By Dominic O’Brien, Eight times World Memory Champion

The Body System

The Body System is a very simple but effective way to store just a few items, such as a “to do” list for the day. You don’t even have to prepare a journey or learn a set of codes to master this system. It works by associating parts of the body with key images of whatever it is you want to remember. There are no hard and fast rules with this system but I’d suggest you limit it to store no more than about ten items.

If you have an important list of duties to perform, a series of guidelines that you must follow, or you just want to remember a simple shopping list of items then the Body System is a great way of ensuring you never forget them. 

Take a look at the following picture where I have designated ten places of the body where you can associate items. 

Antioxidants to help boost your memory

If you feed your brain with essential nutrients it’ll help to keep your neurons, you brain cells, firing and communicating with each other.

The human metabolism uses a combination of oxygen and nutrients to produce energy. The problem though is that as we burn off this energy we produce toxic waste products called free radicals which are largely responsible for killing off some of our brain cells as we age which in turn leads to memory malfunction. The good news is that there are a number of natural foods rich in nutrients that are antioxidants, which we can take to neutralize the effects of free radicals. 

I’m going to list my Top Ten memory-boosting antioxidant foods. Why not give your memory a quick workout and see if you can memorize them using your body? 

1       Spinach                         
2       Broccoli
3       Prunes
4       Onions
5       Plums
6       Blueberries
7       Blackberries
8       Raspberries
9       Strawberries
10      Raisins

Imagine your hair is entangled with spinach as you comb out the leaves from the top of your head.

Just below your nose you carefully place a small piece of broccoli to resemble a false moustache.

Under your chin imagine sticking a prune on your neck to look like a very strange Adam’s apple.

Picture yourself trying to balance an onion on your shoulder.

Next, how or where precisely would you connect a couple of plums to your chest? I’ll leave that to your imagination.

At this half-way point, it’s worth taking a quick review to make sure you can recall the first five items.

Now continuing down to the stomach, picture yourself placing a blueberry in your belly-button.

Next your hips. To remember the next item imagine making a belt by strung together with blackberries: a fashion accessory that I doubt would ever catch on.

Three to go. Picture some raspberries in your hand and perhaps put one on the end of each finger to act as a thimble

Imagine kneeling on some strawberries and staining your knees or trousers red.

Finally, imagine the sensation of walking barefoot through raisins. What would it feel like to have the raisins oozing between your toes?

Now see how many of those antioxidants you can recall.

That was quite a difficult exercise especially as some of the items were similar. So if you managed to remember seven or more items correctly then you did very well. The point is that using your body in this way is a powerful tool for storing a useful, albeit limited, number of items.

Try it yourself or challenge someone to memorise a list of items using their body.