This article is not intended to be medical or healthcare advice. Before starting any health related regimen you should seek the advice of your Primary Care Physician or an M.D.
I have found one of the most important things in moving people forward in their healing journey from traumatic brain injury is to ensuring enough sustained oxygen in the brain. There are several ways to look at this, one is in terms of simple blood oxygen, and yes, this is not necessarily representative of the oxygen that gets to all the parts of the brain using an injured and inflamed vascular structure. Another way of looking at this would be through the lens of situations that result in hypoxia, such as excess hydrogen sulfide in the blood that makes its way to the brain. A third lens, would be determining if the brain is consuming excess oxygen because it is caught in a 'fight or flight' response, that keeps brain waves elevated in the high-beta frequency range which consume massive amounts of both oxygen and glucose.
For folks with brain injuries, one of the most recommended therapies, is hyperbaric oxygen chamber therapy, with gets consistently strong results. In this therapy modality, 100% pure oxygen is delivered to the person while in a chamber that is pressurized. The saturation of oxygen in the blood reaches a level such that, oxygen is no longer needed to ride on red blood cells. Red blood cells are rather larger, and can have a hard time making their way through very small microscopic capillaries in the brain and eyes, especially if inflamation exists due to a physical injury. Hmmm. Now we can see why even in situations like biotoxin illness, excess endotoxin from the gut, can result in this therapy having effects in these situations.
Hypoxic conditions can result in the brain from several different situations, and several known supplements can protect the brain from damage during hypoxic conditions. More on this in another article, as well as micro clots, another very common feature in chronic illnesses like mold, ME CFS, and LH.
On to the meat of this article - how can we stop the brain burning through all this oxygen when it is caught in fight or flight ? We don't. We get the person out of a fight or flight response, and out of high beta, and into alpha brain wave states. This consumes far less oxygen. There has been wide acceptance that programs like Annie Hoppers Brain Rewiring, and the Gupta Protocol have decent effects for many who suffer from a variety of chronic illnesses (ME CFS, etc). The deep breathing alone can result in improved blood oxygen levels. However, it is really the slowing down of the brain that is most helpful - into alpha brain wave state - that consumes less oxygen. Deep breathing, nostril breathing all have well documented histories as healing modalities over many centuries and cultures. Another important aspect of these programs is re - establishing safety and new beliefs on a sub conscious (auto nomic nervous system) level - that you are safe, the threat is gone, the amygdala calms down. I have found this especially effective in the case of olfactory injuries (also injuries the amygdala) associated with severe chemical exposures (voc's like benzene, ethyl benzene, toluene, styrene, xylene, etc). For some time, even mild exposures will set these folks back - not due to the toxicity, but the nervous system response to the exposure - we are not safe !!!
I see one of the biggest impediments to healing from chronic illness, is letting go of control, and actually following the advice of someone else. They are caught, 'trying to figure it out'. It is these folks, who have a sub conscious need for complete control - driven by the fight or flight response - that struggle the most to move forward. There are several pubmed studies on the association between blood oxygen levels and anxiety, this is not new stuff. Same with our good friend Wim Hof, who preaches oxygen saturation breathing - hyper ventilating, and then dealing with elevated CO2 by breath holding, which on an autonomic nervous system levels triggers anxiety unless you hack into the autonomic nervous system - this stuff has been around a long long time.
So, how do we break the cycle of a brain caught in over drive ? The programs cited above can be effective for some, but for the very seriously compromised traumatic brain injury folks, this is often too hard to do. Another technique using some special disposable eye lenses, can regulate the nervous system by controlling the types of light that make its way into the eye. The company is optomatters.com; located in Belgium and offers a variety of these disposable glasses (syntonics product line) that one wears for 10-12 minutes per day outside, or by a window (not tinted). Different lenses will work better for different people, but i have consistently found two lens sets that gently or more aggressively calm people down and get them into parasympathetic territory. Its a retraining of the nervous system - and its simple, 10 minutes a day of a rather effortless task. These have also proven beneficial for some folks with MCS , Mold, and ME CFS. Oxygen to the brain is fundamental. Be it inflammation, hypoxia from excess H2S, different metabolic states, low hemoglobin, low iron, low red cells, or burning through too much oxygen while caught in fight/flight high beta brain wave states - resolving this is fundamental.
Of course there are significant benefits to the rest of the system, in particular digestion (vagal nerve function), and detoxification processes in the liver. The goal is a healthy and flexible nervous system with enough flexibility to go back and forth between sympathetic and para sympathetic states.
I hope you found this article helpful, and i will endeavor to add some references over time for those who like to dive deeper. If you would like to look into this more deeply, and explore if low brain oxygen may be a thing for you, feel free to book an appointment on line or send me a note requesting an appointment with days and time slots that work for you.
May 2024 unfold in a way that is supportive to you, brings back your vitality, aliveness, as well as your humanity - so the rest of us can experience all of you and all of your gifts. Be well:).