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  • Why Choose California Cranial Institute

    At California Cranial Institute, we work to find out what is really going on and then start healing the body from the inside out. We spend the quality time listening to you and working with you to create the ultimate healing experience.

    We specialize in treating children, adults, pregnant women and the elderly.

    When you have headaches, body aches, jaw pain, memory or vision disturbances, dizziness, muscle dysfunction, fatigue, these can all come from dysfunction within the brain and cranial system. Unlike many alternative healthcare practitioners and chiropractors we care for the entire body system instead of just your symptoms.

    We provide holistic treatments that take care of every facet of healing so we can resolve the root cause of your complaint. Our intention is to provide integrative care and education so you can fully heal in a short period of time:

    • Chiropractic care that focuses on the original source of pain, which begins with the brain by gently coaxing the cranial bones in their correct orientation (Craniopathy). Because the brain and the tailbone are interconnected like a torque mechanism we also adjust the lower end gently with wedge blocks to fully balance the body (sacral occipital technique).
    • Stress relief and management (Neuro Emotional Technique) by applying manual muscle testing to enter your subconscious mind to find emotional triggers that can manifest as a physical pain. By locating the source of pain, you can begin to heal.
    • Nutrition education to help you learn how to properly use food as your own medicine in your daily life. We educate you about the use of essential oils, herbs, homeopathy, whole food supplementation as preventative and proactive healing tools. We offer laboratory testing to screen for any functional abnormalities your primary doctor’s might not be looking for.
    • CranioBiotic Technique, which uses gentle and effective Muscle Response Testing (MRT) to obtain feedback from your body concerning any “health stressors” that may be causing problems. These stressors include: allergies, pathogenic organisms, toxins, and physiological dysfunctions. Once a stressor has been revealed, your CBT practitioner can then relay this information to your brain by gently stimulating specific neurovascular “reflex points” on your cranium and upper body. As soon as your brain accurately recognizes the stressor, it can then immediately begin to correct it. Your body does all the killing/healing.
    • Pregnancy supportive care (Webster Technique) by gentle alignment of the pelvic structure to allow more space for the baby to grow in the womb, more comfort during pregnancy and ease in the birthing process. We offer nutritional recommendations for success in fertility, as well as maintaining health for mom and baby once conception is successful (Nutrition).
    • Pediatric care to ensure the child’s proper growth and development, support breastfeeding and digestion difficulties, help support behavioral issues and prevent and treat injuries.
    • Soft tissue therapy to decrease the pain caused from scar tissue injuries in the muscle by use of a stainless steel instrument (IASTM) or by using a specific type of tape (Rocktape) that allows more movement of the tissue to allow more fluid range of motion and increase flexibility.
    Your body is fully capable of healing and wants to heal; it just has to have the right tools to heal.
    • Request an Appointment

      Request an appointment using our secure online form. A representative from the contact center will contact you.

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      Order professional line supplements at 20% off from Emerson Ecologics using code 111122 or order essential oils using DoTerra.

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    • Business Hours

      • Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
        Later appointments by request.

        Saturday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
        Sunday Closed

    Dr. Rachel featured in Bay Area Lyme

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    Blog

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    15

    Aug 16

    August 15, 2016

    It’s back to school time! Tips for creating a healthy, thriving school year.

    By Dr. Rachel Hamel /

    Back to school time! It’s that time of year again.  Can you believe it?  Seems like summer has gone by...

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  • Services
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    • SOT/CRANIOPATHY TECHNIQUE

      SOT (Sacral Occipital Technique) is a specialized chiropractic technique that was developed in 1925 by M.B Dejarnette who was both a chiropractor and osteopath. This technique is a system of chiropractic with craniopathy, thats goal is to optimize one’s innate healing abilities. This is achieved by integrating procedures including functional chiropractic neurology, nutrition, soft tissue techniques and craniosacral respiratory system. With this technique the chiropractor acknowledges that there are three main subluxation patterns that can affect optimal function. Each pattern is called a category, and each category has indicators that determine treatment.

      Category 1 involves a subluxation pattern that involves the spinal and intracranial dura matter and directly involves the central nervous system.

      Category 2 involves a dysfunction of the weight bearing sacroiliac joint/s. This usually involves a sprain/strain or tear of the weight bearing ligament and causes muscular imbalances with pelvic instability, temporo mandibular dysfunction, and proprioception dysfunction.

      Category 3 involves primarily the lumbar spine and discs. This is most often the category of acute back pain, and SOT care for these patients is safe and effective.

      SOT is not only well researched, but also very patient compliant. SOT practitioners use pelvis wedges and full spine adjusting where necessary. The wedges in combination with cranial work, is a much gentler chiropractic technique.

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    • CRANIOPATHY TECHNIQUE

      craniopathy_1

      Chiropractic Craniopathy focuses on the small yet important movements in the skull bones. When distortions occur, it directly affects not only blood flow, but also CSF (cerebrospinal fluid), which is vital for the brain and nervous system. This technique reduces stress on the brain, which allows restoration of normal CSF flow. This is beneficial for numerous different conditions.

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    • N.E.T Neuro-emotional Technique

      N.E.T Neuro-emotional Technique

      “NET is a mind-body technique that uses a methodology of finding and removing neurological imbalances related to the physiology of unresolved stress. NET is a tool that can help improve many behavioral and physical conditions”.

      Stress is inevitable. However, there is a point to where stress becomes distress within your body and can give physical symptoms. Often times when a personal recalls to memory an event in which the stress originally occurred, and fails to let go, this causes neurological imbalance. This being said, there aren’t many options for stress relief, other than self-care; which can’t negate unresolved issues. This technique is invaluable to care, because sometimes we might not know what stressors are affecting our health, or how to overcome letting go.

      “The conditioning process is based on the principles of the great physiologist Pavlov, who demonstrated that an organism can be physiologically stimulated by a previously ineffective stimulus. For example, a bell normally does not stimulate salivary secretion. However, a bell may stimulate salivary secretion if the animal has been conditioned by associating the sound of a bell with the sight or smell of meat.

      Also, it is normal that after a time of having the bell ring with no food association, the secretion of saliva (a physiological process) will stop. This is known as extinction. If the physiology of the animal is out of balance at the time of conditioning, the normal process of extinction may not take place, thus allowing for recurrent stimulation and an aberrant physiology. The physiology of the mind-body dynamic can work in a similar way. In most cases an emotional response to a given stimulus is normal and healthy. However, there can be instances where this normal emotional response fails to complete its full cycle (extinction does not take place), and then we can have an aberrant response to a future similar stimulus.”

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    • Webster Technique/Pediatric Care

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      Dr. Hamel is certified in Webster technique, which is primarily used throughout pregnancy to reduce the amount of pelvic subluxations, in turn creating the most amount of space available. Dr. Hamel combines Webster with SOT for optimal function and stability of the pelvic inlet.

      The technique is defined by the Internaiotnal Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) as “a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/ SI joint dysfunction. In so doing neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is improved.”

      The technique involves a specific adjustment of the sacrum as well as work on the ligaments and muscles involved with growth during pregnancy. As the hormones increase in particular the hormone relaxin, the ligaments in the pelvis and uterus loosen in preparation for growth of the baby, and ultimately birth. This causes distortions throughout the body, but specifically in the muscles and joints of the pelvis, which causes restriction. Any pelvic distortion should be minimized because of the huge role in labor and delivery.

      Webster combined with SOT and craniopathy is not only vital for pelvis stability, decrease in symptoms, and easier deliveries, but optimizes entire body function. In particular being able to relax the TMJ is important for mothers giving birth. If there is any dysfunction in this joint, which is common with pelvic instability, this can complicate the birth process.

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    • Pediatric Care

      PEDIATRIC CARE

      Birth is a traumatic event, not only for mom, but also for baby. No matter what the birth if it was a normal vaginal, c-section, forceps or vacuum extraction, the baby’s head gets compressed in the mom’s pelvis and the nervous system gets disrupted. Births such as c-section, vacuum and forceps can cause significant issues not only immediately, but later on in life because of the effect on the blood flow and spinal fluid getting compressed.

      PEDIATRIC CARE

      In a normal vaginal birth, the right side of the back of the head is compressed in the mom’s pelvis; and the right shoulder turns in order to get the baby out. Even a “normal” birth can be traumatic to the little one. Descending down the birth canal, as well as pulling on the head and neck by doctors increases dysfunction in the nervous system.

      This can affect how the child grows and functions. You can imagine C-section and vacuum/forceps are far more disruptive to the nervous system. What can this cause?

      Nursing/feeding difficulties, improper digestion, colic, decreased immune system, not reaching milestones, vision imbalances, and more. It’s so important to check little ones out as soon as possible to ensure they are functioning optimally, as well as prevent future symptoms.

      As children grow their bodies change, so it’s important to make sure they are functioning at their highest potential.

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    • Functional Nutrition

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      Nutrition is vital to our health, and with all the toxicities around us, is it more important than ever to address. With toxicities in the air we breathe, food we eat, processed foods we consume, and high levels of stress, nutrition is essential to prevention and treatment of disease.

      Dr. Hamel uses the highest quality homeopathics, essential oils, herbs and nutritional products from the most researched and highest quality companies.

      Laboratory Testing available:

      • Functional Blood Chemistry
      • CBC
      • Lyme Disease Testing
      • Parasite/Bacteria Stool Analysis
      • Digestive Analysis
      • Food/Airborne Allergy Testing
      • Dental Material Allergy Testing
      • Hormonal Testing: female/male, adrenal function, blood sugar and complete thyroid testing
      • Toxic Metals Hair Analysis

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  • Our Specialities
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    [tabby title=”TMJ”]

    TMJ

    What is TMD?

    TMD stands for temporomandibular joint dysfuntion. We have two joints one on each side right in front of our ears. It is the most used joint in our body, being used about 2500-3000 times per day. When dysfunction in this joint happens it can lead to symptoms such as pain or clicking in the actual joint, but also symptoms elsewhere in the body such as headache, neck and ear pain.

    Causes of TMD?

    You can never just look at one area for the cause of a symptom. The body is far too complex. If there is any instability or dysfunction in the lower half of the body, this can cause compensations throughout the entire body and inevitably the TMJ. Additionally, if there is any dysfunction in the cranial bone movement, or the way the dental system functions, this can affect the movement of the TMJ. Stress and hormones can also have an affect on TMJ function. Looking at just the actual joint will never solve the issue. The TMJ is usually just compensating for some dysfunction elsewhere.

    Treatment?

    Since temporomandibular dysfunction is so complex, treatment has to be determined based on the source. Treatment can include focus on the pelvis, the cranium, looking at the bite, hormone imbalances, and stress relief (N.E.T).

    Any dysfunction or weakness in the pelvis is critical for stabilization throughout the body, even the TMJ, because of the inability to bear weight evenly. Treatment is designed to bring balance to this system. If the pelvis is stabilized, then the compensations throughout the spine will decrease. Depending on the patient, stabilization can be achieved in usually a few weeks.

    Any instability in the pelvis can also pull on the cranial bones since a continuous tissue called the Dura matter connects them. It works similar to a torque mechanism; any dysfunction at either the top or the bottom will have a reciprocal affect. This pulling from the sacrum can create distortions in the cranial bones, which can lead to pain and dysfunction.

    Going beyond just structure, often times co-management is needed in order to achieve a balanced bite. Working with dentists who understand functional dentistry is key, and may include bite adjustments, and/or construction of an occlusal (bite) splint orthotic to protect the jaw and muscles from clenching/grinding. Sometimes, orthodontics to move teeth to a more balanced position, or prosthetic solutions are needed.

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    [tabby title=”Headaches”]

    Headaches

    There are many forms of headaches whether they are migraines, from tension or stress, hormone imbalances ect. However, the only option in western medicine that is available for individuals with these often debilitating symptoms is pharmaceuticals. Even if they cannot find a pathology, the only option available to doctors is drugs. Side effects from the pharmaceuticals can also give additional symptoms, and are often very addictive. If these don’t work, patients can be further driven to injecting botox and other substances to decrease pain. Unfortunately, this damages the nerves, and doesn’t solve the actual cause. Additionally, patients can be improperly diagnosed with eye strain or sinus disease (sinusitis) as the cause of their headaches.

    Pain from a headache can be found in multiple areas: above the ears and forehead area, behind the eyes, back of the head or in the back of the upper neck.

    Here are some causes of headaches:

    • STRESS
    • Clenching
    • Bite imbalances
    • Vascular imbalances
    • Toxicity
    • Hormone Imbalances
    • Organ dysfunction
    • Nutritional deficiencies
    • Food/airborne allergies
    • Pathological issue (tumors, ect.)

    How do we treat headaches differently?

    A lot of times patients come to chiropractors as a last resort when they’ve exhausted western medical options. Patients come to us when their doctors and even other chiropractors have not been able to explain their headaches, because of the diversity of care Dr. Hamel provides. To approach headaches, you have to look at the entire system, only then can you return the body to balance.

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    [tabby title=”Vertigo”]

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    Vertigo is a specific type of dizziness. It is quite different than the feeling of being a little off balance or the feeling of getting dizzy when your blood sugar goes to low. Symptoms of vertigo can be very extreme, and debilitating for some.

    Symptoms can include:?

    • Feeling like they are spinning, or objects are moving
    • Feeling of being pulled in a direction or loss of balance
    • Tilting or swaying
    • Nauseated
    • Any movement of the head or changing positions can worsen the symptoms
    • Light headed
    • Headache
    • Sweating
    • Ringing in the ears

    There are multiple causes of vertigo, so determining the actual cause is key.

    Here are various conditions that can cause vertigo:

    • Fluid in the ear/Eustachian tube
    • Calcium crystals in the ear/Eustachian tube
    • Swelling in the ear/Eustachian tube
    • Circulation/poor blood flow
    • Certain types of anxiety
    • Symptom of migraine
    • Actual tumor or blockage

    Treatment depends on the cause of vertigo. If any of these factors are present they can contribute to vertigo.

    • Dysfunction in the cranium. In particular, the temporal bone which has connection to the vestibular system
    • Imbalance in the bite (occlusion). Any imbalance in the bite can cause dysfunction in the cranium, and how the bones move. This is important because of the forces that go into the temporal bone.
    • Stress, in particular emotional stress can be a trigger for vertigo.

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    [tabby title=”Sleep Apnea”]

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    What is obstructive sleep apnea?

    “Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) — also called obstructive sleep apnea syndrome — occurs when there are repeated episodes of complete or partial blockage of the upper airway during sleep. During an obstructive sleep apnea episode, the diaphragm and chest muscles work harder to open the obstructed airway and pull air into the lungs. Breathing usually resumes with a loud gasp, snort, or body jerk. These episodes can interfere with sound sleep. They can also reduce the flow of oxygen to vital organs and cause irregular heart rhythms.” There is a range of sleep apnea from just a slight vibration to death from asphyxiation at its extreme. But in between there can be milder symptoms such as snoring. The decrease in oxygen can lead to many chronic diseases, as well as decreased normal patterns of brain function and relaxation, which leaves most with daytime drowsiness and decreased efficiency.

    How do we treat sleep apnea?

    Traditionally the only treatment available for individuals with sleep apnea is what is called, a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, or if extreme obstruction, surgery. The CPAP is vital so that the person gets enough oxygen, but what isn’t really being addressed is the space issue that obstructs airway. Additionally, the machines are expensive, big and uncomfortable, and most aren’t compliant with them. Fortunately, there is another option. There is a strong relationship between posture and the stomatognathic system, and working together using craniopathy in combination with functional dentistry has proven effective as a means of alternative treatment.

    See the latest research on this topic.

    http://drbloink.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/South-Africa-WFC-Apnea.pdf

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    [tabby title=”FATIGUE”]

    Being that Dr. Hamel has dealt with chronic illness for 6 years, nutrition is another passion that she believes is vital to optimal health. She does not treat disease, but the underlying imbalances may be contributing to disease or in time can lead to disease. When dealing with illnesses, it is important to look at the whole body, not just treat the symptoms.

    She provides support for digestive issues, endocrine dysfunctions including the thyroid, adrenal glands, and male and female reproductive hormones, as well as weight loss, infections, allergies, immune system, mood and anxiety dysfunctions and blood sugar issues. By implementing solid dietary recommendations and high-quality herbal support, as well as the craniobiotic technique, she can help individuals regain their energy and vitality once again.

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