At the Brain Injury Hope Foundation our intention of the Survivor Series is to introduce TBI survivors and their families to different approaches to healing and adapting to life after at TBI.
We do not endorse any of the methods or the healthcare providers that participate in our panels. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
Brain injuries are unique in nature. Each injury is as individual as you are, and this makes treating a mild traumatic brain injury exasperating, frustrating and time consuming as you explore different treatments and healthcare providers.
To help you on your journey from surviving to thriving, the Brain Injury Hope Foundation pulled together another healthcare panel to explore traditional and nontraditional methods of healing at its Jordan Law grant-funded Survivor Series Luncheon on July 20, 2018, at the Rocky Mountain Human Services in Denver.
The July panel featured
This panel was as unique as mTBIs: a recreational therapist in Lasher; a chief science officer at a medical marijuana company in Reid; a survivor of a TBI and physical therapist in Minden; a psychotherapist and neurotherapy practioner in Brock, and a chiropractor, who specializes in functional medicine to treat brain injury patients in Steadman.
“Recreational therapy is fun therapy,” Lasher said. “And it’s all different types of recreational opportunities – adaptive waterskiing, art therapy, music therapy etc...... We get you outside to help you with your fitness and to build neuroplasticity.” Cory believes she has the best job in the world as there is much satisfaction supporting our BI community.
Brock’s approach to treating brain injuries involves comprehensive neurofeedback to balance and rewire the brain using special software to map out the brain and record brain activity to develop a treatment program.
Neurofeedback has its foundations in neuroscience and psychology.
“Hardware and software are inexplicitly connected. Your thoughts and beliefs affect your physical body,” Brock said.
Reid and his team at ebbu are researching, redefining and transforming cannibas cultivation and designing lab-tested medical marijuana and CBDs or cannabidiols. CBDs do NOT get the patient high, that is the job of the THC or tetrahydrocannabinol in marijuana. The FDA recently approved the first prescription drug made from marijuana with CBD as the active ingredient. The drug, Epidiolex, cuts seizures in people with epilepsy.
“Endocannabinoids are made in the brain and are fundamental to a lot of the processes in the body,” Reid said. “We have seen good results with CBDs in stroke victims, anxiety, insomnia, pain.
I came into this as a skeptic, now I’m researching it on the cellular level.
Our health care professionals suggest survivors to protect the brain before and after at TBI.
Preclinical studies with animals show better outcomes if taking CBDs.
Again CBDs are not the part of the marijuana plant that gives you that high feeling and can also cause anxiety – that high is caused by the THC and that is not the goal or endresult of BI survivors using CBDs.
“THC can be inflammatory to the brain,” Steadman said. “It can be a neurodegenerative in the brain in high doses. CBD is neuro-protective. Smoking marijuana inflames the lungs and the brain.”
So when you smoke marijuana you are getting about 25 percent CBD and 75 percent THC or other, as in the chemicals that produce the liquids for vape pens. In some vape pens, maybe 50 percent to 60 percent is CBD, but Reid said vaping is safer than smoking.
Marijuana research is in its infancy stage and information is still coming forth on the best practices for medical marijuana. Talk with your health care professionals before you choose to embark on this path.
At Integrated Brain Centers, Steadman uses a multifaceted approach to treating concussions, including looking at your diet, nutritional supplements, blood work, neurological exams, vestibular and sensory perception testing to name a few of the methods to determine a full-body approach to recovery.
“Every thing causes every thing,” Steadman said. “Don’t hyper focus on the brain. The body influences the brain and the brain influences the body. It’s all interconnected – sleep, diet stress. Work on yourself not just the brain.”
Some of the supplements Steadman uses when treating mTBI include turmeric, resveratrol (found in grape skins), fish oil (DHA is the component that benefits the brain), gluthione and NAC, which helps produce gluthione.
“Eat well and keep the stress down,” Steadman said.
Minden, who suffered a TBI while a teenager and is the co-owner of OT Plus, handed out at list of Top 10 Strategies for TBI survivors.
Some of those tips include fatigue management, exercise, nutrition, social interaction, structured routines and mindfulness and meditation techniques to help you navigate life. These also are useful techniques for people without TBI. Please see the attached handouts for her research and explanation of these ten top strategies.
“It’s a slow process,” Steadman said. “It takes your brain 18 months for the cells to turnover. It takes a broken bone six to eight weeks.”
To help you through those rough times as your brain heals, Brock stressed the “power of intention” and Cory suggested watching the movie “The Secret” for a primer on power thoughts.
Reid encouraged the TBI community to try different approaches to healing from TBI, including acupuncture and massage.
Keep trying different things, Minden said.
Finding “different things” is the intention of our healthcare panels as we try to introduce TBI survivors to a diverse group of healthcare professionals to help you on your path to recovery.
Brain Injury Treatment Panel #2 Blog, by Eliza Marie Somers
Barb Minden, MPT
OT Plus 1780 S. Bellaire St. Suite # 300
Denver CO 80222
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian G. Reid, PhD
Chief Science Officer
Cory Lasher, CTRS
City of Boulder Parks and Recreation EXPAND Program
3170 N. Broadway
Boulder, CO 80021
Sean Brock, LPC, BCN
Owner, Neuro Colorado
1777 South Bellaire Street,
Suite 102 Denver, CO 80222
Shane Steadman, DC, DACNB, DCBCN
Chiropractic Neurologist and National Speaker for Apex
Integrated Brain Centers 3601 S. Clarkson Street
Suite 410 and 420 Englewood, CO 80113