Whole Body Approach
- The Medical Approach
- Holistic Approach
- Conventional V Functional Medicine
- Survivor Blogs
Introduction – Whole Body Approach to Healing
A brain injury sets off a cascade of events that affect the whole body.
There are several different approaches to healing; however, because trauma to the brain affects biological systems throughout the body, we need to be aware of possible complex long-term effects and outcomes.
By addressing your whole-body health today, you prepare your physiology for tomorrow.
For example, science tells us that the gut microbiome is compromised¹ following a brain injury. The good bacteria in your gut help to balance the immune system and manufacture neurotransmitters needed for healing the brain environment and enhancing behaviour and mood.
The medical approach
These days nearly all of us know that medical universities tend to stick with a particular pro forma of training, and are aware of the restrictions qualified doctors necessarily work under to comply with science. For example, understandably, they cannot advocate for any treatment that hasn’t been through the rigours of scientific research and clinical trial.
Because science has yet to prove the ‘cause’ of many medical conditions, many of the treatments prescribed focus on alleviating symptoms. In turn, these will be divided up, so headaches will be dealt with separately to fatigue, or even irritable bowel syndrome, for example. And yet, they could all be linked!
Despite this, you might return home with three separate prescriptions, and each one of these will be synthesised chemicals made by a pharmaceutical company. Many medications are life-saving, so you must always take what you have been prescribed and follow the advice given to you by your doctor or specialist.
For doctors, understanding the cause of any symptom is often something that can be different between seeing one person and the next. The approach is generally to run diagnostic tests to show that an ailment is existing, and then make out the prescription or refer for treatments or to specialists. Because of hierarchical pressures and shortages of services people are often not referred to a consultant or specialist services if there are other treatments to try first.
The information we provide incorporates a holistic approach; we are going to look at as many of the common health issues associated with brain injury as we can.
If you can, make an appointment with a functional medical practitioner; they will be able to help you move towards a more whole-body natural approach to healing and health.
As above, prescription medications are made by pharmaceutical companies who synthesise known natural healing elements to produce chemical copies. Your body is easily able to identify these synthetic copies and often rejects them, or they simply don’t work for you. These ‘rejections’ are commonly called ‘side effects.’ Drugs can harm the natural responses of the immune system and your overall biology.
Science itself proves this. We recommend you read ‘The Biology of Belief’ by Bruce Lipton. Quantum biology is the evidence we have all been looking for to confirm our beliefs that chemicals kill rather than cure us.
Conventional V Functional Medicine
There is no doubt that general practitioners set out with the intention of helping and curing. Many will now recommend alternative approaches because they are aware of how things can get worse for their patients. Many doctors are led to ill health themselves through stress and anxiety. Many are now leaving traditional practice and are becoming ‘Functional Practitioners.’
If you can, try and find a local functional practitioner. The Institute for Functional Medicine will help you find someone near you – wherever you live in the world. Dr Kris Sargent has addressed a lot of questions, including those about insurance – it is well worth the read!
The thing is that traditional approaches often de-motivate the patient. We look to doctors for help and guidance, and often people end up feeling worse because of the side-effects of prescription medications. The ‘side-effects’ are new symptoms caused by the reaction of the body to yet more toxins. What we certainly want to know, above anything else, is what caused our illness, and how to heal it.
In the case of traumatic and many other types of acquired brain injury, we know the cause. We also know the primary and secondary outcomes and symptoms, so, if we can treat these, perhaps we can achieve overall physical healing.
If we know what is causing our fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, headaches, and so on, then we can tackle them rather than masking them. When we get to the cause, it can have a knock-on effect throughout the body and help with symptoms we didn’t even realise were related to brain injury.
Brain injury affects the whole body, and it is this that we need to understand to heal.
Brain injury symptoms should never be allowed to fall under the guise of ‘mystery illnesses’, and yet for many, this is genuinely what many people living with and up against despite all efforts to be heard. Together we can change this and focus on healing as well as rewiring and recovery.
NCBI -Functional Medicine Approach to Traumatic Brain Injury – Alice C. Richer, RDN, MBA, LDN
¹PubMed – Rice MW, Pandya JD, Shear DA. Gut Microbiota as a Therapeutic Target to Ameliorate the Biochemical, Neuroanatomical, and Behavioral Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries. Front Neurol. 2019 Aug 16;10:875. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2019.00875. PMID: 31474930; PMCID: PMC6706789.
Rod Rawls – Functional Medicine May Help TBI Survivors