What is Hemispheric Integration Therapy (H.I.T.) ?
Dr. Mane’s treatments H.I.T the Target
I was recently told about Hemispheric Integration Therapy (H.I.T.) from an exuberant mother, Kimberly Larochelle, who attended one of my seminars on Parenting Special Needs: Sharing Life’s Lessons. After my presentation, she pulled me aside and said: “you have got to hear about this amazing therapy. I was able to see success after the 1st session. My son, Levi, is 9 years old and has Aspergers. He has always hated drawing and coloring. When we got home from our 1st session, he started sharpening pencils”. When I asked him why? He looked at me, quite surprised by my question, and said, “because, I want to draw.” I had to pick myself up off of the floor. And, we have seen a lot of success since then, too. He could not read…now he does. He could not draw or color…now he does. He could not throw or catch a ball…now he does! Most of all, and most amazing to me, is that he now is connecting to the world and to people. He is mirroring and feeling and really feeling emotion. He “gets” jokes now, and can speak pragmatically. He speaks to us in real conversations nowÉlooking straight into our eyes. It is beautiful!
I wanted to hear more about this quick rate of success, the Doctor who is using it, and, more importantly, share the information with others. I attended a seminar this summer that was presented by Dr. Mane. Afterwards, I was able to meet him and ask him if I could conduct an interview and share the information with our readership. He agreed and the interview appears later in this article.
Dr. Nelson Mane is considered a pioneer in the field of Hemispheric Integration Therapy (H.I.T.) for childhood neurobehavioral disorders. He has been in practice for over 24 years, is a D.A.N. (Defeat Autism Now) doctor, and has sub-specialty training in childhood Neuro-Behavioral Disorders. Mane is one of the few chiropractors in the country who is board certified in both chiropractic neurology and orthopedics.
What is Hemispheric Integration Therapy (H.I.T.)?
It is a brain based, rehabilitation program that incorporates a multimodal approach to hemispheric imbalances associated with learning disabilities. The concept is to strengthen weak and under-functioning neurologic pathways that lead to areas of the brain not communicating properly with each other causing the brain to become desynchronized.
The brain is made up of two hemispheres. Each of these has specialized functions operating independently and as a whole. The brain controls every human function: sight, smell, touch, taste, balance, coordination, fine & gross motor skills, speech, facial recognition and emotional responses. The brain receives information to control these functions from receptors throughout our bodies. If the receptors and the pathways leading up to the brain are damaged, weak, or did not develop properly, then dysfunction and miscommunication occur.
The main focus of the therapy is to open or strengthen receptors that provide input between the “brain and the body” and the “body and the brain”. The simplest explanation is that it is specific exercises that can be targeted for the left and right side of the brain. Literally exercising the brain like we do our muscles. By building the pathways and strengthening them, it can help a child overcome some of the issues associated with a particular disorder.
What is Dr. Mane doing that is causing such successful results?
Dr. Mane’s version of H.I.T., involves both functional medicine and functional neurology combining a bunch of things from a lot of different fields and putting it together in a specific order and efficient manner. It can be applied to children and adults. No two treatments are alike. Although there are some similarities, everyone is different and each treatment must be individualized. This program begins with an initial consultation and examination lasting about 90 minutes.
PSN: What kind of questions or test can a parent expect during the 1st consultation?
Dr. Mane: A lot of the first consultation is the history followed by a neurological exam. We don’t ignore the whole “biomedical aspect of it” we look at the pregnancy, delivery, the first few months, did they breastfeed, allergies, vaccines, any regressions? We test reaction to sensory stimulation and go through your neurological system, again looking from the outside-in, and the bottom up.
The exam & history will give us a clue as when the developmental delay came and what the causative factor is. We study the whole epigenetic factor concept and the environmental influence on the genes. The exami is going to localize where we treat.
PSN: I know you work with the whole body, so, are there any diets or supplements that you recommend or are required for this type of treatment?
Dr. Mane: I think on a basic fundamental level, everybody should be on probiotics, multivitamin and an Essential fatty acid. We try to eliminate any negative factors such as vitamin deficiencies, toxins and infections to make sure nothing is going to prevent or slow down progress with the H.I.T. therapy. Again, we treat what we find and everyone is different. We are not going to recommend a particular supplement or “something for everybody”, it depends on what shows up on your lab work as to how we treat.
PSN: What are treatments like? How long is each treatment? How often are treatments?
Dr. Mane: Treatments vary depending on the child’s deficiency. Treatments are targeted to stimulate the deficient areas. Stimulation may be achieved by light, auditory, olfactory, postural, balance, vestibular, rhythm/timing, and cognitive exercise, as well as chiropractic manipulations. Each treatment is about 30 minutes and 3 times a week.
PSN: How long should a parent expect to have their child in treatment?
Dr. Mane:The length of the program depends on the severity of the child’s condition. It depends on how high or low functioning the child is. A child with ADD or ADHD and that’s all they have, then usually 3 months might get it done. If they are non-verbal and they have no eye contact, then that makes it more difficult and may require more sessions. Again, you don’t know until you begin. Everybody improves with this therapy, but, it’s the amount that they improve that is a big factor.
PSN: Is there a home program that goes along with the in-office treatments?
Dr. Mane: We do try to give everybody a home program because, again, it’s that consistency that makes the change. I make that regular workout analogy: if I lift weights once a month nothing happens, but if you do it on a consistent, frequent basis, then you have a better chance of making a change and getting a positive change.
PSN: Besides Autism, ADHD, and Aspergers, could this treatment benefit other children or adults with other disabilities?
Dr. Mane: Most definitely. This therapy is really called functional neurology. It is looking for lesions or problem wires that are there but they are not working. H.I.T. therapycan be done to anyone, including adults. We have worked with adults with vestibular disorders and athletes who are looking to “fine tune” themselves. It’s a matter of finding where their weakness is and strengthening them.
The beauty with kids, as opposed to adults, is that they don’t have all the health issues like: diabetes, cholesterol, liver problems or heart disease so they tend to respond quicker. But this works with anyone, whether it be somebody with some type of disability or an athlete that comes from high school, or even the pro’s (although not something we do regularly), trying to fine tune their game. You tune up their nervous system so it works at its optimum level.
PSN: Where can parents go to receive this type of therapy?
Dr. Mane: I would like to field the calls at my office (in Tampa, Fl.) regarding locating doctors in other areas that do H.I.T.. We are trying to get affiliates throughout different parts of the country. If a doctor already has a functional neurology and/or functional medicine background, a rotation through my office of about one month would probably get them up to speed as it would only be adapting the same concepts to children and ways to apply those concepts. If they do not have this background, it would probably take longer. I would want them to understand what they are doing and why, not just copy what we are doing without the appropriate background. So, if any of your readers know a doctor in their area that might be interested, I would love to field any calls. My number is 813-935-4744.
Also, I’ve never done anything as rewarding as using this therapy with kids. They grow up before your eyes, at an accelerated rate, and their parents de-stress before your eyes. I can not express how I feel. Really amazing.
PSN: Thank you Dr. Mane for sharing with us.
Mane Center: www.manecenter.com
Visit Dr. Mane’s blog at www.hitautism.com <http://www.hitautism.com/> where he discusses cases, functional medicine and neurology, as well asIEP’s, legislative issues, announces informational conferences and some of his feelings regarding “sitting on his side of the desk with patients”.
Fees are as follows: Consultation is $250.00. Each treatment session costs $150.00. Lab work varies depending on what is needed. Most insurance companies do not pay, although, of the parents interviewed, one parent’s insurance was paying for treatments. They accept all major credit cards & CareCredit. To apply for Care Credit go to www.carecredit.com
PSN had the pleasure of speaking with Kelly Jackson, a parent of one of Dr. Mane’s patients. Here are her comments and feelings about HIT Therapy.
My daughter just turned 13. I adopted her from a Chinese orphanage when she was about 18 months old–long before the influx of Chinese adoptions. She had been confined to a crib and often tied inside that crib with no stimulation and very little food that entire time. She was sick when they handed her to me in China. Once I brought her home, got her physically well, and got her on solid foods, my daughter’s development began to thrive. She went from not even being able to sit up at 18 months of age, to pulling up and toddling around within a month or so of being adopted. She still, however, has had delays, fears, food and noise aversions for many years.
I learned about Hemispheric Integration therapy and Dr. Mane by attending a seminar in December of 2008. I was very impressed with what I learned from Dr. Mane. He is the first professional in the area who associated children in orphanages, who received poor care as infants, with how that leads to delays and issues that continue to show up later in life.
My child loves H.I.T. therapy. She attends three times per week Shedoes “homework” or a home program on the days of the week she does not have therapy. She currently is doing the following: Various exercises to strengthen her core, primitive reflex exercises, exercises that work on vestibular, various exercises on the wobble board, spinning, tossing, oxygen, smells, many exercises to the beat of a metronome while counting and spelling forward and backward while wearing special glasses, intensive eye work, chiropractic adjustments to neck, back, chest, etc. However, it does change weekly by adding various degrees of difficulty or by adding or eliminating new exercises. The therapy lasts 30 to 45 minutes per session.
I started to see success within 2 weeks of starting the therapy. My daughter no longer had any issues with loud noises, and that is something that had overwhelmed her since she was a toddler. Her preference for food expanded by leaps and bounds and within a month of therapy, she began eating every food offered to her. So, many of her fears began to be alleviated several months into the program. Her level of maturity has risen significantly. I expect her to be a typical teen in every way before long.
A special thank your to Kimberly Larochelle and Kelly Jackson for their contributions to this article.