Posts Tagged With "Adolescent"
In the United States alone, the National Institute of Health ( www.nih.gov ) estimates that close to 1.4 million people are affected each year with Traumatic Brain Injury. Traumatic Brain Injury is defined as a blow or jolt to the head, or a penetrating head injury that disrupts function of the brain. The severity of such an injury may range from "mild" i.e. a brief change in mental status or consciousness to "severe", i.e. an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. Of those 1.4 million TBI incidents per year, 1.1 million are the classic concussions that are medically evaluated and then sent home to watch, rest, and recover.
Now add the millions who never seek medical attention after sustaining a mild to moderate concussion, and the statistics of accident victims who don't actually hit their head, but sustain what are called acceleration-deceleration injuries like whiplash, spinal traumas, or hits to the body that result in the brain "hitting" the skull, and the head trauma numbers become staggering.
Populations that are most affected by head trauma and TBI are:
1) Men: They participate in contact/impact sports, have higher rates of assaults, and tend to work "higher" risk jobs.
2) Children between the ages of 0-4: think of your average toddler learning to walk, jumping off the coffee table, falling down the stairs, and being at the mercy of older siblings and adults.
3) Teenagers between 15-19.
4) Military: combat personnel are exposed to mortar attacks and "brain rattling" booms that alter brain function. There are thousands of veterans returning from duty in Afghanistan and Iraq who look normal and never sustained a penetrating head wound, but have brains that are damaged.
Even "minor" hits on a repetitive basis can cause biochemical and structural brain change, relating to many long term symptoms and diagnoses such as ADHD, Depression, Migraine, Fibromyalgia, OCD/Anxiety, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's Dementia. A recent study commissioned by the National Football League (NFL) reports that Alzheimer's disease or similar memory-related diseases appear to have been diagnosed in the league's former players vastly more often than in the national population - including a rate of 19 times the normal rate for men ages 30 through 49.
Increased scrutiny of head trauma and how to prevent it is a hot topic of discussion in the medical world today. Treatment options however remain minimal and consist of watch and wait, medications such as anti-seizure, anti-depressant, narcotics, and possible behavioral therapy. Structural integrity and nutrient imbalances experienced by the brain after trauma are important to address.
NeuroCranial Restructuring (NCR), a structural therapy that addresses cranial shape, cerebral spinal fluid dynamics, and connective tissue tensions throughout the skull and muscular system can help treat the symptoms of head trauma. NCR can restore balance, decrease or eliminate symptoms of headaches, pain, mental imbalance, and improve blood flow. It is only minimally invasive, requires no drugs, no anesthesia, and most patients walk out feeling better than when they arrived.
Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMFT), of which we offer in our clinic, has also shown results in helping diminish symptoms of head trauma. Headaches are a common symptom of head trauma, PEMFT has been shown to decrease headache pain and intensity.
"In the active-treatment group, all assessed criteria were significantly improved at the end of the migraine/headache study. 76% of active-treatment patients experienced clear or very clear relief of their complaints. Only 1 placebo-patient (2.5%) felt some relief; 8% noted slight and 2% reported significant worsening of symptoms. No side effects were noted. " Advances in Therapy PMID: 11571822
Addressing the biochemical imbalances with drugs, nutrients, and hormones, can also help improve recovery outcomes. NCR and PEMFT, when used in conjunction with a biochemical protocol, can have amazing outcomes for those suffering from the short and long term effects of head trauma.
Quality of life is important to everyone, so if you or someone you love is living with lasting effects of Traumatic Brain Injury or head trauma, seek out all your options. In the meantime, wear your helmet, your seat belt, and avoid activities that involve hitting your head- your BODY and BRAIN with thank you.
The Basics Of Head Trauma & NCR
About This Video:
Dr. Hillary gives a simple 6 minute introduction to the basics of how to treat the effects of head trauma with NeuroCranial Restructuring (NCR). She covers the three classes of concussion, the leading causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI), who is most at risk for TBI (men, children and teens, athletes, and military personnel) and why, statistics about TBI, common treatments, and why NCR improves the fluid dynamics in the head and neck to improve the neurological function of the body.
“What you eat today, walks and talks tomorrow.”
-Babe the Pig
This is from the movie "Babe" my daughters favorite movie at the current time, and even though you could interpret it a number of different ways, there is no doubt that what you eat controls each and every cell in your body. Since eating is something we all do, it seems like a good idea to put the conversation forward: Are your genetics influenced by the foods you eat, and even more importantly, do you have the power to control how your genes are turned on or off through nutrition?
The answer is: YES. The new future of medicine is known as Epigenetics- looking at how the genetic code is affected by environmental influences, and how we have the real ability to turn wellness or illness genes on or off through the foods we chose to put in our bodies. If you were to hear someone say, "it's all in my genes" it's true, but what you don't hear people say is, "but I have the power to control them." Now I'm not talking about hair color, eye color, skin color etc, these things are in the genetic code and make up your physical appearance. But lets say someone is meant to be 6 foot 5, but they were fed a horrible diet as a child- malnourished and under exercised. It's likely they wouldn't make it to that height due to the genetic code being altered by deficiency states.
It's the same with many of today's epidemic diseases in the modern world like heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and obesity. In a family where both parents have diabetes type 2, some will argue there is a genetic link for their child to get diabetes type 2 when they are older. In truth, if the child was fed a healthy diet devoid of simple carbohydrates and bad fats, and full of vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins (with adequate exercise) it is very unlikely that this grown adult will get diabetes, for if the gene existed, it wouldn't be turned on. However in today's world we see children getting type 2 diabetes, a sure sign that if we continue to eat (and stay sedentary) the way we do, gene destruction will happen at an alarming rate.
The bright side to all this is that you have the power over what you put in your body and even though you don't know every "bad" gene in your body, you do have the say in what your genes can do. Many will disagree with me here, but I have seen all to many times that when people improve their nutritional status, their bodies become efficient, leaner, and free of disease, while their minds are calmed and bright. Even those who are what we considered "diseased, can benefit from a clean whole foods diet, sometimes even reversing their conditions and/or optimizing their current states. Take this month to educate yourself and others about the importance of healthy food, and remember you aren't helpless to your genes.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a common disorder suffered by millions of Americans. During sleep the brain is deprived of oxygen, making it literally impossible for the person to get into deep REM sleep. This can create severe fatigue, irritability, heart problems, and overall poor daily function. The common treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP, a breathing device that is worn at night, forcing air down the throat so the person is not deprived of oxygen and can sleep.
Many of the patients we treat for sleep apnea have little or no ability to breath through their nose, so when wearing the CPAP, most feel as if they are suffocating, leading to poor compliance. Being able to breath through the nose is NOT overrated- think back on when you've had a horrible cold and had nasal congestion- it's fatiguing, irritating, and hard to focus.
Timothy, a 14-year-old boy, was referred to our office for a sleep apnea diagnosis and an asymmetrical facial growth that was affecting his speech and bite. Not wanting to use the CPAP, and wanting to avoid facial surgery, Timothy's mother brought him to us first.
Timothy had experienced breathing difficulty through his nose for most of his life. At birth he suffered oxygen deprivation, which caused some brain damage. At the age of 14 he has a 3rd grade reading level and is home schooled, due to auditory difficulties. Besides the sleep apnea diagnosis, poor nasal breathing (history of sinus surgery that did help him breathe some), his doctor had diagnosed that his maxilla (cheekbones) were not growing at the same rate as his mandible (jaw bone), and they wanted to do surgery to correct his this. He had just finished 5 years of vision therapy and sensory integration training- these are meant to help him use his senses together. For many "low functioning" children integrating all their senses together is very hard, they must focus on one thing at a time.
He complains of severe fatigue in the morning, brain fog, severe difficulty focusing on homework, low attention span, (all of which are symptoms of sleep apnea and sensory integration disorders), and Restless Leg Syndrome, (of which he had recently increased his medication due to increasing tolerance).
Timothy on first impression was a tall lanky, teenager with braces. He was very respectful and talkative, but did not make direct eye contact, was visibly fatigued, fidgety during intake and exam, and became easily irritated with his mother if she talked too much. He also exhibited tongue thrust (his tongue didn't fit in his mouth), decreased nasal breathing, and poor standing posture.
He cooperated tremendously however, and we were able to give him his first NCR treatment. On returning the second day, Timothy seemed calmer, even falling asleep on the table. His mother noted his "snoring" seemed less, and he was better able focus on his homework. Timothy told me he could breathe through his nose and had more energy on waking. After the second day of treatment, his mother stated he had no Restless Leg Syndrome for the last two nights without medication.
After the full 4-day session, Timothy exhibited increased focus, energy, and seemed to be more aware of me, and his surroundings. His maxilla and mandible had changed significantly, and he noted it felt like his tongue fit in his mouth, and his signs of sleep apnea were greatly decreased. His Restless Leg Syndrome had all but disappeared (along with the need for medication) and he was more stable and balanced in his standing posture.
The greatest change however, came from his mother. She stated that for the FIRST time in recent memory, even after 5 years of vision therapy, he was looking her in the eye when he talked to her. Not only that, he was interacting with improved confidence in social situations. This was a defining moment for Timothy and his family. Having a child with sensory deprivation suddenly become aware of his surroundings, and look into your eyes is something you will never forget.
Timothy's case is a perfect example of STRUCTURE AFFECTING FUNCTION, his brain needed more room, and with improved structural alignment, his overall sensory integration naturally improved. With the addition of dietary modifications and nutrient therapy, NCR has greatly changed the future for Timothy. As a doctor who knows the power of NCR, cases like Timothy's never stop amazing me. I have much to learn from all my patients, especially the children, it's been a great pleasure working with Timothy and his family!
*this case review was shared with permission of Timothy's parents, and names have been changed to protect the patient.
Just in time for National Nutrition Month, a landmark study published in the Lancet, found that 64% of ADHD diagnosed and medicated children benefited MORE from removing food allergies and sensitivities than taking drugs. Simply put, diet is more effective than medicating children with ADHD. Dr Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands found that many of the children who are diagnosed with ADHD actually have food hypersensitivities that are influencing their behaviors, and when a stricter, and healthier diet is imposed, these children become "normal". With around 10% of US children being diagnosed with ADHD (which is an enormous percentage- anyone else shaking their head?), and over 3 million of those children on drugs such as Ritalin, Adderall, and other stimulant medications, there is no doubt ADHD diagnosis is big business.
If your child is exhibiting symptoms such as hyperactivity, poor focus, temper tantrums, separation anxiety, or is one of the three million medicated children, this study proves that diet should be your first line of treatment. Also, a majority of the ADHD/Autism spectrum children that I run biochemical tests on, have food allergies plus significant nutrient deficiencies such as low Vit D, B vitamins, Vit C, and minerals- all of which are essential for optimal cell function.
Nutritional biochemistry is the cornerstone of Naturopathic care, so if you are looking to improve your child's health and reduce their dependence on stimulant medications, I highly encourage you to seek out Naturopathic care and nutritional counseling. Overall care is inexpensive and could not just transform your child, but your entire family. Refer to my past blog to find out other ways to help your ADHD child without drugs. The key is education, take control of your health, and you will transform the lives of generations that come after you!
Hello 2011, goodbye 2010! Now that I'm a mom, I gauge how fast my life is going by how fast my daughter is growing. This last weekend we celebrated her 2nd birthday, and I'm not quite sure where those two years went!
It's an exciting time for me and my naturopathic practice, so I wanted to share some of the new events that are shaping my life and business for 2011! As you can see, we have a new website! It's beautiful and relevant, and I'm excited about using this as a stage to promote what our clinic has to offer. Don't miss the Facebook page for our clinic, and yes, it seems that I will be tweeting, so follow me on Twitter and I'll do my best to share the newest health related topics! Notice my new column in each newsletter "DeStress is Best", as I share common, and not so common ways, to relieve stress and boost your brainpower and energy.
As always, my first love is NeuroCranial Restructuring. I can't spread the word enough about this amazing treatment that you may have experienced yourself! My favorite medium for sharing NCR is through presentations; sometimes the smallest of venues is the best. Recently, I did a presentation at Evolution Fitness in Redmond, WA, and I am scheduled to present March 2 at Beyond Medicine in Olympia, WA. If you want to share this with your friends and family, and would enjoy a presentation in your area, I'd be more than happy to set up a day and time!
My newest business promotion stems from my own story of the last year. After two years of being a new mom and running a practice in two states, my own health took a hit. In September my daughter brought home a cold from day care, which turned into walking pneumonia for me. I suppose after years of being run down (medical school, practice, mommy hood), this is what it took for me to stop making excuses and start making healthier decisions.
My close personal friend Nathan Detracy is the owner of Evolution Fitness (evolutionbellevue.com) in Bellevue, WA and he is a professional bodybuilder who has trained some of the biggest names in the local sport. He is not only an amazing "all natural" athlete; he's a successful entrepreneur with a heart of gold! He challenged me to do his program, and I have transformed my health to say the least.
The overall program is called EVOLVE and consists of an exercise, diet, and supplemental program. EVOLVE isn't just about losing weight, or gaining muscle. It's about transforming your body into a metabolic powerhouse and ramping up your immune system, no matter your age, gender, or circumstance! I realized this is what I wanted to offer to patients, a way to really change their physical body, biochemistry, and mental outlook! NCR addresses so many areas, but with EVOLVE it's like adding the pieces of the puzzle that were missing!
Starting with an office, phone, or Skype (new!) visit, we can get you on your way to feeling amazing just like I have. It's taken accountability, focus, and determination on my side, but the results have been short of incredible, and I no longer use the excuses to stop my health recovery! If this sounds like something you could benefit from, visit my Naturopathic services page to see how we can help you EVOLVE! Stay tuned for future success stories in our new testimonials section.
My business stays alive by the generous referrals that many of you have sent me over the years, and I am grateful for your continued support! Please remember, for every new NCR patient you refer, I will give you $50 towards your next NCR session or Naturopathic appointment! Referring them to our website will also help your odds of getting that $50, as I know they will enjoy the wealth of information!
I leave you with a picture of me with Dr Mehmet Oz MD - a very strong proponent of alternative therapies, diet, exercise, and Naturopathic medicine. I had the great fortune to meet him this last summer where he was awarded an honorary Naturopathic degree along with his wife Lisa, from my alma mater Bastyr University. He's as kind and personable in "real" life as on TV, and it was amazing to meet such an inspiration in my field!
I look forward to helping you with your goals in 2011!
Health is Wealth -