The brain is a greedy organ. It uses a large percentage of fuel that the body takes in, to function normally. Understanding how complicated brain chemistry is and the role your brain health plays in your overall health is one of the key strengths of Dr. Herbold’s clinical background. As a board certified functional neurologist and a board certified clinical nutritionist, the ability of Dr. Herbold to combine biochemistry and neurology brings unique results. Without normal brain function, the body can’t operate at peak efficiency. Everything that our body does is connected to our nervous system, directly or indirectly. Every thought, every motion, every biochemical reaction, has some connection to the brain. Since all functions in the body are connected to the brain, any symptom of stress can be traced back to something neurological. Symptoms of an unhealthy brain could be brain fog, fatigue, delay in processing information, anxiety, depression, tremors, loss of balance, vertigo, blurred vision, chronic pain, tingling and numbness in extremities, and migraines, just too name a few.
Functional neurology, also known as chiropractic neurology, is different than medical neurology. Both qualify pathologies, if they exist. Chiropractic neurology is an in-depth study of the nervous system. To be board-eligible as a chiropractic neurologist one must complete hundreds of hours of postgraduate training. Less than 500 chiropractors in the United States hold this certification, with around 50 or so of those based in New York state. Chiropractic neurology, while different from medical neurology, is a board certification achieved through the same board that certifies medical neurologists.
The brain functions on a hierarchy basis and there are different levels and layers of neurological function that we go through with our assessment. When you go to see a health practitioner with that board certification and degree of achievement, the evaluation process is very comprehensive, to understand what we call the Longitudinal Level of the Lesion. Meaning you can’t fix it, if you can’t find it. The intervention of functional neurology is very different than medical neurology in many ways. Instead of focusing on a pathology, or a diagnosis, chiropractic neurology tends to look more at optimizing all systems of the body. When these interconnected systems within the body are operating at peak efficiency, the body transitions into a state where it can repair and self-regulate, as it should.
The Gut Brain Connection
Sixty to eighty percent of our immune system surrounds our digestive system. This elaborate protection for survival and efficiency is brilliant in design. The digestive system, or gut, has a direct connection to the brain through the longest nerve in the body, called the Vagus nerve. This nerve, in Greek, described as the Wanderer, reaches out to our respiratory, cardiovascular and many other systems within the body. The immune system in our body is most concentrated in the area surrounding our digestive tube. This system communicates with the brain on a moment to moment basis. Whatever triggers our digestive system, in a negative way, immediately prompts a brain response. If we are exposed to a food that triggers an immune response, we might not feel the ill effects digestively, but ultimately, there will be an effect on neurological function.
By utilizing Dr. Herbold’s unique “fuel in, toxins out” approach with patients, he focuses on creating personal programs that minimize the negative effects that most people create daily through their food choices and potential negative exposures to toxins. The goal is to have the optimal level of fuel (food and nutrients). It’s also critical to balance blood sugar consistently, as blood sugar dysregulation is another major stressor to a person’s physiology. Over time, the goal of these personalized programs is to slow the aging process, repair the gut and reduce the ultimate demise of our nervous system. If you live long enough, you will develop a neurodegenerative condition. The goal is to push it off for as long as possible. By choosing the right foods, at the right time throughout the day, we can take control of our bodies’ ability to make energy successfully, which is a key part of weight control, energy production, brain function, and elimination of toxins. By learning how to self-regulate, we can train our brain to optimize its’ efficiency.