Does Your child have a busy brain?

Topics Covered: Busy Brain | Perfect Storm
By Dr. Tony Ebel, DC, CPPFC, CCWP
Does Your child have a busy brain? | PX Docs


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 completely preoccupied and too busy. 

A busy brain can lead to the challenges below for kiddos who are unable to calm their minds and bodies.

1. Sleep Challenges

When you feel like you’re dealing 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 – which is 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.

2. Speech Challenges

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 intricacies and brain power. 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.

3. Social and Emotional Challenges

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 would like to see. So one of the other effects of this busy brain syndrome is the lack of social development, emotional regulation, control, and handling transitions.


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, and vacuum extraction induction – that creates so much stress and noise in the brain. Then we throw it into this stressful, toxic 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 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.


So what do we do to help these kiddos? 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. This rockstar girl has lived 15 years with a busy, stressful, noisy, wound-up brain, is never able to sit still, and has some special needs challenges as well.

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 body. This 15-year-old girl has all the genetic, life, and birth stress so she has never been able to live a calm life. She can’t sleep and has all sorts of anxiety, meltdowns, and transition challenges. 

Just putting my hands on her atlas and axis vertebra, putting the lightest, calmest, surest, and most certain amount of stimulus to the vagus nerve, was like hitting the pause button on a Netflix show. Everything calmed, stopped, and stilled for the first time in almost 15 years of her life.

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 or body off. It’s no wonder they don’t handle their emotions very well because they’re idling at 5,000 RPMs.

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 blanket the storm artificially and make a kid’s life better for a portion of the day. But that can bring about other negative side effects.

Truthfully, 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 do.

So if you are a parent who wants to help your child calm their busy brain and lead a calmer, quieter life – or you know one that does – reach out to us or check our 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.

Dr. Tony Ebel is the lead writer and educational guide for PX Docs. He is a Certified Pediatric + Wellness Chiropractor with 15 years of clinical experience. In addition, Dr. Tony has been teaching and training other Pediatric + Family Chiropractors for the past 10+ years, primarily teaching the clinical protocols he created for pediatric neurodevelopmental challenges such as Autism, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Epilepsy, Anxiety, and more. This clinical program is now taught in collaboration with the Life University Postgraduate Department and has over 500 graduates. Dr. Tony’s passion is educating, empowering, and informing parents about the nervous system's role in natural, drug-free healing for all pediatric conditions and cases.

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