Does Your child have a busy brain?

Topics Covered: Busy Brain | Perfect Storm

What IS Busy Brain Syndrome?

Busy Brain Syndrome means that there is so much stress, noise and interference locked into a child’s brain and body that their brain is literally preoccupied and too busy. 

When you have to deal with too much action in your life, typically that comes out as impulsivity, sensory aversions, avoiding loud noises, anxieties, agitations, emotional tantrums, and meltdowns. Consequently when the brain is too preoccupied and busy handling all of this noise, it can’t sleep very well. That is probably the most common side effect. When you have a stressed out, wound up busy brain, it becomes so stuck there that it can’t calm and quiet itself to sleep.

The second thing that becomes challenging is speech because communication is a very high level brain based function. It’s a high motor neuron function, meaning it takes a lot of intricacy. It takes a lot of brain power to give you a simple context of understanding how different neurological functions are. Therefore when your child has busy brain syndrome they struggle with speech and communication because their brain is really locked and rocked in that busy brain world. Ataxia may be the net result of that because the brain is so busy handling all the stress it has at all times that it can’t go through those developmental windows and stages of speech communication.  

Social and emotional connection is another challenge that comes from Busy Brain Syndrome. Again, when you’re dealing with noise, stress and anxiety and a child is locked in, they get locked out of socially and emotionally engaging the way we normally would like to see them be. So one of the other effects of this Busy Brain Syndrome is the lack of social development, emotional regulation and control and just handling the transitions and all of life’s challenges. 

Busy Brain Syndrome and The Perfect Storm

That’s why we call it the Perfect Storm. These kiddos go through a vicious cycle early on through pregnancy, birth trauma intervention – like emergency C-sections, forceps, vacuum extraction induction – that creates so much stress and noise on the brain. Then we throw it into this crazy, toxic, stressful world we live in early on when the brain is most impressionable. So the brain goes through a pregnancy in a busy, noisy way, then a delivery in a busy, noisy way, and finally goes through early childhood development in a busy, noisy, stressful way. The brain gets locked in because it’s in protection or busy mode, so it misses out on development, connection, integration, processing, engagement, sleep, and immune development. As a child gets older, that vicious cycle just keeps brewing because life gets busier and more challenging. There’s supposed to be more social engagement, academic and cognitive development. 

So what do you do to help these kiddos? What is the most important thing you could do? I’m going to tell it through a story. I just got done working with and making the first adjustment for an unbelievable 15 year old, rockstar girl who has been through 15 years with a busy, stressful, noisy, wound up brain. All the special needs challenges in this case too. 

First we need to understand that the place within the spine and nervous system where the calming, quieting nerve called the Vagus Nerve is located is right up top. That’s why a birth where we put a big set of hands or a vacuum plunger around the head and pull, twist and yank, really interferes and damages the effect of the Vagus Nerve, which is what quiets and calms the brain and the body. This 15 year old girl has all the genetic, life, and birth stress so she has not been able to live a calm life. She can’t sleep, has all sorts of anxiety, meltdowns, and transition challenges. 

Just putting my hands on her Atlas and axis vertebra and putting the lightest, calmest, surest, most certain amount of stimulus to the Vagus Nerve, to a girl who is usually moving at all times, was literally like hitting the pause button on a Netflix show. Everything calmed, stopped and stilled for the first time in almost 15 years in her life, because there is a calming mechanism to the brain. There is a coping mechanism to the nervous system and when there’s interference or what we call Subluxation, it gets in the way of quieting the brain and these kiddos live a life full of this busy brain, wound up, stressed body system. They move all the time because it’s calming, so it’s no wonder they don’t sleep very well. They can’t shut their brain in their body off. It’s no wonder they don’t handle their emotions very well, because they’re idling at 5,000 RPMs and they red line at seven. 

There are way too many kiddos locked into this busy brain and perfect storm and they don’t need to be. Sometimes drugs can come in and they can blanket the storm artificially and make a kid’s life better from maybe nine to three or nine to four. But then there’s other side effects and everything else that comes with it. Again, it isn’t about this or that. There’s just such a powerful, unbelievable influence that pediatric neurologically focused chiropractors offer through safe drug free, gentle adjustments.Imagine what many months worth and dozens of adjustments can do to a child’s life. That’s what we get to be about. So if this finds you and you are a parent who needs a child to have a less busy brain and a calmer, quieter life – or you know one that does, reach out to us or check out our PX Directory to find a PX Doc near you. If you’re an OT, PT, speech therapist, social worker, or developmental therapist, make sure you find somebody in your community that is trained and uses the protocols and chiropractic applications that we do. When we can go in and quiet a kiddo’s brain, think about how much more impactful their therapy would be. You can explode and increase the quality and quantity of your kiddo’s life.


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