Assist your brain to thrive with Brain First Chiropractic –Functional Neurology
We are all familiar with the work of a medical neurologist, the human nervous system specialist. Unfortunately, medical neurology is often an « all or nothing » specialty. Either the neurologist confirms you are suffering from pathology or he finds nothing. In-between those two extremes is a vast domain that can bring about new clinical insights and answers: functional neurology. Let’s discover together this new field of health care.
What is functional neurology?
Functional neurology is a health care specialty that was developed under the leadership of Dr Frederick Carrick, DC, PhD. It’s objective is to diagnose dysfunctions and bring back into balance the brain and nervous system without the use of drugs or surgery.
Functional neurology vs medical neurology: what is the difference?
During his exam, a medical neurologist is looking to confirm or exclude the presence of a pathological condition (for example: cancer, hemorrhage, neurodegenerative disease, demyelinating disease, disk herniation compressing a nerve). If the pathology is confirmed, the treatment will either be a drug or a surgery. In the case there is no pathology, the medical neurologist doesn’t have much to offer.
In his exam, the functional neurologist is looking for imbalances and dysfunctions in the brain and nervous system that can explain what is causing the patient’s problem. Very often, especially in chronic conditions, there is no concrete pathology, but enough imbalances and dysfunctions to cause health problems. The functional neurologist then uses principles of neuroscience and neuroplasticity to help rehabilitate or retrain the brain and nervous system by using various approaches that are drug-free and do not require surgery.
Functional neurology is not a technique. It’s rather a new way to approach the patient holistically and assessing him or her from a neurological perspective. This brings about many clinical insights because the brain and nervous system control the rest of the body.
The brain controls everything
Maybe it happened to you or to someone you know you go to the doctor who makes a complete exam but can’t find anything wrong with you despite the fact that you’re not feeling well. In the majority of those cases, the symptoms don’t originate from issues with body tissues, but rather in the way the brain and nervous system control those tissues.
Let’s use a metaphor to better understanding. Let’s imagine that you have unplugged your fridge and that the food it is containing is starting to rot. In this case, you are not going to think that the problem comes from within the food! You know it’s coming from the fact that you’re fridge is not getting the electrical power it needs. You could try to sprinkle medications on your food, it will still rot. You could get rid of the old food and put new one in, it will still rot. What you need to do is plug the power cord back in!
In this metaphor, your fridge is like your brain. It allows all the other organs and tissues of your body to maintain their balance, to stay healthy and to heal. If your brain isn’t functioning well, your body becomes imbalanced and symptoms appear.
To go back to our metaphor, we could say that conventional medicine and neurology focus on the food that is rotting in the unplugged fridge. Functional neurology focuses on understanding why your fridge is unplugged and what needs to be done to get the power back on.
Since your brain controls everything in your body, it would make sense that a great doctor would look at your brain function every time your present with symptoms, even if these symptoms don’t seem at first sight related to the brain. It’s possible that you may need a local medical treatment, but it’s also very important to plug your fridge back in.
To take another metaphor: if the light goes out, it might well be an issue with the light bulb itself. In that case, changing it will solve the issue. But if it’s a fuse that blew, you can change the light bulb as much as you want and nothing will happen. Conventional medicine and neurology focus on the light bulb. Functional neurology focuses on the fuse box.
Your brain is dynamic
There is a new scientific discovery that is changing our understanding of the brain. It’s called neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity means that your brain is dynamic. It’s constantly destroying old connections between neurons and creating new ones. You can even see it live in the following video: http://www.drjoedispenza.com/2012/03/the-fabric-ofcreation/
Our brain is literally sculpted and shaped by our life experiences, our emotions and our thoughts. Our brain learns constantly, for better or for worse. It can either learn to be healthy or to be sick.
Activating the human brain
A functional neurologist will start by evaluating your brain function. He or she is looking at very subtle imbalances that can prevent you from expressing optimal health. Then, he or she will use the principles of brain plasticity to balance your brain. There are many tools that can be used to do that, such as chiropractic adjustments, rehab exercises, sensory stimulations (such as sounds, light or smell), nutrition and even the power of our own mind (such as using meditation or visualization in combination with biofeedback).
Help where there was none
Functional neurology is a domain that is as vast as the function of the human nervous system. Every professional tend to focus on his own area of specialty and interest, but functional neurology is often used to help in the following cases:
• Pediatric neurology, such as children presenting with behavioral, learning or developmental disorders (such as ADHD, learning disorders, tics, dyslexia, dyspraxia and autism spectrum disorders)
• Chronic pain syndromes, such as fibromyalgia
• Migraines and headaches
• Balance issues, such as vertigo, dizziness, unsteadiness or falls
• Movement disorders, such as coordination issues or tremors
• Functional GI problems, such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease
• Chronic or recurring injuries, which are often caused by subtle imbalances in the brain leading to improper body coordination.
• And many more
Are you living in a haze?
Functional neurology is also a very powerful approach in more subtle issues that conventional medicine tends to attribute to aging or stress. Medical doctors or neurologists don’ usually take those symptoms into account but they can really affect your quality of life. They are often the first signs that your brain is not at its best. The most common ones are fatigue, brain fog, a loss of intellectual acuity, difficulty concentrating or memory lapses (« where did I put my keys? »), mixing right and left, reduced ability to overcome stress, loss of empathy for others, vague sense of feeling depressed or
« blue ».
You want to know whether functional neurology can help you?
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