1. Introduction, Preliminaries, and Caveats:
Please read our Disclaimer Page before using this resource guide. There are no definitive, uniformly accepted standards for persons claiming to offer alternative therapies. In some states, anyone can hang out a shingle, even without suitable training or credentials, and claim to be a craniosacral worker, neuro-feedback practitioner, nutritionist, or another therapist. To address this critical pitfall we have consulted acknowledged thought leaders in each field, followed their guidance, and presented lists of practitioners that are likely to be well qualified.
Even then there are no guarantees. One should seek a frank discussion with each prospective physician or therapist in order to explore their background. How long have they been practicing their specialty? What prior experience do they have in treating patients with brain injuries? Can they offer references or testimonials? Nothing is 100 percent effective, not even aspirin or acetaminophen. With alternative therapies, as with mainstream approaches, there is always an element of chance, luck, randomness. What works brilliantly for one survivor, may not work for another, and we may never know why. All one can do is try one’s best, and hope to be lucky.
2. How can I locate practitioners in my area?
We are unable to make specific referrals – not only for liability reasons but also because we don’t personally know most of the practitioners. Please review their information posted and then call prospects to inquire how they might help your personal condition. Most physicians and therapists will let you know if they feel they can help or will offer an alternate suggestion.
Craniosacral Therapy (CST)
We are not aware of any comprehensive listing of Craniosacral practitioners in the USA. What we have been able to find thus far are partial listings, compiled by different organizations, each with an interest in CST. There are no overarching requirements or certifications for CST practitioners – in many states, anyone can claim to be a craniosacral worker, even without suitable training or credentials. Here are two relatively safe and reliable ways to find a CST practitioner:
- A physician who practices craniosacral therapy,(usually a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, a DO) or
- Some practitioners with suitable credentials from The Upledger Institute – a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), nurse, or other health care professional.
Accordingly, here are two lists, one from the Osteopathic Cranial Academy, and the second with candidates who have been credentialed by the Upledger Institute, the premier School of CST.
The Osteopathic Cranial Academy: DO’s and Dentists who practice within the cranio field:
To find a physician: http://cranialacademy.org/find-a-physician/
The American CranioSachral Therapy Association: Endorsed by the Upledger Institute
To find a practitioner: http://www.iahp.com/pages/search/index.php#result
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT):
We are not aware of any comprehensive listing of HBOT facilities in the USA. What we have been able to find thus far are partial listings, compiled by several different organizations, each with an interest in hyperbaric medicine. Note that usually, only free-standing independent HBOT clinics are willing to treat brain injuries or other neurological conditions off-label. Hospitals do not generally allow HBOT to be used for such conditions. Most of the lists are searchable by location, or at least by State.
- List of HBOT centers compiled by the Program in Integrative Medicine of the University of Colorado College of Medicine: http://www.healing-arts.org/children/hyperbaricoxygentherapy_hbot.htm#Arizona_HBOT
- treatnow.org: centers treating wounded warriors, veterans, and others: http://treatnow.org/treatments/treatment-centers/
- International Hyperbaric Medical Foundation: http://www.hyperbaricmedicalfoundation.org/hbot-treatment-sites
- International Hyperbarics Association, Inc.: http://www.ihausa.org/members/iha-contact.html
- Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society: https://www.bestpub.com/periodicals-and-subscriptions/find-a-hyperbaric-chamber.html
We are not aware of any comprehensive listing of neurofeedback (NF) practitioners in the USA. What we have been able to find thus far are partial listings, compiled by different organizations, each with an interest in neurofeedback. There are no overarching requirements or certifications for practitioners – in many states, anyone can claim to be an NF worker, whether or not one has suitable training and credentials. Safest to do one’s own due diligence, including inquiring what experience, if any, the therapist has with brain injuries. For Traditional neurofeedback, there are a couple of good sources:
- Biofeedback Certification International Alliance: https://www.bcia.org/consumers
- For LENS neurofeedback, the safest source is Ochs labs: http://www.ochslabs.com/providers.php?country=United+States&search=country
Omega-3 Fish Oils
These are widely available, but not of uniform quality. Dr. Michael Lewis, thought leader in this area of research, recommends only using fish oils that have been double distilled, and preferably reconstituted in their original triglyceride form. Here is a link to his site: http://www.brainhealtheducation.org/omega-3-protocol/
LED Light Therapy
The use of transcranial LED therapy, sometimes called Photobiomodulation, is an emerging approach to brain healing. Like HBOT, there are already some FDA-approved applications, but these do not include ABI. There is a wide array of organizations representing practitioners but we are not aware of any easy way to access lists of practitioners. We have some useful resources to share at this time, with hopefully more to come soon. There are dozens of organizations devoted to studying of light therapies worldwide including the North American Association of Laser Therapy, the International Academy of Laser Medicine and Surgery, and the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery. Some of the notable journals covering this field include Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, and Lasers in Medical Science and Physiotherapy Practice and Research.
Some specific practitioners who have been vetted by one of the thought leaders in this field include:
Elkins Park, PA 19027
With three greater Delaware Valley area locations, QuietMind’s approach combines near-infrared light treatment with neurofeedback. Their innovative practice offers clinical treatment of ABI and other neurological conditions, as well as ongoing clinical trials of their hybrid therapy for both age-related memory decline, and Parkinson’s disease. They are currently recruiting patients for clinical trials. There is no fee for trial participants, who may undertake the therapies at home via computer. They are also a distributor of Vielight Products.
Two highly experienced, licensed Acupuncturists who use transcranial LED therapies to help treat ABI (PTSD, stroke, dementia, etc.)
There is an RN light researcher in Toronto, Canada, who works remotely with patients throughout North America (Via Skype, or video conferencing). She will sell or rent suitable equipment, teach protocols for its proper use, and further support applications.
Two Canadian firms produce photobiomodulation devices which they claim help ABI survivors regain cognitive functions. These devices are approved and in use in Canada. Our Foundation does not endorse or recommend any particular companies or products. Nonetheless, thought leaders in the field have been known to use devices made by these firms in their scientific studies.
The PoNS device is currently only available at major medical centers.
3. Cognitive Rehabilitation:
Cognitive rehabilitation: (These health professionals, generally neuro-psychologists or clinical psychologists, map the injury and devise individualized strategies to remediate/overcome functional deficits):
Center for Neuro Skills – Several locations in CA, and one in Dallas, TX
Kessler Institute – Saddle Brook, NJ
Mount Sinai Hospital Neuropsychology Dept. – NYC
Neuro Psychologic Rehab Services – Albany, NY
Rusk Institute of Rehab Medicine- NYC
4. Physicians and Therapists:
The following physicians and therapists advocate and practice alternative therapies, including HBOT, neurofeedback, nutraceutical supplementation (e.g. omega 3’s) craniosacral therapy, neurofeedback, and other approaches.
Dr. Steven Best (Psychiatrist, Chicago, IL)
Dr. Philip DeFina (Neurologist – NJ)
Dr. Guiseppina Feingold (Pediatrician – Nyack, NY)
Dr. Paul Harch (Emergency Medicine and Hyperbaric/Diving Medicine – New Orleans)
Dr. Carol Henricks (Neurologist – Tucson, AZ)
Dr. Stephen Larsen (Psychologist neurofeedback – New Paltz, NY)
Dr. Michael Lewis (former US Army Colonel, DC area)
Dr. David Perlmutter (neurologist – Naples, FL)
Dr. Stephen Xenakis, (former US Army general, DC area)
Physician Contact information:
Dr. Steven Best
The Neuroscience Center
Alternatives, including HBOT, Stem Cells, and others
Dr. Philip DeFina
International Brain Research Foundation, Inc.
Flanders, NJ 07836
Alternatives, especially HBOT, neurofeedback, neutraceuticals
Dr. ‘Joe’ Feingold
Valley Health &Hyperbarics
Suffern, New York 10901
(845) 547-2813 http://www.valleyhyperbarics.com/
Alternatives – especially HBOT. Sensory Learning and Light Therapy
Dr. Paul G. Harch or Juliette Lucarini RN
Harch HBOT at Family Physicians’ Center
Marrero, LA 70072
Dean of hyperbaric medicine in the USA
Dr. Carol Henricks
Carol L Henricks MD (Neurology) NorthStar Neurology,
Tucson, AZ. 85741
Protégé of Dr. Paul Harch. Involved with Patriot Clinic movement.
Dr. John C. Hughes, D.O.
TBI Therapy, LLC
Lafayette, CO 80026
Dr. Stephen Xenakis
Bethesda Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (BHOT)
HBOT and other alternatives
Additional centers for HBOT and other alternative therapies:
Dr. David A. Steenblock, D.O.
San Clemente, CA 92673
HBOT and other alternatives
Alexander Thermos, D.O.
Laguna Hills, CA 992653
HBOT, Stem Cell & PRP, Integrative Medicine
Neubauer Hyperbaric Neurologic Center
Lauderdale By The Sea, FL 33308
HBOT and a wide range of other alternatives
Pocatello, Idaho 83201
Dr. Michael Baker, Dr. Charles Garrison, Dr. Michael Gregson
North Reading, MA 01864
Office: (978) 664-8100
Hyperbaric Healing Institute
Kansas City, Missouri 64153
Fayetteville, NC 28304
Dr. Cynthia Wells-McLemore, M.D.
HBOT, functional medicine
Wauseon, OH 43567
HBOT and other alternatives
Neurotherapeutix Medical services
171 East 74th Street, Unit 1-1
New York, NY, 10021
Phone: (332) 249-4785
alternative therapies including fMRI-guided TMS
5. Organizations Supporting ABI Survivors and Caregivers:
www.Brainline.org Premier site – resources for survivors, families, and professionals.
www.neuroskills.com – TBI resource guide. Monthly summary of worldwide research
www.eparent.com – Resource guide for families of kids with Special Needs, including ABI
www.dana.org TBI resource, Pediatric TBI.
www.bianys.org: NYS Brain Injury Association. Every state has one. A great resource for support of all kinds, networking, and referrals.
www.remind.org – Resource and support to injured servicemen, vets, and families
www.woundedwarriorproject.org – Resources and programs for servicemen, vets, and families.
www.woundedwarriorsfamilysupport.org – Resources and respite for families of wounded warriors.
http://www.resurrectinglives.org – Advocacy, resources for veterans with TBI.
http://thecaregiverspace.org/ – Resources for the caregiver and those supporting her/him.
http://www.ryansreach.com/ – Residential rehab facility for brain injury survivors; scholarships available.
http://www.braininjuryhopefoundation.org/ – Financial aid for survivors seeking HBOT and other alternatives.
http://www.patriotclinics.com/ – HBOT for wounded vets. Scholarships available
http://treatnow.org/ – HBOT for wounded vets. Scholarships available; premier knowledge base on HBOT.
6. Further Reading
No Stone Unturned: A Fathers memoir of His son’s Encounter with Traumatic Brain Injury, Joel Goldstein (University of Nebraska Press, 2012)
When Brains Collide: What Every Athlete and Parent Should Know About the Prevention and Treatment of Concussions and Head Injuries, Dr. Michael Lewis, (Lioncrest Publishing, 2016)
The Oxygen Revolution, Third Edition: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: The Definitive Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) & Other Disorders, Dr. Paul Harch, (Hatherleigh Press, 2016)
The Neurofeedback Solution: How to Treat Autism, ADHD, Anxiety, Brain Injury, Stroke, PTSD, and More, Stephen Larsen, Ph.D.( Healing Arts Press, 2012)
Conquering Concussion: Healing TBI Symptoms with Neurofeedback and Without Drugs, Mary Lee Esty, Ph.D., (Round Earth Publishing, 2014)
The Brain’s Way of Healing: remarkable discoveries and recoveries from the frontiers of neuroplasticity, Dr. Norman Doidge, (Viking Press, 2015)
CranioSacral Therapy: What It Is, How It Works, John E. Upledger, (North Atlantic Books, 2008)