What a title, right? Let’s break this down. Think for a second, have you ever found your-self lost for words, feeling slow with your thoughts, or thinking that it’s simply not your day? This may be a warning sign that your body is looking for more movement, more social interaction, or both.
While we know that we can’t predict these behaviors of higher brain function just yet, if you’re reading this you know that chiropractic care is ideal for restoring and keeping the nervous system of our bodies functioning at its best. So then to create lasting neural change, and to keep the aforementioned issues from happening again, let’s chat about some specific movement and social communication to make your nervous system happy again.
When infants first start to move, they don’t simply stand up and walk. They start by cross-crawling on their hands and knees, before picking themselves up so they are standing as bipeds on their feet. This cross crawl pattern is such an important step in development. It has been theorized that infants who develop a stronger cross crawl prior to standing up have better developmental outcomes than those who are taught to start moving from a standing position. These include social, verbal, emotional, and other behaviors. So, cross crawling will help a child understand and control their emotions better, speak more articulate and clearly; with a larger vocabulary, and be more comfortable engaging in social situations.
How is this possible? Recent studies have shown that more information related to our emotional (limbic system) and communicative centers in our body travel through our spine! So an infant who uses their spine as they cross crawl will stimulate lots of spinal movement that will help the development of their nervous system. Inducing spinal movement using the cross-crawl method stimulates higher neural activity of the nerves in the thoracic and lumbar regions, leading to changes in the higher brain centers that will have a positive influence on our actions and behaviors.
How does this relate to all of us adults? When you’re not feeling yourself, get down and crawl! There are studies in pediatric chiropractic offices of children with developmental reading delays who, after crawling for 15 min a day, dramatically increased their reading ability after a few weeks. This is one example of the power that movement has on our individual neurology. Even though the structural plasticity of our brains decreases with age(ability of our brain matter to change in response to a stimulus), adults can still benefit from spinal cord stimulation that will influence the higher brain centers. As little as 10 minutes a day of crawling around on the floor is all that’s needed to create these neural connections, and it will be a great workout too!
The second half of this equation is the social connection. Going back to an infant, studies showed that infants who pointed at, made gestures, and attempted to make sounds developed a much better vocabulary than those who didn’t do those things before they could talk. So infants who looked to have more a social interaction with their surroundings had better developmental outcomes than those who were passive during initial development.
As adults, we can definitely relate to this. I’ll use myself to prove this point. Even if I am physically tired at the end of an adjusting shift, I feel mentally stimulated from all of the amazing conversations I have with each of you. If I struggled with a conversation at the beginning of the shift, by the end of the shift I could talk to anyone for hours. It is simply amazing how clear and happy I become by stimulating my higher brain centers with social interaction. And to think that growing up during my teenage years I identified as an introvert.
Similar to the cross-crawl theory, the social interaction will stimulate your brain to make numerous positive changes that will lead to better function. This could be speaking more articulate, changing your mood, or even increasing your drive to get a specific task complete.
So simply connecting with someone will stimulate your nervous system in so many amazing ways, but I want to challenge you! To take this to the next level, reach out to someone you miss, have lost contact with, or may have any level of animosity towards that you want to resolve. Our brain remembers our feelings towards these individuals, and this is influencing us on some level, even if its not outwardly apparent. So reach out to that person! Once you have, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how it went!
The moral of this story: grab a friend or family member and have a crawling party in your backyard. Ok, maybe that’s a little far fetched, but now you know why socio-kinetic communication is so important in each of our lives.
Of course, this information is most useful when your central nervous system is free of neurological interference, so get your spines checked regularly! Here at our office, we always preach about the 3-legged stool of nervous system interference, body detoxification, and gut clearance. The gut is referred to as the second brain, because their is so much neural activity that occurs in our gut that has been proven to lead to brain changes. So in addition to crawling and engaging your social circle, maybe its time for a nutritional reboot to get your second brain back under control!