.

 

3.) Oxygen is obviously consumed during breathing. Although, this is common knowledge, many people are not aware that most of us have compromised breathing. This can be observed by a posture that exhibits rounded shoulders and a forward head carriage. This type of posture is induced by prolonged sitting and has worsened with an increase in sedentary lifestyle and over utilization of computers and video games. A decrease in oxygen delivery can manifest itself as fatigue, poor concentration, inattentiveness, and mood dysregulation. As one can imagine, any imbalance within the above recipe could lead to systemic effects considering that the brain is the organ impacted.

 

 

Now that we knowing that the brain is adaptable, how do we keep it maturing throughout life? Using the principles of neuroplasticity and learning, a 10 step plan will be suggested to stimulate brain development throughout life.

 

 

1. Set goals annually to evaluate areas of your life that need improvement.

2. Develop a monthly action plan to accomplish the above goals.

3. Measure your goals weekly to ensure attaining your goals.

4. Make a point to learn something new everyday.

5. Challenge yourself to teach someone what you learned.

6. Exercise daily.

7. Eat to nourish your brain and body.

8. Regularly perform activities with friends and family.

9. Weekly challenge yourself with things outside your comfort zone.

10. Plan appropriate time to rest and recover.

 

 

Dr. Jeremy Fritz is a board eligible Chiropractic Neurologist with the American Chiropractic Neurology Board, certified as a Clinical Nutritionist by the International and American Associations of Clinical Nutrition, and functional medicine practitioner with an emphasis on Childhood Neurobehavioral and Developmental Disorders. Dr. Fritz is also the Executive Director of the Brain Balance Achievement Centers of Vernon Hills, IL & Mequon WI.

 

The Brain Balance Program® is an individualized and comprehensive approach to helping children with neuro-behavioral and learning difficulties surmount their unique challenges. This proprietary, non-medical program has been successful in helping hundreds of children reach their physical, social/behavioral health and academic potential. We work with children who suffer with ADD/ADHD, Dyslexia, Learning Disabilities, Asperger’s and Autism Spectrum Disorders.

 

For more information, please visit www.BrainBalanceCentermequon.com.

 

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.


Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» Enter Halloween contest to win tickets to Legends & Lore 9/30

» Stiever and Cedarburg too much for Homestead football team, 40-27 9/26

» Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 26 9/26

» Glendale, Oak Creek hotels sold to Los Angeles firm Updated:  9/24

» Delivery man cited for swearing when woman asks him to move his truck 9/22

» Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 19 9/19

» River Hills adopts sex offender zoning restrictions 9/18

» Sears will close Bayshore store 9/18

» Hassless Mattress opens 4 worker-less retail outlets 9/17

» Mequon named top K-12 district in state 9/16

» Brown Deer trustees approve Lighthouse project 9/15

» Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 12 9/12

» Banks delivers big run as Greenfield rallies 9/12

» Four-story assisted living center moves forward in Brown Deer 9/9

» Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 5 9/7

» Germantown football team rallies to beat Bay 9/6

» Despite another Herculean effort from Brown Deer's Baun, Rockets win thriller 9/6

» St. Monica to host car wash 9/5

» Upscale barber Groom will expand to Shorewood 9/3

» Poll: Will Whitefish Bay or Germantown win in Week 3 matchup? 9/2

» Preps football photos of the week: Aug. 29 8/29

» The social media story of Homestead at Arrowhead football 8/29

» Allen leads Homestead football team to 24-20 victory over Arrowhead 8/28

» Bay boys soccer team opens NSC defense with 3-0 win over GT 8/26

» Reward offered in search for suspect in Mequon heroin dealing 8/26

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss
Deal Watch - Milwaukee

Milwaukee's Best Discounts & Deals

Advertisement

Local Business Directory

CONNECT