Essential Oils and Brain Fitness (Part 4): Breathe, Smell, Enjoy the Present Moment

This is the third post in my series on essential oils and brain fitness. To see other posts in the series, click here.

As I continue this series of articles on essential oils and brain fitness, it may be helpful to ask, why is brain fitness even important? Why devote time out of your busy life to developing a healthy brain?

One very good reason to start developing a healthy brain is that scientists have found that if your brain is unhealthy, there is a greater chance that the rest of our body will also deteriorate.

Listen to these words from neuroscientist and brain-researcher, Dr. Caroline Leaf, who wrote in her book Switch On Your Brain about the wide-ranging consequences of how we use our brains:

“You think all day long, and at night as you sleep, you sort out your thinking. As you think, you choose, and as you choose, you cause genetic expression to happen in your brain. This means you make proteins, and these proteins form your thoughts. Thoughts are real, physical things that occupy mental real estate. Eric R. Kandel, a Nobel Prize-winning neuropsychiatrist for his work on memory, shows how our thoughts, even our imaginations, get ‘under the skin’ of our DNA and can turn certain genes on and certain genes off, changing the structure of the neurons in the brain…. Our brain is changing moment by moment as we are thinking. By our thinking and choosing, we are redesigning the landscape of our brain.”

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Essential Oils and Brain Fitness (Part 3): Developing a Youthful Brain

This is the third post in my series on essential oils and brain fitness. To see other posts in the series, click here.

China's Ningxia province

China’s Ningxia province

It’s early morning in the Ningxia province of China. Dr. Shengyuan Lei has just finished his morning three-mile trek. He will spend the next hour in meditation before beginning a busy day diagnosing and treating patients.

At first there may not seem anything particularly odd in Dr. Lei’s daily routine. Except for the fact that he is 103 years old!

Amazingly, in the Ningxia province where Dr. Lei lives, his experience is not considered unusual. In this sparsely populated region 500 miles south of Inner Mongolia, it is normal for people to live well into their hundreds while remaining active in body and mind.

The Hongzhangs, a husband and wife in the Ningxia province, are both 110. Not only do they live an active life, but they have all their teeth and excellent eye sight. In the same area lives Ma Wangshi. At 121, Wangshi is an active gardener and walks up and down stairs unassisted. (These accounts were recorded in J.A. Tosti, “The Secret to Living a Healthful, Productive Life Beyond 100 Years Old,” Bio/Tech News, 2007, 2.)

These stories could be multiplied almost endlessly. Data available from the Regional Health Bureau in Ningxia reveals that the region has over 16 times as many people over a hundred than the rest of China. What’s more, these centenarians are not living a vegetative existence in nursing homes waiting to die, but living active lives in their community.

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Essential Oils and Brain Fitness (Part 2): How to Develop a Peaceful Brain

This is the second post in my series on essential oils and brain fitness. To see other posts in the series, click here.

We all want our brains to work at peak capacity. We want to be able to remember what we learn in school. We want to stay mentally sharp as we age. We want to be able to understand ourselves, other people and the world around us. We want our brains to be able to function under stress.

Although these are the things we want for our brain, we usually neglect the very thing that makes all of this possible.

The foundation to all brain fitness is having a peaceful brain.

In this post I will explain why mental peace is foundational for a healthy brain and how you can use essential oils in your journey towards mental peace. I will also be offering specific step-by-step activities you can do to increase the peace of your brain. (Since the techniques in this post involve interactive activities, I recommend you first print this post.)

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Brain Fitness Interview

Interview-with-GrahamI recently had the honor of being interviewed by Dr. Graham Taylor of the Taylor Study Method. The topic of our interview was brain fitness but our conversation ended being all over the map. We talked about educational reform, having focus amidst distractions, the importance of thinking outside the box, Common Core, emotional intelligence, ancient and modern memory techniques, the psychological insight of Homer, and much much more. Here are some observations I made during the interview.

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Essential Oils and Brain Fitness (Part 1): My Aromatic Journey to Brain Fitness

This is the first post in my series on essential oils and brain fitness. To see other posts in the series, click here.

In 2010, when I began working on my Ph.M. from King’s College London, I became fascinated by new discoveries showing that the wiring of the brain is not static or fixed. Rather, our brains are flexible and continually changing based on how we use them and what we encounter in our environment. The practical ramifications of these discoveries are huge. It means that many of the mental and emotional problems we’ve come to accept as inherent to ourselves – forgetfulness, anxiety, lack of focus, stress, rigidity, etc. – can actually be overcome through knowing how to rewire the brain.

After spending a few years studying these discoveries, I began wondering what role essential oils might play in helping to rewire the brain towards higher levels of mental and emotional fitness. It turns out that there is a large and growing body of research showing the important role essential oils can play in helping our brains and heart achieve their full potential.

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