Collin County Living Well Magazine November/December 2017 - Page 46

Concussion: It Need not Ruin Your Life By Brenda Briscoe, LMT Concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by an injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of brain injury. Some will have obvious symptoms, like passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury. But others won’t. After a concussion, the brain is more sensitive to damage. While recovering, getting consistent sleep and avoiding re-injury is important. Repeated concussions or a severe concussion may lead to long-lasting problems with movement, learning, or speaking. Studies are being done to gain understanding of the short and long term effects. Recent clinical studies indicate that, in adolescents, boys recover more quickly than girls. Mice studies have revealed that, even when there are no outward symptoms, repeated concussions have long-lasting cumulative effects. We need to know more about the effects of repeated concussions, especially for young athletes, but the mouse data support the idea that the effects are cumulative and the consequences are real. In children, rather than the younger brain being more “plastic” and better able to bounce back from concussion, early insults may result in longer recovery time and can impact later development. Undeveloped or developing skills, particularly executive control processes, are considered particularly vulnerable. What are some ways to a quicker than normal recovery? In previous editions, you’ve read articles on LED Phototherapy and Bowen Therapy. LED therapy is similar to laser, but uses pulsing and diffuse, rather than coherent, light. Near-infrared wavelengths are especially effective at draining lymphatic fluid accumulated in the brain from a concussive injury. Anodyne Therapy LEDs have been cleared by the FDA for increasing blood and lymphatic circulation, and decreasing pain, swelling and inflammation. Some herbal remedies can enhance recovery. Gingko Biloba, known for penetrating the blood brain barrier, can increase memory, concentration, and blood flow. 30-40 Milligrams of this herb brewed as a tea can be consumed for about 4-6 weeks. 40- 120 Milligrams can also be taken orally in powdered form or a tincture 2 to 3 times a day. St. John’s Wort has anti-inflammatory properties. 900-1800 Milligrams of it can be consumed orally every day. For children, the dosage used in clinical trials has been 150-1800 milligrams. Arnica Montana is great to have on hand for many applications. Known for reducing inflammation, pain, and bruising, it’s one of the herbs used as a remedy for concussion. Arnica ointment can be applied to the base of the skull or temples. It can also be taken as a tincture or, if taking it as homeopathic pills, one can take 4 pills or pellets every 2 hours during the first 24 hours of the concussive incident. At Living Well Health & Wellness, we’ve seen concussion cases with more severe symptoms. A high school student, injured in a sporting event, could not pay attention in class, had daily headaches, mood swings, trouble sleeping, reading difficulties, and a general malaise. After two treatments, his headaches and mood swings were gone, he was able to sleep and pay attention in class, and he had a much happier mood, allowing him to participate in school and family life again. Another client, a 51-year-old woman who experienced an auto accident a couple months before coming for treatment, had the following severe concussion symptoms: • Inability to stay awake for nearly two weeks without great effort • brain fog, affecting her clarity of thought • memory loss • slurred speech • complete exhaustion on demand without warning, affecting her ability to drive • Severe and debilitating migraines • Inability to sit very long and work at a computer Her physician told her it could take 9 months to a year to recover and return to normal. After receiving 4 weekly Bowen and LED Phototherapy treatments, she was sleeping through the night, thinking clearly and having better recall. Her speech was no longer slurred except when exhausted. And with maintenance sessions, she gets a rare mild headache. The recent movie Concussion revealed how tragic a life can become when repeated concussions cause severe symptoms that negatively affect brain health, where the person can no longer function normally within their family or hold down a job. Other answers for recovery from TBIs can be found in alternative health. These few are presented as examples of help outside the traditional medical model if you’ve been given no hope or instructions other than to take pain meds and just “wait and watch the symptoms.” Brenda Briscoe is a licensed massage therapist with 17 years of experience with an emphasis on pain recovery using Bowen Therapy and LED Light Therapy. She is one of very few practitioners in the DFW metroplex using both of these therapies together. Call Brenda at 972-930-0260 to discover how these amazing modalities can change your life. 44 COLLIN COUNTY Living Well Magazine | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 Concussion: It Need not Ruin Your Life By Brenda Briscoe, LMT C oncussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by an injury that jars or shakes the brain in- side the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of brain injury. Some will have obvious symptoms, like passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury. But others won’t. After a concussion, the brain is more sensi- tive to damage. While recovering, getting consistent sleep and avoiding re-injury is im- portant. Repeated concussions or a severe concussion may lead to long-lasting prob- lems with movement, learning, or speaking. Studies are being done to gain understand- ing of the short and long term effects. Re- cent clinical studies indicate that, in ado- lescents, boys recover more quickly than girls. Mice studies have revealed that, even when there are no outward symp- toms, repeated concussions have long-last- ing cumulative effects. We need to know more about the effects of repeated concus- sions, especially for young athletes, but the mouse data support the idea that the ef- fects are cumulative and the consequences are real. In children, rather than the younger brain being more “plastic” and better able to bounce back from concussion, early insults may result in longer recovery time and can impact later development. Undeveloped or developing skills, particularly executive control processes, are considered particu- larly vulnerable. What are some ways to a quicker than nor- mal recovery? In previous editions, you’ve read articles on LED Phototherapy and Bowen Therapy. LED therapy is similar to laser, but uses puls- ing and diffuse, rather than coherent, light. Near-infrared wavelengths are especially effective at draining lymphatic fluid accumu- lated in the brain from a concussive injury. Anodyne Therapy LEDs have been cleared by the FDA for increasing blood and lym- phatic circulation, and decreasing pain, swelling and inflammation. Some herbal remedies can enhance recov- ery. Gingko Biloba, known for penetrating the blood brain barrier, can increase mem- ory, concentration, and blood flow. 30-40 Milligrams of this  herb brewed as a tea can be consumed for about 4-6 weeks. 40- 120 Milligrams can also be taken orally in powdered form or a tincture 2 to 3 times a day. St. John’s Wort has anti-inflammatory prop- erties. 900-1800 Milligrams of it can be consumed orally every day. For children, the dosage used in clinical trials has been 150-1800 milligrams. Arnica Montana is great to have on hand for many applications. Known for reducing inflammation, pain, and bruising, it’s one of the herbs used as a remedy for concussion. Arnica ointment can be applied to the base of the skull or temples. It can also be taken as a tincture or, if taking it as homeopathic pills, one can take 4 pills or pellets every 2 hours during the first 24 hours of the concus- sive incident. At Living Well Health & Wellness, we’ve seen concussion cases with more severe symptoms. A high school student, injured in a sporting event, could not pay attention in class, had daily headaches, mood swings, trouble sleeping, reading difficulties, and a general malaise. 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