Marin Natural Medicine Center:
(415) 945-3213
Advanced Hyperbaric Recovery of Marin:
(415) 785-8652
Mind

Overview of the Brain Care Program

Our Brain Care Program is designed to optimize your cognitive performance and brain health based on the latest scientific research and discovery that the brain is a dynamic organ with the inherent ability to improve functioning well into old age.

There are 6 unique core aspects to your Brain Care Program:

  • Assessment of brain chemistry, blood chemistry and cognitive performance using cutting edge lab work based on the latest research on anti-aging for the brain.
  • Application of nutritional and herbal supplementation as well as hormone balancing proven to lower inflammation, increase neuroplasticity as well as optimize brain chemistry. This is to increase the ability to focus, improve energy and sleep as well as balance emotions such as anxiety, depression, anger, irritability, or addiction.
  • Implementation of the Brain Care Home Program for the brain that includes the Mind Diet and Brain exercises.
  • Cranial osteopathy for lymphatic drainage and enhanced oxygenation and circulation of blood flow and cerebrospinal fluid flow to the brain.
  • Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is proven to reduce cerebral edema, reduce neuro-inflamation, increase oxygen saturation to the brain, promote new blood vessel growth, reactivate idling neurons and can create an 8-fold increase in your own stem cell production (stem cells can become brain cells).
  • Providing nutritional IV's for clearing out toxins in the brain such as the PK protocol or ozone IV for killing infections that could be affecting the brain and revitalizing the antioxident system. 

The brain is a critical organ which we need in order to make life defining decisions, perform well at work and feel healthy emotions.  Having a healthy brain is fundamental to the quality of our lives.  I provide a multifaceted approach  to support those who want to prevent dementia, maintain peak performance or reverse cognitive decline that has already begun.

A Note about the Brain Care Program:

The success of this program depends on your level of commitment! This program will require additional time for exercise, organizing supplements, getting labs done and coming to weekly appointments. The more committed you are the more you will succeed! This program does not substitute for advice given by your primary care physician; rather it is to enhance the current medical supervision you are under. If you are on medication, you will need to work with your doctor to go off your medication. Please do not stop or change any medication routine on your own without your doctor’s supervision

Do you need to take care of your Brain because there’s something wrong with it?

The truth is, no one wants to think that there is something wrong with his or her brain, it’s embarrassing and scary, but unless you address the issue, you can't get any better! When your brain malfunctions it affects your personality, mood and self-esteem.   The good news is you may think there’s something wrong with YOU, but it’s not YOU it’s your BRAIN that needs help.

Brain problems may be showing up in your life as:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Bipolar Disease
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Autism
  • Asperger’s
  • Parkinson’s

Other conditions which aren’t diseases but still indicate that your brain could use some help include:

  • Chronic stress
  • Brain Fog
  • Difficulty Focusing
  • Inattentiveness
  • Memory Loss
  • Irritability

You may feel embarrassed or ashamed about any problems you may be experiencing with your brain but it is important to realize that this serious problem affects more than just a few people. It’s actually a silent epidemic; the scope and magnitude are staggering.

  • Psychiatric disorders affect 26% of our adult population
  • More than 20% of children have some type of psychiatric disorder
  • More than 40 million people have anxiety
  • More than 20 million people have depression
  • One in 10 Americans take an antidepressant
  • Alzheimer’s disease will affect 30% (and some experts say 50 percent) of people over 85 years old, which is the fastest growing segment of the population.
  • ADHD is a label we now give to 8.7 percent of children between the ages of 8 and 15.
  • One in 10 children now take stimulant medications like methylphenidate (Ritalin).
  • Autism rates have increased from three in 10,000 children to one in 166 children – an 11-fold increase over the last decade.
  • Learning disabilities affect between 5 and 10 percent of school-age children.

The good news is you aren’t alone and there is help, but the conventional doctor’s office may limit your options and outcomes because the solution is not just a psychiatric medication or a medication for dementia.

The cause of your brain issues is not from missing a psychiatric medication it’s from a health issue in your entire body, because the two are intertwined and interconnected. It’s not your fault that we live in a world with many more toxins than before WWII when your grandparents lived. Prior to 1950, only 10% of cornfields were sprayed with chemicals. After 1950, in order to expand crops and provide more food, 90% of corn fields were sprayed. During this same time frame, wheat became modified 200 times to make it shorter and fatter so that bread could be fluffier. Do you remember the Wonder Bread? According to the commercial, its soft squeezability indicated freshness. The downside to modifying wheat and white flour is that it caused an inflammatory reaction in the gut and in the brain. This is explained further in your Brain Care Workbook. Cancer rates rose and so did neurological disorders with the introduction of GMO foods. In fact, the Environmental Group stated that a newborn baby already has over 250 chemicals in it’s body from the mother’s cord blood before it’s even breathed the air, drunk the water or walked on the earth. Our ocean waters have become laden with chemical spill off, mercury is found in 85% of fish in the Pacific Bay area and the ramifications of Fukishima nuclear waste in our ocean is a quiet part of the unspoken news. Perhaps these are the reasons for the loss of seal pups, whales and sea birds starving to death in recent times.

What’s the solution? The solution is to educate yourself on the seven keys to your Brain Care:

Key #1 Nutrient Dense Foods

Our body’s physiology, biochemistry and biology needs certain raw materials in order to function. There must be the right balance of quality proteins, fats and carbohydrates for the body to function optimally. The right vitamins and minerals in the proper doses as well as colorful pigments in plant food called phytonutrients are needed to support our well-being. Nearly all of us are nutritionally imbalanced in one way or another.

Key #2 Have Healthy Hormones

Our hormones must work in harmony with one another for us to be healthy. Hormones are messenger molecules in our body that turn things “on” or “off” or “up” and “down”. Hormones exist in an intricate balance and they produce effects throughout the whole body like a finely orchestrated symphony. They not only help new memory cells sprout in the brain they also help with longevity and neuroplasticity or flexibility of the brain. Hormones that affect the brain are insulin, thyroid, sex hormones estrogen, progesterone and testosterone, the adrenal hormones cortisol, no-epinephrine, epinephrine and hormones that help with memory such as DHEA and pregnenolone.

 Our endocrine glands, the thyroid, pancreas, adrenals, ovaries and testes produce our hormones. The control centers of our endocrine glands lie in our brains and are termed the hypothalamus and the pituitary.

These endocrine glands and their signals control:

  • The stress response through your adrenals
  • Blood sugar balance through your pancreas
  • Thyroid hormone, which establishes your metabolism via your thyroid gland
  • Sexual behavior and function through your reproductive organs
  • Growth, sleep, mood and much more.

 

There are three dangerous patterns of hormone imbalances that affect the brain:

  • Too much insulin (also called diabetes), which impairs circulation
  • Too much cortisol and adrenalin from stress, which impairs healthy brain chemistry and causes low happy mood hormone, serotonin
  • Not enough thyroid hormone, which can contribute to someone being overweight and causes inefficient oxygen utilization in the body.

Key #3 Cool down Inflammation

We must protect and defend ourselves form foreign invaders and abnormal cells inside our own body. When this system is over or underactive inflammation occurs. Inflammation of the brain is a central symptom of almost all neurological conditions. The brain is more sensitive to inflammation than other parts of the body.

Key #4 Fix Your Gut

There is a correlation between the health of our gut and the health of our brain. It’s referred to as the “Gut/Brain Axis”. When the lining of the stomach or intestine is swollen it can become leaky and let larger molecules of food through into the blood stream. When the gut lining becomes leaky the blood brain barrier also becomes leaky because of chemical messengers in the blood system that get carried to the brain. Imagine it like chemical poisons in a lake running off into a river and all the tributaries downstream. Sometimes our food actually makes us practically “drunk”.

Key #5 Enhance Detoxification by Cleansing

Our bodies must eliminate all of our metabolic wastes and all toxins we take in from the environment through our food, air, water and medications.

Key #6 Boost Your Mitochondria

The mitochondria are tiny little organelles in each cell, which are like you’re bodies’ batteries. Oxygen enters into the mitochondria and goes through an electron transport chain to make ATP which fuels every cellular and enzymatic reaction in the body. The DNA of the mitochondria is more susceptible to damage than other parts of our body. There are certain nutraceuticals that are good at protecting these precious batteries in our body as well as give them more energy. More energy translates to less brain fog. Our brain uses up 30% of our energy.  One of the most powerful ways to rejuvenate the brain is with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy which provides 14-20x more oxygen to the brain cells as well as increasing the stem cells that can become the brain and aiding in the reduction of inflammation of the brain.  

Key #7 Calm Your Mind

A life of meaning and purpose, a life in balance with connection, community, love and support, and a sense of empowerment are essential for health. There are many stressors in the 21st Century that include: social isolation, overwork, disempowerment, and others that can create enormous stress on the nervous system, leading to burnout and breakdown.

What you can expect to receive from this program for your investment?

First Visit: Orientation, Week 1- 60 min. session
History and physical exam: this includes an expanded neurological testing and osteopathic assessment.
Give out food diary, toxicity questionnaire, and sleep and mood questionnaires
An on-line neurocognitive test that takes 90 min. to do to measure cognitive abilities.
Lab Work Order Forms and Directions.

Second Visit: Week 2- 60 min. session
Review all questionnaires and neurocognitive test results
Start Diet Plan based on the MIND diet and Brain Exercises. Administer lab kits.

Third Visit: Week 3 later 60 min. session
Check in on diet issues, sleep or other lifestyle changes.
Review lab results- start supplements tailored to issues revealed in the lab work.
Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation

Fourth Visit: Week 4 - Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation only – 30 min.

Fifth Visit: Week 5 – Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation for 30 min.

Week 6 and 7 - Redo neurogonitive testing  and questionnaires and if necessary lab work.

Sixth Visit: Week 8 - 60 min.
Review neurocognitive testing results
Final Assessment
On-going Treatment instructions

Tracking Your Progress

When you suffer from brain fog or poor memory, it’s sometimes hard to tell how much better you are getting. This is why we are so excited about the neurocognitive  test. It gives you an objective measure on your brain speed and functioning in the following domains:

  • Working Memory
  • Sustained Attention
  • Social Acuity
  • Reasoning
  • Verbal Memory
  • Visual Memory
  • Psychomotor Speed
  • Cognitive Flexibility
  • Executive Function
  • Complex Attention
  • Reaction Time
  • Neurocognitive Function
  • Composite Memory
  • Processing Speed
  • Simple Visual Attention
  • Motor Speed
  • Sleep issues
  • Anxiety or Depression

For the best results start your visit by completing the neurocognitive test at home and compare them to second results at then end of your 8 weeks then again in 6 months and 12 months!

Lab work will be repeated at the end of your program if some markers were dangerously high and we need to make sure they’ve come down.

With each step of the Brain Care Program that you’ve successfully completed we have a special gift for you. It’s a secret, but we look forward to you getting your prize!

Cranial Osteopathic Manipulation

The brain is a very unique organ consisting of 3 major types of cells: neurons, astrocytes and microglia. Our neurons are the basis of most of the actions we attribute our nervous system responsible for. Our neurons are in charge of the voluntary movement of our bodies such as walking, creating our thoughts, feelings and decisions as well as executing our involuntary physiological mechanisms such as our heartbeat and digestion. As important as the neurons are, however, they are a minority number of cell type in our brains. We actually have more astrocytes and microglia cells to support our smart neurons. The astrocytes have one foot upon a blood vessel and the other on an axon and the microglia sweep our brain looking for any infection they can clear.

What happens when we experience trauma? A trauma can be from a physical blow to the head, an emotional blow to the heart or an infectious onslaught that overwhelms our system. A network in our brain called the Central Autonomic Network (CAN) gangs up on our Vagus nerve and inhibits it. When the Vagus nerve gets inhibited this can cause dizziness, heart palpitations, a feeling like your “on and off” stress switch is hyper reactive, indigestion, diarrhea and constipation. When the Vagus nerve is inhibited we have more inflammation. In fact, inflammation and white matter degeneration can persist for years after a single traumatic brain injury. (Kevin Tracey, The Inflammatory reflex, Nature Vol. 420 12/2002 pages 853-859)

During a traumatic brain injury several things can happen to the axons… or arms and legs of our neurons that help deliver our neurological impulses. The axons can undergo shearing, tearing or stretching. When the axons are sheared the little microtubules inside our neuron cells that deliver nutrients and chemical messengers begin to shrivel and breakdown, a toxic inflammatory chemical called “glutamate” gets dumped into the space and the mitochondria which produce ATP or energy packets in each cell of the body become overwhelmed as they get flooded in a soup of ions such as calcium that make it difficult for them to function. The cerebral blood flow collapses and a tremendous amount of oxidative stress begin to happen in the most important organ of our body, the brain. The microglia of the brain, which are the brains white blood cells or soldiers that fight infection are then aroused and become hyperactive. This creates inflammation in the brain, which can actually last for years. Symptoms can be headache, dizziness or fainting, balance problems, exercise intolerance, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, fatigue and insomnia.

With skilled training and hundreds of hours of practice such as I have had, the motion and position of the 22 bones in the skull can be felt. During an osteopathic cranial session you lie down on a table fully clothed in a quiet room while I apply a light touch to the cranium or skull and oftentimes the sternum as well as the sacrum, which is the bone at the base of the low back, that connects to your tailbone. I feel for things like if the brain has slowed its motion, are the brain’s pulsations lopsided so one hemisphere or lobe limps along? Are the neurons trembling like under the influence of as subclinical seizure? Are the sutures in the cranial bones compressed? Is the critical ganglion of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system damaged or on hyper mode? During the session I am focused on massaging the fluid flow under the Dural membranes and increasing venous output through the superior, inferior and transverse venous sinuses, relaxing the nuclei of my central autonomic system especially the locus ceruleous which produces the highest amount of norepinephrine, or stress hormone, in our bodies as well as increased the balance between my Vagus nerve and amygdala. I will also focus on the little canopy of membrane that covers the pituitary gland, releasing it, as well as the master endocrine gland the hypothalamus… that is in charge of our adrenal and thyroid hormones. Generally, after a session you will feel like you have slept like a baby for 8 hours just returned from a two-week vacation.

If someone has undergone a blow to the front of the face this often distorts the sphenoid bone, which orchestrates the eye and vision. The sphenoid bone houses the pituitary gland and so hormonal issues can ensue. A blow to the cheekbones or temporal bone around the ear can compromise hearing as well as balance and cause dizziness. In fact modern medicine recognizes the profound importance of the vagal nerve and has created “vagal nerve stimulators” which are little mechanical devices that are surgically placed just under the skin near the vagal nerve output in those with ongoing seizures. We are noticing that the vagal nerve stimulators not only reduce inflammation, but also seizures.

Until recently, it was thought that the brain had no lymphatic system. Anatomists and scientists are now discovering that indeed it does, its called the “glymphatic” system. This system allows for drainage of some nasty things:

  • Tau protein and amyloid beta protein, which are both found to be built up in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Neurotoxins (such as heavy metals, particles of infectious organisms, pesticides and chemicals).

Osteopathic cranial manipulation helps optimize the glymphatic fluid flow resulting in increased health for the brain!

If you suffer from headaches, dizziness, insomnia, anxiety, depression, brain fog, nausea, indigestion, constipation or diarrhea, or trauma you may really benefit from an osteopathic cranial treatment. For the first time 45 min. is recommended and for follow up appointments 30 min. is recommended. You should expect to notice prolonged improvement after 3 sessions.