Healthy Beginnings

An Unhealthy and Aging Brain – Part 3 Pain Recovery

brain_scan300To review: Our brains control everything. Everything you have ever experienced, felt, or conducted in life, is due to brain function. Also under control of brain function is your endocrine (hormonal) and immune system (the system that heals you). Thus leaving it impossible for a person to maximally heal, or become healthy mentally or physiologically, without a healthy brain. Even the ability to enjoy, perceive, sense and experience life is dictated by the FIRING RATE and health of your brain.

To have a proper firing rate of the brain, one needs proper brain cell (neurons) stimulation, proper glucose balance, proper oxygen and a lack of inflammation. Anything that occurs in the body such as inflammatory responses, abnormal immune responses (i.e. MS, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, Hoshimotos, Lupus etc.), blood sugar functions (i.e. hypoglycemia, insulin resistance or diabetes) gut, liver, food allergies, smoking, mental and emotional stress, and excessive alcohol disrupts oxygen delivery and creates inflammatory responses in the brain. Today’s sedentary lifestyles, passive entertainment, computer games, and use of computers to substitute for brain function (adding, subtracting, spelling, etc.) reduce stimulation and brain function.

Different parts of the brain control different functions. Whatever part of the brain that is not firing correctly will not express its functions correctly. So if the area of the left brain that controls your immune system, or your positive emotions, is not firing right because of poor stimulation (sedentary life style), lack of O2 (smoking) inflammation (by alcohol, food allergies, parasites, H. Pylori, etc.) or improper glucose delivery (low or high blood sugar), you will have poor immune function and not be very happy. It is a symbiotic relationship. The brain controls every cell and function in the body, but the physiology of each cell in return effects brain function.

Brain function is what controls aging. Aging is really neuro-degeneration (wear and tear on brain cells from above referred process). As brain serving mechanisms deteriorate, function of the entire body deteriorates. We lose energy, become unstable, gut function gets worse, immune function get worse, people get “old.” As brain function deteriorates, so does “health” and the ability to heal in every respect. This is why children respond better to all types of treatment–they are more active (stimulation to brain) and have healthier brain cells because they haven’t been alive as long to experience the standard American diet and stresses. Poor brain function is involved in virtually every abnormal symptom or condition you experience. But it is particularly under-appreciated as the cause in the most difficult chronic conditions, i.e. Peripheral Neuropathy, Fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, vertigo, balance, dizziness, migraines, reflex sympathetic dystrophy, restless leg syndrome and more.

So how do you address these issues through brain function? The first thing that must occur is a comprehensive history addressing all aspects of physiology that will affect proper brain firing. This includes the gut (small and large intestines, gall bladder, liver, pancreas, and stomach), blood chemistry (PH, allergies, electrolytes, liver detox, blood sugar), stress response, endocrine function and potential inflammatory contributors. Remember, all or any of these will affect brain function and ultimately premature aging, ability to heal and response to treatment for chronic pain. Then, of course, a complete neurological and physical must be preformed with particular attention to brain function (how its firing) and more so particularly to which specific parts of the brain are not functioning (misfiring) normally.

Treatment is dictated by the exam and targeted specialized testing which addresses the key components for proper brain function. Proper fuel (proper glucose delivery, proper oxygen delivery, and elimination of inflammation) and activation (stimulating the weak misfiring part of the brain) of the brain with specific brain based rehabilitative exercises, must be established for the body to heal and age effectively.

In functional chiropractic neurology and functional medicine, standardized testing procedures are applied to determine the specific approach for each patient. For example, if inflammation is the key chemical component of disturbing brain function (there are at least 18 functions in the body that when not working properly can cause inflammation) testing and history should provide answers as to the causes of inflammatory disturbances that need to be addressed. In Functional Medicine and Chiropractic Neurology the “causes” of brain dysfunction and chronic disease and pain are well understood, as is the testing procedures. We know what we’re looking for. Once found, it is simply a matter of addressing the different aspects of one’s physiology that are disturbing oxygen delivery, blood sugar balance, or creating inflammation in the brain. There can be many combinations of these factors in different patients. Therefore, a person with a diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy, fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue will frequently not necessarily have the same “causes” creating the pain in their bodies as the next person with the same diagnosis.

While the “body chemistry” is becoming stable, exercises or stimulations appropriate for the weak firing part of the brain (determined by neurological examination) are applied to strengthen those areas. Remember when the involved areas are strengthened by activation/stimulation, stabilizing sugar, oxygen levels and reduce inflammation, the symptoms caused by that part of the brain “misfiring’ will reduce or resolve. The stimulations are natural brain stimulators, such as vibration, unilateral exercise (lifting a weight with one hand) music in one ear, pleasant or unpleasant smell in one nostril, eye exercises (very powerful) and too many more to list here.

Once the area of the brain becomes strong from exercise and proper “fuel” supply, pain will reduce or resolve, function will return, “aging” will slow down and the immune system will function better.

You’ll notice no mention of drugs is made. Most physiology can be addressed with even minimum involvement of herbs and botanicals in the long term. The bodies own brain, endocrine, immune system is enough to resolve the most difficult of chronic issues if all the impediments to its proper function can be removed.

So, if you just feel bad or if you feel you’re aging too rapidly; if you have chronic conditions that won’t respond to traditional treatment, Functional Chiropractic Neurology/Functional Medicine approach to these conditions might just be the answer you’re looking for!


1. Khaarrazian, Datis 2009 Neurotransmitters and the Brain. Rev (091109) – DOC.

2. Park, Alice, Understanding Pain, when the pain won’t stop. Time Vol 177, No 9, 2011.

3. Leigh, Zee. The Neurology of Eye Movements, Contemporary Neurology Series 4th Edition. Oxford Press University. 2006.

4. Coico, Richard and Sunshine, Geoffrey. Immunology – A Short Course. Wiley-Blackwell. January, 2009.

5. Peripheral Neuropathy, 4th addition Contemporary Neurological Server, 2011, Oxford Press University

For more info, contact Dr. Rutherford or Dr. Gates at (775) 329-4402, or visit them online at