December 2, 2020

What is Developmental Functional Neurology?

“Research suggests that restoring neural integration requires the simultaneous reregulation of networks on both vertical and horizontal planes” •Lou Cozolino 2010

One of the most important concepts to understand and the basis of our practice is the understanding of vertical and horizontal integration. Vertical integration is the development of the brain from the bottom to the top.  Think of building a house, you begin by laying a strong foundation, then you build the walls on top of that and finally the roof.  Vertical integration and development of the brain is the exact same way, first, the foundation has to be built, which is the brainstem.  

The brainstem is responsible for all of our essential life functions like heart rate, digestion and breathing.  It also holds the basic program of our nervous system which are the primitive reflexes.  Primitive reflexes are the training wheels of the nervous system and are responsible for the initial development of the brain.  

Next, we have to build the walls which is the cerebellum.  The cerebellum is responsible for balance and coordination and is like the conductor of the brain and keeps everything running smoothly. 

Finally, the roof or the cortex has to be built which is responsible for all of our senses like smell, sight, taste and executive functions like learning, judgment, regulating emotions and communication.  

Once the cortex is developed the next process of brain development begins, which is horizontal integration.  This is the development of both the left and right sides of our brain.  Both sides must develop evenly since both sides must share information to effectively work to their fullest potential.  For example, the right side of the brain is responsible for non-verbal communication while the left side is responsible for verbal communication.

This all eventually leads to Top Down-Regulation, which controls the whole body.  Think of this as an airport control tower monitoring and coordinating all the activity around an airport.  This also is responsible for inhibiting or turning off the primitive reflexes since the brain has developed enough to no longer need them, think of this like upgrading the software on your phone.  The brain can now process information faster and perform more complex actions like walking as opposed to crawling.  This is how all complex systems evolve the parts to develop the whole and the whole comes down to eventually regulate the parts.

But, any interference in this process alters the developmental trajectory of the individual and can lead to primitive reflexes not being integrated ie retained primitive reflexes, and an imbalance in the brain called a functional disconnection.   This ultimately results in a myriad of conditions such as ADHD, Autism, Dyslexia, PANS/PANDAS, OCD, Tics & Tourettes, etc.

As the quote above suggests to be successful we must be able to examine and treat both vertical and horizontal integration SIMULTANEOUSLY. 

Vertical integration looks at brain development and removing bottom-up interference (integrating primitive reflexes, improving balance and coordination, and developing core strength).  Horizontal integration is hemispheric integration and building connectivity so that the left and right side of the cortex is balanced. 

By addressing the nervous system and body in a comprehensive manner most if not all of the above conditions can resolve.

Contact us to learn more and how Wild and Precious can help.

November 3, 2020

How Chiropractic Chose Me

I have always been a believer that the right people, situations, and things show up in your life for a reason but you have to be willing to listen in order to understand why.  

I was raised in a household that believed healthcare should be taken in a conservative manner meaning when I was sick and had a fever my parents didn’t rush to give me something to knock it down.  They believed that the body was doing what it was supposed to do and as long as things didn’t get out of control they didn’t feel the need to intervene.  I rarely took medications or saw the doctor unless I was really sick but looking at my childhood I did have some underlying issues.  I got ear infections fairly regularly, I had teachers saying I should be put on medication because I was too hyper and the weirdest of all every year on my mom’s birthday I would get very sick!  I would get a fever of 105 and I couldn’t eat or drink anything even water without running to the bathroom!  To this day we still don’t know why I would get sick like this every year at the same time but it would happen.

In the 6th grade, I started playing football which leads to my first football injury.  I sprained my ankle the last game of the season and in the following weeks, it locked up and was so swollen that I was having trouble walking.  A friend of my mom’s told us about this doctor called a chiropractor who could help.  I didn’t know what a chiropractor was but was willing to go because I wanted to walk again!

We made the drive over to the office of Dr. Paul Harris (who is still in practice today, check him out at https://www.hscwellnesscenter.com/) where I nervously waited to be called back.  I remember being super nervous for this appointment because I didn’t know what he did, all my mom told me was that they pop bones and you feel better.  In my head I pictured him folding me into some kind of Bruce Lee pretzel move and definitely didn’t want that.  

Finally, he called me back, spoke to me, and my mom in and a quick confident tone which I understood little of.  They seemed to agree on something and he asked me about my ankle.  He told me to lay down on this funny looking table and started to gently squeeze my ankle.  I felt him gently grab it and before I knew what was happening he quickly and expertly adjusted it with a loud POP!  He then instructed me to stand up.  In a memory that is still vivid as I write this, I remember swinging my legs off the side of the table and gently standing up and for the first time in weeks my ankle didn’t hurt when I put weight on it!  It was a miracle!  I couldn’t believe that I had suffered with this injury for so long and that it could be resolved so quickly!  Like any good doctor, he instructed me to take it easy on it and to come back in a few days to check my progress and like any kid, I didn’t listen and proceeded to play and run around as soon as I got home.  

From that day forward I was hooked and what I didn’t realize until years later was that the other seemingly unrelated health conditions also resolved due to my consistent chiropractic care.  My ear infections became a thing of the past, my yearly mystery illness was gone and my focus in school, what would nowadays be called ADHD,  improved dramatically to the point where I graduated in the top 1% of my high school.

Fast forward to my early adulthood, I was a college graduate in the workforce unsatisfied in my career looking for more.  I hated what I was doing for work and wanted a career where I could be my own boss and make a positive impact in people’s lives.  After some serious soul searching I came back to Chiropractic, which I knew all along I just never acknowledged it!

Life has a funny way of working out because my years in the workforce delayed my school entry enough to time it perfectly to meet my now wife Dr Lynn.  We shared similar interests in school and ultimately ended up getting married in the last part of school, in a chiropractic office of all places! You can see the picture below.  We started a family together with our son Rivers being born in 2017 and moved to Colorado shortly thereafter.

Our drive to build a results-driven cutting-edge office has led us to open Wild & Precious Optimal Living where we focus on children with Neurodevelopmental issues like ADHD, Sensory Processing, Obsessive-compulsive disorder, Pandas, and Autism.  We help adults with issues like Lyme, Traumatic brain injury, sleep issues, pain, GI dysfunction and more.  

Of all the gifts chiropractic has given me the greatest is the understanding that our bodies have an incredible capacity to heal and that health truly comes from within.  In the healthcare industry, there is a lot of fear of symptoms, sickness, and disease.  We strive to restore the hope in all our patients and get them to understand that the body is innately intelligent.  It’s trying to adapt and do its best in a bad situation.  If we can help the body function better then symptoms will resolve and health can be restored. In any situation as long as we are breathing there is always hope that things can improve. 

August 5, 2020

ADHD Denver

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly known as ADHD, is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects thousands of children and adults in Denver and the Colorado area.

Research shows that ADHD is the most common childhood disorder affecting 1 out of every 10 children and it is currently the fastest growing disorder in adults. ADHD can be difficult to diagnose and manage, especially if you want to avoid potentially harmful medications. With the right care and attention, however, you can work towards a better life in Denver, Wheat Ridge, and beyond!

ADHD Symptoms in Children

The criteria for diagnosing ADHD is growing as research uncovers more about what is happening in the ADHD brain. 

Below are some common symptoms of ADHD in kids. It is common for children to exhibit many or all of the signs on this list:

  • Easily distracted or frequently switching from one activity to another.
  • Frequently becomes bored with tasks after a few minutes.
  • Often loses toys, crayons, or homework assignments.
  • Non-stop talking, fidgeting, or impatience.
  • Difficulty waiting for their turn in games.
  • Interrupts others’ conversations or activities.
  • Constant and persistent hyperactivity.

Signs and Symptoms of ADHD in Adults

Only in the last few decades has ADHD become a recognized condition in adults.  The assumption by many was that the child “grew out of it” but this is being acknowledged as not true.  In reality, adults are able to control the hyperactivity component of ADHD but other symptoms manifest, such as anxiety.  Below are a few common symptoms:

  • Constantly daydreaming to the point of becoming confused in daily life.
  • Fidgeting, extreme restlessness, and impulsive decision making.
  • Difficulty keeping steady employment due to poor performance.
  • Have difficulty processing information as quickly as others.
  • Often losing things like car keys, wallets, or bills.
  • Poor anger control.

Medication-free ADHD Treatment Near Denver

Managing symptoms of ADHD is often handled with prescription medication, including both stimulant and non-stimulant drugs, many of which are chemically similar to Methamphetamine.   These can sometimes help relieve symptoms temporarily as long as the dosage is correct, but they’re addictive and contain harmful side effects especially in children. Alternative treatments such as counseling, behavioral therapy and dietary management have proven ineffective in several cases.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is the result of an imbalance between the two sides of the brain.  An overactivity of one side leads to a lack of sharing of information between the two hemispheres resulting in restlessness, unfocused attention, and an imbalance of skills.

To restore focus and alleviate the ADHD symptoms the brain needs to be retrained. That’s where our process comes into play. We evaluate the brain from a developmental perspective, meaning we work with the brain from its most basic functions all the way to the most complex.  This is called a bottom-up approach.  Think of building a house, if you had a foundation that wasn’t level and it was causing cracks in the walls which shifted the roof you wouldn't start with the roof, you would start with fixing the foundation!  The brain is no different, in order to have good attention and focus you need a good brain foundation.  Our developmental functional neurology approach allows us to correct the foundation and restore communication to both sides of the brain all without dangerous drugs or medication.  If you think you or a member of your family in the Denver area are suffering from ADHD, it’s important to get an evaluation and begin a well-rounded, effective treatment as soon as possible.

Where to Get ADHD Help in Denver

Wild & Precious Optimal Living is located in Wheat Ridge just east of Wadsworth Boulevard, less than a mile south of Hwy 70. 

Our office specializes in these kinds of issues and we love working with children! Contact us today to set up an appointment!

July 27, 2020

What’s the harm in W-sit position?

Our son Rivers is 3-years-old now, and for the first couple years of him learning to sit, his favorite position to sit in was the W-sit position. We would frequently pick Rivers up and reposition him, or we would remind him, “fix your legs!” He did not like to cross-legged, and we also noticed that already he preferred to slouch whenever he sat in the W-sit position. As neurologically-based chiropractors, we are very fortunate to use the skills and knowledge we have to apply to our own son, and we want to share what we’ve learned and experienced with you in this post all about the W-sit position!

What is the W-sit position?

When a child is in a W-sit position, they are sitting on their bottom with their knees bent and feet positioned outside of their hips. 

If you're standing above your child, you will see their legs and body make the shape of a ‘W’. This position naturally creases a wider base of support, which increases trunk stability and strength--- especially if the trunk area is weak. This requires less postural control, and it becomes “easier” for the kiddo and allows them to put more energy into playing rather than focus on balance.  

That position almost resembles a yoga pose called the Hero pose (Sanskrit name, Virasana.) Isn’t that supposed to be a beneficial pose? Absolutely! Practiced mindfully and purposefully, there are great benefits gained from this pose for adults to promote mobility. However, this is not the same as the W-sit position in the sense that it is an unconscious position that kids sit in. For kiddos, it is much easier for them to get in this position because their hips have a much greater range of motion. In the W-sitting position, their hips are positioned at extreme limits of internal rotation. Frequently sitting in this position, and/or for extended periods of time, along with the inability to grow out of this pattern is the concern.

What are concerns with frequent & prolonged W-sit position? 

The W-sitting position is not the cause of your child’s issues. Rather it can be an outcome of unhealthy brain development. For example, it may an indicator that there are retained primitive reflexes. Primitive reflexes are automatic actions originating in the central nervous system that are exhibited by normal infants before 12 months of age. These reflexes should be suppressed by the development of the frontal lobes as a child transitions normally into child development. However, abnormal maturation of the brain may not properly inhibit these reflexes. Just like a light on the dashboard giving you a warning that something is running incorrectly in your car, the W-sit position is a warning light for you to start asking questions about the function of the brain. If ignored and not addressed, symptoms continue to layer on and the list continues to grow. A number of physical and cognitive concerns can include:

  • Poor postural development, such as slouching
  • Weakened core stabilization and strength
  • Less range of rotational motion of trunk leading to deficits in eye-hand skills and crossing midline play
  • Restlessness while sitting, and often have to hook feet around the chair in order to stabilize
  • Affects balance and coordination development during childhood
  • Limits exploration and movement to other positions
  • Predisposition to hip dislocation, hip dysplasia, and abnormal muscle tone throughout the body
  • May contribute to unhealthy compensatory issues affecting mobility patterns in adulthood. Adults may present with symptoms such as back pain, sciatica, headaches, knee pain.

In our next posts, we’ll continue the conversation and discuss:

  • Primitive reflexes and brain dysfunction that result in W-sit position, 
  • How you can test if there is a presence of brain weaknesses and how you can proactively stop  your child W-sitting (and preventing further concerns listed above.)

ABOUT US

We partner with individuals and families to increase resilience, thrive and heal with neurologically based chiropractic and mindfulness practice; building vibrant & connected communities for generations to come.

ABOUT US

We partner with individuals and families to increase resilience, thrive and heal with neurologically based chiropractic and mindfulness practice; building vibrant & connected communities for generations to come.

ABOUT US

We partner with individuals and families to increase resilience, thrive and heal with neurologically based chiropractic and mindfulness practice; building vibrant & connected communities for generations to come.

ABOUT US

We partner with individuals and families to increase resilience, thrive and heal with neurologically based chiropractic and mindfulness practice; building vibrant & connected communities for generations to come.

ABOUT US

We partner with individuals and families to increase resilience, thrive and heal with neurologically based chiropractic and mindfulness practice; building vibrant & connected communities for generations to come.

HOURS

MONDAY—FRIDAY
8AM—6PM

HOURS

MONDAY—FRIDAY
8AM—6PM

ABOUT US

MONDAY—FRIDAY
8AM—6PM

HOURS

MONDAY—FRIDAY
8AM—6PM

HOURS

MONDAY—FRIDAY
8AM—6PM