The Car & The Brain

Brain Engine
by: NCNOCO Staff Therapist

For most of us, our bodies usually run like well-built vehicles. We don’t even really know what all goes on under the hood; we just know that it gets us where we need to go. When the engine is running well and doing all that it should be, we drive our cars and go the places we need to without worrying about the inner workings of the engine. We take for granted all the tiny details that come together to make it start up in the morning and perform the things we ask of it. However, if something goes awry in the engine, the ability of the car to do its job is compromised. But how long does it take us to find out that there is a problem? We may hear an odd noise or feel something move just a little differently than it did before, but we write it off as an anomaly and keep driving along. It may happen a number of times before we start to wonder if there isn’t something wrong with our car… Often times it takes something big to happen before we finally take it in to the mechanic. Maybe the car doesn’t start or smoke begins pouring out from under the hood. Now we realize that we have to get it fixed if we are going to have a car to drive at all!

Is this how we treat our bodies? Are we ignoring the little signs the brain is sending to let us know that it needs our attention? Do we wait until something life altering happens before we start to pay attention? We don’t always know what kind of event or experience will send things offline. What the brain experiences as trauma may be judged as no big deal to the rational mind. Very few people get through life without some bumps in the road (have you ever heard of a car that never needed maintenance or repairs?) And those “bumps” can send one’s life in a very different trajectory. What bumps in the road have sent you off course? Maybe it’s time for a tune-up.

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