Why do I need to take care of my brain? This is a fundamental question we should all be asking ourselves, because it’s simply not possible to have a genuinely healthy body without a freely functioning nervous system. And, given that 70% of the nervous system is in the brain, it makes sense that healing the body must start there. Get started by remembering this primary tenant to good health: The key to any healing is to remove the interference between the creator and the created so the power that made the body can heal the body. Integrative healthcare is flourishing today because so many practitioners are finally realizing that merely dealing with physical symptoms is a short-sighted approach that will rarely, if ever, lead to an authentic state of wellness. Symptoms are only the reaction to a cause. Symptoms are the last thing to show up in the disease process and the first thing to go away in the healing process. Trying to manage or evaluate your health based on symptoms, or lack of them, is both misleading and dangerous. We all know of people who claimed to feel well and soon thereafter died from a heart attack or unexpectedly discovered they had cancer. For those of us who want to achieve and maintain excellent health, it is essential that we take a different and better view of our health and become proactive, taking deliberate, conscious action to improve it. Here is the short list of steps you can take now to improve your brain health, which will lead you to excellent physical health. Make a commitment to regular exercise. According to an article in the Harvard Health Letter, exercise aids the brain by reducing insulin resistance, reducing inflammation, and stimulating the release of growth factors, the chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells. Exercise also reduces stress and improves mood and sleep. Problems in these areas frequently contribute to poor health. Eat real food. Excessive consumption of the refined fats, sugar, and chemicals in fast food increases insulin levels. Subjecting the brain to a significant amount of insulin can cause it to stop responding to it, restricting our ability to think, make good choices, and create new memories. Unprocessed foods that are rich in micro nutrients and essential fats such as blueberries, avocado, kale, broccoli, walnuts, salmon and eggs all support brain health. Take necessary and appropriate supplements. When you can’t get all the nutrients you need from food, supplements can be a lifesaver. Support your brain’s health with B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D, fish oil and zinc. Take Me-Time. Meditate, get regular massage, laugh and play, pursue a hobby. Get regular chiropractic care. It’s proven to keep your nervous system strong and free of interference. Balance brain waves. In today’s high-tech world, your brain is bombarded with brain wave disrupters all day long. Now you can use technology, like the BrainTap app and headset, to keep your brain wave activity balanced and keep you focused on all the right things for keeping your body healthy and strong. When the brain and body are brought into balance, great things can and do happen. You can go to a doctor, but when you leave the office, you’re still carrying around the stresses of life, which today are greater than ever, and which caused most of your symptoms without you even knowing it. For more information on this topic, be sure to read Thrive in Overdrive: How to Navigate your Overloaded Lifestyle, by Dr. Patrick Porter.