What are 5 ways to improve brain health?

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What are 5 ways to improve brain health?

If your brain is not functioning optimally, we often can notice. We might “feel a little off”, have trouble thinking or recalling information, feel sluggish, and even have other health issues come up. There are many things that can affect how our brain functions and one of them is having high blood pressure and unchecked stress. Finding ways to help reduce inflammation, improve blood flow, and promote relaxation can do a lot to help improve brain health. 

Here are 5 ways to improve brain health: 

Stimulate Your Mind with Games

Time to get those neurons firing! Playing games, either video games, or even educational games can help brain health but also helps with skill acquisition and recall. The use of games can provide benefit as they can help to improve neurocognitive demands and help with neuroplastic changes in the brain. These games could include puzzles, sudoko, video games, doing math in your head, and even word search type games. Studies have shown that the mind can become sharper through the use of this type of training, and it’s been found to improve several areas of development including memory, global cognition and has even been shown to slow the effect of cognitive impairment brought on by disease. 

Read a Book 

When was the last time you read a book? For many of us, it has been a while as the use of streaming shows has risen in popularity, as well as audiobooks. Reading is great way to stimulate many areas of your mind. Scientists have been measurably track improvements in people who start to take time to read. These people seem to be able to develop complex social skills that people who read less might lack. Reading a solidly descriptive book also engages your imagination so that you don’t need to be shown things in order to conceive of them. Try and switching up your audiobooks to reading a book to make sure you are engaging all aspects of your brain health!

Exercise & Movement

Movement can have a profound impact on brain health because of its ability to increase blood flow and reduce stress. Studies show that even light to moderate walking, can have profound impacts on stress reduction and overall health. In a recent study, the brains of athletes after performing, were analyzed and found out that scans clearly expressed an increased connectivity in the frontal cortex of their brains. That part of the brain is part of how you are able to make plans for the future, weed through choices, and perform similar tasks in a day. I tell my patients to “just move.” Whatever that is for them, movement versus sedentary lifestyle, is essential for optimizing health.  


There are many ways to meditate. Body scans, listening to a recorded meditation, using Apps such as Calm or Headpace, joining a yoga class or even doing Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Meditation is a great way to help you calm down and focus your energy on just being still. Studies show that meditation can have many health benefits including reducing blood pressure levels as well as improving cognition and promoting brain health. Meditation may lower cortisol levels in the body and lead to neuroprotective effects as well. Taking time to meditate is a great way to increase brain health so you can think more clearly and help your body stay in that relaxed, parasympathetic state which is essential for overall healing. 

Get Acupuncture

There are so many benefits of getting acupuncture. One of them is that acupuncture can help the stress response in the body. Chronic stress can lead to increase prevalence of high blood pressure which is linked to cerebrovascular and neurogenerative diseases, if left untreated or addressed. Many studies suspect uncontrolled blood pressure can cause stress to the tissues in the brain. Acupuncture has been found to not only help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, help to improve blood flow, but to help improve brain health because of its affects on regulating the stress response. One study in particular looked at how using acupuncture could impact brain health by its ability to help regulate high blood pressure. This study found that those receiving acupuncture for high blood pressure noted lower readings even after 1 month post-treatment. Another study looked at how acupuncture treatment can change cerebral hemodynamics this promoting brain health. Acupuncture was found to help promote increase in cerebral blood flow, especially the Acupuncture-points GB20 and ST36. These points not only were found to increase cerebral blood flow but increase oxygen levels in the brain. 

Finding ways to help improve brain health can do wonders for our overall health and quality of life. Working with diet, brain stimulation activities, stress reduction, movement, and even acupuncture can help to keep your brain functioning optimally!

If you are looking for ways to improve your overall health? Give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation to learn more about how we can help you achieve your health goals.

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She specializes in chronic and complex cases and commonly treats neuropathy, fibromyalgia, migraines, autoimmune, and infertility cases. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free  and Keep Calm and Zen Out available on Amazon.


Games and Brain Health: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01056/full

Athetes and brain health: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S016501730900126X

Meditation and brain health: https://nyaspubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1196/annals.1393.002


Call or Schedule Now! (425) 686-4498

Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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