My husband’s neurosurgeons’ convention in Chicago ended early, and he offered to walk with me to a Chicago publisher’s office. On the editor’s desk, my husband noted a display of bodybuilding books.
“You know you can do that same thing with the brain, my husband remarked.” The young editor was not interested. She wanted me to write about allergies.
When we got back to New York, I contacted my agent and told her what my husband had said. She thought it was a great idea and sold it to the first publisher she contacted— renowned editor Richard Marek of St Martin’s Press. The year was 1985.
The first source I visited after the contract was signed was a widely published neurology professor at Rutgers University. “Nonsense,” he said, “We are born with a certain number of brain cells, and that’s all we have for the rest of our lives.” His observation, I found, was the current textbook assertion.
BUILD YOUR BRAIN POWER was published in 1986. It sold internationally as well as in the United States. Today there is a multimillion-dollar industry promoting brain cell improvement, including pills, liquids, computer, and educational programs, etc. Had we had the time and ability, we might have become millionaires by exploiting exercises in the book. In the current lockdown because of the Covid-19 virus, for example, you can still have a brain workout.
Two exercises, for example, from the book may help you now to counteract brain-cell killing boredom.
Stimulate Your Olfactory Nerves
- Take six envelopes
- Take six cotton swabs (or small cotton pieces)
- Take six slips of paper
- Put together individual samples of six scents such as vanilla, vinegar, non-toxic cleaning liquid, cooking oil or pepper.
- Dip a swab lightly in a scent and stick it in an envelope
- Write the scent’s identity on the piece of paper and stick in the envelope with the swab.
- Shuffle the envelopes
- Sniff the envelopes one at a time 60 seconds apart
- Write on the outside of the envelope what you think the scent is.
- Then check the slip in the envelope.
How did you do?
Stimulate Brain Cells Related To Your Skin
Follow the Chinese custom of pillow hugging. Children are given a small, soft bolster to hug. As they grow, they are given bigger and bigger bolsters. Adults have the biggest pillows. They take the bolster to bed and hug it or cuddle it. The comfort you feel is due to the release of endorphins, your brain’s self-produced tranquilizers.
My husband, Arthur Winter, MD, died in 2011 but his observation that day in the Chicago editor’s office lives on – you can build your brain power!