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Health, Wellness And Neuroscience

Written by: Patricia Faust, MGS, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Health is often defined as the overall mental and physical state of a person, the absence of disease.


Wellness refers to the state of being in optimal mental and physical health. It is about living a life full of personal responsibility and therefore taking proactive steps for one’s entire well-being.

Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.


The new field of health neuroscience aims to understand the multidimensional and dynamic relationships that are determinants, markers, and consequences of health and wellness.


Dr. Sarah McKay

The Neuroscience Academy


The longevity of the Covid pandemic has made us look at different ways of thinking to deliver health and wellness programming. But probably the biggest challenge is to offer programming that will impact all the distinctive issues facing employees today. It may seem impossible to create an individualized health and wellness program for large numbers of employees, but it may be the only way to offer something that can meet everyone’s needs. Because the brain is the central organ that is driving habits, changes, and decisions, creating a wellness program that targets the brain will make it possible to individualize as well as provide an integrative program for everyone.


In health neuroscience the brain is the target organ that is affected by and affects different health states by way of the Bottom-Up, Top-Down, and Outside-In determinants of health and wellbeing. This model was designed by Dr. Sarah McKay, founder of the Neuroscience Academy. Its design includes all aspects of health and wellness that we are already familiar with.


Bottom-Up elements are the biological or physiological determinants of brain health and include genes, hormones, the immune system, nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle choices.

Outside-In elements include social and environmental factors, stress, life events, education, current circumstances, and family background.

Top-Down elements include thoughts, emotions, mindset, and belief systems


How does health neuroscience fit within the corporate wellness program?

We are not merely physical beings, dependent on physical outcomes to live a healthy vital life. We Feel, We Think, We Aim for our Goals, We Are Creative, We Change, We Move, We Challenge Ourselves, We Nourish Ourselves, We Connect, We Sleep, and We Calm Ourselves.


Everything we say, do and think affect our physical being. To create new healthy habits, we must be motivated. Understanding the neuroscience of habit and change can facilitate more realistic lifestyle changes. We are motivated through our own brain function to reach our goals when we truly understand what we must do.


This model considers all of us – from our head to our toes and from outside in. The physical components of this program – are that – one component that contributes to the whole.

Understanding how stress can change our brain allows our physiology to provide a platform for learning techniques to calm ourselves.


Biometrics are important in this model. They provide the baseline for physical change and still allow for measurement of change. Incorporating brain function practices, accommodating for personal and environmental challenges that change the perspective of how our brain views our circumstances and setting goals that answer questions as well as facilitate change are possible with this model.


What can you expect to see when you surround your program with neuroscience? Intrinsic motivation, goal attainment, higher brain function, creativity, engagement, increased productivity and of course – healthier employees.


Health neuroscience is not a new wellness program – it is your enhanced wellness program with the individual at the center. The perception of ‘Why’ will become “Why Not’.


For more info, follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and visit my website!


 

Patricia Faust, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Patricia Faust is a gerontologist specializing in the issues of brain aging, brain health, brain function, and dementia. She has a Masters in Gerontological Studies degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Patricia is certified as a brain health coach and received a certification in Neuroscience and Wellness through Dr. Sarah McKay and the Neuroscience Academy.


My Boomer Brain, founded in 2015, is the vehicle that Patricia utilizes to teach, coach, and consult about brain aging, brain health, and brain function. Her newsletter, My Boomer Brain, has international readers from South Africa, Australia, throughout Europe, and Canada.


Patricia’s speaking experience spans the spectrum of audiences as she addresses corporate executives on brain function, regional financial professionals on client diminished capacity, and various senior venues concerning issues around brain aging and brain health.

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