Take a ‘Brain-cation’ this Summer


Optimal Chiropractic's role with the brain

Your brain is one of the most powerful tools that you have available and is one of three structures (the brainstem and the spinal cord)  that make up your central nervous system. At Optimal Chiropractic we focus on the upper neck complex, an area between the brain and the body and the general area where the spinal cord and brain meet. Due to “location, location, location”, we are able to have a profound impact on both the brain and the body. As summer is almost upon us with plenty of summer activities and with extra daylight hours; we’ve compiled a list of activities to keep your brain invigorated.

So take a mental break from school or work and have some FUN!

Listen to Music

Almost every mid size town has their own outdoor/indoor concerts available to the public for either free or a nominal charge. This summer South Pasadena will be putting on Summer of Brahms Chamber Music Festival ($15-40).  

Pasadena - Arroyo Seco Weekend ($158-1005, doesn’t include parking)

Monrovia - Monrovia Music Festival ($23)

FREE Concerts

Arcadia - Concerts in the Park

Monrovia - Concerts in the Park

Pasadena - Concert in the Park

Sierra Madre - Annual Concert in the Park

There are many benefits to listening to music such as improving brain performance, motor skills, and reorganization following brain injury. So show up in your community and listen to some tunes.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), millions of Americans or 1 out 3 Americans do not get enough sleep. Poor sleep quality and quantity is not only associated with poor brain performance, but with increases in chronic diseases such as obesity and high blood pressure. If you’re a morning person, plan on winding down and hitting the sleep sack early. If you’re a night owl, plan the start of your day later and with low key activities. Easier said than done, but plan out your schedule with ‘getting more sleep’ as a priority. Sleep not only allows your body to rejuvenate, but it allows your brain to detoxify itself. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the amount of sleep each person needs varies by age. Check out their website to see if you’re getting the proper amount of sleep.

Escape Rooms

Love working with a team to solving puzzles and riddles? Go on an adventure with some friends to an Escape Room and save the day with brain power! Solving puzzles and riddles requires creative cognition and activates a part of the brain (prefrontal cortex) that is responsible for processes decision making, planning, and judgement.

There are plenty of places to do an Escape Room in the LA area. Just to name a few: there is the Exit Game, Escape Room LA, and Escape Room Mystery.

If you enjoy making puzzles and games, you might want to consider designing and hosting YOUR OWN do-it-yourself escape room. These intricate puzzles are great for building bonds between friends and for making your brain do mental gymnastics.

(Side Note: We’ve know some couples that have even done a do-it-yourself escape rooms as a means to propose to their loved ones.)


As we begin to pass up June gloom, summer nights become perfect opportunities for stargazing. Getaway to a remote area such as Los Angeles Crescent Highway or go to an observatory to learn about the stars. Stargazing can decrease mental stress, allowing for better cognitive function. Griffith Observatory has free telescope viewings while Mount Wilson Observatory has telescope viewings for $95.


Living in or near a big city has its benefits of a plethora of museums. Learn from the past by getting up close and personal with history. Learn from the past so your brain can be prepared for tomorrow. Peruse freely through historical collections, check out museum lesson plans and activities, or journal about your museum experience.

California Science Center (Free for permanent exhibits)

The Broad ( Free, but may want to reserve tickets to bypass walk-ins)

Norton Simon Museum ($15 adults)

Petersen Automotive Museum ($11-16)

Natural History Museum ($14)

La Brea Tar Pits ($14)

LACMA ($21-25)

(Note: Admission to some places are free with Bank of America card on the first weekend OR free if you served Jurty Duty OR free if you’re a student 18 and under)


Pick up your pencil or your paint brush and allow your imagination to unfold. When you allow yourself to be creative your brain becomes more adaptable, more neuroplastic. If you need something a little more structured or want to incorporate social time, check out Paint Nite or Plant Nite. They have a variety of paintings and projects that you learn together with other people while enjoying some food or a drink.

Also, if you happen to be a fan of Disney, don’t forget to check out Animation Academy at California Adventures. You get to draw a Disney character through a step by step process.

Local Nature Get-aways

Get away to the great outdoors or nearest park for a hike, walk, run, or lounge leisurely  outside. Here in sunny Southern California we are surrounded by a plethora of parks and outdoor getaway spots. Immersing yourself into nature has been shown to decrease stress and restore normal neurological function (autonomic nervous system)

Griffith Observatory

Lacey Park ($5 for non San Marino Residents on the weekends)

Monrovia Falls / Monrovia Canyon Park

Beach near Venice Beach, but less crowded.

Lake Hollywood Reservoir (No dogs, no smoking)

Hollywood Sign hike

Echo Mountain / hike to Mt. Low Railway (nice ruins)

Fun in the Sun

Soak up some sun for vitamin D doing some outdoor activities or sports. Studies show that activities that involve high intensity movement and moderate continuous movement improves oxygenation to the brain, improves memory, is associated with better academic performance, and is linked with a lower risk of neurological conditions.

High intensity movement activities include basketball, football, running sprints, and swimming sprints. Moderate continuous movement activities include walking, light jog, lap swimming. Ultimately just enjoy the sport of your choice and go for a swim, play some basketball, do body lifts, or go for a round of golf. Any exercise is better than no exercise. No matter what you do, remember to drink plenty of water and take precautions in the full summer sun; especially in the triple digits.

Picnic Time

For many, meal time is family time and what better way to share a meal than to share it outdoors. So make the most of summer and plan for a healthy and delicious meal. For ideas about certain ingredients to use that help to boost brain performance, check out the Top 15 Brain Foods.

Plan accordingly to enjoy the summer anyway that you like. Our bodies were made to move and plenty of rain-free days are ahead of us. If any secondary conditions such as headaches, back pain, vertigo, sciatica…etc are preventing you from taking full advantage of the summer, gives us a call or send us a message. We at Optimal Chiropractic can put your head on straight for your brain, but the rest of what you feed your brain is up to you.