OUR FOCUS AREAS
Our primary focus is to improve the effectiveness of our nervous system, which is helpful for people looking to speak their first words, improve academics/focus, decrease anxiety and increase emotional regulation, maintain the mind and body during the aging process, build self-confidence, all the way to athletes trying to improve their game by increasing reaction time and decision making.
People suffering from anxiety have symptoms of excessive worrying, irritability, fatigue, restlessness, sleep disturbances, muscle tension, sweating, nausea, and poor concentration. Other conditions may be associated with anxiety, such as headaches/migraines, depression and visual impairments. Anxiety stems from stress, worries, fears, and the environment (sound; over-stimulation) leading to your brain misinterpreting it as real danger and activating survival instincts. The sympathetic nervous system, which is the Fight/Flight/Freeze system, is activated and releases hormones and neurotransmitters that send the person into acute stress, such as increase heart rate, muscle tension, tunnel vision, shallow fast breathing, etc. Brain Bright Therapy aims to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system to counter Fight/Flight/Freeze symptoms by slowing the heart rate and calming the body. At the same time, we are aiming to improve the efficiency of how our brain processes sound, light, movement, etc. and activate the right side of the brain to promote social and abstract thinking. Thus, lessening fight/flight/freeze response and stress on our left brain which is responsible for analyzing small details, which leads to worrying. Through brain training and using neuroplasticity, a person can change their physiological response to their environment and diminish anxiety symptoms.
CONCUSSION/ BRAIN INJURY
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. Concussions can occur from head trauma, such as from a fall, contact during sports, car accidents, or violent shaking of the head and shoulders. Common symptoms after a concussive traumatic brain injury are headache or feeling of pressure, loss of memory and confusion, nausea, fatigue, "brain fog", irritability, sensitivity to light or noise, balance issues, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and other psychological conditions, such as depression. Symptoms can be temporary and resolve on their own, however people frequently have lingering symptoms and are looking to heal their brain and improve function after the event. By using specific eye exercises and other sensory processing equipment, we can improve brain function and decrease the severity or even eliminate symptoms that are interfering with one's ability to fully and successfully engage in daily routine and functional life skills.
SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER
In general, people with SPD may be overly sensitive to sounds, touch, tastes, etc. or under-responsive to sensory input and be clumsy and a risk-taker. Tags on clothing can feel painful, seams on jeans can be constantly irritating, bright lights or busy spaces can be so distracting it makes them close their eyes or repetitively blink, typical noises can be so irritating that it causes them to cover their ears. Grocery stores, parades, birthday parties, and etc. can be over-whelming. Adults typically struggle with chronic fatigue because their brain is working so hard to ignore irrelevant information and focus on the task at hand. Adolescents and adults may also struggle with anxiety, OCD, and even depression due to feeling like they are not performing as well as they would like. Kids may also spin or hang upside to get more sensory input. They may be overly hyper or have very low energy levels. Frequently people who struggle with multi-sensory processing feel as if they don't have control over how things feel and how their body reacts, therefore they tend to seek control over their environment and routine. It is difficult for people with SPD to receive and process sensory input and to have a regulated appropriate response. Brain Bright Therapy can help the brain understand sensory input by organizing the back and deep areas of the brain, called the subcortex. Through structured visual, auditory, vibration, balance, and motor coordination exercises, we can improve the efficiency of the brain's ability to adequately process sensory input. In return, we help to reduce anxiety, increase ease and independence with one's daily routine, and foster self-confidence.
The CDC, remarkably, reports that 11% of American children, ages 7 to 17, have ADHD. This rate of ADHD increased, on average, 5% per year from 2003 to 2011. The CDC's data showed greater than 13% of youth in the state of Ohio were diagnosed with ADHD in 2011, compared to less than 7% in 2003. People with ADD have difficulty keeping their attention and are easily distracted. They tend to work on multiple tasks at the same time and have trouble completing tasks. ADD is directly related to the left frontal lobe, which is our impulse control center and our “stop button”. When we are sitting and working on one task, let’s just say our grocery list, and then we remember that we forgot to water the plants, it is our frontal lobe that stops us from getting up and watering the plant and then feeding the dog and then doing dishes only to remember that we were supposed to be doing the grocery list. Our frontal lobe is responsible for telling us to stop, wait, finish the grocery list and then we can water the plant. Growing research is showing that people with ADD also have brain dysfunction in the back of the brain as well. Brain Bright Therapy can help improve connections between the back of the brain, the cortex, and facilitate the frontal lobes response to help improve attention and organization.
The CDC reports the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) to have risen from 1 in 150 to 1 in 68 from 2000 to 2012. Some research now shows approximately 1 in 50 children are diagnosed with ASD. People with autism tend to have rigid thinking patterns and do not like change/ transitions, which may lead to meltdowns or self-stimulating behaviors. They have trouble understanding peoples’ emotions and body language. Brain Bright Therapy can help people with autism organize the back of the brain and stimulate the right side of the brain that is responsible for social skills and the ability to see the big picture. This aides in decreasing stress on the left hemisphere, which controls concrete/rigid thinking. Thus, allows for decreased emotional outbursts/meltdowns and self-stimulation and facilitates ability to learn, make friends, and live a happier and “brighter” life.
The number one cause of adult disability, stroke, occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked, most commonly due to a blood clot. This results in brain tissue to become damaged or die. At Brain Bright Therapy, we use a combination of core strengthening, visual exercises, balance activities, hand coordination exercises, and concentrated oxygen to facilitate brain cell growth and connections at the site where the stroke occurred. If there is weakness on one side of the body, occupational therapy can facilitate brain training to target that side of the brain to increase arm and leg coordination, while physical therapy can facilitate strengthening. If language is affected by the stroke, along with speech therapy, occupational therapy can facilitate specific exercises to stimulate the language centers in the left side of the brain. Occasionally, people are told that a stroke damages the brain and they will not regain function. This is not always the case. Recent research shows that our brain is capable of re-learning and changing at any age.
This neurological disease is typically progressive and effects people over the age of 50. Parkinson’s symptoms include tremors, slumped posture, rigid/stiff movements (especially of the neck and lack of arm swing), shuffling gait, lack of facial expression, difficulty swallowing, and motor “freezes”. Parkinson’s disease is primarily occurs within the midbrain in a structure called the basal ganglia that controls muscle tone and smooth movement. Specifically, an area within the basal ganglia, called the substantia nigra which is responsible for producing dopamine. Brain Bright Therapy uses many specific balance, visual, and coordination techniques, as well as vibration, concentrated oxygen, and timing training to aide in increasing brain function, slow or stop progression of the disease. Our goal is to use neuroscience research to better improve motor and cognitive skills for more independence throughout daily tasks and promote quality of life.
Cambridge Brain Sciences have developed games, using fMRI machines, that can tell us what areas of the brain are weak