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Ankeny, IA
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Hannah standing in front of a wall, holding a ball for the NeuroGro program

NeuroGro Highlight: Meet Hannah!

Hello! My name is Hannah, and I’m thrilled to work as a NeuroGro Therapist at Lifestream Brain + Body! I graduated from Emmaus Bible College with a bachelor’s degree in counseling psychology, and I’m a proud mama to my precious six-month old son with my amazing husband, Jonah. 

Working with kids has always been my passion, and I truly believe they’re a gift from the Lord. That’s why when I was introduced to NeuroGro, I immediately knew that this was going to help so many kids. It’s tough enough for kids to navigate and regulate their emotions and find their place in the world, but add neurological challenges into the mix, and it can be a real uphill battle for both kids and parents.

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What does the “functional” in “functional neurology” mean?

Functional medicine is “a systems biology–based approach that focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease”. Unlike most traditional medicine, it is individualized to each patient and contrary to popular belief, is based in science. Attempting to address the roots of the disease and not just patching up the symptoms, functional medicine addresses the underlying causes to promote overall well-being. Traditional medicine waits until something is “broken” and looks at pathology, or the study of disease. A functional approach looks to the process that eventually leads to pathology or something “breaking.”

Functional neurology was founded by Frederick Robert Carrick, the founder of the Carrick Institute. According to the Carrick Institute website, “Functional neurology is a health care specialty and a field of study that focuses on assessing and quantifying neurological activity and utilizes sensory, motor, and cognitive evoked potentials, and in some cases, nutrients and pharmacotherapy, to promote normalization and optimization of neurological function.” Functional neurology also pulls on some of the themes of functional medicine as it systematically looks at neurologic activity to correct and optimize neurologic function to promote well-being in the brain and the body. 

As a clinic utilizing functional medicine principles, we believe that establishing a foundation of health by eating a healthy diet and exercising and by creating an individualized treatment plan is important for the prevention and even treatment of disease. 

Visit to schedule an appointment with one of our doctor’s today for a in-depth neurological exam!


Mental Health and Functional Neurology

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and we wanted to invite Christina Hill, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, to share with you how integration between functional neurology and counseling/ mental health care services can allow for optimal functioning. 
Our thoughts, emotions and beliefs, along with the quality of our relationships, affect our body’s health and functioning. If you find yourself having a strong emotional response to something that seems elevated beyond your usual level of functioning, it could be a sign that you might benefit from additional support. Our brain sends us messages about whether or not we are safe unconsciously through something called neuroception. This term explains how the body is constantly scanning our environment for cues about safety or danger and subconsciously gathering data to assess any potential threat. If our body isn’t able to metabolize an experience fully, we can end up feeling “stuck” replaying the event or having uncomfortable anxiety symptoms. This can also happen from an accumulation of emotional stress that is stored in the body over a period of time and can put our body and mind into a perpetual state of anticipating danger that can even begin to affect our physical health.
Interventions that incorporate the nervous system can help your body move through the distress and gain resilience for encountering similar triggers in the future. We can target the nervous system through physical interventions like chiropractic adjustments and other neurologic programs such as CogniStrong and/or somatic interventions such as progressive relaxation exercises and visualizations. By processing emotions and addressing unwanted symptoms, the body is better able to “let go” and experience relief. Feeling safe in our bodies is an important part of this process to be effective. Addressing these underlying emotions and life experiences in a safe, non-judgmental environment can sometimes even help get over a hump with some of your physical ailments. If you or someone you love is having difficulty processing emotions or managing life stressors, know that help is available. Reach out and we would be happy to direct you to a caring professional who can help.
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