Exercise and Neurogenesis - research using MRI scans proves movement grows brain connections 

*  Food for Health Scotland -  research on healthier diets worldwise published by the McCarrison Society. 

*  Exercise & stretches to keep the body balanced - from courses by top NHS consultant Dr Grahame Brown

*   Eating healthier options - small steps to a healthier outlook

Recommended reading:


The Human Givens

by Joe Griffin & Ivan Tyrrell.


Users Guide to the Brain by Dr John Ratey.

SPARK! by Dr John Ratey & Eric Hagerman.


Optimum Nutrition for the Mind by Patrick Holford.   More than a million copies sold of his Optimum Nutrition Bible - interesting reading.

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EXERCISE and Neurogenesis


Amazing recent research proves link -  get more active to grow more brain cells: Neurogenesis. 


.    It was surprising to learn that exercise and physical movement has been proven to increase the number of brain cells and makes us brainier.  Over the last decade using MRI and CT scanning techniques, evidence is growing.     The human brain is wired for movement.   Physical exercise increases brain connections and makes us brainier.   For further details of the research and references see the book list on the right.

.     Findings include the positive beneficial links with exercise reducing stress, even 15 minutes of walking per day - perferrably outside in fresh air, could reduce the National Health Service costs, as well as reducing heart disease and diabetes.  Now it's been proven to make us brainier too - good news all round.

:      Keep dancing...

Mind the time clock by Ideapot.co.uk  London

FOOD FOR HEALTH  SCOTLAND the McCarrison Society Scotland website. Historical research links diet to health, and healthy eating with feeling better in many ways.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: try replacing a fizzy drink with fruit juice.


PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION:  add in the good stuff, then it may be easier to reduce the junk food.   Your body could be craving the micro nutrients: vitamins and minerals in fresh fruit and vegetables.  Try an apple as a healthy snack.  


ONE STEP AT A TIME:  Try a taste of something new, a little at a time.  Read a book, do some research and consider the source. 

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EXTRA SLEEP - an early night?  Catch up on some much needed sleep?  Often the less you sleep the more you eat just to stay awake. The more  you exercise, the easier it is to sleep.

     The more you sleep the less you eat.

Average 8.5 hours, perhaps more time resting if you are recovering from illness.  You may be surprised to learn that sleeping and dreaming too  much can lead to waking up tired: read an inspiring book "The Human Givens."  

SNACK AMNESIA - it's easy to forget what's in the fridge and some of us forget that we've had a snack.  A food diary is a good reminder.

ONE DAY AT A TIME:  if you don't ever take a day off, then you may have more off days.   High Days and Holidays, Christmas meal, Wedding or Birthday celebtrations.     The occasional day off is not the end of healthy eating - think 80% / 20%.  A small improvement is a step in the right direction.

RESEARCH includes: McCarrison Society Scotland,  Patrick Holford 100% Health Club.  The Human Givens by Joe Griffin & Ivan Tyrrell plus Diploma reading list.  The Okinawa Way by Bradley Willcox, Craig Wilcox & Makoto Suzuki.  John Ratey: A user's Guide to the Brain.  Dr Grahame Browne with Denise Winn: How to liberate yourself from pain: practical help for sufferers.

If each of us walk for 20 minutes a day in fresh air, this could generate individual health benefits and  reduce NHS costs - improve diabetes, reduce stress, benefit circulation and heart health, AND IMPROVE YOUR MOOD etc.

Don't die of IGNORANCE.  Independent research into food for health may highlight different views  in comparison to articles commissioned by companies with a financial interest in selling their products.   Highly refined ingredients are often used to increase the shelf life of the product, at the cost of  healthier nutrition for the consumers.    If the vine weavils wouldn't eat refined white flour - is it really healthy for humans?   Small steps - change to bread which has wholemeal as the first ingredient on the list.

        Refined high sugar diets linked to poor health are now in the news, with reportedly more than 20% of NHS spending related to avoidable poor health caused by obesity.

       Sir Robert McCairrison's book Nutrition and Health published by The McCarrison Society reported on research conducted prior to 1936.  Experimenting with the typical "English" high sugar diet on mice had to be terminated after they began to kill and eat each other - see Page 29, Nutrition and Health (1982).  There may be a link between poor diet, including high sugar and violent behaviour: could there be links between poor diet and the mass killings gun crimes in the USA?


Once you've eaten something with refined sugar during the day, your body may crave more and more.  Processed sugary food is addictive, great for the manufacturers, not so good for the NHS budget.   If you feel like something sweet try some fruit first.  Fresh fruit has inbuilt nutrional value;  red coloured fruit and vegetables include micro nutrients which help the body fight infections and maintain health.   SUGAR versus Fruit Sugar and the sweet flavour of fresh organic vegetables?   Think of refined sugar as empty calories which do not contain the same extra health benefits; acceptable if you're trying to build up after illness or an operation but as good as fresh fruit and vegetables, progress not perfection... 

      It could be that obesity is a result of the body craving nutrients not being consumed in the diet - add in some plants you could recognise growing: fruit and vegetables, the less refined the better.

Patrick Holford 100% Health                - balance your blood sugar by eating some protein with anything sweet

http://www.patrickholford.com/                         Try some raw seeds or nuts with an apple or banana. 

                                                                You could be adding essential minerals like Zinc and Selenium

                                                                  from pumkin seeds and brazil nuts that your body has been craving.    

Really good health Scotland                       How processed is it?  Can you imagine it growing like an apple on a tree?

http://www.davidreilly.net/HealingShift/Home.html        Have you seen food growing like an apple on a tree

                                                                       or does it come in a wrapper?


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These steps are in Penicuik Walled Garden which is being renovated by local volunteers and planted with vegetables in a 20 year project.  The Penicuik Community Alliance Ltd is being set up and STOREHOUSE is a local project linking the LOST GARDEN    FOODHALL, training and indoor market. In addition to selling locally grown vegetables, plans include teaching cooking skills and soup making using vegetables grown in the garden - cheaper, healthier  alternatives to fast food and ready meals, reducing hyperactivity issues for children and a host of other healthy benefits for all involved.


After several hours of exercise at a time, walking or dancing, some of us have also experienced sore muscles, lower back pain or achillies problems from time to time.  Good hand holds for spinning avoid bruising or sore upper arms after dancing with newcomers at a ceilidh - see the photo of Jola and Colin cupping elbows...

.     It was interesting to learn from professionals looking after top sportsmen and women,   tightening one group of muscles also pulls on other muscles in the body which is why you see footballers doing their ham string stretches.

.       Ham string stretches seen in football training camps are designed to balance the body - surprise benefit: these can reduce lower back pain. 

.      Shin splints - pain in the front of the calf - hip flexor stretches may help

.      See Scotlands' top Chiropractor: 

            Dr Ross McDonald at

            Discover Chiropractic

           240 Queensferry Road,

           Edinburgh  EH4 2BP.

-         Pilates: Two or three roll downs a day could be enough to keep your back supple and ease any stiff muscles, plus stretching the ham strings.    This was reinforced by advice from Dr Grahame Brown, top NHS consultant on musculoskeletal issues &  chronic pain based in Birmingham on the course Effective Pain Management by the Human Givens College.  Understanding pain and accelerating healing through the bio-psycho-social model.  Dr Brown is also the author of a number of books including : How to liberate yourself from Pain:  a practical help for sufferers (2009 HG Publishing). 

 - ROLL DOWN -  stand with feet hip width apart, arms loose and let your head drop forward, slowly roll forward allowing arms to hang, then shoulders to drop forward, back rolling gently down through each vertebrae.  

    Scotlands' top chiropractor Dr Ross McDonald reminder: when doing stretches, to not be at full stretch but say 50% - so you are feeling the stretch but not too sore to hold it for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times each.  The roll down is a Pilates exercise recommended also by the specialist Dr Grahame Brown who lectures about effective pain management for chronic pain. 

   A massage ball is great for trigger point therapy rolled down the outside of the thigh - an exercise I think of in Harry Potter terms - excruciating  - excruciate!   When you find the trigger point, that is the sore bit which should be gently rubbed for say 10 seconds, and repeated three times.  There may be sore points on the calves, in the back of the shin and down the outside of the thigh which many therapists treat, as well as the back pocket for the hips.  

 .    Dr Ross McDonald recommends a round of exercises three times a day but others find even once in the evening or later in the day can help after a long walk or other exercising.  Some do a few stretches before getting out of bed in the morning and these can be sufficient to keep hips muscles from tightening up too much.

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  Enlightening to learn how the brain works - much more is becoming clear through research & MRI scans over the last decade. Great to see so many senior NHS consultants on the Human Givens courses and Human Givens listed by NHS for counselling and psychotherapy referrals.  Human Givens in the Professional Standards Authority Accredited Register showing reliable healthy results,  fast.   


      Great metaphor - the cogs turn silently... 

      Thanks to IdeaPot.co.uk for the brilliant clock.



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