By: Dr. John Conde DC, DACNB Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
Your child has been back at school now for a couple of weeks. Test results are returning and grades are below average. Parent/teacher conferences have been called regarding your child’s behavioral problems. What should you do?
Establish an environment that will promote brain growth and symmetrical development of both hemispheres of their brain.
This concept can be termed “brain hygiene.”
According to research done on lateralization of brain function and split brain research, we see that the right and left hemispheres of your brain are specialized for certain functions and behaviors.
We should also note that within our brain we have a metronome (pacemaker) that provides us with a certain level of arousal or stimulation that allows us to keep focus and attention on tasks and also allows both of our hemispheres to function symmetrically.
Due to an unhealthy brain environment we can make one side of our brain dominant over the other and produce a fluctuating arousal level displayed as inattentive and distractible behavior.
Here are some ways that you can put these concepts to use and begin to foster proper “brain hygiene”:
Physical Activity– have your child participate in after-school sports or recreational programs. Additionally, focus on strengthening core muscles. I sometimes recommend reading or doing homework on an exercise ball with good posture. This activation of postural muscles has a profound effect on normalizing arousal levels and increasing focus and attention.
Utilize Both Sides of Your Body– have your child utilize the non-dominant arm and leg more frequently. I often recommend using the non-dominant hand when eating, brushing teeth, and when combing hair one or two days a week. Other changes such as off-setting the computer monitor to the same side of the dominant hand is also effective.
Brain Foods– spinach or kale, broccoli, salmon or other cold water fatty fish, beans, whole grain bread (unless child has gluten sensitivity), oats, sweet potatoes, garlic, green tea, and blueberries. Every child should also be taking a multi-vitamin recommended by their physician.
Sleep– it is essential that all children, and adults, get at least 8-10 hours of sleep every night. It is during deep sleep that we release growth hormone which helps to repair and replenish our body.
Dr. John Conde is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist, one of only one thousand in the country. He holds diplomate status through the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. He provides specialized care for difficult cases of back neck pain, numbness-tingling, vertigo-dizziness balance disorders, fibromyalgia, migraines, AD/HD, autism, and dyslexia. His office is located at the Atlantic Grove in Delray Beach, FL and can be reached at 561-330-6096, firstname.lastname@example.org, and at www.thecondecenter.com