Top Tips on Brain Health

Hi everyone!

Apologies that it has been a while since I gave a CEO update but as we move out of lockdown and with our new team in place, I hope that this could be the start of a more regular blog.

We’re really excited that this month we’re focusing on Neurological and Brain Health. Such an important area of health and wellbeing, with conditions such as Dementia, Stroke, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis, to name but a few. These conditions reflect a breakdown of function in this incredible organ, the brain, that sometimes we can take for granted. It is such an amazing machine that science cannot understand how it works!

What is exciting is that science is also revealing that we can prevent a lot of these very difficult conditions, and as ever nutrition can play an important part in prevention. There are key and simple messages about moving to a plant-based diet and reducing sugar, which can shift the body’s whole way of working to a healthier one.

Working with communities to support lifestyle change is one of NCIM’s aims, and so it’s very exciting that, thanks to funding from Heart Research UK and Subway, our Food for a Healthy Heart course led by our Nutrition for Wellbeing Lead Saba James and assisted by a Bristol Medical Undergraduate who is spending an Elective with us, has begun in Southmead (Bristol), working closely with the Social Prescribing Team at the Southmead Development Trust.

Making dietary changes can reduce the build-up of atherosclerosis in the arteries of the heart and it’s the same for the arteries in the neck and the brain. So, when we make changes for heart health we also make changes for brain health. Along with nutrition, the restorative nature of sleep is also vital for brain health, as well as other approaches such as connecting to green spaces and holistic and complementary approaches like massage. Evidence is emerging that when we start to combine these approaches, we can really make changes that make a difference to our health and wellbeing.

We want you to be able to access knowledge, resources and services and our next Holistic Doctor webinar will focus on Brain Health with Nutrition for Wellbeing Lead Saba James and our Holistic Pharmacist Kiriaki Marselou, who will share a range of creative approaches to keeping our brains healthy as we age, including how we choose to move, eat, connect and think can increase our brain function and optimises neural pathways.

Then at the beginning of May, if you are a Healthcare Professional, a CAM practitioner, a Researcher, a Student or a member of the public who is really interested in Integrative Medicine, we’ll be spending a whole day focusing on Neurological and Brain Health at our next online Integrative Healthcare Forum. I will be opening the day with a welcome address connecting people to some key resources including the Brain Health Network led by Professor James Goodwin https://brain.health, Author of ‘Supercharge Your Brain: How to Maintain a Healthy Brain Throughout Your Life’ and Dr Rupi Aujla’s latest Podcast focusing on Brain Health and in conversation with Dr Dean Sherzai and Dr Ayesha Sherzai, Authors of ‘The 30-Day Alzheimer’s Solution: The Definitive Food and Lifestyle Guide to Preventing Cognitive Decline’. This amazing couple also realise how important it is connecting to communities to resource them and support change. They have developed the NEURO PLAN a revolutionary Brain Health Programme https://www.theneuroplan.com. I will then hand over to Dr Sandeep Buddha to give a Keynote about how he manages acute stroke and supports people to recover fully at Southmead Hospital in Bristol. As well as saving many lives he is also really interested in prevention and how we reduce the incidence of stroke. We will also be welcoming an Integrative Neurologist from the USA, Dr Alexandra Dimitrova, who specialises in Acupuncture, who will be sharing her experience having recently authored a chapter in a new book called Integrative Neurology. As ever Integrative Medicine is about how we bring together conventional holistic and lifestyle approaches and the day reflects that.

Whoever or wherever you are, we want to support your interest in Integrative Medicine. We have just launched our NCIM Wellbeing Hub which will add to our existing NCIM Integrative Health and Scientific Network. As these two communities blossom and more and more people learn about these important areas of healthcare, they will also be supporting NCIM as a not-for-profit organisation and contributing towards the NCIM Access Fund which allows us to offer low-cost appointments to communities that may not otherwise have access to integrative services.

Finally, for those of you who might have followed my video on my 12-week challenge trying to make changes in my lifestyle to help my rising cholesterol then checkout my next video and see how I’m getting along.

Join our movement for change!

Dr Elizabeth Thompson
NCIM CEO and Holistic Doctor