Blog

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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:
PanAway

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, […]

Hydration

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 […]

Syntonics

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 […]