10% of our brain energy

One of my favorite quotes about energy and how we use it is by Nobel Prize winner Roger SperryEnergyHead

“Better than 90 percent of the energy output of the brain is used in relating the physical body in its gravitational field. The more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy available for thinking, metabolism and healing.”
Roger Sperry, PhD.,
Medical Nobel Prize winner for brain research, 1981

I find this number-90%” astonishing! That means that only 10% of the brain is left for thinking, metabolism and healing in the perfect healthy specimen. If any part of the body is compromised or injured, it will chip away at that 10%.

I think of the times when I’ve injured myself beyond the band-aide. When it had to be wrapped, soaked, stitched or immobilized for a period of time. Just the effort of dealing with any ongoing pain definitely compromised my ability to function with any efficiency, not to mention having to do things differently because some limb, joint or section of skin needed to handled differently or couldn’t be used in the same way. I’ve had to rethink the simplest tasks. Things take 10 time longer. I wasn’t thinking about my job, my relationships, my goals and dreams–I was absorbed with thinking about how to take a shower with a cast.

But those injuries are relatively short lived. What about those people that are acutely or chronically ill? Take my example above and multiply the effect.

Where is that 10% now? That 10%, left to handle all the thinking, metabolism, and healing, is now greatly reduced.

I had a teacher that taught me to look for BGOs which stands for “blinding glimpse of the obvious” . This was a BGO for me. Of course! What I observed in my friends and family that are/were largely compromised in some way reflected this very concept:

We only have 10% of our brain power left for everything beyond keeping upright in Earth’s gravity.

It has given me a renewed compassion for anyone that is physically compromised. It doesn’t matter how they got there: genetic, poor choices, ignorance, lack of options or self-inflicted.

They are just doing the best they can with what they have, right now.

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