Ever have the thrill of remembering an obscure bit of trivia in time to win a prize in a radio call-in contest? Don't you love the thrill of running into an old friend you haven't heard from in 10 or 20 years? Were you able to remember their name? Isn't it great the way our ability to remember things can bring us such joy?

Memory Loss Can Be Prevented and Even Reversed

Do you frequently misplace things? Do you forget people’s names and feel embarrassed? Are you concerned about your lifestyle changing in the future because of memory loss? On average, people start to lose memory at age 35. Memory loss is one of the most common complaints as we move into our 50’s and beyond. In its initial stages it’s little more than a nuisance, but research suggests that many people over the age of 65 who suffer from memory loss will develop senior dementia or Alzheimer’s within several years. But, luckily, both young and old can create a better-than-normal brain with new dendrite connections.

Through our research and development we discovered that the piecemeal approach to memory improvement is not very effective. By far the best program includes several approaches working together holistically. When these areas are addressed simultaneously results are outstanding. Recent research points the way to many hopeful developments in memory improvement. For example, a National Institute on Aging’s 2002 study among people 65 and older has shown that mental training and exercise can give significant improvements and even help to ward off mental decline.

This article will focus on five areas we have developed that when taken together, will improve memory holistically, not just piecemeal development. These five pillars are:

  1. Physical Exercise
  2. Mental Exercise
  3. Nutritional Supplementation
  4. General Diet
  5. Daily Routine

Physical Exercise

In a 2001 study published in Archives of Neurology, Canadian researchers followed 4,615 people for five years and found that among those who exercised most, the risk of cognitive impairment plummeted by 42 percent. Exercise will:

  1. Help you to breath deeply, flushing out toxins and sending more oxygen to the brain
  2. Supply the brain with nerve growth factor, which stimulates neurons to grow new dendrites. Depletion of this factor is directly related to memory impairment in Alzheimer's patients.
  3. Improve endocrine function, boost immune system function, speed up metabolism
  4. Burn calories and increase muscle mass and bone density improve psychology, reduce stress and depression, and enhance body image and self-confidence.

Mental Exercise

Neuroscience has discovered in the past few years that, as we stimulate different areas of the brain, we actually create billions of new neural pathways and use more of our brain’s innate potential.

There are lots of memory courses that teach standard techniques such as linking and mnemonic techniques. That certainly helps, but since they mainly exercise the left hemisphere of the brain, they leave out the right hemisphere where holistic memory and intuition reside.

Fortunately, there are ways to stimulate your right hemisphere with whole-brain learning activities we developed from many techniques not usually available to the general public. It is possible to achieve holistic brain development that can help you keep and even regain your memory with easy-to-learn techniques. We developed a system of exercises and later found that some of them were also in techniques from hush-hush military-intelligence training, Olympic-athletic training procedures, and newly rediscovered Ayurvedic enhancement procedures for the mind.

Holistic brain development requires exercises that incorporate focusing, subconscious information retrieval, perceptual awareness, and memory mapping, newly revised in light of recent whole-brain research. In our own search, we found a synergistic effect and combined these exercises with others in order to achieve development in general memory capacity that is "turned on" every waking minute, not just when consciously using memory tricks.

We found that, ideally, learning should involve cooperation between both sides of the brain. This helps people to learn something faster and retain it longer. Whole-brain learning activities create a cross over between the two hemispheres. This back and forth activity builds dendrite connections between the two hemispheres. The more dendrites you have the better your mind works. Neuroscience shows that as we stimulate different areas of the brain, we are actually creating billions of new dendrite connections or neural pathways, utilizing more and more of our brain’s potential. The September 2003 issue of Scientific American has eight wonderful articles examining those findings.

Nutritional Supplementation

Nutritional supplements can boost your brain functioning and, therefore, your memory. Vitamins, minerals and herbs have been scientifically shown to improve brain function.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins reported that two vitamins could help ward off Alzheimer’s. Many misdiagnosed “mental problems” are actually the result of poor nutrition. Without enough Vitamin B12 in your diet, for example, you may start to regularly experience mental “fogginess,” memory loss and mental fatigue. According to a 1992 study, fifty percent of all people who wrongly believed they suffered from Alzheimer’s disease could reverse their symptoms simply by increasing their intake of B Vitamins.

Vitamin B12 is just one of the many essential nutrients that your mind needs to function effectively. Antioxidants like vitamins E and C, as well as magnesium, iron, zinc and other minerals have been scientifically shown to maintain and improve mental functioning. There is an e-book available at www.themindstore.com that explains much more.

Many herbs, such as ginkgo, gotu kola and specific ayurvedic herbs, have been shown to benefit the mind, especially antioxidant-rich Maharishi Amrit Kalash.

b>General Diet

Fortunately, your brain regenerates itself every 3 years. Therefore what you eat today has a direct impact on the health of your brain and mind in the future.

Nutritional research found that certain foods promote a clear, lively mind. Your body and its organs constantly recreate themselves. The fuel for this work comes from your diet. Without proper brain nourishment, you won’t perform your best and might experience memory loss, mental fatigue and other symptoms as you age. By eating nutrient-rich, brain-enhancing foods, you can actually regenerate the neurons in your brain and grow new dendrites – or, in plain English – get your mind and memory functioning optimally again. For instance, some fatty acids are especially important for your memory and blueberries are recommended three times a week.

Eating a diet that is recommended for a healthy heart is also known to be excellent for the mind. Now, nutrition alone won't get the job done – it's just one of the pillars of the holistic approach you need to keep your brain and memory ship-shape. Conversely, you can exercise the mind properly, and yet, without good nutrition you will remain forgetful.

Daily Routine

If you adults don't get at least 8-hours sleep, you will suffer memory problems. You also need to reduce stress; published peer-reviewed research has shown that Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation technique holds the most promise for reducing stress, optimizing serotonin and dramatically boosting brain functioning, including memory.

Other things improve blood flow to the brain, such as Hatha Yoga practices and breathing exercises.

The Big Picture

There isn't enough space to go onto depth on all the details about these five pillars to improve your memory holistically. After studying all these areas intensely, including Vedic texts, we discovered a unique approach that is the only holistic one out there.

We have combined all the diverse research and produced a structured package. We discovered a set of techniques to exercise and develop both sides of the brain simultaneously. This produces neurological conditions conducive to encouraging new brain cells, which are continuously being created, to migrate and survive in appropriate areas of the brain. We found that incorporating the best of these five areas would holistically optimize brain cell functioning and improve dendrite connections.

After training many people, we began to conduct "before & after" memory tests and found that the trainee test results showed an average 43% improvement in memory. The combined effect of our approaches leads to rebuilding the mind and restoring memory and overall cognitive functioning, so people will remember and think more clearly and effectively.

Do something now, so you won't forget the name of an old friend you haven't heard from in 10 years. You'll have the joy of being able to recall all the trivia, faces, and facts you need to remember, even the pesky details at work.

We highly recommend that everyone considers taking a preventive approach now, because we know what will happen if people don't.

For a free memory coaching session, and a free e-book or more information, go online to www.quantumlearningsystems.info or call Jeff Kapec at 641-472-8195.

Jeff Kapec, founder of Quantum Learning Systems in Fairfield, IA has a masters degree in Secondary Education; Curriculum Development, and is currently working toward his doctorate in Instructional Design and Training & Development. He has extensive experience in designing, implementing and managing training and organization development programs for corporations.