Healing from Concussion (& Kicking Motion Sickness) with Functional Neurology (HPC: E17)

Got kids in soccer, hockey, football or cheerleading? Do they jump on a trampoline or ride a bike? You need this info about concussions and brain health!!!

When my 3yo got a concussion this summer, we took him to a functional neurologist for therapy to get his brain back to where it was before (or better) and we ended up having even more sessions to heal my 10yo daughter’s motion sickness! She can now ride without SeaBands or a plastic bag and even look down and read! 😮 She is also more coordinated and seems to be having an easier time with Math this year when she does her exercises regularly…

In this interview, which was right during a therapy session, Dr. Brian Hanks and I talk about how the brain works, how you can tell if your child needs a little help re-balancing the brain, and what to do to tell if someone has a concussion (and more).

Did you know that many of us have experienced some head trauma that is affecting our daily lives and we don’t even remember it? Toddlers falling while learning to walk, hitting a cupboard door really hard, swimming into the side of a pool…think of all the times your head has BONKED something.

Find out more about functional neurology, what medical doctors don’t understand about how the brain heals, and simple things your kids can do to keep their brains stronger and more resilient to injury!!

No time to watch the whole video? Here are the notes!

Healing Concussions Video Time Stamps

  • 0:11: Dr. Brian Hanks is a Chiropractic Neurologist. Some people Dr. Hanks has helped include kids and athletes with concussions, people with stutters, tics, or over sensory feelings, executives who want to increase brain function because they sit at a computer all day, athletes who want to improve their own athletic ability through brain work — anything the brain controls may be helped by a chiropractic neurologist.

Our brain controls everything. -Dr. Brian Hanks

  • 1:35: Dr. Hanks is going to show us some of the things he’s been doing with our son to recover from his concussion and also our daughter to cure her motion sickness.
  • 2:00: Watch the finger-to-nose-to-finger test. You can totally ask your own kids or friends to do that, then close their eyes and see if they can continue to “find themselves in space” i.e. hit your finger. If not, there’s some work that can be done in functional neurology.
  • 2:20: Dr. Hanks continues doing some tests on Leah.
  • 2:31: Dr. Hanks explains the finger-to-nose-to-finger test. If your finger is short of the tester’s finger that is referred to as hypometric. If you’re long, that’s hypermetric. This relates to cerebellum function. These will also show up as kids being very uncoordinated when they’re running around.
  • 3:30: See Leah clap along with a metronome while balancing on a balance board, and then watch her do the finger-to-nose-to-finger test again.
  • 4:02: Dr. Hanks explains the balance board and discusses when you might want to get more specific therapies and when that’s a good exercise to try. It’s a good way to challenge yourself if you sit at a desk all day. Surprisingly, this can help stabilize emotions!

The brain doesn't heal on its own. It compensates. -Dr. Brian Hanks

  • 5:32: A child too young to stand on the balance board can sit on it to improve posture and balance. Even infants learning to sit can use it with parental help.
  • 6:04: Testing infants is different from testing older kids. Dr. Hanks describes some ways he tests infants.
  • 6:34: We go over a quick test you can use to see if your child might have an imbalance and need help from a functional neurologist. The simplest way is to look at their eyes. Ask them to track something back and forth and up and down and watch their eyes (focus on the center of their forehead) – are they completely smooth or is there a little tic/hitch/miss? If there’s a jerky eye movement that may mean your proprietal lobe (sensory portion of brain) could use help getting back in balance or stronger.
  • 8:27: Check out the muscle testing explanation for WHY it works and how to do it right. This is just to test the sides of the brain and if they’re even, not to test for allergies or weaknesses – that kind of muscle testing doesn’t have a lot of science backing it up. Check out how he explains how this pertains to tennis elbow and high blood pressure! 😮
  • 11:21: Did you know you can have different blood pressure readings on each of your arms? Hear how this works. You can also see this principle play out in the blood vessels in the eyes.

Blood pressure is a symptom, not a cause. -Dr. Brian Hanks

  • 13:22: Dr. Hanks shares a story of how a mechanical issue caused high blood pressure in a teenage patient.
  • 14:41: We do some more tests. Watch for “saccades” or hitches while asking them to watch your thumbs back and forth or close to far.
  • 15:18: Leah demonstrates the “cat and mouse” exercise.
  • 15:45: Important notes about checking for concussion issues. Even when someone with a concussion passes all the tests doctors give, if they still have symptoms (headache or vomiting), they need some therapy for the brain to get back to 100% health.

Your brain is fat. That's why it's called essential fatty acids. -Dr. Hanks

  • 17:34: We end with practical advice for parents. Nutritionally, EPA/DHA are the top nutrients for brain health. Best exercises for kids’ brains are tumbles and spins, swings, trampolines, and anything that activates the vestibular system. The more neural connections you create by having kids play both physically and with their imagination, the more resilient they are to impacts later. You can build stronger brains!
  • 19:09: Oops! I ran out of room on my camera! I finish up by summing up the recommendations Dr. Hanks was discussing at the end.

Resources We Mention

If you have a child with motion sickness, here are some tips to manage that!

Find Dr. Hanks here or search for a functional neurologist or chiropractor with brain specialties in your own area!

More on why concussions are on the rise, how to support your system after one occurs, and how to strengthen your brain to prevent injury in a 3-part series beginning here.

Brain Save! The 6-week plan to heal your brain from concussions, brain injuries and trauma without drugs or surgery by Dr. Titus Chiu, also a functional neurologist

When Brains Collide by Dr. Michael Lewis, former Army Colonel

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How to Heal from a Concussion and Eliminate Motion Sickness with Functional Neurology

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