Healthy Beginnings

Why Brains Do Not Heal Part 2: The Complicated Web of Brain Healing

Part one of this three-part series discussed the ‘Web of Brain Healing’ and its nine realms. We learned that the realms are complex systems and processes necessary for brain function. This article, part two, discusses why brains do not heal.

Here in the U.S. we have a very sophisticated healthcare system filled with hospitals, advanced technologies, brilliant scientists, insurance, urgent care, emergency medical responders to prevent major stroke by immediate administration of clot-buster drugs, first aid classes so citizens can resuscitate a drowning child or a flight attendant using a defibrillator to save a heart attack victim at 30,000 feet, flight for life helicopters, readily available medications at pharmacies, and yet all of that will not address the complexities of the brain’s web of healing and is void of the therapies to get the job done. Why is that the situation?

Assumptions & ‘You Don’t Know That You Don’t Know’

It is due to the fact that the necessary therapies and natural medicines to treat ‘the web’ are not covered by insurance. That lack of inclusion also prevents medical doctors from being aware of these treatment options and subsequently do not refer, and because they don’t make the referral many people assume that there’s nothing else that can help.

Social & Personal Views

Social and personal views are a critical aspect of holistic medicine because it will affect the choices the patient will make, be they well guided by science or misguided by false beliefs.

A controversial and poorly understood medicinal substance is cannabidiol (aka CBD oil) and its usage to treat seizures. Research by many universities and pharmaceutical companies has shown excellent results with certain types of seizure. But, because cannabidiol is extracted from cannabis, it is smack-dab in the middle of the medical marijuana ‘controversy.’ There is tremendous confusion because the public does not understand that the CBD extract is not the same thing as THC, which gives people the ‘high’ experience – in fact it’s doing the opposite and works upon the endocannabinoid receptor system. Yes, in every human brain we all have a chemical pathway for the cannabidiol. Not only do social views prevent this excellent compound from being legal in some states, there are personal views. If you are against marijuana’s recreational use (THC) would you be able to accept its medical (CBD) use? Or, does the stigma of being a ‘pot-head’ or ‘rebel outlaw’ hold you back?

Herbalists are challenged by the belief that ‘if it comes from a plant or herb it certainly is not REAL like a pharmaceutical drug.’ Most people are unaware that today 50 percent of all pharmaceutical drugs are concentrated extracts from plants or herbs and those same plants and herbs are prescribed by the naturopath and Chinese herbalist. Does that fact now make herbal medicine a real and viable treatment?

So, too, does acupuncture suffer a similar sigma, yet the body is electrical and modern biomedical research is identifying physiological science behind the mystery. Now that there is a functional MRI study that recorded an acupoint deactivating the pain perception region of the brain thus alleviating the patient’s pain, does that make acupuncture a real and viable treatment?

A hot question in the South American tropical rain forests is, ‘How will the local communities keep Big Pharma and herbal companies from destroying the environment by harvesting the plants for medicinal production, some of which have psychotropic properties needed for neurological disorders?’ Chinese herbs can be very controversial because some of the most potent are taken from exotic animals and contributing to the slaughter and the endangerment of species. Animal activist are launching awareness campaigns to raise global awareness. If you support herbal medicine are you an anti-environmentalist and a murderer of innocent animals?

Social and personal views do impact our choices for healing the brain.

Unknown Gaps – Hidden Passages of The Web

The complexity of the web requires many specialists (doctors and therapists) to know therapeutic interventions beyond their ‘scope of practice’ and work together in an overlapping process. Our healthcare system limits them to stay within their specialized field, hence they do not see the entire web and as such there are gaps that are not known by our conventional healthcare system, and therefore do not receive treatment.

Need for Interdisciplinary Services

Even when a patient or family member learns about a therapy outside of their insurance coverage, they still are unable to address the gap. Example: In order to re-establish communication between brain regions it is necessary to activate the brain using neuro-acupuncture (by a specialized acupuncturist) to stimulate one region while activating another region with guided limb-movement (by a physical therapist). This requires two different professions, one inside insurance and one outside of insurance, to work together simultaneously. As of today there’s no such provision in conventional care to provide this service. The same issue exists for inpatient and outpatient care, as many facilities have liability issues that prevent two healthcare providers from working together on premises. The outcome is a situation whereby patients and their families are unable to coordinate healthcare providers even when they find those who are willing. This leaves the patient only able to address a fragment of the web.

Even when patients try some of the natural therapies they are not addressing the web, only a segment. Example: You can try to awaken the brain with acupuncture, but if the neurons need nutrients to respond you’ll have little or no progress. Or, you can have healthy neurons and apply acupuncture to awaken an area of the brain, but if the regions are out of synchronization you’ll get little or no effect. If the patient has underlying fear or anxiety, the correction of region synchronization is impaired and you get little or no improvement. If the patient is eating foods that cause inflammation on the brain, which interferes with neuron communication, then no amount of brain nutrients, acupuncture stimulation, meditation, and/ or neuron timing and brain region synchronization exercises will overcome the inflammation’s interference.

To heal the brain requires addressing the entire web and our conventional model that offers drugs, surgery and basic therapies such as physical, occupational and speech-language are not only inadequate but light-years away from creating the necessary case management and providing access to comprehensive therapeutic services. Yet, there is hope – physicians and therapists outside the conventional system are ‘teaming up’ to address portions of the web. At Tahoe Neuro Healing we address the entire web and all of the legal and logistical issues of multi- practitioners to work in one clinic location.

Part three discusses what you can do to help heal your brain and how to find the medical and therapeutic care you need.

By Van Harding, L.A.c., Dipl. OM

For more information, call Van Harding at 530-536-5084 or visit