My goal with this series is to further understand and simplify the latest research on how the brain works. How it is affected by injury, sleep, nutrition, stress, and more. I want to find out what the latest research tells us about how we can recover, maintain or enhance our neurological health. What does the latest research even mean? How can we apply this information to our own lives? Talking with clinicians, researchers and those that have suffered brain injuries, I plan to share these answers.
#1 - Dr. Michael Hutchison | Exercise
In the first episode of the EMPWR Series I talk with Exercise Scientist, Dr. Michael Hutchison from the University of Toronto. Dr. Hutchison aka “Hutch” is a big hockey fan and has done some incredible work in the hockey world. We discuss the phasing out of the “dark room” and the incredible recovery tool, exercise. We discuss how and when to utilize exercise in concussion recovery. We discuss the benefits of exercise on the brain from a hormonal and behavioural level. We even get into the specifics on what exactly is the right form of exercise for each individual as it is not one size fits all. Too many people in the concussion space set themselves up for failure with exercise instead of success. Dr. Hutchison believes the problem lies in type and level of exercise chosen. Lastly, the most powerful message in this episode is that exercise comes in many different forms. If you choose the right type for you, the chances of harm or “set-backs” are extremely low. I am so excited to kick this series off with exercise; something that I believe did and continues to empower my neurological well-being.
#2 - Dr. Shirley Blanc | Vision
“The eyes do not tell the brain what to see. The brain tells the eyes what to look for.”
Dr. Shirley Blanc completed her Bachelors of Science and Doctorate of Optometry at the University of Waterloo. In recent years, Dr. Blanc has dedicated a significant portion of her practice to assessing and treating patients with traumatic brain injury, due to the need for optometric intervention as a vital component of a post-concussive healthcare team. In this episode we start with how improving vision can decrease the risk of concussion. We talk about how the brain tells the eyes what to see. How vision affects posture, motor-reflexes, awareness in space, and AND how these issues can be rectified. Dr. Blanc believes in a team approach to concussion recovery, multidisciplinary if you will. The stories of recovery alone in this episode are beyond empowering. Some people have instant symptom relief from the removal or addition of a stimulus.