Is it possible to utilise the power of your brain, to reach your ideal body weight, to look younger and boost your energy?
That’s the question we’re asking today.
And it’s the bold claim Dr Daniel G Amen makes in his New York Times bestseller, Change your Brain, Change your Body – the subject of this week’s blog and Changeability Podcast.
In his introduction, Dr Amen tells us
“Fifty percent of the brain is dedicated to vision. How you look plays a large role in how you feel. To look and feel your best, you must first think about and optimize your brain.”
Let’s unpick this a bit.
We’re visually orientated, with our brain devoting half of its processing power to sight.
Being visual creatures – how we look, or how we perceive we look, plays a large part in how we feel about ourselves and that can often determine our ultimate success.
For our own underlying health – and not just for vanity sake – we should therefore concern ourselves with how we look and feel.
And that ultimately, to look and feel your best you need to first think about and then optimize your brain.
So as the title suggests, this book is about understanding and optimizing your brain to help you reach your ideal weight, look younger, boost your energy, change how you feel about yourself and that process of changing your body (via your mind) will in turn ultimately determine your success.
In essence then, this book is about body/mind integration, mind/body connection and how you can use your brain to improve your body and health.
And I’m sure you’ll agree, that’s an interesting premise.
But what do we know about the author and how he comes to make these claims?
Dr Daniel G Amen is a doctor with three decades of clinical practice at the Amen Clinics.
His interest in the brain-body connection started over 30 years ago – where intriguingly he was influenced by an oncologist who taught people to use visualization to boost their immune system in order to fight cancer.
At medical school he became trained in hypnosis and saw the effect it can have on healing the body in a variety of treatments.
But it was in 1991 that he truly started to understand the mind-body connection when he started doing the brain imaging work which he now does at his clinics.
“Our brain imaging work opened a new window into why people do what they do. It provided the missing link and allowed people to see what was going on in their brains, so they could do things to improve their brain and bodies.”
How often do we look in the mirror and see things we don’t always like?
We look at our reflection and we see lines on our face we don’t always want there, or we catch a glance of ourselves sidelong and see a tum which frankly we’d prefer not to have. We notice a few split ends in our hair or excessively dry skin on our face.
What do we do?
Well, we could make an appointment with a hairdresser for a haircut.
The wrinkles – we might slap all sorts of lotions and potions onto the skin to moisturise, cleanse and fill the cracks, so to speak – and some might nip along to their doctors to make an appointment for Botox.
Basically we try and fix it ourselves (diet to lose the tum) or get some professional help. We address the effect.
But Dr Amen would say that we need to address this issue by thinking about the health of our brain, the cause.
And that many of us are walking around with brains that could do with some serious help, but we don’t know it, so we don’t do anything about it to address the issue.
The things we see in the mirror are symptomatic of our brain health and instead of addressing the causal symptom we address the effect.
Amen’s book is based on 10 key principles about the brain and its relationship with your body, and ultimately the health and wellbeing of our bodies.
So that’s it, the 10 principles that explain why it is essential to love and nurture your brain to have your best body possible and optimal wellness.
Next time, we explore how to use your brain to achieve something many of us struggle with – lasting weight loss; plus the many ways your brain can help you beautify your body and achieve lasting wellness and good health.
Hear us discuss the 10 principles and more in episode 94 of The Changeability Podcast, or subscribe to all our previous episodes on iTunes.
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