The human brain is the most complex structure we know of in the universe. It consists of 100 billion brain cells, (that’s as many trees as there are in the Amazon!). Each one of these cells has up to 10,000 connections with other cells. This produces a huge matrix of interconnections. This means that at any moment in the brain there are about 100 trillion connections.
Whilst you are consciously thinking the brain is also controlling your subconscious actions – the beat of your heart, the digestion of your last meal, the constant function of your lungs. The brain, like the rest of the body, is amazingly efficient. It does all of its work consuming 20 watts of power. Using modern computers to do it’s task would take 20 gigawatts of power. (A gigawatt is a billion watts, i.e. ten to the power of nine watts – 10,000,000,000 watts). The largest power station in the UK produces 4.6 gigawatts. It would take just under five of these to power an artificial human brain.
We have all got one of these extraordinary objects in our skulls. Like the rest of the body it is worth looking after. In 2008 my brain exploded. I had an aneurysm and subarachnoid haemorrhage plus hydrocephalus, meningitis and epilepsy. I had seven lots of surgery on the brain and three and a half months in a coma. This was like throwing a grenade into a telephone exchange. The nerves that were destroyed will never repair. I have had to rewire around this hole to restore the function that I have today. This process is known as neuroplasticity. I lost about 5% of my brain volume. That means 5 billion brain cells, give or take a half dozen, have been lost.
I have included an MRI of my brain taken in June 2008. You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to see something is radically wrong. I have shown this picture not to show how special my brain is but how special the human brain is. Your brain. It, and the rest of the body are worth looking after: “Mens sana in corpore sano”, (a healthy mind in a healthy body). The whole of the body needs to be as healthy as possible.
My survival and return to a good level of physical and mental health has been helped considerably by my level of fitness. Over 30 years of being a vegetarian and practising & teaching Yoga since my late teens have been of great benefit. My recovery has also been helped enormously by the skills of the practitioners at The Broadstone Clinic, especially in the field of naturopathy and acupuncture. We are very fortunate in having two excellent practitioners; Sarah Burt – naturopath
and Chani Turner – acupuncturist
. For any of you recovering from a major health trauma the help of these practitioners would be invaluable.