3 Jan 2023
The 2022 Short Term Memory Fog
3 Jan 2023
If you only read part of this message, please read the next three sentences. This is an important note that I wanted to share with you as it is affecting a number of people — this involves memory problems. I have seen personally and heard even more of so many people with memory issues, especially short term memory. So if nothing else, please know that you are not alone and this does not mean you are going down the road to a worse memory.
This involves not even remembering the name of someone you are talking to or about, even if you have known that name for years. That item on the grocery list that you have regularly picked up but just can’t remember. It is an issue to explore and while everyone is different, there are some common strategies to try. Keep in mind if your memory seems to be continually getting bad, get medical advice and know that it may take different practitioners for help with a more complete solution.
That said, if you are having issues, recognize just that, you are having an issue. It may be minor and temporary but you are not alone. The past few years have been turned upside down for so many people. Combined with even the past few months, since September, it feels like 1/2 to 3/4 of Guelph is sick with regular cold or cold/flu symptoms and lasting until even today. That is a very long stretched out time. This is mentally wearing and that can hamper memory.
Our constant care for others and ourselves takes us away from being aware of people and places outside of our homes so much that we may not be aware of our surroundings as much as we normally are. From a memory expert that I have literature on, the author stated if you are not aware of a particular thing, you can’t really put it to memory. So that is one practice right there. Focus your awareness on what you want to remember. That will help wire that into your neurology.
Next is diet. After having a fall a couple years back, I feel like the canary in a mineshaft. Meaning, I will feel changes in my head faster than I would have previously to that fall. Some of these changes are with food. The main food culprits that affect us are wheat, dairy, processed sugars and high yield crops that are more likely to have strong pesticides or are genetically modified. That list of crops is big but starting with a few items at a time, your diet can evolve slowly over time but regularly.
What this prevents is added sources of inflammation. You can also be a detective and see if excluding any particular food for a short while, makes any changes in your body and mind. That takes patience and is not a race to solve. It is a journey.
Probiotics and foods helping with gut flora, can also have a positive impact on the brain and thinking. Plus, staying hydrated with water, not just any fluids but water, is so important that I could take up many paragraphs just to get into the benefits. I spend 3/4 of my time in many appointments just treating visceral ‘gut’ issues that clear up head tension and dysfunctional cranial patterns.
A great resource for advising you on nutritional changes are Naturopathic Doctors and Nutritionists who can also make suggestions on supplements to aid in your diet.
Another lifestyle change — is to not be so close to your wifi gadgets. Your phone, your internet watch, your fitbit when you are not using it — all can be set down on a desk or somewhere off your body. Occasionally, I will have a client take off their internet watch and I can feel the restrictions shifting to a different balance. I have experimented on myself by putting my cell phone in my right pocket and then later in the left pocket while going for a walk. The strength level in my stride from left to right changed.
And speaking of the internet and computers, an important change I would endorse completely is to find the settings on your phone, on your tablet, your laptop or desktop that take the blue out of your screen. It may be called a night setting or you can download apps like Iris or others that change the settings for you. This constant exposure is not going to do you in but is a constant agitation to your neurology.
For the first while, after my fall, the normal computer light bothered me. My brain felt like it was growing in my skull. Headaches, dizziness and slight nausea came with it. When I changed the setting, instantly I could feel relief. My canary brain appreciated it quickly and I got used to the color being slightly different. I now only turn it on if I want the full spectrum when working with graphics that I want a certain way. I even forgot to turn off that light at one time and wondered why I was feeling the strain. I guess you could almost call that a self double blind study. There are Youtube videos to learn how to do this on whatever gadget you are using that has a screen on it.
Lastly, manual therapists like many Osteopaths and Cranial Sacral Therapists can be of help in treating stressed or dysfunction patterns in the head. Our aim is to keep the flow of the cerebral spinal fluid to move unrestricted in your head which is essential for many brain functions including how we think and how messages leave the brain and spinal cord. They can also aid in a better sleep which is another excellent way for this fluid to “clean” excess material in the brain keeping down inflammation.
This is advice for everyone — for those experiencing this and those who are not but who have heard similar issues in your own circles. For those only experiencing this for brief periods and for those that this fog seems to have lasted a longer — awareness and patience will be your biggest asset followed by the other advice given. Please share this with your friends and family whom you think it may help!
If you are looking for additional support, come see me at Natural Choice Medical Clinic in Guelph.
Osteopathic Manual Practioner
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