BRAIN 1. CORTEX
YOUR THINKING BRAIN. Design is 2-3 million years old. This guy sets us apart from the other mammals on the planet. Good at critical thinking, problem-solving, language and building things like cars, rockets, Google, Facebook and Microsoft. This guy is the nerd of our five brains. 14-16 Billion individual nerves make up the cortex, but what do they connect to?
BRAIN 2. LIMBIC
YOUR FEELING BRAIN. Design is 150million years old.
The seat of motivation, emotion, learning, & memory. Believe it not most of your behviour, what you do, comes from this guy. Wired for safety and survival, the limbic brain wants consistency. Food, shelter, being loved and not dying are top of the list. Feeling emotional? Your limbic brain is talking to you.
BRAIN 3. BRAIN STEM
YOUR DOING BRAIN. Design is 500 million years old
Runs all automatic functions in the body. Heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, balance and about a billion other things every second. With thermostat like accuracy, the brainstem regulates the balance of all the bodies functions against the environment. Get too cold, and the brainstem cranks up the shivering. Overheat, and the brainstem starts the body sweating. Simple, reflex-like and a genuine genius piece of evolution the brainstem is the link between higher-order functions (playing candy crush and doing tax) and your physical body. Yes, your brains are all connected. Literally by wires called nerves. Crazy hey!
BRAIN 4. YOUR GUT
IS THAT REALLY MY BRAIN?
Your gut contains 500 million neurones which connect to your brain through the vagus nerve. Your gut directly talks to brains 2 and 3. So there you have it, the direct connection between the body and the mind. Hang on, is my mind in my body? We don’t know. But we do its a bi-directional messaging system. If you are stressed, properly stressed like in a divorce, debt or death, then brains 2 and 3 send messaes to the gut that make it leaky and not ready to digest food. Equally, if you put dodgy food in the gut, don’t chew properly and let Zuckerberg play with your head while you eat your gut sends unhappy messages to brains 2 and 3. Do this long enough, and bad things happen to your health.
BRAIN 5. YOUR MICROBES
Your microbiome is a massive ecosystem made of up trillions of organisms such as bacteria, yeasts, fungi & viruses that live in your digestive tract. Yours is as unique as your fingerprint and responsible for breaking down food and toxins, making vitamins and hormones and powering your immune system. And it’s producing neurotransmitters,
24 hours a day. We are only just beginning to understand the full impact of our microbes on our health. The scary thing to consider, they have been around for a lot longer than us, a lot longer, so are we a product of them. Are we just a handy home…
All five brains are critical to health and resilience. Any mini-crisis is evidence of in balance in one or more brains. We spend time carefully mapping these brains. Everyone’s map is unique, and the path to balancing them all is unique to you. It’s a bit of a journey.