Yoga: Seated Cobra Pose

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for neuroplasticity. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, be able to balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is every pose can be modified to accommodate anyone. An important aspect of […]

Resilience After a Brain Injury

By Dr. Shane Steadman, DC, DACNB, DCBCN, CNS Recovery after a brain injury can be a long journey. Working hard and hoping to get back to baseline often can be frustrating, and for some, unattainable. With the many doctor visits, exercises, rehab appointments, medications, and supplements, goals can become lost. However, amid recovering from a […]

The Resiliency of the Human Brain and Body

By James A. Heuer, PA As a personal injury attorney for over 45 years, I have witnessed many of my clients successfully recover from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Whether the TBI occurs from a car crash, a slip and fall, or blow to the head, the resiliency of the human body and brain is […]

Resiliency: Is It Just Personal or Part of Brain Chemistry?

By Deborah Zelinsky, O.D. The term resiliency encompasses “the range of personal protective factors, environmental supports, and resources, as well as self-regulatory processes, engaged in response to adversity,” according to investigators writing about recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI) for the publication Disability and Rehabilitation. Indeed, author Mike Norton  said it best when he wrote, […]

Stress Away Essential Oil

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief A complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle, essential oils are easy to use and smell great, with a variety of uses. All oils are not created equal. I personally only trust the Young Living brand because I know they maintain complete control over their product from seed […]

Resiliency and the Courtroom

By Jeff Heller Resiliency is one of the greatest attributes anyone can have. From an early age, parents teach their children, “if you get knocked down, you get back up.” Coaches teach their players, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” And one of the cornerstones of the underdog mentality is to “never […]

The Quality of Resilience

by Shauna Hahn Sometime in 2019, in the weekly “Healing and Recovery” therapy group I lead, we discussed the topic of the quality of “resilience.” When it came time for a patient to contribute, he said, “I don’t want to be resilient. I get tired of being resilient all the f**king time.” And I heard […]

Peanut Butter Protein Fluff

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief What You Need: 1 cup (250g) full-fat Greek yogurt 2 tbsp. peanut butter or almond butter 2 tsp. stevia Favorite garnish (banana, granola, blueberries) Add the yogurt, nut butter and stevia into a small mixing bowl and whisk together using a hand mixer, until fluffy. Transfer the mix into a bowl […]

Arizona Man Overcomes Three Traumatic Brain Injuries and Gives Back By Building Adaptive Recreation & Socialization Program for Survivors

By Ed Roth Randy Elston is finally living his best life, which may be an odd thing to say about a Marine Corps veteran with three traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Recently named as the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona’s new Adaptive Recreation & Activities Coordinator, Randy’s tours of duty in Iraq left him with a […]

Caregiver Corner: Reflecting at the Eight Year Mark

By Ian Hebeisen As of October, my family officially passed the eight-year anniversary of the car accident causing my mom’s traumatic brain injury. That’s eight years of doctor’s appointments, chiropractic care, restless nights, back exercises, visual therapies, and legal battles. It’s been eight years of trial and error, bouncing from treatment to treatment, trying to […]

Oculomotor Movements as the Foundation of Visually Processing Our World

By Kara Christy, MS, OTRL, CBIS “Vision plays a dominant role in motor development and the motivation to move”.  – Linda Gerra, American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference 2016 Eighty percent of all learning occurs visually. Visual dysfunction occurs in 50-70% of all acquired brain injuries, making learning new strategies and re-learning skills challenging if […]

Healing the Brain with Hyperbaric Oxygen

By Ian Hebeisen As the son of a neurologist, Dr. Mohammed Elamir learned about the brain at a young age. One of his earliest memories involves a visit to his father’s office. “My father actually had the privilege and opportunity to treat Muhammad Ali, the boxer,” said Dr. Elamir. “I was five years old, and […]

Moonstone for Resilience

By Kristen Brown Work and life can be busy and stressful, pulling your focus from what matters to you most. The big and small changes that happen over a lifetime require a strong sense of self and a high level of resilience to navigate your path with positivity. You can use one powerful stone, moonstone, […]

A Caregiver’s Wish for 2023

By Anne Adkinson As a member of the Brain injury Alliance Veterans Services team, I advocate on the front lines for Arizona’s military caregivers, connecting them with the resources, education, and support they need to make family life run a bit smoother. It’s been an honor to help those whose selfless acts of love and […]

From the Editor: Resilience

With the Winter issue comes a little bit of anxiety for me. My injury happened in February of 2014 when I slipped on a patch of black ice. Because I was carrying my five-pound Yorkie at the time, and was on a steep incline, I landed full-force on the back of my head. Nine years […]

Eye-Ear Connection Plays Major Role in Proprioception

By Deborah Zelinsky, O.D. “Vestibular information is integrated with proprioceptive and other sensory inputs to generate our sense of motion,” say authors of a recent study published in a 2021 issue of Current Opinion in Physiology ( This explains why patients with vestibular sensory loss or other vestibular impairments find “everyday activities like walking” to […]

Proprioception and TBI

by James A. Heuer, PA Proprioception, simplified, is disturbed balance. Proprioception is how a person knows the position of the body, the location of their legs or arms, and how their head is held. It is the awareness of where the body is, and it is learned throughout a person’s lifespan. As muscles strengthen, they […]

Smoky Quartz for Balancing and Grounding

By Kristen Brown Owning your place and space in the world takes a powerful mindset. Whether it’s navigating terrain physically or navigating situations mentally and emotionally, you will always find opportunities to see and feel where you’re at in the moment. One simple way to bring more awareness to your body, mind, and spirit is […]

This Professional Speaker & Auctioneer Couldn’t Talk Her Way Out of Brain Injury Symptoms

By Ed Roth Letitia Frye will be the first to tell you she doesn’t sugar coat anything. But she did try to hide a few things, namely the ocular and physical limitations her brain injury caused her at work and home. West Coast-born, East-Coast raised, Letitia doesn’t have a 9-5 desk job or a typical […]

Our Children are Our Legacy: Ensuring a Daughter’s Success

By Ian Hebeisen 20 years ago, Mike Lang returned home to find his house empty – not unusual, since he knew his wife Kelly and their two daughters were at a ballet rehearsal. Upon checking the answering machine, however, Mike learned that they never made it to their destination. “The message was from our friend […]

Joy Essential Oil

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief A complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle, essential oils are easy to use and smell great, with a variety of uses. All oils are not created equal. I personally only trust the Young Living brand because I know they maintain complete control over their product from seed […]

From Concussion to Competition

By Mohammed Elamir, MD, FACP, Aviv Clinics Physician When 14-year-old Linden Perry came to Aviv Clinics, we asked about her expectations of our program. “I just want to be me,” she answered. It’s a response we hear frequently at Aviv Clinics, where our unique, comprehensive medical program helps people improve their brain function. Whether they […]

Proprioception: a Mind-Body Connection

by Dr. Kassie Kaas, DC Proprioception, also referred to as kinesthesia, is defined as your ability to sense your movement or body position. That internal awareness helps you determine if you are standing, seated, in motion, or experiencing a gravitational force even with your eyes closed. Millions of special receptors located in joints, tendons, skin […]

Mexican Fried Rice

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief What You Need: 7 oz. (300g) chicken breast 2 cloves garlic, crushed scant ½ cup (100g) rice 2 tbsp. coconut oil ½ red onion, chopped 1 red pepper, diced ⅜ cup (100g) sweetcorn, drained ½ cup (100g) red kidney beans, drained 1 tomato, peeled, chopped 1 avocado, stone removed, flesh diced […]

Caregiver Corner: the Body as a Whole

By Ian Hebeisen Over the years, my mom has undergone various treatments to battle her brain injury. She tried everything from physical therapy to vocational rehab to help reclaim her life, each aiding to some degree. Yet throughout her therapies, her progress fluctuated. At times, when one aspect of her injury improved, another worsened. Early […]

Proprioception: The “Sixth Sense” that Helps Us Navigate the World

By Dr. Clayton Shiu, L. Ac. PhD Close your eyes and take a step. How do you know where your left foot, then your right foot, should go? What controls how you place your foot down onto the ground? How can you tell where your arms and legs are, where your body is in space? […]

Yoga: Camel Pose

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, be able to balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is every pose can be modified to accommodate anyone. An […]

Where Am I At?

by Michael Hennes, DC, DACNB, Where am I? This seems like a simple question. In fact, if you’re reading this you probably know exactly where you are, or at least you think you do. You may know the place you’re in but your brain may not know where you are in that place. Deep. I’m […]

From the Editor

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief It’s hard to believe we are already quickly approaching winter. The leaves have fallen, there is a chill in the air, and – depending on where you live — you may already have experienced your first dusting of snow. With changing seasons comes holidays, family gatherings, and other situations that may […]

The Emotional Toll of Traumatic Brain Injury

By JoAnne Silver Jones with Hilary Jacobs Hendel One and a half million people in the United States suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. Attention tends to focus on regaining physical health and brain recovery to the extent possible, including speech, mobility, sight, hearing, and often emotional lability. Having lived with a TBI […]

How to Communicate with Your Doctors

By Michael Hennes DC, DACNB Our brains thrive on assimilating new information and figuring out what to do next. In fact, the brain’s job is to sift through all of the information we get in a moment and make a decision. Some of these decisions we’re aware of; we think about making them. Is this […]

Communication and TBI

by James A. Heuer, PA One of the most crucial devices in life, communication is by definition “the capacity to exchange or discuss ideas, to dialogue, to converse with the aim of understanding between different parties.” The importance of it is engraved in day to day work, education, relationships, conversations, and leisure activities. It is […]

Healing Takes Time. Listen to Your Brain.

By Lynn Garthwaite 9-3-09. 1507 hours: “4828! Officer down!”. Chuck Gollop didn’t hear those words. It was the voice of his partner speaking to the dispatcher, requesting an ambulance and back-up as Sergeant Gollop laid unconscious on the pavement, partially underneath his police-issued motorcycle. “This was truly the day that changed my life more than […]

Amazonite to Improve Communication and Connection

By Kristen Brown Communication can get challenging when our energy is off. Pulling together a thought, composing an email or text, managing your body language and facial expressions – they can all send the wrong message if we are stressed, burnt out, injured,  ill, or simply overworked. One powerful crystal can help you communicate more […]

Hands Up for “Heavy Metal Headbang”

By Ian Hebeisen Traumatic Brain Injuries can occur in an instant. For some, it strikes at home from a fall, while others sustain a TBI from a sporting related accident. For Melissa Meszaros, it happened on the way to a Judas Priest concert. A tenured entertainment industry publicist, creator of the comic book publicity firm […]

Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and have a variety of uses. All oils are not created equal. I personally only trust the Young Living brand because I know they have complete control over their product […]

Caregiver Tips for Helping with Cognition and Communication Skills

By Kelly Harrigan Traumatic brain injuries profoundly affect an individual’s ability to perform many cognitive skills, particularly those relating to emotional lability, attention, planning, judgment, and decision making. It is difficult for an affected individual to comprehend these difficulties, and hard for caregivers and loved ones to accept that a person’s cognition fundamentally changed. Frustration, […]

One Pot Turkey Chili with Rice

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief What You Need: 10 oz. (300g) minced turkey filet ½ cup (115g) rice 1 medium onion, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp. oil ½ can chopped tomatoes 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 cup (250ml) vegetable broth ⅓ cup (60g) red kidney beans, drained ⅓ cup (85g) sweet corn, […]

TBI Impairs Visualizing; Can’t Describe It, Then Can’t Share It

By Deborah Zelinsky, O.D., Founder of the Mind-Eye Institute Remez Sasson, author and creator of, defines visualization as “the ability to create mental images,” integrated with other sensory sensations like sounds, smells, and tastes. Visualization “means using your imagination.” This visual skill takes place internally on what Mind-Eye practitioners term a “mental desktop”,  one […]

Patient-Caregiver Relationship: The Key to Successful Medical Care

by Aanika Parikh For most Americans, doctor visits are a constant in our lives, whether it be for our yearly checkups or specific medical concerns. While treatments and procedures may seem like the most important part of our medical care, we often overlook the importance of communicating with our healthcare providers. Language differences, cultural misunderstandings, […]

Yoga: Backbends

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, be able to balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is every pose can be modified to accommodate anyone. An […]

Caregiver Corner: Combating the Ripple Effect Through Communication

By Ian Hebeisen My mom recently described what she called “a ripple effect” resulting from her traumatic brain injury. Upon sustaining the TBI, it began affecting her life in ripples, starting at home and spreading outward. It affected life with her family and friends, then work, and so on. “It spread throughout every aspect of […]

Brain Fog: How It Can Impact Your Daily Activities

By Maci Blommel What is brain fog? Like in nature, fog impacts your ability to see while driving, and brain fog affects your brain’s ability to process information. A symptom, not a medical condition, many experience brain fog across multiple diagnoses, disorders, and conditions. Brain fog can impact one’s quality of life and ability to […]

From the Editor

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief As we move into fall, I feel a sense of relief knowing the air will be less humid and sticky. My favorite season, I think fall teaches us a life lesson. Even though the leaves fall from the trees and the land looks dead, there is new life forming that will […]

Lemon and Lemon Vitality® Essential Oil

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use and smell great with a variety of uses. All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their […]

Persistent Neurofatigue, Most Common After TBI

By Deborah Zelinsky, O.D., Executive Research Director of the Mind-Eye Institute “I’m tired and I want to go to bed.” That second line of the 1925 song Show Me the Way to Go Home characterizes what we all recognize as normal fatigue, but fails to depict the kind of debilitating fatigue following traumatic brain injury […]

Fatigue and TBI

By James A. Heuer, PA One of the most common symptoms individuals experience after a traumatic brain injury is fatigue. Types of fatigue include and are not limited to: cognitive, mental, physical, and psychological. Reportedly, 70% of individuals with a TBI suffer from fatigue, expressing it as their most debilitating symptom post injury. Fatigue affects […]

Athletic Therapy and Healing the Nervous System

By Ian Hebeisen At a young age, Matthew Bennett adopted the mindset that “health is wealth”. Several of his family members would get really sick, and watching them combat these illnesses showed Bennett the importance of maintaining healthy habits. “We’re given one body, one life, one brain, one opportunity. That kind of drove me,” said […]

Is Fatigue Endangering Our Teenagers?

by Aanika Parikh Public speakers, environmental activists, multi-sport athletes: there is very little our youth are not capable of pursuing. After all, most teenagers are free from responsibilities such as paying bills and providing for a family, allowing them to put their youthful determination and energy into action. In fact, UNICEF identifies teenagers as the […]

Caregiver Corner: the Wonders of a Walker

By Ian Hebeisen My mom first sustained her traumatic brain injury over seven years ago, leading to frequent fatigue. She’d come home from work and flop down into a chair, trying to regain enough energy to get through dinner. Our family struggled to understand at first – she’d been fine before, so the sudden bouts […]

Fatigue and Traumatic Brain Injury

Dr. JoAnne Silver Jones Ed. D, MSW Fatigue. My nemesis. My constant companion. The reminder that my brain is injured, some parts irreparably. Fatigue wakes up with me and follows me to sleep. It’s so hard to explain how after 8 hours of sleep, a CPAP machine, medication, and meditation, I can wake up tired. […]

Quinoa Tabbouleh

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief What You Need: 1 cup (170g) quinoa 2 medium tomatoes, finely diced 1 small cucumber, finely diced 1 bell pepper, finely diced 1 red onion, finely diced ⅔ cup (15g) parsley, chopped ⅔ cup (15g) mint, chopped juice of 2 limes 2 tbsp. olive oil Cook the quinoa according to instructions […]

When Long Covid Fatigue Met Yoga

By Ed Roth Nikki Matthews is exhausted, but you’d never know it. A little over two years ago, the 47-year-old executive recruiter just finished visiting family and friends in the Poconos, heading to Florida. When she boarded the plane in Philadelphia, she felt fine, but by the time she landed in Orlando, she felt like […]

How to Use Sunstone to Beat Burnout and Fatigue

By Kristen Brown Burnout and deep fatigue are a real challenge in today’s overscheduled and constantly changing world. Whether caused by true over-work, a healing body or brain, or too much routine and sameness, it’s important to take steps to soothe and uplift the body, mind, and spirit. One powerful way to give yourself an […]

Surviving the Emotional Effects of Sexual Trauma

by Carrie Collins-Fadell Every year in the United States, an estimated 470,000 women are sexually assaulted. Sadly, that number is rising and likely even higher as assaults often go unreported and uncounted. While we regularly analyze the statistics, we as a community need to add to the conversation by exploring ways to support the brain […]

Yoga: Standing Forward Fold

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, be able to balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is every pose can be modified to accommodate anyone. An […]

How Much Does Fatigue Cost You?

By Jeffrey M. Heller, Esq. If the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly following your TBI accident, and you are forced to file a lawsuit, your lawyer will have to answer tough questions for the jury, such as ”what is your injury ‘worth’?” and “what should the jury order the person or company who […]

7 Types Of Fatigue You Should Be Aware Of: The Definition Guide

by Dr. Tatiana Habanova “I am so tired even my tiredness is tired” Fatigue is a universal feeling we all experience at one time or another: from trying to stay mentally alert on Zoom meetings, to that feeling we get after completing an exercise routine, to not feeling refreshed due to a sleepless night. In […]

Exploring Caregiver Fatigue

by Anne Adkinson The term “caregiver” in the brain injury community can be complex and varied. Unpaid family and friend caregivers can be a key to recovery and living well for survivors of head injury. However, calling yourself a “caregiver” when referring to care provided for someone we love who was independent before an accident, […]

From the Editor

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Summertime — a double-edged sword for brain injury survivors. As we welcome summer, we also welcome higher temperatures and humidity — which can wreak havoc on our brain injuries, causing fatigue and other symptoms to flare. I found that I need to really watch my water intake and remember to stay […]

Neuroplasticity and Meditation

By Dr. Shane Steadman, DC, DACNB, DCBCN, CNS We often think of meditation as a metaphysical or religious practice. Many use activities such as mindfulness, deep breathing, and meditation to calm down the sympathetic system (fight or flight) to help us get through the day. But what if we thought of it from a neurological […]

How to Use Turquoise for Mindfulness

By Kristen Brown Creating a calm and focused mind can be tricky in today’s world, but when you tap into the power of turquoise you can bring back the mindfulness you seek. Whether you use it as a tool during meditation or yoga, wear it as jewelry, or simply keep loose stones around your house […]

Setbacks After Brain Injury

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Setbacks. They’re a fact of life, right? After a brain injury, setbacks can be devastating. They can feel like the end of the world, wrapping you in a feeling of isolation and despair. Throughout the course of my recovery, it was only natural that I would encounter setbacks. Most of these […]

Tuna Salad Lettuce Wraps

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief What You Need: 1 ¼ cup (280g) tuna in olive oil, drained 1 tbsp. tomato puree 1 small red onion, finely chopped ½ Granny Smith apple 8 lettuce leaves Put the tuna and half of the oil from the can in a bowl and mix with the tomato puree. Chop the […]

Mindfulness Proving Powerful for Injured Brains

By Deborah Zelinsky, O.D.  “For many brain injury survivors, mindfulness is an essential practice that helps regulate their mental health, mood changes, and memory.” That comment – from the Headway Company, which works with affordable mental health services – suggests why mindfulness meditation has undergone scientific scrutiny as a technique to bring relief to patients […]

Why is Mindfulness Important for Your Workout?

By Amy Zellmer A workout for the sole purpose of physical exercise can only provide limited health benefits. It can help you stay fit to some level and boost your serotonin levels to some points. But, when you add mindfulness into your workout, it becomes the secret ingredient to overall well-being, including physical and mental […]

Mindfulness and TBI

By James A. Heuer, PA In recent studies, mindfulness proved to help improve the cognitive state of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)  patients. It is said that mindfulness assists TBI patients with keeping their focus on the present moment. In short, mindfulness is the state of awareness resulting from consciously paying attention. Since healing from a […]

Mentally Mindful

By Amy Zellmer “Mindfulness clears the windshield of the mind so that we can see things as they really are.” Travis Eliot What is Mindfulness? A state of nonjudgmental awareness of what’s happening in the present moment, including the awareness of one’s own thoughts, feelings, and senses. You act mindfully when you listen to a […]

Caregiver Corner: Art as a Means of Mindfulness

By Ian Hebeisen Mindfulness comes in many shapes and forms. It doesn’t have to be hardcore meditation for a solid hour once a day – that’s simply not realistic for everybody. For some people it might be a simple prayer and reflection at the end of the day, for others it might be doodling in […]

Yoga: Eagle Pose

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, be able to balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified to accommodate anyone.  […]

Yoga for the Mind, Body, and Spirit

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is often misunderstood by many, with the thought that you must be flexible and able to contort your body into crazy positions while standing on one toe. This simply couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga is amazing for the body, spirit, and mind. Similar to meditation, it brings awareness […]

Clarity® Essential Oil

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool to help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and have a variety of uses. All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product […]

Thinking Outside the Brain: Trent McEntire’s Journey

By Ian Hebeisen Trent McEntire lived an active childhood, despite experiencing chronic pain and stiffness. Whenever he found a physical task daunting or challenging, McEntire would find ways to accommodate the sport to fit his needs. He played basketball, went cycling, and in time took up dance. “When I got into dance, it felt good […]

Breathing for the Brain

By Jonathan Chung, DC When it comes to mindfulness training, there is no shortage of techniques to help reclaim control of a wandering mind. The numerous benefits of mindfulness are well documented in clinical trials across a wide variety of conditions, ranging from anxiety and depression to autoimmune disease and chronic pain. Meditation tends to […]

From the Editor

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief I am so excited about this issue on Mindfulness. It helped not only in my recovery, but in my everyday life. Learning to focus on the present moment — the right-here-and-now — instead of worrying about what you have to do later, or whatever it was you did earlier, has a […]

Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief What You Need: 2 lbs. (900g) chicken breasts 4 bell peppers, sliced 1 red onion, sliced 2 tbsp. honey 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 lime, juice 1 tbsp. chili powder 1 tbsp. cumin 1 tbsp. paprika 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. onion powder 1 tsp. garlic powder 1 cup chopped tomatoes […]

From Calamitous to Cannabis

By Ian Hebeisen Over her life, Nikki Lawley has sold H-Vac filtration systems, dealt cards at a casino, and started her own company, solidifying her as a true renaissance woman of the modern age. Most recently, she worked as a pediatric nurse in Buffalo – a career choice resulting in a TBI. One shift, a […]

The Curse and Blessing of Neuroplasticity After Concussion

By Jonathan Chung, DC Neuroplasticity is defined as the ability for neural networks in the brain to change through growth and reorganization. If you’ve been involved in the world of strokes and brain injuries long enough, you probably heard of neuroplasticity in the context of how it can provide hope for people to rehabilitate and […]

Busting the Neuromyth of Left-Brain Versus Right-Brain Dominance

by Dr. Amy Moore I remember calling myself a “right-brained thinker” in college because I was creative, musical, highly emotional, and full of big-picture out-of-the-box-ideas. I struggled to relate to classmates who enjoyed math. They were polar opposite left-brainers who analyzed everything. Imagine my surprise in graduate school when I found myself truly enjoying my […]

Valor® Essential Oil

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and have a variety of uses. All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their […]

Caregiver Corner: Paying Attention to Tics and Triggers

By Ian Hebeisen Over seven years ago, my mom received a traumatic brain injury from a car accident. As a result, she sustained nerve damage that often leads to painful contortions in her arms and legs. At first, we couldn’t tell what would set off her arm spasms, but as time went on, we began […]

Yoga: Bird Dog Pose

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, be able to balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified to accommodate anyone. […]

The Woman of Courage

By Ellen Fortini Courtad There’s something surprising about Kathy Colace Laurinaitis that she doesn’t mind sharing. The managing partner of JBN & Associates recruiting firm. She is a self-proclaimed chicken. “People know me in business, so they think I have that no-fear personality,” she confides. “But I am such a chicken. I fear bugs. I […]

Looking Through Different Glasses Can Benefit Muddled CNS

By Deborah Zelinsky, O.D. “Our entire biological system, the brain and the earth itself, work on the same frequencies,” said Nikola Tesla, the late 1800s/early 1900s inventor and electrical and mechanical engineer. But traumatic brain injury (TBI) – even a mild concussion – may knock the central nervous system (CNS) off that frequency, resulting in […]

The Power of Garnet for Energy and Wellness

By Kristen Brown When we get overwhelmed or stressed, our bodies and energy get blocked. This can cause you to feel foggy, sluggish, scattered, and generally unwell. Several powerful crystals can help you refocus your energy and amp up your physical body, but one of the best is garnet. It’s a multi-functional stone used since […]

How a Traumatic Brain Injury Damages the Fragility of the Central Nervous System

By James A. Heuer, PA Beginning with the basics, the central nervous system (CNS) encompasses both the human brain and spinal cord. The brain is considered the most complex organ in the human body. Of all the oxygen we consume as humans, the brain utilizes 20% (one-fifth) of our total oxygen usage. The brain consists […]

How Fast is Your Fight or Flight Going?

by Dr. Shane Steadman, DC, DACNB, DCBCN, CNS One of the oldest and most primitive areas of the brain controls our fight-or-flight response. Located in the midbrain, our fight-or-flight system automatically responds to acute stress, trauma, or perceived danger. This is a very necessary part of the brain when needed, but usually in small increments […]

Dancing with Darwin

By Kelly Harrigan Today, we’re taking dance lessons with Darwin, and our dance instructor is Dr. Steven Saltzman. Saltzman is a Johns Hopkins-trained physician with a background in anti-aging and regenerative medicine and a passion for wellness and integrative medicine. His unique approach to patients combines his background in both modern and alternative medicine with […]

From the Editor

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Every year as March approaches, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in Brain Injury Awareness Month at the nation’s capitol. However, with the pandemic, we are once again unable to gather in Washington, DC. This led me to create a virtual brain injury awareness day event via Zoom … […]

The Gut-Brain Connection Through the Lens of Traumatic Brain Injury

by Jonathan Chung, DC It’s no longer a secret the composition and health of your gut has a substantial impact on the health of the brain and nervous system. Research on the role of the gut microbiome has exploded in the last 10 years with blockbuster studies showing your gut bacteria composition can affect mental […]

Hormones Often the Culprit for Symptoms After Brain Injury

By Deborah Zelinsky, O.D. In the words of journalist and author Susannah Cahalan, “Hormones get no respect,” but anyone who has sustained a head injury or concussion is likely to agree with biochemist Barry Sears, Ph.D., that those disrespected chemicals “control your life.” In fact, traumatic brain injury (TBI) can throw hormones out of balance, […]

Turkey and Broccoli Stir Fry

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief What You Need: 5 oz. (100g) black rice noodles 7 oz. (200g) turkey fillet, chopped 1 broccoli, diced into florets 1 tbsp. olive oil 4 tbsp. soy or tamari sauce 2 tsp. sesame oil 1 tbsp. rice vinegar 1 tbsp. grated ginger 2 tbsp. spring onion, chopped handful coriander, to serve […]

The Spoon Theory and Having a Traumatic Brain Injury

by Toni Popkin Many people have heard of “The Spoon Theory” by Christine Miserandino. ( She wrote the article to explain what living with a chronic invisible disease is like. I have a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI); more correctly I’ve had four— three from cars crashing into mine (none my fault), and the most recent […]

Hormones and Brain Function

By Dr. Shane Steadman Most people understand changes in hormones can cause changes in brain function. These changes most often affect a person’s mood and libido, but hormones vastly impact the metabolic function and brain. When the topic of hormones is mentioned, many people only think about estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. But many other hormones, […]

Endoflex and Endoflex Vitality

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and are versatile. Not all oils are created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product from seed […]

How to Tap Into the Power of Labradorite

By Kristen Brown When our bodies get out of balance physically, energetically, or emotionally, a connection to our hormones may be the cause. Several energetic pathways align with specific glands and organs that impact hormone levels. One powerful crystal that can help with hormonal balance is labradorite. The shimmery bluish grey stone reflects light in […]

Yoga: Butterfly Pose

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, be able to balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified to accommodate almost […]

The Zac Easter Story: a Writer’s Exploration of a Damaged Mind

By Ian Hebeisen Currently working for the Star Tribune newspaper in Minnesota, Reid Forgrave’s writing career has covered sporting events including college tournaments, NFL games, and the Summer Olympics. He writes in a long-form narrative style, making his articles engaging and engrossing. Out of all the writing he’s published, Forgrave’s book Love, Zac: Small-Town Football […]

The Stress-Learning Connection: Manage an Amygdala Hijack in Three Steps

By Amy Lawson Moore, PhD With dreams of attending a top-ranked college, you need very high scores on both sections of the entrance exam. For months, you study and prep and study some more for the SAT. You are ready on test day. This day will determine your life’s course. As you take your seat, […]

The Connection Between Traumatic Brain Injuries & Neuroendocrine Disorders

by Dr. Tatiana Habanova In the early 1900s, the consensus was that pituitary damage was a rare consequence of TBI. However, over the last 15 years, a significant body of evidence has emerged demonstrating that post-traumatic hypopituitarism (PTHP) is a common and clinically significant consequence of TBI. Unfortunately, PTHP can masquerade as a post-concussion syndrome […]

New Beginnings

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-Chief It’s a new year, a new start, and maybe even a new shift in your mindset. January 1st marks the beginning of a new year, a new chapter of your life, and possibly a new chapter in your recovery. This issue is all about Hormones, and I hope it will give […]

Lessons Learned from a TBI

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief The approaching holidays can be a season of overwhelming activities, exhaustion, and burn-out for many of us. Whether it’s shopping for gifts, planning dinners with family, or traveling to loved-ones’ homes for get-togethers, the experiences can all be too much at times. Here are a few simple tips to help you […]

Yoga: Wide-Legged Forward Fold

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, be able to balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified to accommodate anyone. […]

TBI and Caregivers

by James Heuer A traumatic brain injury affects not only the person suffering from it, but their entire family and friends. Typically, a caregiver can be a spouse, child, relative, or close friend. Stressing the importance of seeking support services for the caregiver themselves is vital. Caring for someone with a traumatic brain injury can […]

Tangerine and Tangerine Vitality

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and versatile. All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product from seed to […]

Waldorf Chicken Salad

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief What You Need: 5 oz (100g) chicken, cooked, shredded or chopped 3 celery stalks, chopped 1 apple, peeled, deseeded, chopped ¼ cup (40g) raisins ¼ cup (30g) walnuts, chopped 1 tbsp. mayonnaise 1 tbsp. natural low fat yogurt 1 tbsp. lemon juice 3 oz. (90g) mixed salad leaves Place the chicken, […]

Three Ways Moss Agate Soothes Your Soul

By Kristen Brown During times of stress and overwhelming situations, you can easily become drained in many of your energy centers. One of the most stressful situations many people find themselves in at some point in their lives is caregiving. Whether caring for an aging parent, an ill child, or an injured or sick spouse, […]

Discovering Mindfulness: Taking a Step Outside the Head

By Ian Hebeisen While working on her Master’s degree, Dr. Mallory Fox studied traumatic brain injuries, sports-related injuries, and concussions. She wrote a paper on CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, in that time. Yet, despite all of her studies, Fox still struggled finding the steps to recover from her own TBI. Fox received a few […]

Caregivers and Spouses: The Key to Winning Your Personal Injury Case

By Jeffrey M. Heller, Esq. Who knows you best? Your spouse? Your children? Your co-workers? Your friends? When you file a lawsuit against a person or company that hurt you, whoever knows you best will be your star witness and crucial to your outcome. Here’s why: Personal injury litigation can be grueling. In your average […]

It Takes a Family: a Story of Mother and Sons

By Ian Hebeisen During my junior year of high school, my dad picked me up after I finished play rehearsal. These car rides home became commonplace, except for one day in particular. I hopped into my dad’s van, and he started our usual car-ride conversation with the phrase, “Now, don’t worry too much….“ Obviously, this […]

Taking Care of a Loved One After a Traumatic Brain Injury

By Tyler Bouwens I hadn’t ever conceived being a caregiver would be part of my story until a reckless and likely intoxicated driver hit my wife, Sophia in March of 2015. She spent a month in the hospital recuperating from a diffuse axonal traumatic brain injury, a broken shin bone, broken jaw, and a broken […]

Caregiver Success Tips

By Dr. Emily Reilly, DHSC., M.S. OTR/L, Founder/CEO Purposefully Home Family members, primarily spouses, often adjust their roles and routines to take on caregiver responsibilities. The onset and progression of cognitive decline among loved ones brings unexpected dynamics within a relationship to maintain typical patterns. Small modifications may go unnoticed, but over time the caregivers’ […]

Caring for the Caregiver

by Kristin Steadman “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” Rosalynn Carter, 2012 This quote is, for better or for worse, incredibly accurate. Oftentimes, a caregiver doesn’t even self-identify as a […]

Caregiver’s Three A’s for Observing a Brain-Injured Patient

By Deborah Zelinsky, O.D., Executive Research Director: The Mind-Eye Institute Attention to detail is one of the most important duties that a caregiver can undertake in assisting recovery of a patient who has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The caregiver must be able to recognize variations – slight as they may be – that […]

Avoiding Caregiver Stress & Burnout

By Mackenzie Le “There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers.” – Former first lady Rosalynn Carter A caregiver, often a family member or loved one, assists a person in need with […]

From the Editor

As we are rounding out the year, I felt this is the appropriate time to celebrate caregivers who often go unrecognized for their daily efforts. This issue is packed full of information with the caregiver in mind. As survivors, we often neglect to understand what our experiences have been like for the caregiver or loved […]

Life Lessons Learned from a TBI

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Connection. Feeling connected, whether through personal contact or virtual, is so important to our mental health and overall wellbeing. The pandemic made connection a bit of a challenge, but most of us learned how to navigate new technologies and made an effort to connect with others. Now that we have started […]

Doctor Dolphin Will See You Now

By Ian Hebeisen Animals have aided mental health and physical therapies for decades. While dogs traditionally serve as the most common assistance animal, the roster continues expanding. Now, the list of therapy animals includes dolphins. Dr. Michael Bagnell is one such doctor working with dolphins to conduct therapy. Practicing for over 31 years, Bagnell first […]

Using Our Senses to Eliminate Brain Fog

By Aanika Parikh For those of us who were fortunate enough to remain medically unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the vaccines brought an end to the stagnancy of what had been our three-hundred-something dreary nights spent staring at our living room walls. For many, the term “brain fog” became an everyday phenomenon that had been […]

High Protein Blueberry Pancakes

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief What You Need ¼ cup liquid egg whites (around 4 eggs) 1 scoop (25g) of vanilla whey powder ½ banana, mashed almond milk, if needed ¼ cup (25g) fresh or frozen blueberries ½ coconut oil Recipe Whisk together the egg whites and protein powder. Stir in the mashed banana and add […]

Essential Oils: Cedarwood

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and are versatile. All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product from seed […]

Three Brain-Boosting Powers of Hematite

By Kristen Brown When you feel foggy, unfocused, or distracted, it’s time to get grounded. Hematite is a perfect stone to bust your brain fog because its energy is both calming and activating. Plus, the silvery black color provides a visual message to your brain to get back to the present moment, while the stone’s […]

Yoga: Seated Twist

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, have great balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified to accommodate anyone. An […]

Brain Fog Amongst the Family

By Ian Hebeisen My mom never considered herself a morning person. I inherited her night-owl nature, and often the two of us will stay awake after everybody else in the house is asleep. She’ll work on a puzzle; I’ll work on a project of my own. My evenings serve as a time to myself to […]

Brain Fog & TBI

by James Heuer, PA In the age of COVID-19, a symptom that comes along with having contracted the virus is brain fog. This symptom of COVID-19 is comparable to the cognitive issues that traumatic brain survivors experience after their initial concussion. Brain fog, which is not a medical term but a description, can have a […]

How Light Returns Clarity & Hope to a Foggy Brain

By Deborah Zelinsky, O.D., Executive Research Director at The Mind-Eye Institute Healthy brains are able to interpret and respond to the environment at many different levels almost instantaneously. So, it is not surprising that patients who have sustained a traumatic head injury or concussion, which oftentimes damages or scrambles brain circuitry, may exhibit information-processing (neurocognitive) deficits […]

Your Gut and TBI

by Kelly Harrigan TBI, concussions, and whiplash all affect the normal functioning of the vagus nerve, significantly impacting our digestive motility, resulting in some uncomfortable and gut-wrenching side effects. The vagus nerve is the key protagonist of our parasympathetic nervous system, which pops us into “rest and digest” mode. This is in direct opposition to […]

Playing the Hand She’s Dealt

By Ellen Fortini Early one morning in November 2010, Aimee Osgood went to get her children up for school when she slipped on her bedroom floor. As she landed, a screw on her bedframe sliced her arm wide open. She had been experiencing imbalance, but it was the severity of cut that gave her pause […]

Turning Brain Fog Into Boosted Brain Function

By Dr. Tatiana Habanova, DC, DACNB For many, especially those with a brain injury, brain fog is like that uninvited guest who makes themselves way too comfortable at the dinner table. And once settled in, getting rid of them can be very difficult. Brain fog begins to take over the way you feel, how you […]

Why Do I Feel Foggy?

By Dr. Shane Steadman Brain fog is probably the most common symptom patients talk about after a concussion or brain injury. It is also one of the more common symptoms patients with other health issues mention. Patients attempt to describe what they feel in hopes that others, including their doctors, will understand the sensation they […]

Brain Fog and COVID-19

By Sana U. Khan, MD, PhD Have you ever felt as if your brain was in a cloud? Or ever walked into a place and not sure why you were there? Although clinically defined as a feeling of mental confusion or lack of mental clarity, the feeling is commonly described as “brain fog.” It can […]

Contributing Factors to Brain Fog

Dr. Ayla Wolf DAOM, L.Ac. Brain fog is one of many cognitive symptoms commonly experienced people report following a TBI. Traumatic brain injuries are highly complex injuries, and brain fog, as a symptom, is equally complex. Many factors can contribute to brain fog including decreased cerebral blood flow; dysfunctional cerebral glucose metabolism; dysregulation of the […]

Dysautonomia: A Possible Cause of Post-Concussion Syndrome and Brain Fog

by Jonathan Chung, DC With concussion being a dominant topic in sports medicine, we have seen a large spike in research dollars being spent to study the effects of brain injury. Despite our increased knowledge, when someone has concussion symptoms for longer than 30 days, researchers haven’t come to a consensus as to why these […]

Spaced Out or Scatterbrained at School?: Seven Causes of Brain Fog in Children

by Dr. Amy Moore Brain fog is a fuzzy term. It’s not an actual medical diagnosis, but the phenomenon is real nonetheless. It’s that feeling of reduced mental clarity, the inability to focus, poor memory, or lack of attention. Brain fog is that sensation of feeling spaced out and scatterbrained. When we talk about brain […]

From the Editor

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Fall is in the air! I love the changing of the seasons and the energy it brings; however, each season also brings its own set of challenges (for me). Summer can be draining with the hot and humid weather; winter can be painful when low pressure fronts come in and drop […]

Lessons: July and August

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief At the moment I am writing this, the world is slowly beginning to shift back to a sense of normalcy. As vaccination efforts are in full-swing, and folks are able to start seeing friends and loved ones again, I feel the collective sigh of relief in the Universe. It has been […]

Smoked Salmon, Feta, and Asparagus Omelet

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief What you need: 4 oz. (125g) asparagus 1 tsp. coconut oil 3 large eggs 5 tbsp. (70ml) milk, plant or dairy 2 oz. (60g) smoked salmon, cut into pieces ¼ cup (30g) feta cheese (or brie, camembert), cubed 4-5 cherry tomatoes, halved dill, to serve Wash the asparagus, break off the […]

Yoga: Seated Side Bends

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, have great balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified to accommodate anyone. An […]

Nutrition & Supplements: The Brain’s Perspective

by Aanika Parikh While physical appearance is most commonly equated with nutrition level, we often overlook the impact our diet has on the powerhouse of our body: the brain. In fact, making the right changes to our diet can aid in combat with all types of brain-related issues ranging from depression to Alzheimer’s disease. As […]

Fasting: Part of a Good and Healthy Brain Diet

Sana U. Khan, MD, PhD When discussing brain health and nutrition, one’s mind often starts thinking about fruits, vegetables, dietary supplements, vitamins, proteins, etc. Rarely does one consider intermittent fasting as a potentially valuable part of brain nutrition. Well, let’s look into some medical benefits of why fasting should be part of a good and […]

Motorcycles, Helmets, TBIs, and the Law

By Jeffrey M. Heller, Esq. To wear … or not wear … a helmet, that is the question. The answer to that question is easy: wear one. But in the eyes of the law, are the question and answer always as easy? Everyone knows that every state in America requires children to wear helmets when […]

A Pursuit of Happiness, Sadness, or Any Emotions

By Ian Hebeisen When discussing changes in her life after receiving her traumatic brain injury, my mom mentions all sorts of physical symptoms: vision problems, nerve spasms, the whole nine yards. One of the most dramatic changes she describes is her lack of emotions. My girlfriend and I recently adopted two cats, and during our […]

Nutrition & TBI: A Guide to Vitamins

by James Heuer After a Traumatic Brain Injury, metabolic changes affect the brain’s recovery. It is not uncommon for inflammation, changes in energy, gastrointestinal tract function, and insulin resistance to occur within a TBI patient’s brain. It is crucial for the victim of a TBI to treat with enteral nutrition, meaning the nutrition passes through […]

The Potential of Ketogenic Diet for TBI

by Jonathan Chung, DC Ketogenic diets have become popular within mainstream culture as a controversial methodology to promote health and weight loss. This dietary approach that emphasizes a diet high in fats with very-low carbohydrates was popularized by Dr. Robert Atkins for weight loss. While the benefits of keto for weight loss and cardiovascular health […]

Sleep: A “How To” Guide

by Stephanie Moon, MS, OTRL, CBIS Sleep is the foundation for everything we do. It gives us energy, creates routine, and provides our brains and bodies with time to heal. I’m not here to argue the importance of sleep. If you’re reading this, you may already know why you need to sleep—it’s the how part. […]

Veteran With Brain Injury Now Competing For Miss America Title

by Ed Roth On the surface, Danielle Skranak seems to be living the American Dream. For the past four years, she has been a paralegal; for the past six months, the Army veteran has been Program Coordinator for the Arizona Foundation for Women. In addition to helping women and children create better lives for themselves, […]

If You Are What You Eat, Then You Are What You See

By Deborah Zelinsky, O.D. Executive Research Director, Mind-Eye Institute When it comes to nutrition, the eyes have it – literally. In other words, what you put into your mouth (and thus, stomach) determines what enters your bloodstream. The blood carries oxygen, nutrients, and other needed elements to the retina (lining) of your eye. If the blood fails […]

Warrior Mom: The Power of Persistence

by Ian Hebeisen In September 2012, celebrity nutrition and fitness expert JJ Virgin answered a phone call that no parent should ever receive. Her 16-year-old son, Grant, had been the victim of a hit and run car accident that left him with incredibly severe injuries. At the hospital, JJ found Grant in a coma with […]

Essential Oils: Oregano and Oregano Vitality

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, versatile, and smell great. All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product from seed to […]

The Complicated Relationship Between Brain Injury and Eating Disorders

By Ed Roth It’s widely accepted that brain injuries can cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. But what about eating disorders? Anecdotal evidence would suggest so, but are anorexia, bingeing, and purging related to brain trauma? The answer is, well, complicated. A recent 38-month study of 107 traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors […]

The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief This handy guide helps you avoid the “Dirty Dozen,” the non-organic fruits and vegetables that are highest in pesticide residues, and choose non-organic items from the “Clean Fifteen” list. The Dirty Dozen These foods tested positive for a number of different pesticide residues and contained higher concentrations of pesticides than other […]

Citrine for Solar Plexus Power

By Kristen Brown When stress or life changes set in, they can take a toll on your body, mind, and spirit. One area that stress hits hard is your abdomen, which is the home to your solar plexus chakra, as well as the physical organs and processes of digestion. Stress impacting these areas can shut […]

The Nutrition-Learning Connection: Three Food Mistakes That Impact Your Child’s Brain

by Dr. Amy Moore Research and reports about the importance of nutrition for our health and the health of our children are ubiquitous. Nearly every day, we hear about calorie intake, balanced meals, and key vitamins and minerals. And the latest diet trends permeate social media. From keto to Paleo to intermittent fasting, there’s always […]

You Are What You Eat

by Dr. Shane Steadman, DC, DACNB, DCBCN, CNS Our brain is the most metabolically-active organ in the body. In a resting state, the brain utilizes about 20% of the body’s energy. Even when we are sleeping, the brain is active with processing and transmitting information. Food and nutrition play a role with mood, behavior, cognitive […]

How to Fast-Track Your Road to Recovery Through Intermittent Fasting

by Erik Reis, DC, DACNB, CBIS I have yet to meet a patient who told me exactly how to fix them after their injury. Why? Because every single person has different needs, requirements, and issues that need to be addressed in some capacity. Some may require specific therapies, while others might need a detailed nutrition […]

From the Editor

Can you believe summer is half over already? As we slowly begin to return to our first sense of normalcy since the pandemic began, it’s important to acknowledge the fact we all managed to survive a year and a half of isolation and disrupted life — Way to be resilient! In this issue we are […]

Life Lessons Learned From a TBI

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief I first became a Citizen’s Advocate with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance (MNBIA) during the 2016 Legislative session. All the noise and stimulation at the Capitol was a little overwhelming for me at first, but by 2017, I became a regular fixture for “Tuesdays at the Capitol.” During one of our […]

Sleep & TBI

by James Heuer Most traumatic brain injury patients suffer from sleep disturbances following their accidents. The brain directs sleep by putting your body to rest, but injuring your brain causes changes in sleep. The chemicals in our body help us to know when to sleep and, when you’ve become injured, those chemicals are affected. Taking […]

Where and When Do I Contact a Lawyer for My TBI?

by Jeffrey M. Heller Soon after an accident that causes a TBI, a hundred things will be thrown at you almost immediately. Medical bills will start coming in, and after a couple months, possibly even collections notices. Letters from insurance companies asking you to sign forms will start flooding your inbox. Your car or other […]

Essential Oils: Peace & Calming

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, versatile, and smell great. All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product from seed to […]

The Climb: Post-Covid Long Haulers

by Toni Popkin April 2020. That was about a year ago when I was diagnosed with COVID-19. Little did I know what a roller-coaster, foggy ride I’d have. Little did I know how similar it would feel to experiencing my Climb following my TBIs. I started a diary 35 days after my diagnosis. My intention […]

Yoga: Warrior III

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, have great balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified to accommodate anyone. An […]

The Powerful Way Sleep Cleans Your Brain and Protects You from Dementia

by Jonathan Chung, DC Sleep is arguably the most powerful and least expensive treatment we have in our arsenal to help support brain health. We all know this intrinsically, and most of us really do want to get more sleep. For most of us, getting a good night’s sleep helps us feel better throughout the […]

Medication Management of Sleep Disorders after TBI

by Shauna Hahn It is estimated sleep disturbances occur in 30-70% of all individuals who have suffered a TBI.[1] Unfortunately, insomnia, fatigue, and daytime sleepiness are all common problems associated with brain injuries. Interestingly, those with mild TBIs are more likely to report sleep problems than those with severe brain injuries (although that may be […]

Tapping into Angelite for Sleep

By Kristen Brown Sleep can be elusive or we can sleep too much. Sleep can recharge us or it can drain us. The fine balancing act in finding the right sleep schedule, routine, and timing can be tricky business indeed. But many crystals can help us find peaceful, healing, and restful sleep. One awesome stone […]

The Stuff COVID Dreams Are Made Of

By Ed Roth Constant worry about catching the virus, not seeing loved ones, job insecurity, the future of human civilization. The pandemic may have made you exhausted and listless, but that’s only during your waking hours. Sleep has brought a whole new world upon us. People are reporting vivid, intense dreams like never before. Those […]

The Inauguration of my Life with Traumatic Brain Injury

by JoAnne Silver Jones Inaugurations are times that mark a significant change or achievement, a changing of the guard or the opening of a new structure. For me, the first inauguration of President Obama has bifurcated my life.  I went to Washington, D.C., in January 2009 with a carefully-planned wardrobe to protect me from the […]

Staying Asleep or Going to Sleep?

by Dr. Shane Steadman One of the most common complaints among patients is sleep for a variety of reasons. They simply don’t get enough sleep, or it’s disrupted sleep. When patients say they can’t sleep or they have insomnia, the first question I ask is, “Do you have a hard time going to sleep or […]

The Sleeping-Learning Connection: Three Sleep Mistakes That Can Wreck Your GPA

By Amy Lawson Moore, PhD Most of us acknowledge the prevailing wisdom that students of all ages need optimal sleep to function in school, but we don’t always think about sleep as an integral part of the actual learning process. But we should! It’s fairly obvious the acts of acquiring new information and recalling previously-learned […]

Sleepus Interuptus – Quality Over Quantity?

by Andrew Thierry We often focus on diet and exercise as being central to the health of our mind and body. Sleep, while seen as important to feeling sharp and productive throughout the day, is too often overlooked even though sleep is critical to our physical, as well as mental, wellbeing. When we think of […]

Unpacking Fatigue

By JoAnne Silver Jones I’m an expert on fatigue. Living with TBI for 12 years, I know fatigues ebbs and flows, what mitigates and what exacerbates its intensity. I have an intimate understanding of the terrain of my fatigue and the ways in which tiredness reveals itself during the course of a day. Discussing and […]

Egg & Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Nutrition per serving: 329 kcal 12g Fats 11g Carbs 43g Protein Serves: 4 Prep: 5 mins Cook: 20 mins Ingredients 4 eggs 4 egg whites 2 tbsp. almond milk 1 tsp. coconut oil 1 small onion, chopped 1 lb. (450g) lean ground turkey 2 tsp. oregano 1 tsp. cumin 2 cups (60g) spinach, chopped 4 […]

Can a Pair of Eyeglasses Influence Sleep? Short Answer: Yes

by Deborah Zelinsky, O.D. Eyeglasses may improve eyesight, but will they reduce the impact traumatic brain injury can have on a patient’s sleep? Based on a growing amount of global research, including studies and clinical experience at the Mind-Eye Institute in Northbrook, Ill., the answer is “yes.” But, to understand the “how’s” and “why’s,” we […]

Adapting to Focal Dystonia: The Billy McLaughlin Story

By Ian Hebeisen When talking with Amy Zellmer on the Faces of TBI Podcast, world-renowned guitarist McLaughlin described his focal dystonia by saying, “The trouble is in my fingers, but the problem is actually in my brain, and the inability of my brain to talk to my fingers individually.” McLaughlin has built quite a career […]

Caregiver Corner: Reassessing the Family Dynamic

by Ian Hebeisen My mom’s TBI started the way most do: unnoticed. Six-and-a-half years ago, she stopped at a red light only to realize the car behind her wasn’t slowing down. On instinct, she braced for impact, causing severe whiplash, which ended up doing more damage than if she had relaxed. She walked away with […]

Never Give Up Hope

Article and photos by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief In June 2009, Kate D’Orazio flew to Mississippi to visit her husband, who was at Air Force Reserves training. After an evening of dining out and celebrating their time together, her husband found her on the floor of their room. She was unconscious and bleeding from the back […]

From the Editor

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief As I am typing this, we are nearing the one-year mark since the US (and entire world) went into lockdown in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. My birthday in 2020 was celebrated with a friend I was visiting in South Carolina, as she scrambled to prepare for at-home […]

May Tarot Reading: Sun Rise

It is a new day, full of new possibilities and opportunities!  Allow the colours of the sky to awaken your soul and breath in the fresh new air that will bring you a fresh perspective on life!  You are ready for a fresh start and the universe is ready to give it to you.  Be less concerned with […]

Domestic Abuse and Traumatic Brain Injuries

by James A. Heuer, PA Domestic abuse and TBI have been linked through data; however, very limited research has been conducted because many instances of domestic abuse go unreported. The research that has been done is consistent with the indication of the severity of the issue. Since domestic abuse victims are usually exposed to instances […]

Mindful + Movement

By Kelly Harrigan Treatments for concussions and head injuries are reaching new heights of awareness in recent years. Traditional medical standard of care has been a “wait and see” approach, which isn’t helpful for those who are afflicted. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-concussive syndrome (PCS) often includes the many systems within the body, including […]

Essential Oils: Rosemary and Rosemary Vitality™

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and are versatile. All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product from seed […]

Memory Problems? Maybe an Optometrist Can Help

By Deborah Zelinsky, O.D. Why would someone visit an optometrist for memory problems? Because memories are built on our ability to “visualize” and “process” what we are seeing, feeling, smelling, touching, hearing, and thinking. Visual processing is what enables us to respond appropriately to changes in the environment. That environment can include aromas, facial expressions, […]

The Memory-Boosting Magic of Fluorite

By Kristen Brown In today’s jam-packed world it can be difficult to retain and remember everything thrown at us. If you are under high stress, have a short- or long-term illness, or have sustained any type of bodily or brain injury, it makes memory even more complicated. Enter fluorite — a powerful crystal that can […]

Diet to Help Decrease Oxidative Stress and Improve Memory

By Sierra Fawn Guay, MS, RDN, LDN, CBIS The brain has many functions. Of these, memory is perhaps the most affected by oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants. Free radicals are highly reactive, unstable molecules that are formed naturally in the body, including during the use of […]

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Memory?

By Shauna Hahn Transcranial magnetic stimulation, or TMS, is an FDA-approved medical therapy for hard-to-treat depression and OCD, but did you know that it is really useful for memory problems following TBI, too? Let me explain how. TMS utilizes an MRI-strength magnet that we place directly on the heads of individuals with depression, anxiety, trauma, […]

Life Lessons Learned From a TBI

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Contact. It seems so simple, yet it’s so critical to our daily lives. Even introverts and people with agoraphobia still need contact whether in-person, over the phone, or on a Zoom call. Those of us living with brain injury have long been experts at self-isolation; however, it’s always been on our terms. […]

From the Editor

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief As I sat down to write this issue’s “From the Editor” section, I took some time to reflect back on my own journey, and how my memory was so severely impacted by my injury. In the early days of my recovery, my memory deficits were apparent right away. I remember the […]

A Brain That Went to War and Back

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Andrew Marr was an athlete his entire life. Having played all-conference football in college, he was used to performing at a high level. “I was never classified as having a concussion, but I probably had hundreds of them, but with no known issues. This was before we understood the consequences of […]

Memory and TBI: The Brain is a Muscle

By James Heuer, PA After suffering a TBI it is common to experience trouble with your memory. Whether your TBI was moderate or severe, you will have difficulty  remembering things, finding the right words when speaking, and getting organized. These brain functions are all types of cognition. Symptoms including anger, stress, and fear (that occur […]

The Memory of an Ego: Transforming Memory and Identity with TBI

by Sam Black Memory is something that I did not give much thought to in my “before the accident” life. I relied on it in my career as a social worker. I cherished it in my pastime of creating Scrapbooks and journaling. I mastered it as a busy mom of five. And yet consciously, it […]

3 Ways to Support Memory

By Dr. Shane Steadman, DC, DACNB, DCBCN, CNS As we age, becoming forgetful and losing memory is a major fear for most people. When we watch family members and friends struggle with remembering events, names, and places, it can cause anxiety about the future. There are different aspects of memory and different areas of the […]

The Real Reason 2020 Wasn’t So Memorable

By Ed Roth “I’ve learned two important lessons in life. I can’t recall the first one, but the second one is that I need to start writing stuff down.” – Anonymous Your memory used to be like a steel trap, but for the past few months it seems to have magically disappeared. You can’t remember […]

The Vestibular System and Memory Loss: A Hidden Connection

By Jonathan Chung, DC When we think about disorders of the vestibular system we are usually concerned with inner-ear disorders leading to problems with vertigo or imbalance. While the vestibular system is a critical part of our sense of balance, there is a deeper and more fundamental purpose for these tiny little organs in our […]

Yoga: Warrior 1

Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, have great balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified so anyone can be accommodated. An important aspect of […]

4 Things That Most Concussion Patients Should Worry About More Than CTE

By Jonathan Chung, DC Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has played an important role in bringing awareness to the long-lasting problems associated with repetitive head injuries. The high-profile deaths and autopsies, like NFL linebacker Junior Seau’s, have put contact sports under the microscope as public concerns about concussions have increased dramatically. The heightened public awareness and […]

March Tarot Reading: Balancing Act

by Sam Black It is time to shift your balancing act to a new perspective.  You are ready to put some of those balls down and instead focus on balancing responsibility with fun and play.  Allow your feet to dance, your heart to sing and your eyes to capture the beauty in nature!  By embracing movement and play […]

Any Form of Abuse is an Act of Violence

by Kelly Harrigan During a once-in-a-century pandemic, we are told we are safer at home. Yet “home” is all too often the place where abuse occurs, be it physical, emotional, psychological, or an ugly combination of all forms of abuse. “Every time we impose our will on another, it is an act of violence.” Don’t […]

Control Blood Sugar for Good Brain Health

by Sierra Fawn Guay, MS, RDN, LDN, CBIS The foods that we eat affect the health of our brains in many ways. Diet is one of the primary factors in blood sugar control and can have both short- and long-term consequences for our brains. Normally, the foods we eat are digested into smaller parts. One […]

Domestic Violence: Not Just a Mental Disorder

Dr. Shane Steadman, DC, DACNB, DCBCN, CNS As the world around us is stressful with a pandemic and stay-at-home orders, the incidence of domestic violence (DV) has increased. An article titled, “Alarming trends in US domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic,” notes an increase in DV during the pandemic and provides data on this topic. […]

3 Powerful Rose Quartz Blessings

By Kristen Brown When life gets hard, you’re feeling lost or alone, or there is a challenge with a relationship, there is nothing like Rose Quartz to give you a lift. It’s a powerful stone for self-love, self-esteem, connection, inner strength, and protection. I like to call it the Blessings Crystal because it helps you […]

Caregiver Corner: The Challenges of Cooking, and How to Look at Recipes

By Ian Hebeisen At the beginning of this year, I moved out of my parents’ house and into an apartment in Minneapolis. Soon, I learned the true headache of cooking your own meals. Cooking is such an involved process, isn’t it? You need to gather the ingredients, slice and peel the appropriate items, and grab […]

February Tarot Reading: The Eclipse

by Sam Black The eclipse is a gift, one that does not come to us every day.  It is important to not stare so long at the beauty that you become blinded.  Some things are meant to come in to our lives as special events to be cherished and greeted only on rare occasions as to not […]

Domestic Violence: Harmful to Women – and the Fetus

by Deborah Zelinsky, O.D. Pregnant women subjected to domestic violence – both physical and psychological – are more likely to give birth to infants with abnormalities in eye-hand and eye-ear coordination, have future difficulties in learning, and problems related to mood and behavior regulation. These children often are given labels on the autism spectrum, including […]

Brain Injury Survivor and Son Share Road to Recovery

By Ed Roth Cazoshay Marie is a familiar face in the brain health community. As a brain injury survivor, she actively participates in survivor groups, caregiver conferences, and empowerment events in Arizona. As a result of her advocacy and speaking, many in the community know the story of that horrific day in 2017 when a […]

Domestic Violence and the Invisible Injuries

by Dr. Sana Khan Because of inadequate screening and identification, brain injuries and brain damage in survivors of domestic violence too often remain unrecognized and untreated. Victims of domestic violence who suffer the lasting effects of traumatic brain damage rarely have the support, finances, and other resources to obtain the assistance and funding they so […]

Domestic Abuse, Traumatic Brain Injury, and the Hidden Enemy of Time

by Jonathan Chung, DC Survivors of domestic violence are one of the highest risk populations for traumatic brain injury. As many as 30% of adult women will report an episode of intimate partner violence at some point in their lives. A study from the Barrow Neurological Institute has shown some stunning statistics about this population: […]

Essential Oils: Rose

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and are versatile. All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product from seed […]

Hormone Imbalances Post-Traumatic Injury

by James A. Heuer The brain is the key instrument to regulating hormones in our bodies. As a result, damage to any part of the brain that releases and monitors hormones disrupts the ability to maintain stability. Physical, emotional, and psychological issues can arise due to either hormone insufficiency or overproduction. Small structures at the […]

Life Comes Full Circle for Domestic Violence Survivor Janice Podzimek

By Ed Roth While October is set aside as Domestic Violence Awareness, every month of the year you can find Janice Podzimek doing everything she can to make sure those in danger are safe. This is particularly pressing as the spread of COVID-19 has led to a surge in domestic and family violence across the […]

Life Lessons Learned from a TBI

Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Many of us will agree that 2020 has been a crummy year for a plethora of reasons, and we are all hoping that 2021 will mark a new beginning. For me, I lost my beloved Pixxie in July, developed heart arrhythmia issues in August, discovered a cataract in my right eye in […]

Shedding Light on Intimate Partner Violence and Brain Injury

by Dr. Elizabeth McNally One in four. One in seven. Without any context, those numbers probably mean nothing to you. What happens when you find out that they represent the individuals in the United States who suffer severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime? Does one in four women and one in […]

Post-Traumatic Growth

By Dr. Ayla Wolf DAOM, L.Ac. On almost a daily basis, it is not uncommon to overhear someone declare, often casually, “I have PTSD!” PTSD has erroneously become a common vernacular term to describe the average person who feels overwhelmed and anxious by life, continuously living in a state of burnout, which, these days, is […]

Traumatic Brain Injuries in Considerations of Domestic Violence

by Jacob Meyer, LSW, LAC Domestic violence is an incredibly complex and all too common occurrence in our world. Although “violence” is in the name, domestic violence and abuse includes far more than physical and sexual abuse, and often consists of emotional, verbal, psychological, and financial abuse, and far more. In this article, we will […]

The Questions That I Missed: From Social Worker to Brain Injury Survivor

by Sam Black “Help me understand . . . This aggressive behavior is completely new . . . has been increasing over the past couple of months . . . and you have been together over ten years?”  That was me, years ago, when I was working in Child Protection. It was not just one […]

January Tarot Reading: Embrace Your Inner Goddess

by Sam Black Your feminine/masculine power wants to show itself and your inner strength and beauty wants to shine.  Be cautious to not hide yourself behind false statements and question what truly feels true to you.  You are hungry for more and it is time to allow your inner desires to be fulfilled.  Part of nurturing others is […]

Yoga: Chair Pose

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, have great balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified so anyone can be […]

From the Editor

By Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief This month we are covering an important topic: domestic violence  . . . also commonly referred to as Intimate Partner Violence. This issue may feel too “heavy” to some readers, but please understand that this is an incredibly important topic. Reading this issue may just help you save yours or someone […]

Gift-Giving Guide

Whether you have a friend, co-worker, loved one, or simply want to treat yourself — I have created The TBI Gift-Giving Guide just for you!! Each of the items on the list have been hand-picked by me and are items that I use regularly … if not every day. Of course, I have to start […]

Brain-Injured Patients Call Mind-Eye ‘Brain’ Glasses ‘Magical’

by Dr. Deborah Zelinsky “Brain” glasses, or Brainwear™ as the Mind-Eye Institute refers to the technology, are not about providing 20/20 eyesight. They offer therapeutic properties that patients with brain injuries, post-concussive symptoms, or neurological disorders often call “magical.” The individualized combination of lenses, filters, and prisms in Brainwear™ are intended to enhance comfort by […]

The Life and Death of an All-American, Hometown Boy

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief With the release of the book Love, Zac: Small Town Football and the Life and Death of an American Boy by Reid Forgrave, we are given an intimate look inside the diaries and journals of Zac Easter, who was convinced his increasing mental health issues were because of CTE, the result […]

New Year’s Day Workshop

 Join me for a day of extreme self care, while getting clear on what you want to bring into your life for 2021!! In this 6 hour workshop you will learn how to incorporate yoga*, mindfulness, essential oils, intentions, and affirmations into helping you create the year (and life) you WANT! Connecting the mind […]

December Tarot Reading: Loch Ness

Embrace the mysteries in our world and beyond.  There is beauty in the unknown and excitement in the stories that they leave behind.  You are a work in progress and being a little mysterious does not make you a monster.  Be true to who you are today and take inspiration from the tales that are created around your […]

BOGO Sale — Buy One Give One Print Subscriptions

This holiday season we are offering you the opportunity to give the gift of The Brain Health Magazine, while enjoying one for yourself! Buy one print subscription, give one to a friend or loved one! Terms and conditions * only your paid subscription will auto renew in one year * one year subscription for $25, […]

Black Friday through Cyber Monday SALE

This Black Friday through Cyber Monday receive discounted pricing on my book and life coaching packages! They make great Christmas gifts for a loved one in your life! In addition to getting an autographed copy of the book with FREE SHIPPING — I will be donating $1 from every book sale to LoveYourBrain on #GivingTuesday  […]

Navigating Changes: Shifts in Relationships After a Traumatic Brain Injury

by Dr. Jayde Kennedy-Ball, PsyD, LP, CBIS Following a traumatic brain injury, life typically becomes a whirlwind surrounding the medical, physical, cognitive, and emotional implications. We get wrapped up in treatment and attempting to piece together some semblance of normalcy. Often, the impact the injury has on one’s relationships gets buried or put in the “We’ll […]

Christmas Spirit

Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and are versatile. All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product from seed to seal. Oils sold […]

Get Your Game Face On!

by Sharik Peck, PT In 2019 I found myself in Australia helping athletes from three nations compete in a large track meet. My daughter was competing in the sprinting events. Our conversations are not about winning or losing; we focus on finding joy in the experience and in doing the best we can. Finding joy […]

Create Connection with Green Aventurine

Green Aventurine is an amazing crystal that creates a powerful bridge between your mental and emotional energy centers and your grounding and motivation energy centers. This connection is important when juggling so many things in today’s ever-changing world and when energies fluctuate due to injury, illness, or stress. Here are three ways Green Aventurine can […]

Life Lessons Learned From a TBI

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief A few years before my brain injury, I rescued a sweet little Yorkie from the local Humane Society. She had come in over the weekend and was underweight, scruffy, and scared. On the phone they warned me that she was mean and would try to bite anyone who held her. When […]

TBI and Anxiety

by James Heuer, PA Most TBI patients do not suffer from anxiety prior to their injury. After a serious injury that affects your brain, you are bound to live in a constant state of fear that it will happen again. This fear can create anxiety in your daily life and activities. Common symptoms of anxiety […]

CTE & Nutrition

With growing amounts of research on concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), it is becoming more well-known that it is a serious concern, especially for athletes. In particular, collision or high-speed sports such as football and hockey have the highest rates of CTE. Soccer players are also near the top of the list for repeated […]

LEGAL CORNER: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease associated with a history of repetitive brain traumas. Repeated, forceful blows to the head are the greatest risk factor in the development of CTE. Researchers and physicians have only begun to understand, therefore more time and research is needed to fully understand the symptoms of CTE. […]

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: An Overview

by Sierra Fawn-Guay Omega 3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that support the structure and function of the brain, and are required for survival. The three main types of omega 3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). ALA is considered an essential nutrient; it cannot […]

Do You Grin and Bear It?

by Kelly Harrigan Is this you? When someone is asked to describe you, they say you are an active, happy, outgoing person. Your friends say you’re a great cheerleader and a huge support to them. Co-workers are amazed at how efficient you are at your job. Your house always looks wonderful. Your typical response is […]

Essential Oils: Citrus Fresh and Citrus Fresh Vitality

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and are versatile . All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product from […]

5 Ways Sodalite Supports Mental Health

By Kristen Brown Whether you need mental clarity, calming, a recharge, or some other type of mental support, Sodalite is your friend. It has so many powerful qualities that it has easily moved to the top of my list as my most-used crystal! Here are five ways Sodalite can help support your mental health. Clarity […]

Can Specialized Neuro Glasses Help Traumatic Brain Injuries from Concussions

by Dr. Terry Trinka The short answer is, Yes! And here is how they work. In a concussion or traumatic brain injury the impact causes your brain to slosh around inside the skull, damaging the finely wired circuitry. While many people recover within three months of a hit to their head, a good percentage do […]

The Fallacy of “The Pursuit of Happiness”

by Dr. Erik Reis Don’t wait for success to make you happy; You must create your happiness to find success. We’ve heard it all before: “Find what makes you happy and then go after it.” “Happiness is the result of success and achievement.” And my favorite, “Be on the Pursuit of Happiness.” Before we dive […]

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

After two brain injuries, the most recent from a motor vehicle collision in 2015, 67-year-old Margaret despaired, saying,“I can’t keep living like this.” She was severely depressed and extremely anxious. She could barely leave her house and second-guessed even the most banal of social interactions. She was taking a high dose of Lexapro, lithium orotate, […]

Three Benefits of Utilizing Psychotherapy in Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery

by Jacob Meyer, LSW, LAC The gap between our perception of what brain injury recovery should be like versus the actual process of recovery can be confusing for a person who is just trying to get back to normal life. The common perception of brain injury recovery is that you may experience symptoms such as […]

Finding My Bandwidth

By JoAnne Silver Jones “How are you?” Dr. C. asked, as she always did at the start of my appointment. She accepted me as her patient about eight months after I suffered a severe traumatic brain injury. For the first few years, she concentrated on finding the right medications to help manage my ice-pick headaches, […]

Anger, Dynamite, and Healing the Frontal Lobe

by Giancarlo Licata, D.C. “Steven’s” family had grown accustomed to his frequent bouts of anger, but it was getting to be too much to bear. As a retired professional mixed martial arts fighter, he was no stranger to concussions, and anger was only one of a laundry list of symptoms he’d learned to manage. However, […]

CTE, TBIs, and Psychotherapy

Our understanding of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) has changed the public’s understanding of the behavioral and emotional impacts of multiple symptomatic or asymptomatic traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). With CTE being diagnosed postmortem, this article will focus more on people understanding behavioral and emotional changes seen in TBIs from a psychotherapeutic perspective. Knowing the symptoms The […]

Perseverance and Resilience

by Kelly Harrigan Pop quiz time: What do perseverance and resilience mean to you? Perseverance is about not giving up. It is persistence and tenacity, the effort required to do something and keep doing it till the end, even when encountering resistance or difficulties. Resilience is a person’s ability to recover quickly from unfortunate circumstances or […]

TBI and Inflammation

by Dr. Perry Maynard According to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), it is estimated that 1.7 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States each year and 5.3 million are living with TBI-related disability. Traumatic brain injuries are complex injuries that we are just beginning to understand and are now […]

November Tarot Reading: Plant Your Feet

by Sam Black Stay grounded and stand firm! Running away will not help today. Imagine your feet becoming one with the earth and allow the strength and firmness to support you in your decisions. Allow your soul to settle and feel safe in the world that you have created for it. Surround yourself with things […]

The Gut-Brain Connection: How the Bacteria in Your Gut Influences Mental Health

by Dr. Lori Jokinen Nearly 100 trillion bacteria live within your body, specifically in your intestines, that are key to your overall health and immune function. These bacteria are also essential in breaking down carbohydrates, but even more fascinating is their importance to the function of the central nervous system. What this means is that […]

The Nocebo Effect: When Our Thoughts Make Us Physically Ill

By Jonathan Chung, DC Almost everyone knows about, or has heard of, the placebo effect, the seemingly magical ability for our bodies to feel better or overcome illness from a belief in a treatment that has no specific biological effect. It’s one of the things in medicine that we are always wary of, especially when […]

A Nutritional Approach to Anxiety

Dr. Shane Steadman, DC, DACNB, DCBCN, CNS According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorder in the United States, affecting over 40 million people a year over the age of 18. They go on to say that anxiety disorders are treatable but only 36.9% […]

Why your senses could be causing your anxiety

by Dr. Perry Maynard Individuals suffering from traumatic brain injuries commonly present with complaints that include headaches, dizziness/vertigo, depression, and anxiety. Traumatic brain injuries can come with a myriad of symptoms, but sometimes individuals will suffer from symptoms that actually result from various causes unrelated to the brain injury. You may be asking yourself what […]

Yoga: Extended Side Angle Pose

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, have great balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified so that anyone can […]

CBD: A Holistic Approach to Wellness

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-cheif My personal CBD journey began several years ago after meeting Joe Russo at a brain injury conference in Utah where I was keynoting. Joe told me he had been following me for a while, and shared his own TBI story with me and how CBD has helped him in his recovery. […]

Finding Solace

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief This year has been a challenge to almost everyone’s mental health, regardless of whether or not they have a brain injury. Depending on where you live, some have been in lockdown longer than others, and some have witnessed more devastating hot spots than others. I originally picked all of the 2020 […]

Benefits of Biking

by Sue Wilson, MA, ATC/L, PES, CHHC Physical activity is becoming more and more important as people start to heal from chronic symptoms of mild traumatic brain injuries. Over the last five years, research has started to show that aerobic exercise can be beneficial to the brain within 24 hours of a concussion because it […]

Get Your Balance On

By Kelly Harrigan Surf’s up, dude. Coming to you from the tech corner is the Indo Board and IndoFLO Cushion. Small, portable, and easy to use, it fits any size home and can give a boost to your balance and stay-at-home exercise routine. Indo Board’s mission is to bring the benefits and fun of balance […]

Telemedicine A Welcome “House Call” for Survivors of Brain Injury

By Ed Roth Technology can change the way we see things, sometimes overnight. Since COVID-19 has become an unwelcome part of our lives, doctors and patients are creating a new normal for effective treatment. In several short months, the playing field changed, thanks to telemedicine. In fact, health care analysts estimate the pandemic and ensuing […]

Yoga: Warrior II Pose

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, have great balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified so that anyone can […]

Eat More Vegetables to Improve Wellbeing and Brain Health

by Sierra Fawn Guay, MS, RDN, LDN One of the simplest, and most overlooked, dietary habits that many of us can implement to improve our well-being and brain health is to eat more vegetables. The recommendation to eat more vegetables is common among diets that have been linked to good brain health (including the Mediterranean-DASH […]

Balance and Gait Challenges Following a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

by James A. Heuer, PA Between 30% to 65% of people suffer from dizziness and lack of balance, or disequilibrium, following a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Balance is the ability to keep your body centered over your feet. One’s physical strength, cognitive ability, and coordination all play a role in balance. Following a TBI, many […]

Balance and Proprioception

by Sharik Peck, PT Once again, I was standing on top of a skyscraper with that all too familiar nausea kicking me in the stomach. I knew I had to climb out onto the ledge and get across the plank that connected the two buildings. Partway across, sweating profusely and my heart pounding, I froze. […]

Balance Training Is Brain Training: A Fun Strategy to Improve Brain Performance

By Jonathan Chung, DC Recent studies suggest balance-specific exercises can increase brain thickness and improve markers of cognition and memory. Patients with concussion often ask what they can do to help improve their brain health after their injury. While many are looking for a supplement, an app, or a drug to help them get their […]

How Technology is Keeping Us Connected and Informed

by Amy Zellmer Photo by Audrey Nicole Photography The past few months have flown by while we have been living in a pandemic. I found that after the first two months in lockdown, we all seemed to have adapted to our “new normal” of living in a world of quarantine and chaos. Those of us […]

Essential Oils:

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are complementary tools that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and are versatile. All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product from seed to […]

A Balancing Act: The Three Systems of Balance

by Kellie Pokrifka Issues with balance display as some of the most obvious symptoms of a brain injury. But what causes this imbalance? Many areas of our brains contribute to balance, and these areas can all be affected through the physical trauma involved in TBI. Three main systems compromise our balance: visual, somatosensory, and vestibular. […]

The Energy Field and Balance

by Sam Black During the healing process after a brain energy, much consideration is given to the physical symptoms and mindset of the survivor. Treatments provide relief for everything from headaches, pain, brain fog, and sleep disturbances. However, some treatments that address balancing energy, and go beyond the physical, can actually lead to disturbances with […]

Functional Home Design to Promote Balance

Dr. Emily Reilly, MSOTR/L, ECHM Brain injuries often have long-lasting effects that may not be visible to those around you. Once the acute injuries have healed and medical professionals deem you’re “recovered,” it can be challenging to resume daily life the way it was prior to the injury. When the physical rehabilitation is over, expectations […]

Tai Chi: A Whole-Brain Sensory Integration

Dr. Ayla Wolf DAOM, L.Ac. How many people describe their lives and their internal state of mind as serene? Serenity, in the wake of a brain injury, can feel unattainable when it may be only one simple movement away. The practice of tai chi originated in China and continues to flourish around the world. One […]

Red Jasper’s Steady Magic

By Kristen Brown When you’re feeling twisty, topsy, and turvy, the power of red jasper can bring back a sense of steadiness and calm. Whether suffering from an injury, recovering from illness, or simply juggling the many stresses of everyday work and life, there are many times we need some steady energy. Red jasper is […]

August Tarot Reading: The Secret Keeper

by Sam Black Within you is great wisdom and also secrets that have been locked away yet to be discovered. At times you are a mystery to others, but you worry when you are a mystery to yourself. Trust that you will gain all of the insight needed to make your next move and stay […]

Balance and Nutrition

by Dr. Lori Jokinen A balance disorder can present in a variety of ways. It is often described as feeling unsteady, or like you are on the brink of falling. It can make you feel dizzy, like you are spinning, even though you are not moving at all. It may be hard to move your [...]

Life Lessons Learned From TBI: #BLACKLIVESMATTER

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief The past few months have been a roller coaster of emotions for many of us. The United States began to shut down on my birthday while I was still vacationing in South Carolina. My drive home was surreal, to say the least. As we began to understand that self-isolation was about […]

Proprio … What?

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief In this issue about balance, we are presented with different ways our balance and gait can be impacted after brain injury and the challenges that can accompany them. After my injury, I had no idea my gait was impaired. I did know, however, that my balance was way off. I would […]

Life Lessons Learned From a TBI: Issue 4

Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief After spending a week in Washington DC for Brain Injury Awareness Month, I took some time for myself in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Throughout the entire trip, I kept a close eye on the pandemic that was unfolding in the US. I decided to extend my stay in Myrtle Beach to give […]

Stress Management: Self- Care

by Sue Wilson, MA, ATC/L, PES, CHHC Self-care is critically important as a caregiver, a patient, friend or family member. Often, we get so wrapped up in the medical process and rehabilitation that we forget the cornerstones of health. Ask yourself, “Do I take care of myself?” Then ask, “In what ways do I take […]

July Tarot Reading: Father Time

by Sam Black Much like the seasons, you are being called to bring order to the chaos and predictability to your life. Even when we love the warmth of summer, we cannot keep it for eternity. Choose your goals and ensure that they are realistic. You will have the time you need to complete your […]

Essential Oils:
Lavender and Lavender Vitality

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and are versatile . All oils are not created equal. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust because I know they have complete control over their product from […]

Get Grounded with Black Tourmaline

By Kristen Brown When you’re feeling scattered or suffering spells of dizziness or brain fog, it’s black tourmaline to the rescue!  This gorgeous stone is perfect for grounding you when you are feeling off-balance or unfocused due to a brain injury, illness, or just the everyday stress and busy-ness of life.  Why? Black tourmaline “keeps […]

The MIND Diet for Improved Cognition

bySierra Fawn Guay, MS, RDN, LDN, CBIS Researchers around the world have worked to better understand the relationship between nutrition and cognition. Though this research is still in its infancy, a great deal of progress has been made over the past few years. In 2015, M. C. Morris and colleagues published research to show that […]

What Is Making Me Dizzy?

by Mariah Morgan PT, DPT, CBIS Dizziness, the sensation of spinning around or losing one’s balance, is a common symptom following a brain injury (concussion, stroke, brain bleed, etc.). While symptoms of dizziness are common among brain injury survivors, many are not aware of why they are experiencing them or where to seek help. Following […]

Your Atlas: Bearing the Weight of Your World

by Kelly Harrigan Can your Atlas vertebra bear the weight of your world? Atlas was the handsome mythological gentleman who was slotted to bear the weight of the world upon his broad shoulders. Forever. Just like this myth, the first cervical vertebrae in your spine, your atlas vertebra, was destined since birth to carry the […]

Josh Perry Embraces Life After Multiple Brain Tumors

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Professional BMXer Josh Perry is living his life with purpose, and inspiring others to do the same. In 2009 Josh Perry experienced migraines that gradually worsened. Eventually, his vision was impaired to the point of interfering with his professional BMX career. He went to his doctor numerous times, practically begging for […]

Yoga: Triangle Pose

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, EVERYONE can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, have great balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified so that anyone can […]

There is Always Hope

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Spring is such a beautiful time of year, and a reminder that what once was dormant and ugly is now blooming and bright! Recovery from brain injury can feel a bit like the changing of the seasons . . .  one minute you feel like you’re in the darkness of winter, […]

BPPV Will Make Your Head Spin!

by Kellie Pokrifka If you are experiencing issues with dizziness and imbalance after brain injury, you may have been told to consider BPPV. But what is BPPV, besides a tongue twister that is almost impossible to pronounce? BPPV stands for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. (Yes, somehow the full term is even more difficult to pronounce […]

New day, same symptoms

Dr. Erik Reis, DC, DACNB, CBIS Picture this: You wake up to your alarm buzzing at 6:30 AM, having to hit snooze three or four times before you actually get up due to the amount of fatigue and disorientation you feel. It’s going to be another very, very long day.  By the time you muster […]

June Tarot Reading: Clutter Creation

by Sam Black Take responsibility for the “stuff” in your world. It may be a good time to clean house, both energetically, emotionally, and physically. Sort through the relationships and assess if they are still a good fit. Choose a space in your home to sort through and choose what needs to go, stay, and […]

Dizziness After Concussion: A Case for Cervicogenic Dizziness

by Jonathan Chung, DC Persistent dizziness and imbalance is a common feature for patients diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome. This is often a difficult symptom to treat medically because dizziness comes in many different forms and can be caused by injuries or illnesses to different parts of the body: A feeling of spinning vertigo can be […]

Taking Charge of Your Recovery

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief When I first suffered my traumatic brain injury I remember going through a range of emotions, with questions constantly running through my head such as: “why did this happen?” “am I ever going to get better?” “when is this going to end?” “why am I still struggling?” Little did I know […]

May Tarot Reading: Ballerina Princess

by Sam Black Move gracefully through this current situation. Understand that you can dance the solo and this embodies strength and courage as much as beauty and poise. Others may dance around you, some may wish to compete, but remember the steps are for your feet alone and that you are only required to move […]

Determining the Cause of Your Post-Traumatic Headache

by Kellie Pokrifka Headache is the most common symptom following a brain injury. In those with moderate to severe brain injury, over half of the population will suffer from headache. Interestingly, rates are even higher in populations of those with mild TBI. Over 70% of those with concussion will experience post-traumatic headache.  However, determining the […]

Surviving Your Headache

by James A. Heuer, PA Our law firm helps numerous individuals who have been injured in car crashes or involved in a slip and fall resulting in a head injury.  I meet with all of our clients, and I meet with the majority of them when they first come to the office so I can […]

Essential Oils:
Lemon and Lemon Vitality

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Essential oils are complementary tools that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and you can use them in a variety of ways. Please know that all oils are not created equally. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust, as I know […]

Natural Relief: Full Spectrum Hemp Oil

by Dean Foor and Jeff Ballard For those of us who suffer persistent headaches or migraines, there is nothing more dread-inducing than the first twinges that indicate the onset of an episode. Maybe you know your triggers well, or perhaps you’re still searching for answers—but either way, once the pain sets in, so too does […]

What Should I Do If I Meet A Service Dog Team?

by Toni Popkin Keeping the following points in mind when meeting or just passing by a service dog team will make a world of difference and the handler will certainly be appreciative. 1) Do not distract the dog or interfere with his job. In order to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities […]

Whiplash and Post-Concussion Headaches

by Erik Reis, DC, DACNB, CBIS For a majority of the population, daily headaches, neck pain, and migraines are merely a theoretical event that comes up in conversations with family and friends.  But for the nearly 21.2% of the US population who currently suffer from these debilitating conditions, life can consist of multiple nights of […]

Headaches & The Jaw: Vagus Nerve & Trigeminal Nerve

by Sharik Peck, PT Persistent debilitating headaches are a frequent complaint from those who have experienced a brain injury or concussion. The fastest way to turn off a headache is by balancing the brain. What does that mean? First, you need to understand a few basics about the nervous system, such as how pain and […]

3 Selenite Superpowers

By Kristen Brown The struggle is real . . . we are constantly being stimulated by sounds, sights, tastes, smells, and feelings. This nonstop sensory overload can create toxic responses like brain fog, indecision, nausea, and other health challenges. Enter selenite!  This powerful but gentle crystal is the perfect antidote to the sensory stimulation and […]

From Pageantry to Advocacy

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief When Brooke Mills competed in her teen first pageant, she had no idea that she would eventually use pageantry as a platform to raise awareness about the devastating effects of concussions. About a year after her first pageant Brooke suffered a concussion in gym class. While playing team handball, she was […]

What a Pain in the Neck!

by Dr. Jeremy Schmoe The connections between the cervical spine and post-concussion symptoms are real, and determining whether a patient’s symptoms are from a brain injury or an injury to the cervical spine is complicated because the symptoms overlap.  After a series of whiplash skiing concussions, I started to develop multiple symptoms within weeks of [...]

Post Concussive Migraines

Dr. Shane Steadman, DC, DACNB, DCBCN, CNS Headaches and migraines are one of the most common complaints following a concussion or TBI (traumatic brain injury). In fact, migraines are a common symptom even five years after concussions. Migraines are debilitating and often affect schoolwork, sports, work, and family dynamics. Living with a migraine can be […]

Yoga: Lunge Pose

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, everyone can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, have great balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified to accommodate anyone.    […]

Life Lessons: Seek Answers

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief As we enter Brain Injury Awareness Month, I’d like to take a moment to reflect on how far I have come in my personal journey, as well as how far we have come as a community in our advocacy of this invisible injury. When I first fell on ice six years […]

The Magic of Magnesium

by Kati Winter Enzymes make a lot of magic happen in the human body, so mindfulness around daily intake is important. Vitamins and minerals are critical nutrient co-factors for enzyme production, with magnesium being of particular interest. It’s involved in more than 300 different enzymatic reactions including energy production, muscle function, cell signaling, brain health, […]


By Sue Wilson, MA, ATC/L, PES, CHHC Many different factors affect the everyday function of the brain. Research has shown that dehydration has several negative neurological and psychological effects. But did you know that hydration is critical to brain function? That’s one more reason to make proper hydration a daily priority.  Every cell of the […]

Alternative Therapies for Post-Traumatic Headache

by Kellie Pokrifka Many of us with post-traumatic headache are willing to try just about anything to ease our pain. The problem is that we just do not know where to start. To help reduce the burden of this search, below are a few options that tend to be popular for treating post-traumatic headache. Before […]

Magnesium to Prevent and Treat Headaches

by Sierra Fawn Guay, MS, RDN, LDN, CBIS Magnesium is involved in hundreds of reactions in our bodies and may play a role in preventing and treating headaches.  While severe magnesium deficiencies are rare, it is likely that most people consume inadequate amounts of this important mineral. According to the World Health Organization, food processing […]

3 Key Signs That Your Chronic Headache is Coming From Your Neck

by Jonathan Chung, DC Persistent headache is the most common problem patients experience after suffering a concussion. A headache after a concussion usually resolves itself as the brain restores normal physiology within 10 days after the concussion occurs. When a headache persists beyond this window, there is a strong possibility that the pain generator is […]

Is Botox worth the benefit?

by Kelly Harrigan More and more people are turning to Botox for migraine and headache relief. Botox has been popular in the cosmetic arena as the magic wand for wrinkles but, in 2010, following years of clinical research, Botox was approved by the FDA for treatment of migraines or headaches that occur fifteen or more […]

April Tarot Reading: Skipping Stones

by Sam Black Every step you make is progress.  Be conscious of what you choose to toss away. What may be an afternoon pastime now, may later be seen as a wasted opportunity. An Aboriginal legend shares that the stones have worked for years to regain their place on the beach and by throwing it […]

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief March is my favorite month of the year. Not only is it Brain Injury Awareness Month, it is also my birthday month.  When I fell in February 2014, my 40th birthday was just a few weeks away. I had to cancel my birthday party due to my injuries and, as crazy […]

March Tarot Reading: Adventure Awaits 

by Sam Black Adventure Awaits — Great adventure awaits you! You are in need of a cultural education and an experience that will give you insight to new possibilities and ways of living! It may seem as though you are living in a whole new world and it is possible that with a fresh perspective, […]

Understanding Dysautonomia

by James Heuer Dysautonomia refers to a varied range of conditions that affect the autonomic nervous system (ANS) function. The ANS controls breathing, heart rate, keeps blood pressure steady and many other body functions.  There are roughly fifteen types of Dysautonomia but no single treatment that addresses all the different types. Primary Dysautonomia is typically […]

Primary Elections | Voting is Your Right & Important

By Zack Eichten “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – Martin Luther King Jr. It’s a new year, and the year 2020 will bring about a consequential election for the Presidency, House of Representatives, Senate, and state legislatures across the county.  I know, I know, people don’t […]

Conquering Education after Brain Injury

by Kellie Pokrifka Pursuing education is a deeply personal and individualized matter. The journey of every single student is unique. Following a brain injury, these differences are even more pronounced. Learning to accept your journey without comparison to others is critical. If we can achieve this, we become our own advocates versus just another obstacle.  […]

Life Lessons: Accepting My “New Normal”

by Amy Zellmer As we put up a new calendar to celebrate a new year, I hope you take a moment to reflect on all the amazing things that happened in 2019.    One of the lessons I have learned is that it’s sometimes hard to realize all that is going right in our world […]

Benefits of Walking

by Sue Wilson, MA, ATC/L, PES, CHHC Physical activity is critical to soothing the mind, body and soul. Walking is one of the best ways to get into an exercise routine because it is simple and needs very little equipment. The exercise of walking can work muscle groups, burn calories, improve circulation, reduce cholesterol and […]

Is Dysautonomia a Major Factor in Post-Traumatic Headaches?

by Jonathan Chung, D.C. Persistent headaches are arguably the most common problem associated with persistent post-concussion symptoms. While these headaches do look and feel similar to migraine headaches, they have their own classification under the umbrella of post-traumatic headache (PTH).    Even though PTH has its own category and has been researched extensively, clinicians and […]

3 Warrior Powers of Amethyst

By Kristen Brown Today’s world is filled with elements that drain our energy, damage our brain and body, and impact how we are able think and act at work and at home. We are constantly battling these elements to maintain a clear and focused mind and fully functioning body. Amethyst is a brilliant purple quartz […]

A High Sodium Diet May Help Alleviate Symptoms of Dysautonomia

by Sierra Fawn Guay, MS, RDN, LDN Disclaimer: This article is not meant to replace personalized medical advice.  A high sodium diet may not be right for you.  Dysautonomia describes a set of conditions resulting from the malfunction of the autonomic nervous system.  Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a certain type of dysautonmia that […]

Conquering College After Concussion

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Looking at college freshman Rachel Mischel you wouldn’t know that she has struggled with lingering symptoms from multiple concussions suffered several years ago. Fortunately for Rachel she found the right treatment path, but it was a long road getting there. In 2017, during her junior year, she sustained her first (documented) […]

Managing Stress With Plants

by Sue Wilson, MA, ATC/L, PES, CHHC One chemical element is essential to the functioning of the human body. Oxygen is a colorless, odorless reactive gas, atomic number 8 — and is life supporting. Perhaps the most critical thing about oxygen is that it is life supporting. Every cell in the human body needs oxygen […]

Did You Just “DYS” Me?!

Kelly Harrigan Do you want the bad news or the good news?  Okay, here goes with the knockout punch: dysautonomia affects more than 70 million people worldwide and, at this time, there is no cure. The good news? Now that you know what you’re dealing with, you can educate yourself (and others) to manage this […]

7 Unique Symptoms of Dysautonomia

by Kellie Pokrifka Throughout this issue, we have discovered the basis for dysautonomia. Now let’s talk about the myriad of ways in which dysautonomia can present itself after brain injury. Note that there are numerous forms of dysautonomia and that each condition can present with different symptoms. To further complicate the diagnosis, each patient can […]

Dysautonomia: Historical Perspectives from Chinese Medicine

Dr. Amy Ayla Wolf, DAOM Chinese medicine (CM) has had a reference frame for understanding dysautonomia for thousands of years. What insights does CM provide—and can acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine offer any solutions for dysautonomia? As a CM practitioner specializing in concussions, I can say from my experience, the answer is “Yes!”    Chinese […]

Are Faulty Veins to Blame for Dysautonomia After a Concussion

by Jonathan Chung, D.C. Dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system has become a more widely recognized problem in concussion research in the past 5 years. However, translating this knowledge into effective treatment has been lacking because many clinicians still don’t recognize the subtle signs of autonomic dysfunction or how to treat them. One important question […]

What You Need to Know About Service Dogs

by Toni Popkin With 23 states having laws against the use of fake service dogs, it’s important to understand what a service dog is.  The American Disability Act (ADA) clearly defines a service dog as follows: “A service dog is specifically task-trained to help an individual with a disability that substantially limits one or more life activities. […]

January Tarot Reading: Olive Branch

by Sam Black Olive Branch – It is time to find a way to work together.  You each have strengths and vulnerabilities that need tended, nurtured and loved.  Be flexible without breaking, and understand your common bond.  If the branch has not yet been extended, you may need to take action and put hurt feelings aside.  […]

Happy New Year

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief Happy New Year, everyone!! I am excited to kick off the New Year with an issue all about dysautonomia. This is such a misunderstood and often misdiagnosed symptom of brain injury. If you have a brain injury, there’s a very high likelihood that you have some form of dysautonomia, which can […]

The Anxious Brain

by Dr. Jeremy Schmoe, DC, DACNB I’ll make this simple: when you injure your brain, you will affect the integration between your brain-gut and gut-brain axis. This can lead to gastrointestinal dysfunction, and it is very common to develop dysautonomia. This can lead to changes in regions of the brain that can cause anxiety for [...]

Setbacks After Brain Injury

by Amy Zellmer | Editor-in-chief Setbacks. They’re a fact of life, right? After a brain injury, setbacks can be devastating. They can feel like the end of the world, wrapping you in a feeling of isolation and despair. Throughout the course of my recovery, it was only natural that I would encounter setbacks. Most of […]

Recovery and Persistence

by Amy Zellmer | Editor-in-chief I remember at the one-year mark of my brain injury, the neurologist told me that this was likely the best I was going to get as it had been a year. She explained that the majority of recovery comes in the first year — which I now know to be […]

TBI TV — Anxiety After Brain Injury

by Amy Zellmer | Editor-in-chief In this episode of TBI TV, I share with you my experience of living with anxiety after my traumatic brain injury in 2014 — sponsored by The Functional Neurology Center. Anxiety is an all too common symptom after brain injury, and is often the result of our “fight or flight” […]

Holiday Giveaway!

We are having a giveaway with some AMAZING prizes valued over $1350!! We wanted to make the holidays a little more joyful so we are giving away some incredible prizes from some fantastic people that we highly trust and recommend! Using the Rafflepress entry form below, you can scroll through the prizes, and get up […]

Yoga: Star Pose

by Amy Zellmer | Editor-in-chief Yoga is a powerful tool for recovery after brain injury. Contrary to some beliefs, EVERYONE can do yoga — you don’t need to be super flexible, have great balance, or even be able to stand up. The beauty of yoga is that every pose can be modified so that anyone […]

December Tarot Reading: Soul Food

by Sam Black Soul Food – It is time to feed your hunger and feed your soul!  Your body and soul are crying for more!  You are ready for feasting and celebration.  You are needing to gain more knowledge and insight.  Your mind and brain are repairing and expanding, needing to be fed.  The teacher is […]

7 Tips For A Relaxing Holiday With Yoga

by Laura Erdman-Luntz The holidays can be especially taxing on our body, mind, and spirit. Yoga is one way we can connect with our inner-self and allow ourselves to relax. These 7 poses are very simple and meant to be calming and relaxing. Balasana. Resting on the front of the body helps us become deeply […]

6 Tips for Surviving the Holidays & Overstimulation With a Brain Injury

by Amy Zellmer | Editor-in-chief With the holidays upon us, many traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors will find themselves facing more overstimulation than normal, which can cause additional brain fatigue and stress — as well as causing fear and panic to set it in in some situations. Overstimulation is one of the most common symptoms […]

Nutrition and Eye Health

by Sierra Fawn Guay, MS, RDN, LDN Our eyes are complex organs that are responsible for communicating messages between the external world and our brains.  Changes in eye function are common after brain injury.  Nutrition plays an essential role in promoting eye health.  The foods that we eat provide the nutrients that our eyes need […]

7 Tips For A Relaxing Holiday With Essential Oils

by Laura Erdman-Luntz Essential Oils are powerful tools that can help us shift our energy very quickly. They also can help us support our bodies and mental health in a multitude of ways. Here are 7 quick tips to help you stay relaxed during the stressful holiday season. They take literally seconds to do, and […]

Recovery vs. Resiliency

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief In February of 2014 I slipped on a path of black ice, landing full-force on the back of my skull. I had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in for a journey unlike anything I had ever imagined. I was originally told by doctors that I should be feeling better […]

Vision Injuries Post-Car Crash

by James A. Heuer, PA On February 28, 1998, my wife and I were involved in a motor vehicle collision. We were waiting at a stoplight on the way home from a dinner. There was a car in front of us so we could not turn right on red.  A driver exiting the freeway crashed […]

Amber Bryce Sacred Soul Jewelry

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief I am excited to introduce you to Amber Bryce, she puts love and intention into all of her pieces — and I can feel the energy buzzing around me when I wear mine! These earrings pictured are amethyst and quartz and I absolutely LOVE them! I commissioned her to create these […]

November Tarot Reading: Great Protector

by Sam Black Great Protector – You have been placed with the ability to stand up for those who need help and at times this protection has moved you off course.  You find that others come to you with their struggles, expecting you to resolve their issues but it is important that they understand you can not […]

Life Lessons — Empathy

by Amy Zellmer Throughout the course of my TBI journey I have learned numerous lessons that perhaps I never would have learned otherwise. While some people may look at their TBI as the worst thing to ever happen to them (or their loved one), I choose to consider it a blessing that keeps on giving. […]

Understanding CBD’s Many Possible Benefits

by Dean Foor and Jeff Ballard Imagine where your day could take you if you felt your best—mentally, emotionally, and physically. What adventures would you go on? How would you connect with your loved ones? What goals could you accomplish in your career or personal life? Entangled Biome’s mission is to empower your overall wellness […]

Neurosurgeon Leads the Way in Eye Tracking Diagnosis for Concussion

by Amy Zellmer, Editor-in-chief From the age of six, Dr. Uzma Samadani, MD, Ph.D, knew she wanted to be a doctor. “The earliest thing I knew I wanted to be was a doctor. I have no regrets, there is no other career I would pick if I had to do it again. I wanted to […]

The Concussion Paradigm

by Vernon Williams, MD There is so much about the concussion process that isn’t yet fully understood by science. How can one athlete seemingly return to “normal” hours after what looks like a knockout blow to the head during a big game, while another takes weeks to fully recover from what seemed to only be […]

October Tarot Reading | The Healing Pool

by Sam Black The Healing Pool – It is time to soak in the healing pool.  Allow the nutrients to come into your space and replenish what you have lost.  You are being called to cleanse and create partnership with your mind, body, and soul.  Remove the toxins from your body, the elements in your life that […]

Visual Vertigo: It’s a Real Thing!

by Dr. Jeremy Schmoe, DC, DACNB Many of our patients seek help, hope, and answers for lingering post-concussion symptoms. These injuries may have occurred during sporting events, car accidents, falls, blast injuries or various other modes of trauma. Not only do these injuries lead to chronic dizziness, vertigo, visual symptoms, headaches, and balance issues, but [...]

Benefits of Essential Oils

by Sue Wilson, MA, ATC/L, PES, CHHC Aromatherapy has been a form of healing since the early hundreds. Essential oils are powerful for TBI survivors because they have the capability to cross the blood brain barrier (BBB). The BBB helps protect our brains from toxic materials that circulate through the blood stream. Essential oils are […]

Gentle Yoga to Help You Stretch

By Laura Erdman-Luntz Let’s start getting into our bodies with a little gentle yoga. Gentle yoga is a great way to begin to handle the tension in the body from the stress of a TBI and if you have any tension created from the accident that resulted in your TBI. In this post, we will […]

The Peripheral Vision Challenge

by Kellie Pokrifka Have you noticed how bothersome our peripheral vision becomes after brain injury? Anything out of the corner of our eyes suddenly sets off our TBI symptoms. Why is that? After brain injury, our body tends to get stuck on sympathetic firing, or fight-or-flight mode. We know this as the mode designed to […]


by Kelly Harrigan Yes, we all need a little balance in our lives. Syntonics has been around for longer than most of us have been alive.  This non-invasive therapy has proven its safety, efficacy, and therapeutic value to those suffering from traumatic brain injuries and concussions, as well as other dysfunctions like lazy eye, eye […]

5 Amazing Benefits of Clear Quartz

by Kristen Brown You’re walking along the beach or lakeshore and a stone catches your eye. This is no accident. Rocks, crystals, gems, fossils and shells may seem lifeless, but these members of the mineral kingdom are some of the most energetically powerful things on our planet. When you feel attracted to a crystal or […]

Essential Oils

Essential oils are a complementary tool that can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle. They are easy to use, smell great, and you can use them in a variety of ways. Please know that all oils are not created equally. Young Living is the only brand I personally trust, as I know they have complete […]

Amy’s Favorite Things

If your recovery was anything like mine, you likely didn’t have the energy or cognitive bandwidth to figure out what to wear every day. I often wore the same outfit for days at a time (which also cut down on laundry) because getting dressed took a ton of energy. I basically lived in comfy yoga […]

3 Eye-Movement Problems That Predict Post-Concussion Syndrome

by Jonathan Chung, DC When most people think about eye problems, they are going to think about problems like blurriness, near-sightedness, or double vision. However, there are different problems that affect the eyes without affecting normal vision, and one of the ways that these problems can be seen is by looking at eye movements. While […]