Mills River Family Chriopractic & ABC Learning Lab - A functional approach to rehabilitation, health, and wellness
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Contact by phone: 828-681-8868, by email:, or by snail mail: 4144 Haywood Rd, Mills River NC 28742
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Functional Neurological, Biochemical and Neuropsychological approaches

combine to provide effective brain based rehabilitation for ADD/ADHD, Aspergers Spectrum Disorders

Overview of the field

ADD/ADHD belong to a spectrum of disorders ranging from ADD, ADHD, learning disability (LD), obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette’s syndrome, to pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) and autism. The neurological mechanisms in these disorders are quite similar and there is a strong co-occurrence (co-morbidity) of these conditions. Misdiagnosis is a distinct possibility due to the subjective nature of the diagnostic criteria and the tendency for everyone to demonstrate some of these characteristics some of the time. The major characteristics of ADHD are distractibility, impulsivity and restlessness. It is important to consider relationship and communication problems if the behaviors only occur in one setting and only to classify as ADHD if behaviors are excessive and begin before the age of seven lasting for at least six months. The presence of motor signs such as tics, tremors, balance and postural problems prove that ADHD is not just a psychological or educational problem. Under-functioning of the brain and the body chemistry are the cause of this condition and there are several areas which may be involved. Different individuals may have different brain centers and metabolic pathways involved therefore their treatment should be individualized. The traditional medical model, however, seems to follow a cookie-cutter principle. The very diagnosis of ADHD is based on the questionnaire laid out in the DSM-IV or other diagnostic manuals. If the child’s parents or teachers identify as positive six out of nine criteria for inattention, or six out of nine criteria for hyperactivity and impulsivity, the child leaves the doctor’s office with a drug prescription and a new personality label.

The decade of the brain through the 1990’s gave scientists insight into how the neurological system works. Brains are not, as previously believed, finished developing in infancy. The brain grows, demonstrating what is called plasticity, which is the basis of learning. When stimulated, the brain will undergo plastic changes (new growth and connections). Chiropractic neurologists are trained to identify the low-functioning areas in the brain and apply appropriate treatment modalities to stimulate brain growth by inducing "plastic" changes. A comprehensive history and brain oriented exam helps identify what form of treatment can bring desirable changes to brain function. Highly specific and effective diagnostic techniques can identify problem areas in the nervous system.

Overview of the correction

The brain stem is effected in similar areas through this spectrum of neurological conditions yet children show different symptoms. Detecting which side or area of the brain is delayed in development is the key. For example, the right-brain areas are responsible for the ability to focus attention, visual-spatial orientation, reading comprehension, and social non-verbal communication (using and understanding body language). The left hemisphere controls verbal communication. If the tests show that one side of the brain is less efficient than the other, the doctor stimulates the involved hemisphere by the best tolerated method: light, sound, heat, cold, or mechanical stimulation, such as exercise or a chiropractic adjustment of certain body regions. Then we retest to see if there is a change.The correct identification of the lower functioning side of the brain (hemisphere) and the monitoring of the patient’s response to the stimuli are especially important. Our hemispheres are connected to opposite sides of our bodies and only stimulation to the appropriate side of the body will improve brain function. Specific areas of the body are treated with certain types of stimulus, some being more effective than others at various times during treatment. Stimulation on both sides of the body usually offers no help and stimulation to the same side of the body as the low functioning brain can worsen the condition by increasing the function on the already more developed hemisphere.Chiropractic neurologists focus closely on the individual functional difficulties their ADHD patients have. Some children have a sequencing problem – problems with planning, organization, and coordination – so they can benefit from timing therapies. Spinning or balancing exercises are very effective as are Chiropractic adjustments. Visual motor (e.g. Eye hand) coordination exercises and cognitive tasks (solving puzzles etc.) are very helpful.The key to quick rehabilitation is frequent stimulation for a short time targeting the correct areas of brain. Some of the corrective activities can be performed at home with careful consideration to avoid over-stimulation.Recent studies indicate that the ability to think follows the development of the ability to move. This concept explains the effectiveness of chiropractic neurological treatment with ADHD patients. Motor activity – especially development of the postural muscles – is the baseline function of brain activity. Anything effecting postural muscles will consequently influence brain development. If you improve either the movement or the cognitive ability, you will improve the opposite.

Musculoskeletal imbalance will create imbalance of brain activity, and one part of the brain will develop faster than the other. Chiropractors have long known that an adjustment can correct many body functions. We know this happens because the adjustment changes the brain function thus affecting various symptoms. Chiropractic enhances the body’s natural self-healing capabilities expressed through the nervous system. Any chiropractor who has been treating patients for long knows that Chiropractic can help children with ADHD and learning disabilities. The Chiropractic Neurology approach is especially effective not only because it is drugless but because it is holistic (whole person health oriented). Chiropractic success in these areas, however well documented clinically, needs to be studied and documented more through research.

Overview of the clinic

BC Learning LAB offers the best in drug free functional restoration for the ADD/ADHD and autistic spectrum disorders.

A brain based Chiropractic neurological examination helps identify areas of involvement which may be used to help restore optimal neurological function for each individual child.

Baseline cognitive performance is assessed for attention using the Test Of Variables of Attention (TOVA) and when appropriate the Weschler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT) will be used to help identify functional processing deficits.


Videonystagmograpy (VNG) and Quantitative EEG (QEEG/ Brain Mapping) studies will be performed as necessary to further isolate functional areas of neurological involvement and track progress. Fundamental cellular biochemistry and neurotransmitter analyses are performed as necessary to isolate areas of insufficient cellular energy production or imbalances in neurotransmitter levels which can promote cellular fatigability and dysfuction in the brain. Metabolic threats to cellular survival are evaluated. Corrections to any deficits or imbalances are accomplished with natural substances such as coenzymes (specialized vitamins) and cofactors (minerals, etc.)Functional indicators of neurologic status are reassessed with regularity using a variety of methods to track progress and refine clinical applications to suit individual needs. Specific Neurological rehabilitative techniques are utilized to restore sensorimotor and vestibular function through the most well tolerated methods.Neurofeedback techniques are utilized to help restore temporal coherence and improve attentional capacity. Interactive Metronome techniques are utilized to improve timing and sequencing of motoric events thus raising the functionality of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the seat of important executive functions.Treadwall climbing wall is utilized to integrate timing and sequencing of motoric events with the instantaneous awareness of body in space through a continuous rock climbing task which never places the child more than a few feet off the ground.

Treatment is provided in three month intervals with re-assessment performed at each three month interval allowing refinement and assurance of efficacy with each child.