notebooks/

an experiment in documentation

Health

This is the beginning of an experiment to organise a notebook that will make some sense of my personal journey and learnings on health.

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book Goodreads
Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine
by Candace B. Pert completed: 11 Dec 2015

Amino acids are the letters. Peptides, including polypeptides and proteins, are the words made from these letters. And they all come together to make up a language that composes and directs every cell, organ, and system in your body.

She was the scientist who discovered the opiate receptor. This book is partially a memoir and partially a breakdown on how emotions can affect our physical health. You'll have to read this with an open mind, as she goes into new-agey stuff. I discovered this book through reading "My Age of Anxiety."

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book Goodreads
Spark
by John J. Ratey, Eric Hagerman completed: 12 Jun 2016

They don’t know that toxic levels of stress erode the connections between the billions of nerve cells in the brain or that chronic depression shrinks certain areas of the brain. And they don’t know that, conversely, exercise unleashes a cascade of neurochemicals and growth factors that can reverse this process, physically bolstering the brain’s infrastructure. In fact, the brain responds like muscles do, growing with use, withering with inactivity. The neurons in the brain connect to one another through “leaves” on treelike branches, and exercise causes those branches to grow and bloom with new buds, thus enhancing brain function at a fundamental level.

I didn't consider incorporating exercise into my routine until I read this book.

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“…conversely, exercise unleashes a cascade of neurochemicals and growth factors that can reverse this process, physically bolstering the brain’s infrastructure. In fact, the brain responds like muscles do, growing with use, withering with inactivity. The neurons in the brain connect to one another through “leaves” on treelike branches, and exercise causes those branches to grow and bloom with new buds, thus enhancing brain function at a fundamental level.”

Source: Spark | link

The scientific name for the disorder speaks volumes: hypercortisolism. Its symptoms are eerily similar to those of chronic stress: weight gain around the midsection; breaking down muscle tissue to produce unnecessary glucose and then fat; insulin resistance and possibly diabetes; panic attacks, anxiety, depression, and increased risk of heart disease. One of the many correlations Starkman has shown is that the extent of hippocampal shrinkage and memory loss is directly proportional to elevations in cortisol.

Source: Spark | link

Regular aerobic activity calms the body, so that it can handle more stress before the serious response involving heart rate and stress hormones kicks in. It raises the trigger point of the physical reaction. In the brain, the mild stress of exercise fortifies the infrastructure of our nerve cells by activating genes to produce certain proteins that protect the cells against damage and disease. So it also raises our neurons’ stress threshold.

Source: Spark | link

…the value of exercise has less to do with building muscles or burning calories than it has to do with getting your heart to pump faster and more efficiently and thereby increase blood flow to nourish and cleanse your brain and all your organs.

Source: Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine | link

When stress prevents the molecules of emotion from flowing freely where needed, the largely autonomic processes that are regulated by peptide flow, such as breathing, blood flow, immunity, digestion, and elimination, collapse down to a few simple feedback loops and upset the normal healing response. Meditation, by allowing long-buried thoughts and feelings to surface, is a way of getting the peptides flowing again, returning the body, and the emotions, to health.

Source: Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine | link

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