gym members in group training classes at reistertown gym

Mental Health Awareness, Let’s Get Well

Join Us as Our Baltimore Area Gyms Recognize Mental Health Awareness

As May is Mental Health Awareness month I’d like to share cutting-edge therapies that are integrative, regenerative and natural, that are part of our DOWNES BRAIN HEALTH INITIATIVE. It goes past the customary concept of Mental Health Awareness, and into what can be done to help a brain become truly healthy and resilient.

Mental Health Awareness Month

We have many modalities designed to enhance or regain nerve activity that promotes clear thinking, processing, and emotional state, and can actually improve IQ over time.

qEEG Brain Mapping

The most dramatic mental health diagnostic work we have is facilitated by qEEG Brain mapping. We measure the energy the brain evokes (brain waves), detect high and low output areas which provide insights for diagnostic information and/or cognitive defects. Basically this means, we can “see” into the brain to diagnose head trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, OCD, depression, ADHD, autism, insomnia, learning difficulties, cognitive dysfunction, for instance from Lyme Disease.

It takes the stigma away from these terms when we can actually circle their existence on the brain map. There is often a sigh of relief when our map demonstrates exactly what the patient is struggling with. If we can map it, we can improve it! The process is non-invasive and painless. We use a database with over 25 years of information that helps determine protocols for neural correction.


In my practice, we use Neurofeedback with Photic Stimulation, based on brain map findings as well as individualized testing. During an NFB session, the patient simply watches a movie while connected to a NeuroIntegrator system. The system simply reads brainwaves and provides an on-screen version of the training.

During a session, the computer recognizes aberrant nerve patterns and utilizes operant conditioning, in short, punishment-reward to up-regulate brain activity. When brain activity is chaotic, disorganized, too fast or too slow, the movie visual and sound fades for just a moment. Apparently, the brain does not like these gaps and springs to attention to regulate the perception of the movie. Eventually, the training takes hold and a new pattern is formed which encourages healthy self-regulation.

A healthy brain is at peace most of the time, it can leap into action to think, solve a problem, avoid a danger, and so on. It should come back to a state of inner peace then, until it needs to think, or move, or slow down to become creative, or go to sleep. If there is neural chaos, we may find attention issues, impulsivity, mood perseveration, chronic looping back into depression, generalized anxiety for no apparent reason, constant worry, and the like. These patterns train out very nicely with NFB, and the training actually makes permanent changes in brain connectivity, thus a condition can literally be both treated and corrected

My ideal concept of Mental Health Awareness is informing people that they don’t have to suffer like this. Medications can be risky as a diagnosis isn’t always intuitive. Side-effects and waning effects are often experienced and toxicity from drugs eventually affect the health of mind and body, it can be no other way. Now to me, that is something to be aware of!

Neurofeedback is one way to approach an un-quiet mind. We also have Listening Programs which stimulate nerve and blood flow in a systemic way through the brain. Clinical Nutrition protocols to eliminate toxins, allergens, heavy metals, immune challenges, nutrient and fatty acid deficiencies can be quite powerful as well. Combination care is simply the best in that we can suffer mental health issues from a myriad of sources. We are prepared to optimize all.

My best advice if a person wants to self-improve?

mental health

1) Exercise!! Often and a lot.
2) Hydrate. Clean and a lot.
3) Enhance your Posture. Head UP!
4) Go to sleep by 10 PM. Sleep 8 hours.
5) Eat clean. No processed food. None.
6) Eat a lot of clean fats. Fish Oils, Olives, Avocado
7) Read the classics
8) Listen to Mozart with headphones, every day for 15 minutes
9) Turn off the TV, throw your phone away, Head UP, Eyes UP, SMILE.
10) Talk with a therapist. Their guidance can help change the way your brain processes your history.
11) Consider re-programming therapies for processing trauma, like NET, NEAT and EMDR. They work.

Questions, concerns, comments? I am always available to discuss all your holistic health concerns.
Join us here, or at www.facebook/DownesHealth, Twitter: @drdownes

Call me personally at (410) 628-2600, for a free optimizing session on our ClearMind Neurofeedback System, or a 20-minute session of Neuro Emotional Technique for re-programming troubling memories and recurring difficulties.
Only during MAY, MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH, aka Let’s Get Well.

For your very best,

Dr. Barbara Downes
Comprehensive Holistic Physician
Sports Chiropractic & Functional Neurology
Downes Brain Health Initiative, Inc.

Our bodies and minds are the place where mind, spirit, and matter mix. It is a fascinating trilogy, or a potential tragedy, depending on the health and resilience of each because they intimately affect each other.