Is there an emergency linked to the degeneration of cognitive functions?
- 1 in 11 men and 1 in 6 women have Alzheimer’s disease.
- 450 million people suffer from some form of mental or behavioral disorder
- About one million people a year commit suicide
- 4 out of 6 causes of years lived with some form of disability are related to neuropsychiatric disorders (depression, alcoholism, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder)
- One in four families has at least one member who suffers from mental disorders.
Therapies and above all good lifestyle habits linked to alternative, complementary and integrative disciplines (CAIM, Complementary, Alternative and Integrative Medicine), have shown wide scientific efficacy to prevent Alzheimer’s and in general the decline of cognitive functions and memory .
Why Yoga to deal with the emergency of decline in cognitive functions?
The ARPF (Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation) of Tucson, Arizona, founded by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, has been making an invaluable contribution to the prevention of Alzheimer’s and memory disorders for more than 25 years.
Since 1993 it has been promoting scientific studies, information and prevention.
Over the years, ARPF experts have built and perfected a prevention protocol entirely based on scientific evidence, entirely based for its practical part on the technology of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. Personally I have been following their work for about fifteen years, for six I have been teaching a course on the prevention of memory disorders at the Primo Levi University of Bologna (University of the Third Age), in 2017 I was the only Italian to follow their first path certification (Brain Longevity Therapy Training, BLLT), since 2019 I have been lead trainer for Italy of this protocol, therefore enabled to certify the new Italian Brain Longevity Specialists (to date, there are 64 Italian Brain Longevity Specialists).
What is the Alzheimer’s Prevention and Research Foundation?
The Foundation, chaired by its founder Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa and led by Kirti Kaur Khalsa, has developed a protocol consisting of four pillars on the basis of numerous scientific research carried out since 1993 in collaboration with the most prestigious American Universities and Medical Schools for Brain Longevity, i.e. to keep the brain young and efficient over the years and prevent the degeneration of cognitive functions.
How is the training structured to become a specialist in the prevention of cognitive dysfunction and Alzheimer’s (Brain Longevity Specialist)?
n Italy, training to specialize and become an instructor takes place over 32 hours of teaching: two non-consecutive weekends or four consecutive days. The two-weekend setting is dictated by the need to allow participants to practice specific meditation exercises in the time between one session and the next. The setting in four consecutive days was dictated for the last edition by logistical needs also related to the current health emergency, but it proved to be very effective thanks to the intensity of work and comfortable because it lightens travel.
By the will of the ARPF, the training has always been open to everyone, so it is not necessary to be a Kundalini Yoga teacher to participate. The intent of the Foundation is to welcome as many people as possible, so as to expand the number of those who can help in a very concrete way to combat the “epidemic” of Alzheimer’s and dementia in general.
At the end of the course participants receive the ARPF certification as Brain Longevity Specialist.
What is the Alzheimer’s Prevention Protocol and what does it contain?
The Brain Longevity® protocol consists of a theoretical part to learn about the science surrounding this disease, the non-modifiable risk factors (genetics, sex, age) and the modifiable ones (smoking, alcohol, nutrition, isolation, stress and depression, oral health, cardiovascular disorders, blood sugar, etc.), all that can help people raise their awareness and give them the opportunity to control their health and prevent disease.
It also contains lifestyle indications that greatly reduce the risk of getting sick (one example of all: sports or regular, not excessive, aerobic movement can reduce the risk by 50%!).
Finally, it contains a protocol of practical exercises from the tradition of Kundalini yoga and meditation. In fact, studies have shown how these specific exercises, in particular Kirtan Kriya, have a strong impact in particular on the flow of blood in the brain (in particular in the cortex and in the posterior gyrus, an area usually subject to degeneration in Alzheimer’s patients) , synaptic activity, the activity of the frontal lobes and the anterior cingulate gyrus, the decrease in depression (depression is a risk factor linked to Alzheimer’s), the increase in telomerase therefore slowing of aging, chronic inflammation and produce a reversal of the trophism process of the hippocampus, which on average loses 1% of its volume per year after age 50.
The four pillars are organized into four macro-contexts:
Diet. The health of our brains largely depends on the nutrients in food. Brain Longevity nutrition consists of guiding principles and the indication of foods and nutrients essential to nourish the brain, which is our blood and oxygen-hungry organ. It is based on a synthesis of the most recent scientific evidence in this regard.
Stress Management. The stress hormone, cortisol, damages neurons and synapses. Furthermore, aging makes us less efficient in managing stress and cortisol levels. Chronic and repeated stress and its negative effects on the body are probably the main cause of the degeneration of cognitive functions.
Physical and Mental Exercise. Defined by the ARPF as “Aerobics for the brain”, physical and mental exercise is essential because it can reduce the risk of getting Alzheimer’s by 50%. Exercise increases the blood supply to muscles and lungs, while mental exercise increases the flow of blood (and therefore oxygen) to the brain.
Spiritual Fitness. Psycho-spiritual well-being includes sociality and relationships with like-minded people, an attitude of patience and compassion, as well as having goals and projects that give a profound meaning to one’s existence. It also includes having a belief, religious or spiritual.
If practiced regularly (the commitment required is 10-15 minutes a day), the breathing and meditation exercises lead to tangible and observable results in a very short time, even in elderly people if a full-blown pathology is not already present.
ARPF also carries out continuous information and training work through webinars in English to which certified teachers can register for free. From this year to November, we will begin with the participation of Kirti Khalsa to provide virtual appointments also in Italian for the Italian BLS.
The next edition of the certification workshop, in Umbria and in Streaming
I have been a Kundalini Yoga teacher since 2007, for 10 years I have brought the practices of Kundalini Yoga into the corporate environment through the Yoga Coaching project that I started in 2012. From 2012 to today I have trained hundreds of managers in yoga and meditation practices. People who work in Italian and foreign companies, often in collaboration with Master Ram Rattan Singh and other teachers.
I graduated in 1993 from L. Bocconi University, I worked as a consultant in a strategy and business organization in France and Italy for 17 years (Mars & Co, ATKearney and Value Partners), where I gained a deep knowledge of dynamics and business processes. I have been practicing Yoga since 1998, initially with the Sivananda school in Paris, then with the teacher Paola Ciabotti, a pupil of Gabriella Cella and since 2007 I have been a certified KRI teacher of I and II levels (lead Trainer Shiv Charan Singh
I followed the 21 Stages of Meditation with the Masters Sada Sat Kaur and Sada Sat Singh.
I am also an Advanced Neuro-Trainer® certified by the College of Neuro-Training® of Melbourne, Australia. Neuro Training is a discipline developed from Specialized Kinesiology.
In 2019, after becoming the lead trainer for Italy for the Brain Longevity protocol, I started training Brain Longevity Specialists. To date, we have carried out 4 editions of the training (one in Padua, two in Bologna, one in Bisceglie).
Here is the list of certified teachers.