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Helping People Get Their Brains Younger – Exclusive Interview With Allison Liu

Allison Liu, a brain health coach and expert in helping people get their brains younger, healthier and stronger, struggled with early warning signs of memory loss in her late forties. Adopting a science-based approach, which she uses with her clients today, she increased her own ‘brain reserve,’ improving her memory, mood and relationships.

Allison Liu, Brain Health & Memory Rescue Coach

You’re a brain health coach, which we’ve not heard of before. Can you tell us your story and what set you on this path? To be honest, when I was younger I never really thought about my brain. We hear a lot about ways to look after our hearts or skin but not so much about our brains. So my personal journey only started about 10 years ago when I noticed some changes in my own mental health that were really unnerving; I found I would frequently forget what I was saying right in the middle of saying it and struggle to express myself or put my thoughts together. I found that I was making impulsive decisions that were, at times, worryingly dangerous and I was becoming increasingly anxious and irritable, which was very unlike me. I would have no recollection of certain meetings or decisions that had been made at work and I was honestly fearful that my capability would start to be questioned. It took several years of learning but now my brain fog has gone and my thinking is clearer and sharper than it has been for years. My focus, mood and memory have all improved and I’m back to solving problems quickly and adding real value at work. I’m genuinely happier and calmer and know that has affected my relationships with those closest to me. Who is your work inspired by and is there anything special that keeps you motivated to stay healthy? I’m deeply grateful for a wealth of science-backed information from functional medicine doctors like Dr Mark Hyman, Dr Daniel Amen, Dr David Purlmutter, Dr Libby Weaver and others, that literally changed my life. They are passionate leaders and advocates for living healthy, happy and fulfilling lives. Many people think that healthy living is bland and boring but I eat delicious food, have lots of energy and no longer live under a cloud of chronic stress. I originally started this journey because of fear, but now I am motivated by how much better I feel and I intend to keep it that way. Having experienced what it’s like to live with brain fog and struggle with memory issues, I want to do everything I can to hold onto my memory and not go back down that road again. Tell us about your greatest health achievement so far. In addition to improving the functioning of my brain, I have also achieved a healthy weight. In my mid-40s I was diagnosed with a solid ovarian cyst and while I was searching online to find out more about it, I came across a post on the World Health Organisation website that was very clear; having excess abdominal fat increases the risk of ovarian cancer. At the time I was overweight with a BMI of 25.98 and was wearing size 16 clothes. I had never been able to lose weight but I decided I had to try. So in January I signed up on a diet and exercise tracking App, did a few calculations and set myself a goal of losing two pounds every three weeks and just started. It wasn’t until I’d lost 5 kg that I truly believed it was working. By the summer I needed a new set of clothes and the same again in the Autumn, by which time I had lost a total of 14 kg and was wearing size 10 clothes. Determined not to put it all on again I then worked hard to stabilise my new weight and am still that weight now more than 10 years later, purely through a much healthier lifestyle...


You now work with people to prevent dementia by optimising their brain. Can you tell us why people contact you and what type of programme you take them through.


The medical system is geared more towards treatment than prevention. So it’s not unheard of for someone to go to their doctor with concerns about their memory to be told that it’s just a normal part of ageing and not to worry. Yet memory problems are one of the most important symptoms of an unhealthy brain. So five years down the line they then get a diagnosis of dementia. The really sad thing is that they could have been taking action for those five years to slow down or reverse the progression of cognitive decline. This is when I help people, and I also work with those who have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. I also work with people who have had a concussion as the result of an accident and those who are struggling with brain fog.


As part of my programme, I ask clients to take some assessments to understand where they are, and then we work together on a bespoke plan. There are 11 risk factors that increase brain ageing so the assessments help to identify their greatest areas of risk and then we work together to reduce or eliminate those risks. It’s a very tailored approach because the things that increase the risk of dementia for one person can be quite different for someone else.


It took me several years of learning to get where I am today but my clients now get to benefit from all that I’ve learned so that they can quickly make progress.


What inspires you in the work that you do?


Developing brain fog or feeling like your memory is slipping when you’re in your 40s or older is common, but it’s not normal. Even if someone is experiencing those things now, it doesn’t mean that they always will. Yet most people have no idea how to care for their brain to make it better and I want that to change. Our brain makes us who we are; it’s our character, our personality, and how we think, feel, act and react. So when someone improves the functioning of their brain they’re better able to fulfill their life’s purpose, now and in the future. That’s what I’m passionate about.


What message would you want to give to anyone struggling with memory issues?


I’d want them to know that they’re not stuck with the brain they have ‒ they can make it better. However, if they want to be present with those they love for the rest of their life and remain independent, it’s critical to take the warning signs seriously and to take action now.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


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