Chiro and Learning Difficulties
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Chiro and Learning Difficulties

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How Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal care may help brain function....

How Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal care may help brain function.

Chiropractic is based on the now scientifically proven hypothesis that proper structure of the spine is required for proper function of the nervous system as it relates to the control and regulation of global physiology and health.”

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  • .
  • James Chestnut
  • Lancet 2000:355:53-41 Research on effects on learning of RPR’s. Primitive reflexes support survival in the 1st 6m, then higher connections should become established.
  • .
  • Hypotonic – flexionHypertonic – extension, toe-walker
  • As peroxides are further oxidised they form other compounds, measured by AV (anisidine value). AV is a measure of past oxidation, PV is a measure of current oxidation. Lower the values, the fresher to oil.
  • Krill not biologically sustainable. Less stable, not as much scientific research, and not as high a concentration of omega 3’s.
  • Zinc Copper ratio problems can cause anxiety, and tethering brain to lower sections.
  • Far-Infrared red light stimulates nerves either peripherally or at the level of the brain stem and increases their functional threshold. This improves their function – they can do more before they ‘fail’. Use kinesiology to test for neurological weaknesses and then stimulate nerve whilst asking it to function. This increases its metabolic rate which brings its functional threshold higher.


  • 1. Chiro and LearningDifficultiesHow Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal care mayhelp brain function. Merlene Dilger B.Sc.M.Chir G.Dip.Cl.Nutr Chiropractor Nutritionist 4340 5154
  • 2. My Story. “One day, it will just click.” “If we don’t change our direction we’re likely to end up where we’re headed.” Old Chinese proverb (Liz Dunoon)
  • 3. The Learning PyramidA child with learning difficulties Academic Remedialmay need a combination of Teachingapproaches rather than just one.This pyramid is a guide to othertherapies that parents may Visionconsider. Pre-Academic Therapist Learning Speech ‘readiness’ Therapist Integration Functional Motor Auditory Visual Structural Neurological Primitive Physical Genetics Metabolism reflexes body & senses
  • 4. A team approachBehavioural OptometristBiomedically – trained GPsLearning Difficulties Specialist TutorsOsteopaths / Chiropractors (cranial work)Herbalist / Naturopath / Nutritionist
  • 5. What is Chiropractic? Muscles Nerves Chiro Joints Movement
  • 6. Definition“Chiropractic is based on the nowscientifically proven hypothesis that properstructure of the spine is required for properfunction of the nervous system as it relatesto the control and regulation of globalphysiology and health.”
  • 7. Cranial Chiropractic (craniosacral technique)The human skull (cranium) houses and protects the very delicatetissue of the brain. It consists of 22 different bones that areseparated from each other by joints or seams. These are calledsutures.Sutures are sites of flexibility between the more rigid skull bones.In healthy individuals the bones of the skull make subtle, almostimperceptible movements.The proper movement of cranial bones is critical to proper brainfunction. Their primary function is to allow bone expansion andbrain growth.
  • 8. Parts of the brain1. Brain StemHeart rate, respiration, primitive reflexes2. Mid brainEmotions, stress response, language3. Frontal cortexInterprets senses, reasoning, decisions
  • 9. What 4 things are essential for brainfunction? 1. •Fuel (glucose) 2. •Oxygen 3. •Nutrition – EFA’s etc 4. •Stimulation (sensory input)
  • 10. 90% of stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated throughmovement of the spine, via input from mechanoreceptors (nerveendings) in joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles, especially the upper neck area (cervical spine) as we move through gravity. Other sensory input includes sight, hearing, olfactory (smell), taste, temperature, pressure, and proprioception (positional sense).Everything we learn enters through our sensory pathways. Howwell we attend to and retain this sensory input determines our learning. Simultaneous access to multiple sensory pathways increases our potential to learn.
  • 11. Learning RetentionWe retain:10% of what is read20% of what is heard30% of what is seen50% of what is seen and heard70% of what is said as you talk90% of what is said as you do a thingEverything we learn enters through our sensory pathways.Multi-sensory approach helps dyslexics store and retrieve info.
  • 12. Retained Primitive ReflexesPrimitive reflexes are those reflexes that a baby is born with thatare designed to insure immediate response to their newenvironment. They are automatic, stereotyped movements,directed from the brain stem. The brain stem is our ‘primitive’brain. It controls our physiology, monitors the world through oursenses, and activates the body to physically respond.These reflexes become obsolete as a baby starts to respond to agravity-based environment and gain more purposeful movement.In fact, if they are kept they become a barrier to easy naturalmovement development.Keeping primitive reflexes beyond their usefulness can affectboth academic learning and social interaction.
  • 13. Retained Primitive ReflexesThe ongoing presence of primitive reflexes at school age indicatesthat the lower part of the brain (brain stem) has not reached fullmaturity. It may result in immature patterns of behaviour or maycause immature systems to remain prevalent, despite theacquisition of later skills.This poor organisation of brain nerve fibres can affect one or allof the following areas of functioning:Gross and fine muscle co-ordinationSensory perceptionCognitionAvenues of expression
  • 14. Retained Primitive ReflexesIt is as if later skills remain tethered to an earlier stage ofdevelopment and instead of becoming automatic, can only bemastered through continuous conscious effort.Inhibition of a reflex frequently correlates with the acquisition ofa new skill. Preschool play activity plays an important role in thematuration of these primitive reflexes, but for some children thisnatural pre-academic phase of learning and development is notcompleted.The lower part of the brain then will not automatically pick upand send good information to the higher thinking, judging,talking, understanding and remembering parts of the brain.
  • 15. MORO REFLEX• Earliest form of fight / flight response.• Integrated 2 – 4 months of age.Failure to integrate:• Over-reactiveness to stimulation (sight, sounds, touch).• Easily distracted / difficulty relaxing• Allergies / lowered immunity• Vestibular problems – motion sickness, poor balance/co-ord• Poor pupillary reaction to light – photosensitivity• Poor Stamina
  • 16. PALMAR REFLEX• Continuation of an earlier stage of evolution• Direct link between reflex and sucking (mouth movements)• Inhibited 2-3 monthsFailure to integrate:• poor manual dexterity• Tight pencil grip• Accessory mouth movements when writing / drawing• Speech difficulties
  • 17. ASYMMETRICAL TONIC NECK REFLEX• Movement of the head to one side causes extension of arm and leg on that side and flexion on the opposite side.• Inhibited: 6 monthsFailure to integrate:• Invisible barrier to crossing the vertical midline• Homolateral crawling, walking, marching• Poor ‘ocular pursuit’ – tracking• Poor handwriting/writing posture – rotate page• Mixed laterality
  • 18. SPINAL GALANT• Stimulation of back to one side causes hip flexion to that side.• Integrated at 3-9monthsFailure to Integrate:• Ticklish / restless / “ants in pants”• Extended bedwetting• Poor concentration• Poor short term memory• Hip rotation when walking / scoliosis
  • 19. TONIC LABYRINTHINE REFLEX• Early primitive method of response to gravity.• Head movement beyond midplane causes flexion/extension throughout the entire body.• Integrated at 4 months – 3 yearsFailure to Integrate:• Difficulty holding holding head and body up against gravity.• Can’t sit still in a chair.• Hypotonic/hypertonic muscles• Balance problems, clumsy, motion sickness• Walks on toes• Poor sequencing skills / organisational skills
  • 20. The Plastic BrainThe primary source of activation of the brain is through themotor system. High frequency, low intensity activity of the motorsystem has powerful effects on the global activation, arousal andattention of all centres of the brain.If the primitive reflexes haven’t integrated properly and/or thesequential movement patterns haven’t progressed as they aresupposed to it is possible to do it at a later stage.Stylized sequential movements give the brain a second chance.Neurologically we are creating super highways from neuralpathways.
  • 21. What can we do? Effective primitive reflex integration Nourish the brain with Specific good nutrition movement Detect exercises retainedEnsure proper primitivefunctioning of reflexesthe spine andcranial bones
  • 22. MOVE TO LEARNBarbara PheloungWe need to move to learn.Movement enables neurological development, but it has to bethe right kind of movement and done in the appropriate order.Each skill builds on the one just gained, to form a solidfoundation.Developed an easily followed, correctly ordered movementprogramme that has proven to be an effective means ofincreasing neurological maturity and integration.
  • 23. BRAIN GYM• Bases its exercises on the premise that the lower sections of our brains (brain stem) must be settled before learning can take place.• The brain gym movements consciously activate the whole mind/body system, stimulating nervous system activity in all parts of the brain and lessening the fight/flight reaction.• Describes brain function in 3 dimensions:① Laterality – between 2 sides of the brain② Focus – between the back and front of the brain③ Centering – between the top and bottom of the brain
  • 24. THE EXTRA LESSONProgramme based on the premise that learning difficulties areoften due to disruptions in the developmental stages of the first7 years of life. This can result in :Poor spatial orientation and body awarenessSensory processing challengesRetained early movement patternsCo-ordination difficultiesResearch supports the connection between learning difficultiesand early childhood development and shows that regularmovement and physical activity can help develop neuralpathways in the brain.Works on the underlying barriers to learning.
  • 25. ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDSEFA’s are nutrients that are considered ‘essential’ because they arerequired for optimal health but cannot be produced by the body, andmust, therefore, be obtained from the diet or supplementation.The most beneficial omega-3’s are EPA and DHA. Fish is the best foodsource but due to concerns about toxins a purified fish oil supplement isthe safest source.Omega-3’s from plants (like flax oil) contain ALA which must beconverted to DHA and EPA. Our body is not efficient at this conversion.EPA and DHA work together, however each fatty acid has uniquebenefits.Insufficient consumption may mean inadequate formation of the myelinsheath surrounding nerve and brain cells.
  • 26. Docosahexaenic Acid (DHA) Essential for healthy brain function Protects the aging mind Supports a healthy pregnancy Promotes good mood and emotional well-being Improves behaviour, focus, and ability to learn in children* Supports developing brain and eye Reduces the harmful effects of stress*(References include Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Journal of theAcademy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry)Dr. Alex Richardson – FAB (food and behaviour research)
  • 27. Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) Promotes a healthy heart and circulatory system Promotes healthy triglyceride levels Supports proper immune function Promotes good mood and general well-being Improves symptoms of arthritis, including joint flexibility Supports the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response Helps maintain balanced blood sugar levels
  • 28. QUALITY ISSUESFish oils can contain impurities such as mercury and other heavymetals.Exposure to heat or light during manufacturing oxidises the fats.Chemicals such as hexane are often used to to remove heavy metals.Dioxins are not specified under Australian Standards testing. Dioxins area known neurotoxin.Freshness is very important. Indicator is PV (peroxide value).PV’sAustralian Standard: <10meq/kgMetagenics fish oil: <5meq/kgNordic Naturals: <1meq/kgTriglyceride (natural) form better than ‘ethyl ester’ (new to nature)
  • 29. EFA DEFICIENCY Dry, scaly, flaky skin  Susceptibility to infection Cracking, peeling fingertips  Thick, cracked calluses (heel) Small bumps on upper arms  Quilted skin Soft, splitting fingernails  Decreased growth in kids Dry eyes, mouth, throat Excessive ear wax Excessive thirst Allergies Crave fatty foods Poor wound healing
  • 30. Dietary Sources of EPA, DHA Oily fish (sardines, anchovies, not krill) Grass-fed meat Grass-fed, free-range chook eggsWhat we subtract from our diet may be as important as what weadd.Omega-6: Recommended 2:1 ratio with omega-3.Western diet 15:1 ratioOmega-6 found in grains Decrease grains and increase oily fish, eat organic, pasture-fed meat and eggs
  • 31. HOW MUCH?MINDD Foundation recommendations (children):Starting dose:750 mg EPA250mg DHANordic Naturals recommendations (adult):Avoid deficiency: 500mg EPA and DHAProactive support: 1g EPA and DHAHigh intensity support: 2-4g EPA and DHA
  • 32. ZINCZinc is important for the production of hundreds of enzymeswithin the body. Formation of neurotransmitters (dopamine and noradrenaline) Detoxification systems Immune function Protein and collagen synthesis Cell reproduction Wound healing Zinc : copper important
  • 33. Signs of Zinc deficiency Disrupted sleep patterns  Frequent sore throats Poor concentration  Taste/smell impairment Memory impairment  Fussy/picky eater Mental apathy  White spots on nails Eczema, asthma, allergies  Transverse lines on nails Mouth ulcers  Poor nail growth Hair loss  Positive zinc taste test Growth retardation Acne, skin lesions Frequent colds
  • 34. Dietary sources of Zinc Pumpkin seeds Sunflower seeds Seafood Brewer’s yeast Animal protein Mushrooms WholegrainsHigh phytate diet (cereal grains) can block zinc absorption.Our bodies only absorb about 30% of dietary zinc.
  • 35. How much?From Encyclopaedia of Nutritional Supplements-M. MurrayAdults:General health support: 15-20mgSpecific needs: Men: 30-60mg Women: 30-45mgMINDD FoundationChildren:Zinc (as picolinate): 20-60mg/day(20mg plus 1mg per pound of body weight)If picolinate not available, use amino acid chelate or sulphate.
  • 36. WHAT I DO
  • 38. For More InformationMerlene Dilger 4340 5154