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Alternative Therapies


 
 
I have listed the various therapies below as Alternative Therapies because some doctors, and most insurance companies, may consider them out of the norm. Hospitals have different points of view as well. We had one hospital that really looked down on alternative therapies while the second hospital we were in advertised a number of alternative therapies all over the hospital.
 
My wife and her family have been very much into herbal and natural remedies for years so, while I have always been somewhat skeptical, I am at least open to trying them. We tried some of the alternative therapies soon after my daughter’s injury. In an attempt to try not to influence the results, we only discussed the therapies outside the room and then let the practitioners come in and do their thing with no preparation. At that point Ashleigh was still not very responsive and so I thought she would be a good test subject to test the therapy without bias. I was very surprised that she sometimes showed some very dramatic changes. Much to my chagrin, I even had to quit calling it voodoo.
 
With that background in mind, I urge you to also keep an open mind and consider trying some of these alternative therapies. Get informed and understand the risks for your particular situation but go ahead and give it a try.
 
Below are descriptions taken mostly from Web sites from these various associations. Be sure to do your due diligence and speak with the practitioners and get your questions answered beforehand.
 
 
 

Healing Touch



Healing Touch is a holistic energy therapy that uses gentle, non-invasive touch to influence and support the human energy system within and surrounding the body. The goal of Healing Touch is to restore harmony, energy and balance within the human energy system. These non-invasive techniques that utilize the hands to clear, energize, and balance the human and environmental energy fields thus affecting physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and healing. Healing Touch complements conventional health care and is also used in collaboration with other approaches to health and healing.
 
Healing Touch was one of the first alternative therapies we tried. Although it was one of the few therapies allowed by the hospital, our neurosurgeon would not approve our request so the Healing Touch practitioners could visit. He said that you can’t rub neurons back together. My wife, being as determined as she is, waited until the weekend when one of our neurosurgeon’s partners was on duty and asked him to sign off on it. He said it certainly wasn’t going to hurt anything as they don’t even touch the person.
 
My daughter was having trouble with neuro-storms at the time where her autonomic systems were out of sync. She had a heart rate over 140 for extended periods of time. She had high fevers where they resorted to using the cooling blanket. This had been going on for days before the Healing Touch session. For the first time in days, my daughter’s heart rate dropped back near normal.
 
Now for the voodoo part… The monitor displaying her vital signs started acting up immediately after the session. A couple of technicians tried to fix it to no avail. They ended up completely replacing the monitor and the new one had problems as well. Maybe it was all that Healing Touch energy flowing. (Doo-doo-doo-doo)
 
 

Acupuncture



Acupuncture is one of the oldest, most commonly used systems of healing in the world. Originating in China some 3,500 years ago, only in the last three decades has it become popular in the United States. In 1993, the Food and Drug Administration estimated that Americans made up to 12 million visits per year to acupuncture practitioners.
 
Traditional Chinese medicine hold that there are as many as 2,000 acupuncture points on the human body, which are connected by 20 pathways (12 main, 8 secondary) called meridians. These meridians conduct energy, or qi (pronounced "chi"), between the surface of the body and its internal organs. Each point has a different effect on the qi that passes through it.
 
Qi is believed to help regulate balance in the body. It is influenced by the opposing forces of yin and yang, which represent positive and negative energy and forces in the universe and human body. Acupuncture is believed to keep the balance between yin and yang, thus allowing for the normal flow of qi throughout the body and restoring health to the mind and body.
 
Several theories have been presented as to exactly how acupuncture works. One theory suggests that pain impulses are blocked from reaching the spinal cord or brain at various "gates" to these areas. Since a majority of acupuncture points are either connected to (or are located near) neural structures, this suggests that acupuncture stimulates the nervous system.
 
Acupuncture is used to treat a myriad of problems. Medical organizations and insurance companies have approved acupuncture for a number of ailments and the list continues to expand. Recent studies have demonstrated that acupuncture may help in the rehabilitation of stroke patients and can relieve nausea in patients recovering from surgery.
 
My daughter has been getting acupuncture for quite a while now. Although we have not seen dramatic improvements related to her brain injury, it has been very helpful and effective in treating some of the side effects. It has proven effective for us with Ashleigh’s headaches, high tone, sinus problems and more. My wife and I have both had treatments. For example, it helped stop my shingles outbreak in three treatments.
 
A couple of other notes. We have had two acupuncturists and we made the conscious choice of choosing doctors who also practice acupuncture. We just felt more comfortable that a doctor would be more knowledgeable as to our daughter’s complications. Also make sure the acupuncturist uses new, sterile needles and, like all your doctors or therapists, washes their hands beforehand. Another tip is to make sure the acupuncturist counts their needles as they remove them so you don’t lose one in the bed.
 
 

Massage



Massage therapy involves the restoration of proper joint function of the spine or extremities, and the strengthening of supporting muscles and soft tissues. Massage therapy stretches and loosens muscle and connective tissue, and improves blood flow and the movement of lymph fluid, speeding the removal of metabolic waste products resulting from exercise or inactivity, and allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach the cells and tissues. Sensory receptors in the skin and muscles "wake up", bringing new awareness to areas that have felt "cut off" by chronic tension patterns.
 
Massage affects pain through the central nervous system. In one particular theory of pain called the "gate theory," messages of pain which normally travel from the injury to the brain, are blocked before reaching the centers responsible for interpreting pain. Massage helps stimulate and close the so-called gate of pain messages. As a result, the intensity of the pain perceived by the brain is decreased.
 
Massage can affect muscles directly by stimulating inactive muscles whose inactivity is due to illness or injury. Deep continuous massage can relieve muscle tension and help prevent painful muscle spasms, which are common following injury. Also, massage can stretch and break down fibrous scar tissue that is not healing properly because it is not aligned to the adjoining muscle fibers.
 
Benefits include: increased circulation to promote healing, pain relief of spinal injuries and headaches by decreasing muscle tension, helps rehabilitate injuries by stretching connective tissues, relieves cramps and muscle spasms, and chronic stress, clinical depression, and anxiety can be greatly reduced with regular daily massage sessions.
 
 

Reiki



Reiki is one of the more widely known forms of energy healing. Energy Healing involves direct application of Chi for the purpose of strengthening the clients’ energy system (aura). Chi is the term used by the Chinese mystics and martial artists for the underlying force the Universe is made of. Mystics in all cultures have talked about the physical universe being made of an underlying form of something, much as modern physics research is now coming to understand the Universe is made of energy which is subject to (or affected by) thought. Just as modern physics says this energy is affected by thought the mystics also say this underlying form is affected by thought, going so far as to claim we create our own reality from our thinking and the thoughts we share between each of us every day.
 
A Reiki healing is very simply performed. The practitioner places his or her hands upon the person to be healed with the intent for healing to occur, and then the energy begins flowing. The Reiki energy is smart since the Universe is a very smart place indeed. The energy knows where to go, and what to do once it gets there, or else is being directed by a higher intelligence. The energy manages its own flow to and within the recipient. It draws through the healer exactly that amount of energy which the recipient needs. All this happens without direct conscious intervention by the healer. The healer’s job is to get out of the way, to keep the healing space open, and to watch/listen for signs of what to do next.
 
One of the hospitals we were in offered Reiki and we had a few treatments while we were there. We saw the same calming and relaxation in my daughter after her Reiki sessions as we saw after the Healing Touch sessions. Ashleigh’s heart rate would lower and her tone would be greatly reduced for a while.
 

Cranio-Sacral Therapy



Cranio-Sacral Therapy (CST) was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies from 1975 to 1983 at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Biomechanics.
 
CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system - comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
 
Using a soft touch generally no greater than 5 grams, or about the weight of a nickel, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.
 
By complementing the body's natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction, including:
    Migraine Headaches
    Chronic Neck and Back Pain
    Motor-Coordination Impairments
    Colic
    Autism
    Central Nervous System Disorders
    Orthopedic Problems
    Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injuries
    Scoliosis
    Infantile Disorders
    Learning Disabilities
    Chronic Fatigue
    Emotional Difficulties
    Stress and Tension-Related Problems
    Fibromyalgia and other Connective-Tissue Disorders
    Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
    Neurovascular or Immune Disorders
    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    Post-Surgical Dysfunction

Our physical therapist has been trained in CST and has been practicing it on our daughter for the past year. While this of course is anecdotal, my daughter’s tone and spasticity have been greatly reduced since she started with the ranio-sacral therapy.
 
Maxine, our PT, has been able to show my wife and her sister where to feel the flows, while I have to say I have tried but I have never felt anything. So while it still seems like voodoo to me, it does seem to help Ashleigh.
 
 

Aquatic Therapy


A therapeutic procedure which attempts to improve function through the application of aquatic therapeutic exercises.
 
Aquatic therapy is skilled physical therapy that takes place in a warm water pool heated to between 94 and 96 degrees, which makes exercising easier and more comfortable. If needed, an accessible lift can be used to lower you into the water. Because of the warm water temperature and the resistance provided by the water, aquatic therapy can help you by:
 
    Promoting muscle relaxation.
    Decreasing muscle spasms.
    Increasing ease of joint movement.
    Decreasing the forces of gravity to make walking easier and to decrease stress on the joints.
    Increasing circulation and cardio-respiratory function.
    Increasing body/posture awareness and balance.

Therapeutic exercises and activities specifically geared to your injury or condition. You do not need to know how to swim to participate in aquatic therapy.
 
We have done some aquatic therapy and liked it. Ashleigh was able to make some movements in the pool she had not been able to do since before the accident. The PT was very good about training the family to do the exercises when we are on own after the insurance coverage for the PT ran out. The only downside is the logistics of getting to the pool and the locker room are difficult. It makes it hard for us to go as often as we should.
 
 
 

Hippotherapy


Hippotherapy is a treatment that uses the multidimensional movement of the horse; from the Greek word "hippos" which means horse. Specially trained physical, occupational and speech therapists use this medical treatment for clients who have movement dysfunction. Historically, the therapeutic benefits of the horse were recognized as early as 460 BC.
 
The horse's walk provides sensory input through movement which is variable, rhythmic and repetitive. The resultant movement responses in the client are similar to human movement patterns of the pelvis while walking. The variability of the horse's gait enables the therapist to grade the degree of sensory input to the client, then use this movement in combination with other clinical treatments to achieve desired results. Clients respond enthusiastically to this enjoyable learning experience in a natural setting.
 
Physically, hippotherapy can improve balance, posture, mobility and function. Hippotherapy may also affect psychological, cognitive, behavioral and communication functions for clients of all ages. Clients who may benefit from hippotherapy can have a variety of diagnoses: examples include Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Developmental Delay, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Autism and Learning or Language Disabilities. However, hippotherapy is not for every client. Each potential client must be evaluated on an individual basis by specially trained health professionals.
 
We tried to do some hippotherapy but the center near us did not have equipment we needed to transfer from a wheelchair. Perhaps we will try again later as my daughter progresses.
 
 
 

Prayer



The power of prayer on healing has long been debated but pretty hard to prove to everyone’s satisfaction. The following are some excerpts from an ABC.com article on healing with prayer.
 
There have been over 190 studies on what they call "remote healing." One such study was conducted at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. Dr. Harris wanted to make his experiment impervious to any placebo effects. He did not tell patients they were being prayed for — or even that they were part of any kind of experiment. For an entire year, about 1,000 heart patients admitted to the institute's critical care unit were secretly divided into two groups. Half were prayed for by a group of volunteers and the hospital's chaplain; the other half were not.
 
All the patients were followed for a year, and then their health was scored according to pre-set rules by a third party who did not know which patients had been prayed for and which had not. The results: The patients who were prayed for had 11 percent fewer heart attacks, strokes and life-threatening complications.
 
Dr. Elizabeth Targ, a psychiatrist at the Pacific College of Medicine in San Francisco, has also tested out prayer on critically ill AIDS patients. All 20 patients in the study got pretty much the same medical treatment, but only half of them were prayed for by spiritual healers. Ultimately, 10 of the prayed-for patients lived, while four who had not been prayed for died.
 
In a larger follow-up study, Targ found that the people who received prayer and remote healing had six times fewer hospitalizations and those hospitalizations were significantly shorter than the people who received no prayer and distant healing. "I was sort of shocked," says Targ. "In a way it's like witnessing a miracle. There was no way to understand this from my experience and from my basic understanding of science."
 
But the final verdict on prayer is still not in, says Dr. Gary Posner, a skeptic of remote healing who says most prayer studies to date have been sloppy and untrustworthy. "I suspect that 50 years from now people looking back at this genre of prayer research will kind of shake their heads and call it junk science." Chance alone, he says, might account for the effect that they thought was due to the prayer.
 
I think the skeptics will remain skeptical and the believers will believe so all the studies in the world will probably not change minds. I personally believe prayer helps and will continue to pray. What if I am wrong, well it certainly does not hurt my daughter to be prayed for and I do think the act of prayer has a positive impact on the well-being of those doing the praying. I also know that my wife and I gained a lot of strength from the care and concern we got from the hundreds of people who prayed for Ashleigh.
 
 

Hyperbaric Oxygen HBOT



Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) enhances the body's natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. It is simply intermittent, short-term, high dose oxygen inhalation therapy. It is used for a wide variety of treatments usually as part of an overall medical care plan. The oxygen level in the patient's blood-stream is raised many times above normal, which helps control infections and promote healing in many kinds of illness or injury.
 
Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With HBO, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body's fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. In this way, extra oxygen can reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process. The increased oxygen greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces local swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas. It is a simple, non-invasive and painless treatment.
 
It has long been known that healing many areas of the body cannot take place without appropriate oxygen levels in the tissue. Most illness and injuries occur and often linger at the cellular or tissue level. In many cases, such as in circulatory problems, in non-healing wounds and in strokes, adequate oxygen cannot reach the damaged area and the body's natural healing ability is unable to function properly. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can provide this extra oxygen naturally with minimal side effects.
 
The Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society has a list of thirteen indications that are approved uses of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as defined by the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Committee. These are the indications that a hospital will treat. Brain Injury and Cerebral Palsy are not on the list.
 
Due to the high interest in HBOT from patients whose ailments are not on the approved lists, numerous stand-alone HBOT centers have opened. The positive anecdotal evidence from a number of families with children with Cerebral palsy has been the driving force. The downside is that insurance typically does not cover HBOT for brain inuries.
 
If you are considering HBOT be sure to learn about the staff who will be on-site at the center. Will a doctor be present? What is the experience level? Check out all of the contraindications. Brain injured patients often develop seizures as a complication and the risk of seizures can be increased with HBOT treatments.
 
 
 

Neurobiofeedback


Over the past 10 years, we have experienced clinical evidence for the effectiveness of Neurobiofeedback training as an adjunct modality for remediating the symptoms of traumatic brain injury. The training appears to be effective even years post-injury, when spontaneous remediation is no longer expected. Neurobiofeedback can impact favorably on all of the symptoms listed above.
 
Neurobiofeedback training is not always effective for everyone. In fact, some individuals may not benefit at all from this training. This is why you should always seek out a qualified practitioner before moving forward with Neurobiofeedback. Most providers will offer a free consultation for this purpose (they should anyway). On the other hand, essentially everyone who participates in Neurobiofeedback training for traumatic brain injury derives some benefit. The training should be undertaken at a minimum of 10 training sessions in order to be able to make a meaningful assessment of whether the training is worthwhile. Completion of training may take anywhere from 25 to more than 100 sessions. Of course, anyone continuing for 100 sessions would only be motivated to do so if there were continuing benefit. The gains made in the training appear to be long term. That is, once the brain is taught again how to regulate itself, it does not relinquish that capability.
 
Neurofeedback is a technique in which we train the brain to help improve its ability to regulate all bodily functions and to take care of itself. When the brain is not functioning well, evidence of this often shows up in the EEG (Electroencephalogram). By challenging the brain, much as you challenge your body in physical exercise, we can help your brain learn to function better.
 
A better functioning brain can improve sleep patterns. When you sleep more efficiently, you are more alert during the day. It can help with anxiety and depression, and with syndromes like migraine or chronic pain. Secondly, it can be helpful in managing attention - how well you can persist even at a boring task. Thirdly, it can help you manage the emotions. Emotions may feel like the real you, but your brain has a lot to say about how you feel and react. If the emotions are out of control, that's trainable. If they aren't there---as in lack of empathy, for example---that, too, is trainable.
 
Finally, there are some specific issues where the EEG neurofeedback training can be helpful, such as in cases of seizures, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and autism. In these instances the training does not so much get rid of the problem as it simply organizes the brain to function better in the context of whatever injury or loss exists.
 
 
 

Visceral Release or Visceral Manipulation


 
Visceral Manipulation was developed by French Osteopath, Jean-Pierre Barral. At optimal health, the relationship between the organs (viscera) and structures of the body (muscles, membranes, fasciae and bones) remains stable despite the body’s endless varieties of motion. But when one organ can’t move in harmony with its surrounding viscera due to abnormal tone, adhesions or displacement, it works against all the body’s organs and structures. This disharmony creates fixed, abnormal points of tension that the body is forced to move around. That chronic irritation, in turn, paves the way for disease and dysfunction.
 
Visceral Manipulation (VM) is a gentle hands-on therapy that works through the body’s visceral system (the heart, liver, intestines and other internal organs) to locate and alleviate these abnormal points of tension throughout the body.
 
VM employs specifically placed manual forces that work to encourage the normal mobility, tone and motion of the viscera and their connective tissues. Trained practitioners use the rhythmic motions of the visceral system to evaluate how abnormal forces interplay, overlap and affect the normal body forces at work. These gentle manipulations can potentially improve the functioning of individual organs, the systems the organs function within, and the structural integrity of the entire body.
 
 
 

Lymph Drainage


 
Lymph Drainage Therapy (LDT) is an original hands-on method of lymphatic drainage developed by Bruno Chikly, MD, of France. Using exacting anatomical science and distinctive manual processes, LDT enables practitioners to detect the specific rhythm, direction, depth and quality of the lymph flow anywhere in the body. From there they can use their hands to perform Manual Lymphatic Mapping (MLM) of the vessels to assess overall circulation and determine the best alternate pathways for draining body-fluid stagnations.
 
Therapists work with flat hands, using all the fingers to simulate gentle, specific wave-like movements. These subtle manual maneuvers activate lymph and interstitial fluid circulation as well as stimulate the functioning of the immune and parasympathetic nervous systems. It is shown that when these actions are accomplished, the results can be:
 
    Reduction in edemas (swelling) and lymphedemas of various origins
    Detoxification of the body
    Regeneration of tissue, including burns, wounds and wrinkles
    Anti-aging effects
    Relief of numerous chronic and subacute inflammations, including sinusitis, bronchitis and otitis
    Relief of chronic pain
    Reduction in the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia
    Antispastic actions to relieve conditions such as muscle hypertonus and some forms of constipation
    Deep relaxation to aid insomnia, stress, loss of vitality and loss of memory
    Alleviation of adiposis and cellulite tissue

 

Reflexology


 
 
The ancient healing art of reflexology has been known to man for many thousands of years. It was first practiced by the early Indian, Chinese and Egyptian peoples.
 
In 1913 Dr. William Fitzgerald, an American ear, nose and throat surgeon, introduced this therapy to the West. He noted that pressure on specific parts of the body could have an anaesthetising effect on a related area. Developing this theory, he divided the body into ten equal and vertical zones, ending in the fingers and toes. He concluded that pressure on one part of a zone could affect everything else within that zone. Thus, reflex areas on the feet and hands are linked to other areas and organs of the body within the same zone.
 
In the 1930's, Eunice Ingham, a therapist, further developed and refined the zone therapy into what is now known as foot reflexology. She observed that congestion or tension in any part of the foot mirrors congestion or tension in a corresponding part of the body. Thus, when you treat the big toes there is a related effect in the head, and treating the whole foot can have a relaxing and healing effect on the whole body.
 
The body has the ability to heal itself. Following illness, stress, injury or disease, it is in a state of "imbalance", and vital energy pathways are blocked, preventing the body from functioning effectively. Reflexology can be used to restore and maintain the body's natural equilibrium and encourage healing.
 
A reflexologist uses hands only to apply gentle pressure to the feet. For each person the application and the effect of the therapy is unique. Sensitive, trained hands can detect tiny deposits and imbalances in the feet, and by working on these points the reflexologist can release blockages and restore the free flow of energy to the whole body. Tensions are eased, and circulation and elimination is improved. This gentle therapy encourages the body to heal itself at its own pace, often counteracting a lifetime of misuse.
 
 

Electrodermal Testing


 
This is a process that holistic medicine practitioners use to identify possible deficiencies in the body. Based on the results, supplements may be prescribed. It has a basis similar to acupuncture and measures the electrical resistance at the acupuncture points.
 
For the test the practitioner may use a device hooked up to a computer. There are two cables, one positive and one negative. The positive lead is attached to a stylus with an electrode tip. The doctor holds the stylus by the insulated handle and presses the tip against one of the patient's acupuncture points. The patient holds a hand electrode in their free hand. During the measurement the patient and the electrodermal screening device (EDSD) form a closed circuit, allowing energy and information to flow from the EDSD to the probe, through the patient to the hand electrode, and back to the EDSD.
 
A typical examination with the EDSD begins with the four quadrant measurements (hand to hand, foot to foot, right hand to foot, and left foot to foot) which are measurements of whole-body energy levels. These are followed by a check of the 40 control measurement points (CMPs), one for each of the 40 meridians located on the hands and feet, some of which are traditional and some of which were discovered by Voll. The CMPs show the general condition of everything associated with that meridian, and the 40 hand and foot meridians cover virtually every body part and function, so an examination of 40 CMPs alone offers the doctor a very good overview of a patient's condition. 

Qigong

It is similar to acupuncture, but it is something that the patient and family can do for themselves rather than an outside practitioner.  There are many types and methods.

The word Qigong (pronounced "chee gong") is a combination of two ideas: "Qi" means air, breath of life, or vital energy of the body, and "gong" means the self-discipline skill of working, cultivating, and balancing Qi. The art of Qigong consists primarily of the use of intention, meditation, relaxation, physical movement or posture, mind-body integration, and breathing exercises. Practitioners of Qigong develop an awareness of qi sensations (energy) in their body and use their mind to guide the Qi for improving their health, all of which can easily be learned by almost anyone. Medical Qigong has been extensively studied scientifically more than any other alternative therapy and it has been shown to be a cost-effective therapy.

Although the term "Qigong" was coined around 1948, Qigong is a self-initiated health practice that has its roots in pre-historic China. Ancient dao yin, nei gong, and yangsheng practices combined with other Taoist exercises to form the basis of Qigong. Qigong is a pre-cursor to but considered part of Traditional Chinese Medicine, along with herbal medicine, acupuncture, and acupressure. Qigong can be considered acupuncture without the needles because both practices involve manipulation and balancing of the body's energy. Qigong differs from acupuncture in that Qigong additionally includes cultivation and balancing over time of the body's energy through self-initiated practices 

Metronome Therapy

The human brain's efficiency and performance depend on the seamless transition of neuronetwork signals from one area of the brain to another. Findings in a recent study by Neal Alpiner, MD, "Functional MRI Study of the Effects of IM on Auditory-Motor Processing Networks", suggest that IM works by augmenting internal processing speed within the neuroaxis. The key regions of the brain that are affected appear to include the cerebellum, prefrontal cortex, cingulate gyrus and basal ganglia. These parts of the brain are responsible for human timing as well as other day to day functions such as: sustained attention, language formulation, motor coordination and balance.

The IM program provides a structured, goal-oriented process that challenges the patient to synchronize a range of hand and foot exercises to a precise computer-generated reference tone heard through headphones. The patient attempts to match the rhythmic beat with repetitive motor actions. A patented auditory-visual guidance system provides immediate feedback measured in milliseconds, and a score is provided.

-  Over the course of the treatment, patients learn to:
-  Focus and attend for longer periods of time
-  Increase physical endurance and stamina
-  Filter out internal and external distractions
-  Improve ability to monitor mental and physical actions as they are occurring
-  Progressively improve coordinated performance.

Biomodulator


 
The Tennant Biomodulator® PLUS is a device invented by Jerry Tennant, MD after years of clinical research using Russian Biofeedback technology. The Tennant Biomodulator® PLUS has patent pending frequencies not found on any other biofeedback technology devices currently available.
 
Biofeedback devices have been widely used in Russian hospitals since the early 1980's; however, it remained a military secret until perestroika. At that time, the inventors were issued a patent for the device, and they began to make it available to the West. We are proud to have been working with the Russian inventors to bring this incredible technology into the USA for over 6 years (as of May 2007).
 
Richard Kratz, MD describes his experiences with the device as "highly effective therapy that provides non-invasive contact with the skin. The device sends low electrical signals to the brain by way of the nerves to stimulate the brain to activate the body's own self-healing resources. Every cell and every organ in the body is controlled by and communicates with other cells and organs via electric signals. The skin, the brain and the nervous system are closely related since they are all derived from embryonic ectoderm."
 
 
In reading about Ashleigh, something we've recently started doing with the Biomodulator came to mind.  A man named Dr. Ed Cooper, MD has been doing research for about 10 years using electrical stimulation of the right median nerve (RMNS) to bring patients out of comas and to improve their consciousness levels.  The point of stimulation is on the inside of the right wrist.  When they did a functional MRI of a normal person receiving RMNS they noted that Broca's language area was stimulated.  This explains why patients receiving RMNS often show language gains.  Dr. Cooper contacted me a few months ago, and I decided to use his protocol with the Biomodulator...at that point he was unaware of the device.  After just 10 days Abbie was saying some new things (she only has about 10 words right now) as well as new sounds and sound strings.  I linked Dr. Tennant and Dr. Cooper together, and Dr. Cooper's impression is that the Biomodulator is far beyond any electrical stim device he's ever used, and that Dr. Tennant is probably the world, or at least Western, expert in how the body wiring works.
 

Right Median Nerve Stimulation


 
Electrical treatment of reduced consciousness: Experience with coma and Alzheimer’s disease
 
E. B. Cooper, E. J. A. Scherder, and J. B. Cooper.
 
The right median nerve can be stimulated electrically to help arouse the central nervous system for persons with reduced levels of consciousness. The mechanisms of central action include increased cerebral blood flow and raised levels of dopamine. There is 11 years of experience in the USA of using nerve stimulation for acute coma after traumatic brain injury. There is a much longer period of experience by neurosurgeons in Japan with implanted electrodes on the cervical spinal cord for persons in the persistent vegetative state (PVS). But the use of right median nerve electrical stimulation (RMNS) for patients in the subacute and chronic phases of coma is relatively new. Surface electrical stimulation to treat anoxic brain injury as well as traumatic brain injury is evolving.
 
Novel applications of electrical stimulation in Amsterdam have produced cognitive behavioural effects in persons with early and mid-stage Alzheimer’s disease employing transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS). Improvements in short-term memory and speech fluency have also been noted. Regardless of the aetiology of the coma or reduced level of awareness, electrical stimulation may serve as a catalyst to enhance central nervous system functions. It remains for the standard treatments and modalities to retrain the injured brain emerging from reduced levels of consciousness.

Another parent reports good results combining the Biomodulator to stimulate the Right Median Nerve.

Lee Silverman Voice Treatment


 
Stroke Recovery: Research Reclaims The Power Of Speech
 
PhD graduate Dr Rachel Wenke has shown in a recent study that the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment® may be an effective option for dysarthria patients suffering from stroke and traumatic brain injury (TBI).
 
Dysarthria is a speech disorder which negatively affects a person's ability to communicate as they can be difficult to understand and may sound like they have slurred or unclear speech.  The disorder affects 75% of individuals with Parkinson's disease, up to 30% of those who have experienced a stroke and about 60% of individuals with TBI.
 
The program was originally designed to assist Parkinson's patients, and Dr Wenke is the first to trial the method's effectiveness in a group study involving other neurological conditions.
 
The findings revealed that participants who received the treatment demonstrated positive effects of a louder and clearer voice and slower rate of speech.  Many participants also reported increased confidence in their ability to communicate which significantly improved their quality of life and well-being.
 
"My findings have also shown that people who lived with dysarthria for up to 21 years were able to make improvements following treatment, therefore the mindset of not treating patients who have not improved in one or two years should be challenged."
 The LSVT® program is an intensive therapy administered one hour a day, four days a week for 4 weeks. The patients are trained to use loud speech in progressively more difficult speech tasks.


Supplements


We have had a lot of requests for a list of some of the supplements we use with Ashleigh.  Below are the ones we use for preventative and overall health maintenance.


Nature’s Way
 
Sambucol Immune System Syrup- I start Ashleigh on this at the beginning of the cold and flu season. 
 
Umcka Cold Care 99% Alcohol Free – Shortens Duration of throat, sinus and bronchial irritations.
 
Efa Gold Neuromins Plant Source Microalgae Oil 100 mg DHA –mental and visual function.
 
Cranberry Fruit 930 mg – Urinary Tract Health.
 
Symbiotics
 
Colostrum Plus – Provides broad spectrum immunoglobulins.  Helps protect and repair the GI tract.  Promotes skin integrity.
 
Lane Labs
 
H2GO – Colon health
 
Dr. Pinkus Products
 
Calmax – Calcium, magnesium, Vitium C. – Bone health, helps relieve restless legs and muscle spastisity.
 
Nu-zymes –Aids digestion
 
NaturalCare
 
Sinufix Nasal spray – Sinus health, help prevent or relive sinus headaches
 
Vital Force Technology
 
Stress Relief Cream – for muscle pain after and during therapy (works wonders)
 

Neuromuscular Therapy

Neuromuscular Therapists have extensive training & knowlege about the Neurological system & the Musculo-Skeletal System. You might consider NMT as a hybrid between Massage Therapy & Physical Therapy. We use a variety of very specific manual soft tissue manipulation, body-awareness re-education, movement re-education, stretching & strengthening protocols.

We work with the gate theory & more. We work with Trigger Points, Nerve Entrapment (by soft tissue) and Nerve Compression (by bone & cartilage), Ischemia (lack of blood flow in tissue), Postural & Biomechanical distortion, Nutritional deficiency in tissue, Mental & Emotional Well-being.

NMT is a thorough program of recovery from acute and chronic pain syndromes which utilizes specific massage therapy, flexibility stretching, and home care to eliminate the causes of most neuromuscular pain patterns. This specific and scientific approach to muscular pain relief will help to bring about balance between the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. NMT enhances the function of joints, muscles and biomechanics (movement) and it releases endorphins, the body's own natural pain killers. It can be part of a comprehensive program, complementing all other health care modalities.

Quantum Energetics Structured Therapy

Quantum Energetics Structured Therapy™ is a highly organized system of energy healing. It is a powerful modality that appears to trigger the body's innate healing ability, by working with the body's ENERGETIC forces.

QEST™ Practitioners believe that the basic foundational steps of QEST™ allow more energy to enter and flow through the body for healing and sustenance. Disrupted energy patterns of the energy body are assisted in regaining their force-a "recharging" that allows the return or emergence of health. QEST™ focuses on working with the foundational and ENERGETIC causes, which underlie problems rather than masking symptoms. Many appreciate QEST's gentle wholistic approach.

Each Quantum Energetics Structured Therapy™ (QEST) session is different. QEST has a unique "language" for getting answers from the body about which conditions are present and what should be done, thus largely eliminating guesswork by the practitioner. This language consists of thousands of numerical codes that are used with muscle testing to get "yes" or "no" answers from the body. Codes are numbers whose vibrational frequency correspond with specific conditions t

hat are present on the energy level. Conditions may also be present on an actual physical level, such as a fracture of a bone. However, our testing only indicates to us what we perceive as a disturbance in the ENERGETICS blueprint. In other words, the energy flowing to and through an area, organ, muscle, etc., is diminished and/or disrupted, often causing symptoms.

 

 



 
 
  

 
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