Do you remember my promise to Hana?
Nearly 1.5 years ago I made a promise to my little girl that I would find a way to heal her brain after her tumour left her with devastating fallout. Her condition rapidly grew worse and as you well know, my quest to heal her became a quest for medical intervention to ultimately keep her alive.
Now I have brought myself some time and my quest to heal her brain and cure her condition can continue. Which brings me to:
Toronto, Last Week…
We arrived ten days ago and hours after landing, jet lagged and deprived of good coffee, I started the two day course run by Fred Kahn’s company ‘Meditech’ (who produce Bioflex laser) in order to become a certified ‘cold’ laser practitioner. The course was fascinating and I was so excited to see the masses of success stories and case reports from just a sample of individuals that have had their lives turned around (some who have had limbs and digits saved from amputation) by low level laser therapy.
Meeting Dr Fred Kahn was so exciting – I am in awe of how he has dedicated his life to perfecting this technology and changing the lives of those who come to see him. Having seen miracles in his own clinic over the years, he is very confident that laser will help reduce Hana’s symptoms of brain injury – what has been amazing is being able to talk to people who believe – with me – that Hana’s brain will heal!! (Being a diehard optimist and dreamer of wild things has sometimes been lonely – although you guys have all helped a lot 🙂
Hana started her treatments immediately; Dr Kahn has been treating her thoracic and lumber spine, cranial areas as well as her painful ankles. The aim is too flood damaged areas in her brain (and ankles) with Photons from the lights which will bring about healing.
But now onto the big questions – how can ‘light’ heal? And how can ‘light’ heal Hana’s brain?
How does Low Level Laser Therapy – LLLT – work?
LLLT has been around for a long time used primarily to treat soft tissue injuries; it is not a ‘new’ therapy. However, using it for treating Brain Injury is relatively new and has been brought to public attention through Norman Doidge’s recent publication The Brain’s Way of Healing (more on that in this earlier post).
FYI there are over 4000 publications on LLLT with over 400 double blind studies published on the topic. Although LLLT is not ‘mainstream’ medical practice, with a large established evidence base like this, I think it should be!
LLLT is delivered, in Dr Kahn’s clinic, in the following ways: A placement of an array that delivers ‘red light’ for a period of minutes this then switches to infrared light also for a period of minutes. Then the array is removed and this is usually followed by a placement of two laser probes of red and infrared lights that are moved over the damaged areas.
On a cellular level these lights, in the form of photons, speak to light sensitive components in our cells causing a biochemical reaction. This is called a rather fancy: Photobiomodulation. For example, when photon receptors in the Mitochondria within our cells are activated energy in the form of ATP is produced. For the non-biologists reading this post, this basically means that the photons stimulate our cells – cellular metabolism is improved in cells that need it – including DNA regulation. The photons help to reduce chronic, painful inflammation through improving the immune response of white bloood cells. Photons ultimately reduce the actions of neutrophils and stimulate the actions of macrophages – phagocytes then travel to the area and ‘gobble’ up the debris that is contributing to persistent inflammation. For more on the biochemical response to LLLT have a look at Dr Kahn’s website.
The impact of LLLT on soft tissue injuries has been well documented but documentation on the impact on traumatic brain injury (TBI) is still growing/being discovered! However the theory is the same – that by placing ‘lights’ on the cranial and spinal areas, the cerebrospinal fluids and blood vessels will be flooded with photons that will stimulate cellular renewal and regeneration – which of course, equates to BRAIN HEALING.
I constructed this table as a point of reference for myself and Dr Kahn to observe for changes as Hana’s treatment progresses – it basically summarises the different areas and extent of Hana’s brain injury and lists potential means to observe (both subjectively and objectively) for change as the treatment progresses:
Hunger, Obesity, Disruption to Circadian Rhythm, Poor thirst sensation
Levels of Hunger, Any further weight loss (lap band has brought about stabilisation), reduced early morning awakening, improved sense of thirst in light of Hypernatremia, Improved serum Triglycerides (currently elevated++), Improved serum Insulin (currently hyperinsulinemic)
|Pituitary Damage: Panhypopituitarism – hormones replaced include, Thyroid, Anti-diuretic, Cortisol, Growth Hormone, Oxytocin.
n.b Surgical damage occurred along the pituitary stalk (past posterior bulb) – the pituitary itself was still visible on last MRI.
|Dosage of DDAVP for Diabetes Insipidus is dependant on when previous dose ‘wears off.’ Longer periods between doses may signify pituitary regeneration. Serum TSH currently 0.02 – any changes to this could signify Pit renewal. N.B Anti-diuretic hormone is secreted from the posterior pituitary and anecdotally, I know is one hormone that some survivors over the years begin to ‘randomly’ secrete again as medication needs wane.|
|General TBI: Headaches, Memory issues, sleep disturbance (early morning), Mood instability, OCD traits, anxiety, poor motivation, lethargy, poor pain threshold, poor sensory integration – tactile, visual and auditory.||Headaches are currently a daily occurrence and impact on QOL. Mood instability has already improved over 2 year period but I look for further improvement. Hana has anxiety over changes to routine and needs to repeatedly list events that will occur in order to process them. Changes to routine are hard and cause mood swings. I will be observing for increased desire to play with her sister (increased sociability) and motivation/independence in activities/play.|
By the way – LLLT has so many potential uses from cosmetic to other medical conditions, some that I found fascinating were:
Anti-ageing (stimulates collagen renewal)
Chronic infections such as Sinusitis, Folliculitis
Hair Regeneration (for some types of hair loss, particularly in women)
Gut Healing (leaky gut and Crohn’s)
Arthritic Joints, Burns, Ulcers, Dental, some Autoimmune and Inflammatory conditions and so so so much more.
Hey there! Thanks for stopping by. Coming up in the next post: How Hana is responding to Laser therapy and my expectations/action plan over the next few weeks/months. Don’t forget to check in with me on Facebook for daily updates! And please remember to ‘share’ this post if you found it interesting – there may be many people out there in your social networks who could benefit from laser therapy – if only they knew about it! Bye for now NN xx