Steps to Achieve Integrative Care for Optimal Healing
At Whole Child Wellness we believe an integrative approach is the key to true health and wellness. In other words, we believe that many symptoms seen in children are caused by a combination of factors that include certain food products and chemicals, as well the combination of external toxins from vaccines or geographic location, a weak immune system, a dysfunctional nervous system and abnormal detoxification.
Dr. Amber Brooks, DC, CACCP integrates nutrition, diet, supplementation, biomechanical and functional methods to help suffering children. Her care plan aims to address the biomechanical and nervous system irregularities in one’s body by using nutritional supplements, chiropractic, natural detoxification, diet changes, digestive enzymes and lab testing. Many have given testimonies that they have seen dramatic developments through working with Dr. Brooks, DC, CACCP. The research on these methods has shown they produce incredible results, you may read more at ARI. Dr. Brooks, DC, CACCP prefers a team approach and works with the parents and other clinicians to set goals and design a care plan, this is the best way to achieve success and support the child through an individualized treatment plan.
Integrative Approach: Biomedical & Functional Methods Explained
There are misnomers among parents about the definition and uses of biomedical and functional methods or interventions. Some parents have only heard of these methods in relation to autism treatment because these methods have been introduced by the Autism Research Institute (ARI). These methods are not exclusively for children with autism. As a matter of fact any child and every child should be examined as a whole person, looking at all the components of dysfunction and helping to work toward wellness. Both biomedical and functional approaches work at examining the whole child, this is at the core of the philosophy. Many practitioners including MD’s, DO’s, ND’s, DC’s and nutritionists utilize these philosophies in practice as it fits into their individual realms. The biomedical approach according to Autism Research Institute (ARI) is based on the latest scientific research showing biological causes such as heavy metal poisoning, yeast infection, food sensitivity, and nutritional deficiency. In short, the biomedical approach utilizes nutrition, diet changes, and lab testing to get down to the cause of a symptom. The way in which a practitioner plans patient care and treatment depends on the type of doctor they are as well as their philosophy, this is why it is especially important for a parent to know what goals they have for their child and seek out the right fit for your family.
According to the Functional Medicine Institute, functional medicine is defined as finding the underlying cause of disease and using a patient-centered approach. This approach addresses the whole person, not just a set of isolated symptoms. A functional medicine based practitioner (MD, DC, DO, ND) is not concerned about diagnosing or labeling a symptom, but truly understanding the body as a whole and working with the patient to achieve their goals.
Both biomedical and functional approaches are philosophical based methods that set to spend time with their patients, address underlying issues, work along side other clinicians, look at environmental causes and lifestyle factors such as diet that may be making them symptomatic. Dr. Amber Brooks, DC, CACCP believes these approaches together with neuromusculoskeletal and biomechanical care support the unique expression of health and wellness for each individual.
The understanding of biomedical and integrative care has brought new hope to children and their families. Parents are often told that their child’s diagnosis is the result of genetics and is psychological in nature. Typical “psychological” manifestations in children may include delayed speech; lack of eye contact; impaired or non-present social skills; shyness; stemming; delayed gross or fine motor skills; sensory integration issues (sound and touch sensitivity, etc.); not responding to one’s name; inflexibility with transitions; and major, often unexplained, changes in mood.
The physical, biomechanical or medical issues children often manifest are rarely noted or discussed. Dr. Amber Brooks, DC, CACCP first takes a thorough history, performs an exam and may order tests for typical physical manifestations including biomechanical causes, food allergies, eczema, general gastrointestinal distress, constipation and diarrhea, yeast overgrowth, immune system dysregulation, nervous system imbalance, and sleep disturbances to help looking at the whole child. An integrative approach is based on the belief that the psychological symptoms are a product of the physical issues (internal or external) the child is experiencing and that addressing the physical issues will lead to an improvement in those psychological symptoms. Dr. Brooks, DC, CACCP, RN, BSN works with the child’s primary care doctor for treatments in conjunction with natural care, nutrition, chiropractic and supplementation.
Children with Biomedical issues are often different from other children in the following ways:
- Digestion: These children tend to have more problems with digestion, including food sensitivity, particularly to wheat and dairy products. In addition, they tend to have yeast (Candida) infections. As a result of digestion problems, these children tend to have more allergies, constipation and/or diarrhea as well as sleep problems. Dr. Brooks, DC, CACCP addresses these digestive issues by looking at biomechanical causes, diet and deficiencies within the body to formulate the best care plan for that child.
- Antibiotics: Excessive use of antibiotics can cause gut problems, such as yeast/ bacterial over growth, as well as prevent excretion of mercury.
- Toxic Heavy Metals: Analyses of the hair, urine, and excrement of children often reveal significantly higher levels of toxic heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and particularly mercury. Mercury exposure could arise from vaccinations (that use mercury as a preservative), dental fillings, and excessive consumption of fish and seafood from polluted waters containing mercury. Dr. Brooks,DC, CACCP tests for these metal burdens and in conjunction with their primary doctor helps the body naturally rid toxic heavy metals safely and effectively using natural supplementation. In some cases a referral may be given by your primary doctor or our office.
- Minerals and Vitamins: A large majority of children are deficient in minerals and vitamins such as sulfur, zinc, magnesium, iodine, potassium, vitamin C, and B vitamins. It is important to eat foods rich in these vitamins and minerals as well as organic foods as much as possible. These deficiencies are addressed with high potency vitamin/mineral supplements ordered by Dr. Brooks, DC, CACCP to achieve the adequate balance necessary for your child.
- Pesticides: Environmental toxins and other unknown environmental factors are also believed to contribute to the dysfunctions and behavioral problems in our children. Again, the use of natural household products and organic foods are important here.
Common childhood issues/symptoms that may be linked to biomedical/biomechanical, dietary, and/or nutritional issues, these include:
- Failure to thrive
- Growing pains
- Learning difficulties
- Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Picky eater
- Poor sleep
- Recurrent ear infections
- Self-injurious behaviors
- Sensory processing disorders
Care with Dr. Brooks, DC, CACCP may include the following:
- Dietary modification
- Addressing nutritional deficiencies
- Nutritional counseling
- Lab testing & evaluation
- Craniosacral Therapy (CST)
- Gentle Chiropractic adjustments
- Resolution of GI/Digestive issues naturally
- Natural options for behavior improvement
- Biomechanical interventions
- Finding of the root cause