Improve the Brain, Improve Digestion, Insomnia, and Stress

My family has been very blessed this past year to discover Functional Neurology and to see a fantastic Doctor that practices it. Dr Kemp has done amazing work on almost my entire family.

Ruby’s Issues

It’s more like a subscription, not just a few issues. She is light years better than where she once was. However, there is still much progress to be made. Some things that really are a development thing (she has absolutely no concept of counting. She can recite numbers well and accurately,  but does not understand that they are actually numbering items) and still digestion and weight gain issues.

Back in April, we realized that she was in Ketoacidosis. This is a condition that the body is basically in starvation mode. You aren’t absorbing nutrients properly (either because you aren’t eating them or because your body isn’t working properly to absorb them) and so your body basically starts eating itself. It can’t get the energy it needs from foods, such as eating enough protein, fat, or even carbs, so your body starts burning the storage of fat and muscles that you have.

Now if you are overweight, this is not always a bad thing. In order to lose weight, your body has to burn and use the stored fat so this can be a good thing for those people. It means that you are limiting you consumption of carbs and sugar and so the body is breaking down fats for it’s energy.

However, if you’re 23 pounds soaking wet at almost 4 years old, this is a problem!

We knew something was awry with Ruby because she would be hysterical every day when she woke up from her nap. Absolutely hysterical. Nothing would calm her or soothe her. My step dad is a diabetic so he happened to have some urine strips that would test for Ketones. (When your body is in Ketoacidosis and is burning stored fat or proteins, it will release ketones that is picked up by the kidneys and excreted in the urine). Her strip was the darkest color that was possible for the strip to detect. So we called the doctor.

We tested her for basically everything. Again. Everything came back normal. Her blood sugar was a little low. Not much. But a little. We decided that she just wasn’t consuming enough protein and perhaps wasn’t absorbing it well. So I decided to cram protein in her.

And by cram I mean, feed her until she is so full that she’s gagging and about to throw up. Three farm-free eggs every morning. At least. Large amounts of proteins. I even give her protein shakes. Within three weeks she had grown an inch taller, gained a full pound, and was no longer passing any ketones in her urine.

Unfortunately, this is not sustainable. I was spending over an hour at the table with her each meal, forcing food down her throat against her will. She would scream and cry. I’ve got two other children pulling at me. And now she basically hates eating.

Figures, right?

Dr. Kemp tested her gag reflex. It’s super sensitive. She gags just by opening her mouth widely. Ridiculous. He said that a hyper-sensitive gag reflex indicates that her entire digestive system is spastic and hyper. This means that everything she eats basically flows straight through her. No wonder she’s not absorbing anything! So we are working on brain exercises to help her. Sadly, this takes time.

A few weeks ago I noticed a book in Dr. Kemp’s office.

why isnt my brain working book











I was strangely to it. I asked if it was any good and was told that it was. Every time I go in, I have to stop myself from stealing it.

Tonight, on a Facebook group, a link was posted by this Author. It was 3 Simple Brain Training Tricks to Improve Digestion. It linked a video that explains the basic tricks.


He can get all “Jargon-y” on you during this video. So it can get a little confusing. The Vagus nerve he is referring to at the beginning of the video is the nerve that connects the digestive system to the brain. Amazingly, it runs right under the tongue.

This is why tongue-tie is such a problem! The vagus nerve is stimulated to release signal the digestive system to work by the tongue moving. If tongue is tied down by a tight or restrictive frenulum, then the vagus nerve is not stimulated. It never gets the message.

It’s like having mail at the post office that you don’t know is there for you and a mail man that won’t deliver the letters to you. You never get the message.

Your stomach never knows to make acid. So the food doesn’t digest timely. It ferments in the belly and bubbles up into the esophagus causing reflux. Most babies that take reflux medicines just need a tongue-tie revision.

Your intestines don’t know to contract and move the food through. So you are constipated and bloated.

The liver and gallbladder know to release bile so then fats are not broken down and utilized properly.

These are big, big problems!

It gets even more intense when you find out that the vagus nerve is also responsible for important roles in the parasympathetic nervous system!

The Parasympathetic nervous system is one of two different parts of your nervous system. The Sympathetic system is responsible for giving you energy, fight-or-flight, waking you up, exciting you, and stimulating your brain. The parasympathetic system does the opposite. It calms you down, relaxes you, puts you to sleep, and controls the digestive system (during times of fight-or-flight, your body actually stalls your digestive system to redirect that energy to other parts of your body).

So if the parasympathetic system is not activated properly because the vagus nerve is not stimulated, then you will be an anxious, uptight insomniac with digestive problems. Sounds like a lot of fussy, colicky babies I know! Like mine, come to think of it!

For more information on this, read this article: Simple Trick to Relieve Stress: Vagus Nerve Stimulation.

I believe that it’s important to release tongue-ties. It will help correct digestive issues, anxiety, insomnia, and stress. It’s important to our  physical health and our emotional well being. But it seems that releasing a tongue-tie alone may not be enough. If the vagus nerve remains dormant or disconnected from the brain, then the results we are looking for will not be fully achieved.

These exercises in the above video will certainly help adults and older children. Exactly how to apply these exercises to babies and smaller children, specifically my little Ruby Sue, is still a mystery to me.