Did you have a great 4th of July? It was an amazing 4th of July here in North Orange County. The city of Fullerton put together a great fireworks show, and there were probably more illegal fireworks that were set off than any other year that I can remember. I am sure numerous PTSD episodes were set off by this once a year time of explosions. If we could have scanned the brains of everyone walking toward the football stadium I’m am sure that everyone’s left and right basal ganglia would have been over active. The basal ganglia is the anxiety thermostat of the brain, and sets the level of anxiety throughout one’s body. When it is over active, you will feel increased neck and shoulder tension, stomach upset, back tension, panic attacks, phobias, and the list goes on. The left and right basal ganglia are part of what we call a “diamond pattern” in a brain scan. It looks like the scan below:
Our nation is in shock over the horror of the mass killing that has taken place in our country this past weekend in Orlando, Florida. Just yesterday a man was picked up in West L.A. on his way to a Gay Pride March with a gun, and the ingredients for a bomb. Around the world bombings, stoning, beheadings, etc. are stark reminders that we live in a world today in 2016 that is not the same as the world in the last century. There is a spiritual emptiness and darkness that seems fueled by hatred. This can result in feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and feeling overwhelmed. When reality is change is possible in this world and it begins by changing one soul at a time…our own! Having the boundary that I can change and deepen in my spiritual life, and focus on what I can change. We are all spiritual beings that inhabit this physical body, and brain rather temporarily in light of eternity. It is important to grow in love, grace and forgiveness. Begin by changing what you can change, which is yourself. A simple prayer that is said daily hundreds of thousands of times in 12 step groups all around the world brings us to a reality of what is possible for each of us this day. Here it is in its best known form:
Visualization is a key to success. You need a good functioning brain to make it happen. Kacy Catanzaro, the first woman to reach the finals of the American Ninja Warrior shares, in this article, how she “visualizes ” a successful outcome. She did the hard work preparing and it was inspiring to watch her make it through physical challenge after physical challenge to successfully complete the course and win! When you hold the successful image of all the steps you need to take to be successful today, whether it’s parenting, cooking, a goal at work, or training for athletic events, that image results in tiny muscle movements in the left and right basal ganglia in your brain.
During the past 20 years, I have been privileged to work closely with Daniel Amen, MD. The clinicians and I at Henslin & Associates have referred thousands of people to the Amen Clinics around the country for SPECT Brain Imaging. During these past 20 years, we have integrated SPECT Scans into our patients’ treatment, helping them learn to optimize their brain health and transform their lives.