We grow like trees – Neuroscience Nugget No. 21


Adapt to life’s forces

The lovely simile ‘We grow like trees’ is an educational nugget picked up off old friend and colleague Peter Roberts. And what a nugget it is with so many possible branches! The main premise is that we are all different – some of us are more like the wide, strong baobab trees, while others are tall and skinny like a cypress. Like a tree, we change as we adapt to life’s forces. As these forces are never even, there will always be differences between us all and within us, especially between left and right sides.

Different left and right

Consider your face. The mole on your left cheek is nowhere to be seen on the right. Your hair parts naturally on one side and drapes over the scar near your temple. Your face tells a story of your life, and as we expect, most faces aren’t even. (If you want to check how symmetrical your face is try the free iOS App SymSide – we’ve been having some fun with this). It is no different for the parts of the body you can’t see. The asymmetrical findings on a spinal MRI report are often just a normal part of life. After all, we all grow like trees.

Strong root system

Keep in mind, the hidden root system needs to be strong, well spread and well fed for healthy growth, branching and flowering. Diverse, rich soil is vital for optimal sprouting, so make sure to vary your context. Like trees, we don’t always respond well to a flood – instead water bit by bit over time, with education and graded exposure. We also think a good dose of sunlight is key!
– David Butler & Hayley Leake


dragon tree






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