Tag Archives: sleep

Back to School. Prepping your child/college child for a healthy year.

Happy Monday everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed last month’s topics revolving around digestion!  We covered a lot, so if you missed it, you can go on my website to search through them!.

This month we will be talking about the future of our generation and how to best protect them to maintain health and vitality!  We will be going over different aspects to keep our kiddos healthy.  This week we will be talking about the health of their brain in nervous system, then on to nutritional recommendations/protocols, EMFs and digital toxins, and stress protocols.

Brain & Nervous System Health

As I’ve said before in previous blogs, chiropractic and nervous system health is VITAL for all, but ESPECIALLY in children is where we can make the biggest impact. 

The most dynamic phase of brain development is from birth to age 2, so it is here we have the biggest impact.  This is why I see so many infants in my practice, we can actually CHANGE their future by maintaining the health of the brain and nervous system.

The brain and nervous system control every function within our body.  So, ultimately when the brain and nervous system aren’t in harmony, then our body won’t be either.
Same goes for kids.

What often most happens with children is birth trauma.  It largely goes unspoken of and consequently our little babies are largely under treated.  Left untreated, birth trauma can lead to a sequela of complications both short and long term. 

Some contributing factors may include intrauterine constraint, drug use such as ptocin to increase the intensity of contractions, forceps or vacuum extraction and c-section delivery.  According to a study in the Journal of American Osteopathic Association, out of 1500 babies 90% had suffered birth trauma affecting their cervical spine and cranial bones and thus their nervous system health. 

If your kids aren’t at school age yet, getting their brain and nervous system checked should be your main priority to set them up for success.

But, since this blog IS about school aged children, cranial chiropractic care should also be part of their health checks.

Why you say??

One main reason is that when there is pressure on the brain, the brain won’t work efficiently.  This means for kids trying to learn a wide variety of subjects, their ability to absorb/understand won’t be efficient.  Their neuroplasticity will be decreased as a result.

This is why working one the head is my priority #1.  Fix the nervous system, heal the body.

Another reason… immune system.  The nervous system controls that too.  When it’s weak, that means your immune system is compromised, your kids will be sick more, miss more days from school and overall not be happy.

Reason number 3, body pains/injuries.  This is what I describe to my patients.  The muscles are dumb.  They only do what they are told from the nervous system.  So, if the signal to the muscle is improper then the muscle will be weak, and more prone to injury.  You want to prevent injuries for kids in sports and otherwise?  Make sure you get routine care for their nervous system.  Want them to heal from injuries quicker, then get them in immediately after an injury to ensure the brain doesn’t have time to create an improper compensatory pattern that will be permanent.

Kids heal quick, we just don’t want them healing improperly.  

Reason number 4.  Sleep!.   The parasympathetic nervous system is the part of our nervous system that controls rest and digestion.  When not being stimulated, your child will have difficultly getting into that stage.  Cranial chiropractic care directly stimulates this system, and even my adult patients can tell you feeling relaxed after care is alwayssss felt.  Its because of this system.

Reason number 5.  Better focus.  As mentioned in number one, the brain won’t work as efficiently when inflamed, but also the emotional brain won’t work as well either.  When in that sympathetic phase, fight or flight, the child can’t calm down, and forget about focusing.  Stabilizing the head and brain through care will inevitably also cause changes in mood stability as well. This helps kids stay fun and lighthearted.

Reason number 6. Less allergies.  Airborne wise, when the sinuses are draining properly, less allergies will happen.  Additionally, when digestion is running smoothly because of that parasympathetic stimulation, they will react less to foods.  This doesn’t mean they still get to eat whatever they want, we will go into that next week, but their reaction will be decreased because their inflammation is down.  They will also be able to process toxins better.  When the lymphatic flow is balanced, things will be eliminated better.

Reason number 7.  Improve posture by promoting body balance.  We see bad posture everywhere is school aged children now.  Texting and screens definitely don’t help, as well as improper backpack usage, but chiropractic and cranial work can dramatically affect the posture in a child.  This not only improves function but also promotes self esteem. Scoliosis is a CRANIAL problem.  AGAIN, scoliosis is a CRANIAL problem because of torsion of the brain tissue and spinal cord.  If left untreated this can cause a myriad of symptoms for your child later on including lung and heart function and pain and discomfort.

Reason number 8.  Bed wetting.  Bed wetting can occur and still does occur frequently.In a study, 46 enuretic children that were placed under chiropractic care. The children were under care for a 10 week period preceded by and followed by a 2 week nontreatment period.

25% of the treatment-group children had 50% or more reduction in the wet night frequency from baseline to post-treatment while none among the control group had such reduction.


According to the internal pediatric chiropractic association, regular chiropractic checkups can identify spinal dysfunction in children and specific gentle adjustments may help to enahce future function and well being.

I will also say, being a researcher myself and going to international chiropractic conferences to speak, that mostly all the chiropractic research is a good majority from osteopathy and cranial work.  Meaning cranial care trumps all! 🙂

Reasons kids miss school, and ways chiropractic helps alleviate this:

1. Ear infections:  Chiropractic research with EAR infections showed that 93% improved 75% in 10 days or less, 43% with one for 2 treatments.

2. Sick: There are a number of research articles that have consistently shown bursts of white blood cell activity following chiropractic adjustments, and recent research out of the University of Virginia Medical School just found that the lymphatic system has direct contact with the brain!

3. Asthma: There is a growing amount of research and case studies supporting the efficacy of chiropractic adjustments in helping children with asthma.  Chiropractic adjustments can help children better deal with conditions such as asthma by reducing irritation on the nervous system and boosting the healing ability of the body.

4. ADD/ADHD:There is a growing body of research that is linking physical stress of the nervous system to the undesirable behaviors that are common to the diagnosis ADHD.  How many of these kids are suffering with subluxation or nerve irritation that has gone undiagnosed?  They can’t calm down the brain.

5.  Bullying at school.  The Report is largely made up of cases histories of all the 244 boys many of whom undoubtedly suffered from various emotional and learning disorders.

I have been able to notice a marked improvement in the mental and physical condition of the boys and in school work and conduct; also, there has been a larger number of paroles during that period than any previous period during the past four years.”

“We have been able to accomplish results far beyond their fondest hopes and expectations in the rehabilitation of these boys. The teachers have voluntarily and without solicitation signed a petition asking for an all-time or full-time chiropractor in that institution.”

6. Female issues related to menstruation. Women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) are more likely to have spinal dysfunction, compared with PMS-free women,. Investigators examined 54 women with PMS and 30 women without PMS.

A relatively high incidence of spinal dysfunction exists in PMS sufferers compared with a comparable group of non-PMS sufferers. This is suggestive that spinal dysfunction could be a causative factor in PMS and that chiropractic manipulative therapy may offer an alternative therapeutic approach for PMS sufferers.”

Walsh MJ, Polus BI, T.   J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1999 May; 22 (4): 216-220

7.  Fatigue/ Tired.  More than 60% of the population adults and children battle sleep.

Studies show that chiropractic can actually help with insomnia allowing you to get better, more restful, and more beneficial sleep.

The combination of pain alleviation, increased flexibility, and overall wellness as well as stress relieving properties allow your body and mind to relax so that you can fall asleep easier and stay asleep. Incorporating chiropractic care into your everyday routine can help you get a better night’s sleep.

8. Pains/Growing Pains.  Growing pains are NOT normal, they are a sign of nervous system stress.  Here is a case study showing how chiropractic care improves pain. After one visit, the patient did not complain of leg pain for three days. After 7 visits, the mother reported that his son was sleeping through the night without leg pains. By the 15th , the child had remained for the most part symptom-free for almost 3 weeks.

This can all be applied to college aged kids as well, where the intellectual demand is even higher!!  Chiropractic should be part of your health care!!


ON the spotlight this week is DoTerra’s  Copaiba. Whats better yet!  It’s not in soft gels!

An exceptional addition to the resinous oils doTERRA offers, Copaiba is extracted from copaiba trees in the Amazon rainforest. The essential oil is steam distilled from the copaiba oleoresin, a substance made up of resin and essential oils. The collection process of the oleoresin is unique among essential oils—it is tapped from the tree in a similar way to how maple trees are for their syrup. The oleoresin is then steam distilled to produce the essential oil.

Our Favorite Uses
Copaiba is a incredibly versatile oil that has been used for centuries. See some of our favorite ways to use Copaiba below:

  1. For your skin. Copaiba has the capability of keeping your skin clear and clean while reducing the appearance of blemishes. To take advantage of this benefit, add Copaiba to your toner and apply to your face in upward circular motions. Or, apply it directly your skin before applying moisturizer.
  2. As a personal fragrance. Oils that blend well with Copaiba include Roman Chamomile, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Frankincense, or Ylang Ylang. Using any of these oils that appeal to you, create your own personal fragrance in a roller bottle, and then fill the rest of the bottle with Fractionated Coconut Oil.
  3. For whole-body wellness. Most of the body can benefit from Copaiba—it supports the cardiovascular, immune, digestive, nervous, and immune system.* South Americans have used copaiba resin for the health of many of these same systems. To take advantage of these benefits, add one to two drops to water, juice, or make your own tea using warm water and honey.
  4. To calm occasional anxious feelings. When you’re facing a stressful day ahead or feeling worried, diffusing Copaiba’s woody scent can help calm any anxious feelings you may be experiencing.
  5. As a way to protect and support your cells. Take one to two drops in a veggie capsule to take advantage of the antioxidants—the substance that stops potential damage to your cells from oxidation.*
  6. To unwind. Diffuse it in your room and focus on the scent to fall into a meditative state. Or, you can also use in a calming bath by adding two to three drops to body wash before mixing it in the water.

The Chemistry of Copaiba
The synergy of chemical constituents in Copaiba makes it unique. Copaiba’s main chemical component is beta-caryophyllene, a chemical similar to cannabinoids found in cannabis that may protect nerve cells and have benefits for the cardiovascular and immune systems.* However, while caryophyllene is responsible for some of the bioactive properties of Copaiba, many of the other properties of the oil are thanks to the diterpenes uniquely found in Copaiba.

Plant Description
Copaifera officinalis trees are evergreen trees native to Central and South America, where it flourishes best in tropical rainforest habitats (though it can grow in both wet and dry forests). The trees themselves are tall, and can grow to more than 100 feet tall.

The Amazon rainforest represents over half of the planet’s remaining rainforests. doTERRA is proud to partner with a large network of copaiba harvesters that sustainably collect their oleoresin and ensure that the trees will be around for years to come.


AMAZING Avocado Gelato

A great go to for kids without all the sugar.  Also a great brain food!

2 tbsp chocolate protein powder
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup avocado (cut in cubes)
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1 drop stevia, chocolate flavor
1 tsp coconut butter


  • In a blender, mix all the ingredients except coconut flakes. Blend until creamy and smooth. Mixture should be very thick!
  • Smooth entire contents into a cake pan or drop in tablespoon-sized balls (like cookies, but a little thinner) onto a cookie sheet. Note that it is easier to spread the mixture into a cake pan, but it is a little more challenging to cut it after it has been frozen. Dropping onto a cookie sheet can be a little messy, but it is easier to grab and eat after freezing. Try it both ways and see how you like it.
  • Sprinkle coconut over the top.
  • Place cake pan or cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 2 hours until frozen.
  • Serve as a frozen treat. They taste like Fudgesicles!

That is all for now,


Wishing you a Happy and Healthy Week.


Dr. Hamel

What does detoxing your brain look like?

Happy Monday!  Last week we talked about the four pathways of elimination that need to be working efficiently for us everyday. If they aren’t, then we get inflammation and chronic conditions like hormone dysfunction, fatigue, skin conditions, ect.  I hope you are all enjoying this month, and as always, if you have topics you want more information on, let me know!

This week we will briefly talk about how your brain detoxes and why this is so important for our health.  As well as tips to increase it’s productivity so that we can optimize our brain function and detox pathways.

We talked last week about the lymphatic system and it’s importance in keeping it flowing.  We have a similar system in our brain it’s called the glymphatic system, or the “brain drain”.

This system was only recently discovered in 2012. It’s uses the cell’s mitochondria (energy system) to remove cellular waste from the brain.  The cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) in the brain is what is responsible for draining toxins from brain.  The brain has no lymphatic system, just the CSF fluid.

The kicker here, is this system is especially active during sleep!  That being said if you enhance the mitochondria’s ability during sleep, you will turbocharge this maintenance system and get more cleanup in less time.

In 2013 as well, researchers found that something called “autophagy” is required for healthy brain cell mitochondria.  This is a natural process called autophagy (literally “self-eating”), and it’s the bodies system of cleaning house: Your cells create membranes that hunt out scraps of dead, diseased, or worn-out cells; gobble them up; strip ’em for parts; and use the resulting molecules for energy or to make new cell parts.

It’s like an internal recycling program.  We get rid of faulty parts, stop growths, ect.  When the scientists monitored rat specimens who had difficulty with autophagy, they were fatter, sleepier, had higher cholesterol and impaired brains.

How to increase autophagy to boost the cell’s mitochondrial function:

1. Exercise.  “Regular exercise is the most popular way that people unintentionally help their body to cleanse.”

2. Fasting.  Although I don’t usually recommend skipping meals, occasional fasting is actually beneficial. Practitioners usually forgo food for anywhere from 12 to 36 hours at a time, making sure to drink plenty of water. (You might also want to limit activity to gentle yoga or stretching.)

3. Lower your carb intake.Ketosis, is an increasingly popular diet among bodybuilders and anyone seeking a longer lifespan. The idea is to reduce carbohydrates to such low levels that the body has no choice but to use fat as a fuel source instead.

Ketosis is like an autophagy hack. You get a lot of the same metabolic changes and benefits of fasting without actually fasting.
Keto diets are super high fat (good fats): Between 60 and 70 percent of one’s overall calories should come from fat. (Lots of steak, bacon, and peanut butter shakes are a definite bonus for the keto crowd.) Protein makes up 20 to 30 percent of calories, while carbs are kept below 50 grams per day.

So, increasing good fats, moving and intermittent fasting improve this system.  But what about getting it flowing directly at its source?  What about actually changing it in the brain where it flows in and out of?

That’s right! Cranial care!

Craniopathy care has been proven to increase the CSF flow in the brain and in the entire system.  When there is pressure on the brain from the bones of the head, this fluid cannot maintain its flow.

This means the CSF flow is hindered.  Therefore, the detox pathway is hindered.

Additionally, as I mentioned previously, this system is active entirely during your sleep.  So if your sleep is hindered, or you aren’t getting adequate deep sleep you won’t be detoxing your noggin and body very well.

Sleep can be helped in many ways.

1.  Getting cranial care
2.  Supplementation, including minerals and herbs
3. Exercise
4.  Reducing EMF exposure.  No tv or cell phones in the bed room.  Turn off your wifi in your home every night, and make sure there’s no light in your room.  Completely dark room allows your brain to produce melatonin.  EMF exposure actually calcifies the pituitary which releases melatonin.
5.  Essential Oils and CBD. Certain oils can be really helpful for creating calmness and allowing sleep to happen.

Childhood stress, water intake, sleep and adequate exercise

Happy Monday!  This is the LAST week we will be talking about children (well for now).  I hope you have enjoyed this last month’s topics, and as always if you have any topics or information you’d like to know more about tips are ALWAYS welcome!  The month of April will be all about detoxing.  The different ways to do it, through body work, nutrition and other means.  In light of detoxing month, I will be holding a 30 day Oil Pulling challenge.  If you missed the facebook LIVE about this topic and what it entails, look below to find out the link to replay it.  You will need to let me know ASAP if you are interested, so we can get the oils to you in time.

As we wrap up this month, there are still a few topics we haven’t touched that are extremely important for the nutrition and health of our children.

Stress, Water Intake, Sleep and Exercise.

1. Stress:
Stress is a response to any situation or factor that creates a physical, psychological or emotional change or a combination of all.
Children LEARN how to respond to stress by that they SEE and EXPERIENCE.  (Parent’s influence is huge here)
Stressors that might seem insignificant to an adult coul have an enormous impact on a child.
Stress in children could appear as fear, anxiety, withdraw or excessive worrying about things that feel out of their control.

Examples of potential stressors:

  • Poor diet
  • school
  • competitive sports
  • insufficient basic needs
  • injury
  • neglect
  • divorce
  • inadequate sleep
  • sibling discord
  • lack of free time and play
  • illness
  • bullying
  • household financial stress
  • physical, psychological or emotional abuse
There is an ever increasing pressure for our children to perform more in school at an earlier age with:
  • A LACK of down time
  • A rise in organized competitive sports
  • Family/household pressures
  • Socio-economic stress
  • and more…
So we ask these questions..

How are children handling this?  Are we teaching them the importance of having time to “chill” and relax? What about self-care?  What about stomach upset, behavioral problems, anxiety being signs that they aren’t really handling their own stress?
Are children taking time for the important things?

  • creative play
  • reading
  • hiking; anything that is fun and relaxing for them

Stress in children is handled by the adrenal glands.  Excessive stress can result in common health issues due to the adrenal constantly being used and becoming exhausted.
When the adrenal glands need help here are some signs:

  • digestive issues
  • chronic allergies
  • asthma
  • immune system imbalance
  • weight issues
  • dysglycemia
  • mood and emotional disorders
  • difficulty with sleep
  • fatigue
What do the adrenal glands do?
  • they produce a variety of hormones that help to handle all types of stress- physical, mental or emotional
  • these glands seek to keep your body functionaing in a dynamic balance amidst whatever external or internal changes or challanges you meet
  • they mobilize you for “fight or flight”
  • They control:
    • fluid balance
    • blood sugar balance
    • inflammatory and anti inflammatory response
    • immune system response and strength- lots of studies showed stressful beginnings can cause immune compromise later.
  • They produce steroid hormones appropriate for the child’s age and development
This of course can be helped with proper evaluation and nutritional support.

2. Water Intake:

The human body is about 60% water.  The brain is estimated to be between 70-80% water.  Water is in integral part of our cells, blood, digestion and waste elimination.

Here are some general rules for proper water intake in children:

  • encourage water intake OVER excess juice and milk drinking
  • sports drinks should be limited in their use, as water is the preferred drink (actual really clean water like Kangan water has all the electrolytes you need.  If you use reverse osmosis water, you will need to add back in minerals.  Also, bottled water, is big no no.  Hormone disrupters in the plastic)
  • children should drink 1/2 their body weight in oz.
  • sports activities- drink 4-6 oz of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise.  Many people make the mistake of stopping before they are fully hydrated.
Some symptoms of too little water and possible dehydration:
  1. Fatigue
  2. headaches
  3. dry mouth/cracked lips
  4. nausea
  5. constipation
  6. muscle weakness
  7. dizziness/lightheadedness
  8. decrease in concentration
A quick note about sports drinks:
  • sports drinks don’t actually hydrate better than water, but due to the typical sweet-tart combination, there is a tendency to drink more of them.  In that way, they can help children to re-hydrate
  • juice, due to the high fructose content, reduces the rate of water absorption so cells do not hydrate very quickly
  • other drinks have a lot of additives, artificial colors, and/or high amounts of natural and unnatural sugar added to it
  • flavored stevia can be used to help kids transition to drinking more water
  • coconut water is another alternative for hydration when needed rather than sports drinks
  • here is a great alternative
    • 32 ounces fresh spring water
    • 2 tablespoons celtic sea salt or himalyan pink salt
    • juice of 3-4 limes or lemons
    • maple or stevia to sweeten
3.  Sleep:

The general guidelines is 8-10 hours. The younger the child is, the more sleep is recommended.  Pre-school children need as much as 14 hours of sleep including naps.

A swiss study gave these sleep guidelines for children:
1 year and younger= 14-15 hours
1/2 year=14-15
1 1/2 -3= 12-14
3-5 years-11-13
5-12 years= 10-11
13 and up=8.5-9.5 hours

Adequate sleep improves:

  • adrenal strength
  • strong immune system
  • proper growth and development
  • better attention and focus
  • emotional stability
Common symptoms of poor sleep include:
  • depleted adrenal function
  • frequent illnesses
  • sluggish mornings and/or sleepiness throughout the day
  • impaired attention and hyperactivity
  • impaired memory or learning
  • irritability, moodiness and temper tantrums
  • bedtime struggles
  1. allow adequate time for a child to settle down before going to bed
  2. involve the child in a calming routine that works for him/her; warm baths, cup of hot tea, bedtime story, nutritious snack, oil diffuser
  3. encourage sleeping in a dark room or use a nightlight with a timer
  4. play relaxing music, use a cd player or ipod that will shut off when it’s done
  5. try diffusing essential oils like lavender before bedtime to naturally calm them down
  6. keep the routine consistent.
  7. no screens in the room, and no screen time 30 minutes before bed
4. Exercise:
Physical exercise is a bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health.
Promoting fitness in children is one the most IMPORTANT ways to encourage healthy habits that will last them a lifetime.

Regular exercise in thildren can help:

  • feel better about themselves
  • manage stress
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • build strong, health bodies
  • sleep better
  • build social skills
  • develop healthy habits for adulthood
There are differing opinions about the amount of exercise a child needs.  It seems to vary with age.  The recommendations are 60 or more minutes of physical activity per day.  Aerobic activity should make up most of the 60 minutes.

Exercise needs to include:

  1. Endurance- cardiovascular function
  2. strength- strong bones, muscles
  3. flexibility- reduces the risk of injury; stretching should be done after an activity or exercise.
Children should be encouraged to do what they enjoy!  There are benefits to all types of exercise.  It’s also important to not overwhelm children.  They need exercise, but sometimes children that are in multiple sports at the same time, it can be a source of stress.  Try to focus on the most important activities they love one at a time.

Because of electronics, we now have a huge deficit in our children and their functioning.  We could say its nature deficit disorder! A great book on this is Last Child in the Woods.

There are other things to consider with children, we now have rampant toxins everywhere which lead to many mineral deficiencies.  Limit the exposure in the home to only organic no synthetic based products.  These can be huge hormone disruptors in our children , which will be addressed next month!


Did you miss Dr. Hamel’s Video on Oil Pulling, and the Oil Pulling Challenge?  You can replay it here:

The challenge begins April 2!  If you are interested let me know ASAP so I can add you to the group and you can get your oils in time to start!

That is all for now.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy week.


Dr Hamel