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Season 3, Episode 7: How to Approach Brain Health After Traumatic Brain Injuries with Simone Fortier

Show Notes

A highly regarded lecturer, teacher, and innovative fascia therapist, Simone Fortier is also the author of How to Beat Brain Burps (an exercise-based way for children to ignite all facets of their brain for streamlined learning) and Gaining Control Over Pain which contains eleven secret healing therapies that patients can practice in their own time. As an acclaimed International Concussion Teacher and ADHD Consultant, her expertise extends far beyond the realms of traditional therapy. Simone is a Fascia Treatment and Course creator, whose results have been hailed as transformative by professionals across the globe, from the elite spheres of  NHL, MLB, and NFL athletes to the precision-driven world of Olympic competitors. Simone sees the bigger picture and works backward. Knowing that treating the symptom of a problem will lead to continuous treatments without resolution, she teaches us to get to the root cause of the problem to create permanent change. Sought after in the four corners of the world, Simone’s mission has always been to help people. Now, with her expertise in high demand, she travels the world to share her knowledge with Health Practitioners and Advanced strength Coaches so that their clients and athletes will have access to true fascia therapy and the ability to find real brain-boosting and pain-healing solutions in their own locations.

Together Simone and I discuss traumatic brain injury, brain health, ADHD, and specifically, healing in the 20% of people who do not heal from traumatic brain injuries within 4 weeks. Simone has personal experience with ADHD, traumatic brain injuries, and chronic pain, and has dedicated her professional life to serving those with brain injuries through systems that optimize healing with supplements that get the brain out of fight or flight mode. In our conversation, she underscores the danger of picking and choosing which supplements to take each day and highlights key components of her systematic approach to treating neurotransmitter issues. Simone also touches on the importance of attending to the fascia and offers simple techniques to engage the fascia for optimal health.

I’m your host, Evelyne Lambrecht, thank you for designing a well world with us.

Episode Resources:

Simone Fortier

Simone’s Brain Health Assessment

Designs for Health

Nutrition Blog: Can Taurine Support Neurological Health?

Nutrition Blog: The Association of Vitamin D and ADHD in Children

Research Blog: Taurine’s Impact on Stress and Mental Health

Research Blog: The Potential Role of the GABAergic System in ADHD Development

Visit the Designs for Health Research and Education Library which houses medical journals, protocols, webinars, and our blog.

Chapters:

00:00 Intro.

02:22 Simone’s personal experience with ADHD, traumatic brain injuries, and chronic pain.

06:18 Simone’s head injury systems and supplement collaboration with Designs for Health.

07:40 80% of people heal from brain injuries within 4 weeks, but what options are available for the other 20%?

10:52 ADHD does not develop as a result of brain injury, rather it is a genetic condition that people are born with.

14:07 Simone’s approach to treating brain injuries with higher supplemental doses that get the brain out of fight-or-flight mode.

20:10 The danger of picking and choosing which supplements to take each day.

25:48 Key components of Simone’s systematic approach to treating neurotransmitter issues.

29:42 Reasons that supplemental blends may compete rather than optimize performance.

33:40 Success stories of Simone’s systems for injured athletes who have been self-medicating.

35:55 Highlights from Simone’s current research regarding nutrient deficiencies and genetics.

40:11 Forward head posture and other physical aspects that are impacting the fascia.

44:44 Simone’s long-time fascial work and approach to engaging the fascia to open up.

48:58 Nutrition and timing of taurine supplements to help the 20% that don’t heal from brain injuries.

50:51 Simone’s changing perspective on nutrition and the importance of supplements, her personal favorite supplements, and her preferred health practices.

Transcript

Voiceover: Conversations for Health, dedicated to engaging discussions with industry experts exploring evidence-based cutting-edge research and practical tips. Our mission is to empower you with knowledge, debunk myths, and provide you with clinical insights. This podcast is provided as an educational resource for healthcare practitioners only. This podcast represents the views and opinions of the host and their guests, and does not represent the views or opinions of Designs for Health Inc. This podcast does not constitute medical advice. The statements contained in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Now, let’s embark on a journey towards optimal well-being one conversation at a time. Here’s your host, Evelyne Lambrecht.

Evelyne: Welcome to Conversations for Health. I’m your host, Evelyne Lambrecht, and today I’m excited to welcome to the show Simone Fortier. Welcome, Simone.

Simone Fortier: Thank you for having me. I hope you’re having a magnificent day already.

Evelyne: I am, I hope you are too. Today, we’ll be talking about traumatic brain injury, brain health, ADHD, and specifically healing in the 20% of people who do not heal from traumatic brain injuries within four weeks. Interesting topic, I’m excited. Simone Fortier is a renowned teacher, author, ADHD consultant and manual therapist with over 30 years of experience. Her expertise, which spans clinical trials and case studies on brain nutrition, innovative healing programs and transformative therapy for professional athletes, Olympic athletes, kids and healthcare practitioners has significantly impacted the field of healing and personal transformation. She founded the Fascia Training Institute and has revolutionized treatments in brain nutrition and pain management, providing hope and relief for those suffering from neurological distress and chronic pain. Simone’s works, including how to Beat Brain Burps, how to Heal Plantar Fasciitis Beyond the Impact Mastering Headache Relief and Brain Restoration after Concussion and her forthcoming title, the Concussion Recovery Guide Promise to Enrich Lives with Practical Wellness Strategies. Simone, I’m very interested in first hearing your personal story because, obviously, you didn’t start treating in the specialized area until this happened to you, right?

Simone Fortier: Oh, where can I start? Having ADHD, I discovered all of this after actually, having ADHD impacted my ability to recover. As a child, I had probably over 50 concussions where I saw stars and, Oh yes, so as a kid, having ADHD and really being adventurous and wanting to do lots of things, I didn’t realize how it would impact me until adulthood. As an adult, I’ve had six major concussions. From really 2000 to my last one was 2014, some from sports, some from car accidents, and what was happening is my ability to speak was diminished. I wouldn’t actually be able to have this conversation with you right now. I didn’t know right from left. I would say, this is my occiput when in my brain it’s like, “Oh, it’s my frontal lobe,” it was just so confusing and very distressing, and it just didn’t happen overnight, so it was gradual.

I have access to the best medical professional sports professionals, and as we were going along with this, nobody really thought it was part of my concussion or a concussion. In 2002, I lost my hearing, I was deaf for two years. I had whole body migraines. I just had chronic pain that just was going on and on. But again, the mental challenges I was having, it changed my entire world. The only thing I could do and I could do well was my job. I could still treat people, I could still work with them, but at home, my world was getting smaller and smaller. Eventually, in 2014, I reached out to a bunch of people, I’m like, “This isn’t working for me.” How it started was I couldn’t focus to write my book, so I’m like, “I need a strategy, I need something.”

Basically, I came across lots of different modalities and there was really no solution. From basically where I was going back to that is also too, which ADHD people, I didn’t realize until I started doing the research, which I started doing in 2014. It’s now 10 years ago. I’ve been doing research reading hundreds and hundreds of papers of why people don’t recover from concussion, also to ADHD, because I went to the Brain Injury Institute, they diagnosed me with ADHD, which I already knew, but that was their solution. They didn’t have a treatment. All these people, they have tests, but no treatment. Even today, there’s a lot of tests, but there’s really no specific treatment for the ones with persistent symptoms of concussion, which was me.

They just started accumulating and accumulating, I would really get treatment, manual treatment that would help, but the next concussion would just be worse, worse until, again, in 2014, which I didn’t realize was part of ADHD, I had suicidal ideation. I had that my entire life, and I didn’t know that that wasn’t normal. With that, my world was just, again, in a place where it wasn’t optimal personally, but professionally it was super great, and that’s what happens with ADHD people. They’re high functioning, they can switch on, they can do one thing, but the rest of their world just falls apart.

It led me down this path of research and reading papers after papers on nutrition, and I reached out to Designs for Health after trying, well, in the beginning when I started doing my program, I just sent people to the community store and they would try a whole bunch of different supplements and it wasn’t working. I’m like, “I need to create a system.” But it led to my sixth concussions as an adult, my 50 as a kid, led to really a lot of despair and seeking an answer that nobody really had one solution for. Yeah, that led to this creating this program, which was super awesome.

But I reached out to Designs for Health upon a colleague’s recommendation, and then, I actually started systemizing everything, putting it, organizing, tracking people’s progress, and then from that, in the beginning, I had a lot of … not a lot. About 20 people who had suffered a head injury were not getting better, and a lot of them had suicidal ideation, distress, anger, rage, and the medical community dismisses people after a year if they can’t resolve their symptoms in a year. There’s different camps. Eighty percent of people heal within four weeks, but if you have symptoms ongoing for a year, they will give you some treatment, whether it is manual treatment or rest or anti-depressants or medication, but there’s after a year, they’re basically the community says, “We have nothing for you,” and often these people were saying that they were malingerers or basically they had no solution.

That leads to more distress for people who know they don’t feel right, but they look normal. Those people were starting to come to me and I did my beta test with them because the nutrition program for ADHD people is opposite of the 80%. The timing is opposite, and I learned that really through trial and error on myself, but also on other people, and the amount that they have to take, the dosaging is significantly larger.

Evelyne: Interesting.

Simone Fortier: I figured all of that out, and so there’s two things with the tests that I partnered with a medical doctor, then I morphed it in concussion ADHD that test we look at the deficiencies in four neurotransmitters. I’m looking at a specific one that traditionally people don’t look at for ADHD and then with concussion. With that test, it’s a baseline test, and what it’s telling me is, is the brain and fight or flight or not? We have to down-regulate the brain first. Then, we look at really treating concussion, ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s like the first line going, “Okay, where’s their brain right now?” We need to support that first. If their brain is in fight or flight, what I discovered with all the research is that they simply don’t have the resources to heal because their brain’s in trauma. I have the analogy, it’s running from the bear, and when you’re running from the bear, digestion isn’t optimal. You could have your arm cut off, it doesn’t matter, your life is at risk, so the thing is just survival.

Then, eventually, what’s happened with the people that I saw as they went into the next phase, which is freeze, they go into numbness. Again, they can function, but inside their internal world is numb, so they can’t make a decision, they can’t make a change, and they simply don’t have the internal resources to do that. That’s really how it morphed into this, because in the beginning, I didn’t realize that I would be in the supplement world and working specifically with people like me, ADHD head injury with no solutions. That’s the long version of my journey and all in a nutshell of how it was created.

Evelyne: Thank you for sharing that. I have many, many follow-up questions, just a few areas of clarification. With the ADHD that you find is common in those who don’t heal from traumatic brain injuries, did they always have it and maybe it wasn’t diagnosed, or can a brain injury lead to developing ADHD?

Simone Fortier: ADHD is actually genetic. ADHD people are born deficient in five nutrients. At birth, they’re born deficient in five nutrients and usually, at around the age seven or eight, behavioral issues and that start to occur because again, there’s more demand on the student or the child once they go into school, once they have more demands from the outside world. They simply don’t have the resources to manage that and they’re having all the stimulus come in and they just can’t down-regulate their brain. It is genetic. One parent will have it. I’m finding that kids that are extreme, both parents will have ADHD or what I’m talking about on the spectrum, they’re neurodivergent. Neurodivergent individuals, and this is what I’ve been reading for the last really since 2014, all the research on what actually makes ADHD neurodivergent brain different, and it goes back into simple resources.

People are born with ADHD. From the research that I’ve read, the ADHD brain is actually a different size. If you really want to determine whether someone has ADHD, you can have an MRI and look at that. But what’s happening is due to several outside stressors, people mimic ADHD symptoms, but they really truly don’t have ADHD. Also too, concussion can mimic ADHD. That’s why with the test, what I look at is what’s their brain doing right now? Once we get their brain out of fight or flight, then we look at, is it actually ADHD? Or have they been diagnosed? Oftentimes, what’s happened in the past is that women have been underdiagnosed with ADHD. Their symptoms are a bit different, and now, that’s coming to the forefront. But oftentimes, parents won’t take their kids in to be diagnosed because they simply don’t know that that’s an option, and then, what’s the diagnosis going to do for them?

A lot of parents, they don’t want their kids on medication because what that medication does is actually numb them out and they don’t feel like themselves. Some kids, with their anxiety, is so bad, they will take the medication, because they simply cannot manage. But what I’m really created is an alternative to that which is natural, getting the resources which they’re born deficient in, which means if they have any trauma, any falls, which is the number one cause of concussion, it keeps depleting them more and more, and if your brain is in fight or flight, it’s almost impossible to absorb all the nutrients just for survival. The brain is a major consumer of calories and nutrition, and it’s simply not getting there.

Evelyne: Thank you for that. I also am curious about your approach versus, well, both the traditional approach and then also, the functional approach, which a lot of the practitioners listening I think already treat with say, high doses of fish oil, high doses of glycerol phosphocholine, things like that, like high doses of brain nutrients, so I’m curious, if you could tell us a little bit more about your approach with the higher doses that you mentioned.

Simone Fortier: Okay. I’m looking at, what functional medicine doctors are doing is, and also the medical community, so I’m going to just put them in the same lump for this one sentence, is that they’re trained to deal with those that have the resources to heal. The 80%, I use the 80/20 rule. We can look at those numbers, but it’s like 80% have the resources. In the research, it says 5% to 10% of people have ADHD in North America, but they didn’t really diagnose women, so I’m using the 20%. Eighty percent, they just need a nudge. They just need a little bit of resources and they’re going to heal, their body will heal. For my demographic, which is opposite, so again, when I’m working with these practitioners and some of the functional medicine people, naturopaths, they’re like, “I want to take your course,” but then they’re like, “I can’t really understand the concept because it is the opposite of what they taught, less is better.”

Some of these people, the 20%, come to me, they’re seeing functional medicine people, naturopaths, and I’m collaborating with them if that practitioner wants to do so, because when the brain is in fight or fight, so I’m looking just at that type of brain that’s in distress and it’s getting the best supplements in the world and they’re not working because these people, I get them to do my tests and I’m like, “Well, that high dose is actually isn’t helping because their deficiency is still large.” I’ve had several people who are willing to do the test every month who are doing that with medical doctors. They’re doing high dosage of omegas and specifically because that’s really trendy right now. I’m like, “Okay, let’s see if it’s actually helping the deficiency reduce.” What I’m discovering, and these are … it’s not a mass number of people, but when they’re doing it, I want to keep track just for clinical observation. Nothing changes, their deficiencies actually get worse.

High doses of one particular one doesn’t affect all the neurotransmitters, so when I’m looking at the four, I’m looking at how they interact with each other and the nutrition depends on the number, the deficiency of each other one. They’re looking at symptomology, and I had another naturopath who had a concussion, has ADHD, and she was on a protocol that a functional medicine person and herself created, and I’m like, “That’s actually the opposite of what your numbers tell me you need.” She’s like, “Well, yeah, because it’s really not working what they created.” I’m like, “Okay, let’s do my program. Let’s see if it does. Let’s keep track. We redo the test every month or every two months and we see if it’s working.” With the research I’ve collected for the last six years, it’s showing that mine is working, that approach is working particularly to get those people out of fight-or-flight.

Then, once we get there, there’s actually another program for ADHD and PTSD. Looking at that, the medical community, functional medicine people, they’re doing the best with what they’ve known for the 80%. With my courses and that and what I’m teaching is I want to collaborate with them and go, “Okay, we need to come back off of some of these things because the body simply isn’t using it because again, the person’s running from the bear and they’re really peeing out most of the nutrients.” With concussion, which is very interesting, because I work with a lot of sports people and they get the creatine, they do the omegas, they do all of that to really help with the initial impact of the concussion, but it doesn’t resolve the deficiencies and it doesn’t resolve the ADHD component. I’ve been actually very lucky to see that. It’s not lucky for the person going through it, but it’s helped me collect data going, “Okay, yes, that serves one purpose over here, but it doesn’t actually help down regulate and calm the brain and get it out of fight or flight.”

Evelyne: I’d love to have you share an example. For example, I took the test on your website, the neurotransmitter test, and so just like every neurotransmitter assessment I’ve ever taken, GABA shows up as the most deficient for me. I would just love to hear how you would treat that because you’re saying high doses are not beneficial or are you talking about of other things?

Simone Fortier: My program is high doses of specifically what gets the brain out of fight or flight first. Then, we look at the dosing for ADHD. For you, you’ve done this test before, are you doing supplements?

Evelyne: Yes, but it’s like I choose what I want to take each day depending on it. I do take GABA pretty frequently.

Simone Fortier: That’s awesome. This is a great example, because this is an awesome learning opportunity. When people have a major deficiency and you’re allowing me to share this, yes?

Evelyne: Yes, yeah.

Simone Fortier: Okay. When people have a major deficiency and if they have ADHD, I’m going to say that their internal compass and their intuition is off. I’m saying that in the sense that that’s what I’ve observed. When people are in fight or flight, they often distrust what they should trust, and that I’m actually doing more research on for ADHD and mental health specifically, because what is it that is exactly, so they go down the Dr. Google path. They also go down the “I’m going to take what I feel like today.” Why I’m going to share why that’s important is when the brain is in fight or flight, if there’s any major neurotransmitter deficiency, and also going back to really what the brain is like. The brain doesn’t like change. It would rather keep you where you’re at than change anything to help you heal, so there’s that innate resistance. That is an unconscious thing, that is also in the research that the brain does not change.

Again, if it doesn’t have the resources to change, it’s actually going to pick and choose things, unconsciously, they’re going to keep you where you’re at. With my practitioners, when I created the manual treatment specifically for concussion 15 years ago, I created a system, so that they didn’t have to rely on their intuition. Whether they were on that day off that day, the system works. I created that, and then with this, it’s a system. What happens when people see their numbers, they go, “Okay, so I’m going to with what you did. Sometimes I take supplements, sometimes I don’t, but really, your brain is doing really well.” I’m just going to say that first, your brain’s doing really well in the sense that you have two minor deficiencies, almost a moderate for those two, and then you have one moderate and one major.

I normally see all four major lead deficiencies. With you, it’s tweaking, but what people are doing, and if they have ADHD, they go, “Okay, well I’m GABA-deficient,” and that’s why also in the PDF, they don’t take GABA. For an ADHD brain, putting GABA into your brain and taking it externally is not optimal. For ADHD brain, it can actually make them worse or actually only work temporarily, because you are already producing GABA, you don’t need GABA into your body. You need the transport system of GABA actually into your brain, so your brain can utilize it. That goes to, again, looking at the deficiencies, and if you do have ADHD, if you did have that diagnosis, we’d look at that as well. But for this purpose, we’d go, “Okay, how do we get GABA into your brain, because you’re producing it.” Then, down-regulate that brain, see how that GABA deficiency goes down.

With numbers like yours, if you were my clinic or if we were doing this on Zoom, we could then go yes, through the ADHD questions, which are in my symptom inventory. I have the brain health assessment, which you did online. Then, I have a symptom inventory. This also validates the responses, and there’s ADHD questions in there as well. With that, there’s also an ADHD clinical intake. Those actually support my symptom inventory. If you have a majority of those, then it’s looking like you might, but I always recommend that people go to psychologists or psychiatrists to get that diagnosis if you want it. But now, they’re inundated because so many people are having those symptoms, so just be aware of that. We look at that and then go, “Okay, if you have ADHD, we just really need to get that GABA down, but also to really improve just your other neurotransmitter and see how that goes.”

Then, once we retest, the numbers come down, which it’s showing, and then we just put you on a different program. Eventually, the whole goal of this is in the beginning, less is better, so what they’re taking is minimal. Then, we go through that, if the symptoms keep increasing, which could be ADHD symptoms, then we just change the dosage. Then ongoing, we look at the ADHD program, and then that could be for life because they are born deficient in five nutrients. Again, if they’re born that way, they’re not able to, even if they eat perfectly organically, it’s just really almost impossible to get as much as they need to support their whole digestive system and their brain.

Evelyne: Thank you, Simone. I didn’t know you had my numbers there in front of you. I definitely have ADD symptoms. Looking back at my life, I think, “Oh wow. I definitely had those as a teenager, in my 20s, now in my 30s, but I’m still curious, just to give our listeners more of a concrete example, the doses that you’re talking about are the nutrients that you’re talking about? Whether it’s mine or anybody’s, when you see those neurotransmitter issues, can you give an example of what a program might look like when you’re working with someone?

Simone Fortier: With that, again, the system, so I create systems. The system is, you do the brain health assessment, we do a symptom inventory. Then, from that, we look at it and then from your numbers here, I would then create a program for you and then we’d go from there. You are looking at the GPC and omegas, but again, you’re probably doing omegas, I would guess off and on.

Evelyne: Yes.

Simone Fortier: Off and on?

Evelyne: Yeah.

Simone Fortier: With that, also too, an interesting thing here with ADHD. I’m going to come back to your question in a minute, because I usually don’t do dosing generically because people with ADHD will go out and buy it from anywhere or from Amazon or from whatever, and so I’ve been very mindful of that, whereas the 80% will actually go, “Okay, so I’ll get it from you and I’ll do the dose, I’ll do the program.” The ADHD people have a little bit different brain. That brain is also to, if it has deficiencies, and this is when I talk to parents because I work a lot with kids who are younger. Right now, my youngest is five years old because symptoms are coming out. But looking at that going, “Okay, so we have an ADHD person here, can you be compliant? Can you do it?”

One of the biggest hurdles in my program is people self-direct. My five and a half year clinical trial, people who did my test, why I didn’t know they kept redoing the test, and some of them self-directed, they got worse. A little bit of information cannot be optimal, and that’s why I’m like, “Every person that’s done the test and there’s now about 3000 people, not one number’s been the same, so again, the dosage changes.” For you, we would look at basically what is your chief complaint? As it looks like, when people come to me, we do those three things. We talk about your symptoms, we talk about any challenges like your sleep quality, do you wake up during the night, do you stay asleep, is it hard to get up? All of those questions, and that helps also to determine the dosage for that person.

I don’t use the concussion scale, I use the Department of Defense Pain Scale because for the ADHD person, the zero to 10 is really important. For the 80% for concussion people, they design zero or one to six for stats purposes, not specifically for the client or athlete. I’m using that because kids come in and they’re like, “Oh, I’ve got 1.7 pain or 2.7,” they’re so specific, they really are hyper aware and very hyper vigilant on certain things. Going back to the dosing practitioners, if they do want to actually refer to this program, that’s super awesome. If they want to do it, I’ve had many, again, naturopaths, just go and refer one of the supplements and it’s not enough. Again, the dosage changes per person. For you, to change your GABA, what have you done for GABA? You’ve taken GABA? L-theanine, right>

Evelyne: I have taken GABA, L-theanine, yes. I take various adaptogens, nervines, etc.

Simone Fortier: Okay. That’s going to go into, before I go to dosing, that’s going to go into a couple of things that with the ADHD brain that’s concussed, blends don’t work. What I’m finding, there’s a couple of reasons. One, the dosage is too low. Two, when there’s another nutraceutical or nutrient in there, it actually can compete and then it changes the function of the, one of them is amino acids, so let’s say taurine. It changes the function of taurine. Because taurine is actually an energy drinks, it changes the function of what it’s doing. It’s actually evening blood sugar levels and also helping digestion. There’s not enough left to actually help transport GABA into the brain. When you do blends, some of them may be competing for that specific, I guess, goal or outcome that I’m looking for. Again, the dosing is too small, so we have to look at that.

I know, I’m actually excited about this, that Designs for Health is coming out with a taurine glycine. With that, and it’s actually in a pretty good dose in that, which is super awesome, which is why I love Designs for Health. They aren’t afraid of doing really good healthy dosing and stuff. I’m looking forward to that and seeing how I can incorporate in, and then I’ve been thinking about that, that glycine actually isn’t going to change the four neurotransmitters, but it could actually help people relax. That’s going to be super cool. I’m going to see how I can incorporate that into maybe another study in and of itself. That’s super cool, but again, I’m looking at taurine. Taurine is one of the ways to get GABA into your brain. Because you’ve done a whole bunch of stuff, you are privy to a lot of supplements, and I would like to see your numbers from maybe a year or two years or when you took it before because is it moving the needle?

We want to look at that and randomly doing supplements, again, using your intuition or even using for sports performance. Some people, they cycle through their supplements based on blood tests, based on this, but it’s not based on the brain. The two can be very different, and I’m looking again at one specific area. Once, basically, down-regulate the brain, then they can start using all the other supplements in that their functional medicine person has them on or their naturopath person, and so that’s how we work together. I just have them for a window of time to get them to actually start utilizing those products. Again, it’s a small amount of someone’s practice if it’s the 20%. But I’m attracting all of the 20%, so my practice is, when I see somebody like you, it’s super awesome because you’re going to change really fast because your brain isn’t in fight or flight, you have ADHD. That would just calm your brain down a little bit, and then we put you on the ADHD program, and then a lot of things change.

I actually want to share a story because I love working with kids. That’s my passion because every decision they make changes because of the nutrients that they get. I have two stories. One is Lason. He came to me at 15. He was a high-performing athlete, he was actually the number one skier in Canada. Broke his back, but he could still walk, he could still do functioning that didn’t interfere with that, but he couldn’t do a sport anymore. From that, he started self-medicating, which is drugs. He also started failing school. He came to me, his parents brought him to me, and I started working with him with his program within two days, the program worked. He clicked in, he started doing it, and now he’s 19 years old, he’s actually doing an internship in a financial institution in Toronto. He’s read every book I recommended. He’s done everything. He’s scaling, but he went from suicidal, doing drugs and basically loss of sense of self to thriving from this program. Hugely important.

I just started working with a five-year-old, old three weeks ago. Both parents, one has Asperger’s, one has ADHD, all three kids have, they’re on the spectrum. For him, he had all major deficiencies. I created actually a kid’s test, but the parents answer it, and it’s only 50 questions, but it’s geared towards the child. He’s been on the program now, and his mom just shared with me yesterday that he is now saying please and thank you, and he is actually letting his mom and dad hug him for the first time. He is not as hyperactive and he wants to do the program. He is doing every exercise that I showed him too, because that’s the How to beat Brain Burps book. It was made for kids three-and-over, and it morphed into my concussion treatment book, and it also works for stroke. He’s doing two of those exercises and it’s helping him. He now goes to bed at 8:00 instead of 11:00.

Huge impact on the family, and again, less is better, but this is the next study I’m looking at. Are they just ADHD people metabolizing the nutrients faster as well, that’s why they’re deficient? Because I have 12, 14-year-old kids and the amount they need is unbelievable because they’re just crazily metabolizing them faster than the 80%. I’ve just really looked at that in the last year, and that’s actually another study that I want to find somebody who has the ability measure their metabolic rate and how they’re metabolizing these nutrients, because I’m like, “Hmm, they’re not just … why are they deficient?” That’s a whole other topic.

Evelyne: Thank you for sharing those stories. Interesting with what you just said because I feel like when, just using me as an example again, though just to be clear, I’ve never been diagnosed and for my co-workers listening, I do take certain supplements like 99% of the time. There are a few that I really take. The metabolism of certain neurotransmitters, I feel like when I look at my genetics, and I’m not an expert in this, but I’ve had various people interpret genetic reports that I’ve run on myself, and I do have some heterozygous SNPs and some homozygous SNPs in like MAO, and so I’m wondering if you’re looking at genetics also and how that is correlating to the symptom questionnaire.

Simone Fortier: Yeah. With that, the genetics, what I’m looking at and through the research that I’ve read is there’s some 85% of ADHD people have hypermobility. That hypermobility actually also affects vessels and also the ability to digest. With that, a lot, I don’t know the exact percentage, I’m not going to share it, but the anemia factor is there. The inability to methylate is also there for ADHD people, the B12 deficiency. Also, with that laxity, I’m looking at why sometimes the ADHD person with concussion has the inability to absorb fats. I do recommend a digestive enzyme bile salt for that, because it’s regardless of age, they seem to be challenged at actually getting that in. They could be taking it, ingesting it, but their body’s not actually utilizing it. That also is genetic, and that can come also too from the laxity in the digestive system itself.

To get peristalsis, they need a lot more physical movement, and it all again begins with posture. When your parents say sit up straight, they’ve lost really the intuitive understanding of when you sit up straight digestion starts here, and if you’re here, it already closes off digestion and also airway, and so that also impedes, that starts to impede people’s ability to digest, and people aren’t chewing their food. If a lot of ADHD people are in a hurry, most people now are eating in their car and in the car forward head position, also too, looking at text, so there’s a lot of stress and anxiety when they’re eating, so it’s impeding digestion as well.

It starts from really sitting up straight, but from that movement, they need more movement to get that absorption process happening. That can even be gently walking before dinner or after dinner because it’s again the opposite of the 80%. They want people to digest, so they don’t want them to move, because they conflict with each other, but the ADHD person needs more movement to actually have that digestion. That’s how some things that are just common knowledge out there that the ADHD person is a bit different.

Evelyne: I have some more questions about that, the forward head posture. I know that you’re a fascia expert and I am grateful that fascia have risen to the general knowledge, like people know what fascia are now, I feel especially in skincare. You just mentioned better digestion, but what are some of the other things that are impacted by forward head posture? Because I feel like it’s just getting worse and worse, we spend so much time. I know I’m in front of the computer a lot, but I also drive a lot. I too eat in the car sometimes, so tell us more about that.

Simone Fortier: As our posture is changing because people are looking down and I see online that in the 20s people are looking at a newspaper, trying to get a job and they’re like, “Well, people were looking down.” But they weren’t looking down for 8 to 12 hours a day. Your fascia forms to what you do the most. What I’m finding now is that I have kids, again, 8 to 10, and they come in, I’m like, “Oh, you have the posture of a 25-year-old.” They’re like, “Oh my gosh, that’s ancient.” We take pictures and they’re like, “Ah!” Then, I have 20-year-olds come in and I’m like, “Oh, you have posture of a 45-year-old.” “Oh my god, that’s ancient.” Then, I’m like, 60 year olds come in, I’m like, “Oh, you have posture of a 60-year-old.” Because they didn’t spend their whole life looking down, their posture actually is better.

With that, what’s happening is even if I get them to do a balance test and get their chin just up just a little, they cannot balance, and these are performing athletes at 10, 12. They’re great at their sport, but their chin just comes up a bit that changed their whole proprioception. It also changes their nervous system. It also changes where their brain tells them where their body is in space, which is proprioceptors. That’s how important it is. If you train like this all the time, which shortens the kinetic chain, you can be powerful there, but we’re not meant to stay there, so we need that elongation, but what’s happening is also changing people’s nervous systems.

It’s putting pressure on the spine itself and also to the firing of the neurons to certain muscles. People are getting nerve pain, the inability actually to develop muscle, and again, digestive issues because that also comes from the spinal column and the innovation into the digestive organs. All of that creates concrete because ,the fascia is meant to flow, but if we change our head position, everything needs to compensate. When that happens, you get laying down of more fascial fibers, you get a thickness, and that thickness impedes lymphatic, cerebral spinal fluid also too, neuron firing. People are aging at an accelerated rate from looking down. Looking down also causes wrinkles. It also causes tinnitus. That’s how simple, a resolution for tinnitus is simply don’t look down. By looking down, it actually creates tinnitus, so that’s super simple there. The guy who created the CPAP machine, he stated that in five years, every single person on the planet is going to be wearing one, because he knows from his observation why he created that is forward head position.

The forward head position also closes the airway at night, you have a pillow, so even more forward closes the airway, which then creates less oxygen to the brain and affects the nervous system, affects the lymph. The lymph can’t go over your brain at night and wash it and cleanse it and make it all better. With that, he’s predicting that, and there’s so many people out there advocating to, I tell people, “Look up.” Some people go hyper-extend, and I’m like, “Well, actually, just looking up, so it’s neutral.” They’re all coming from a place of looking down, and again, that changes the beauty. It changes your brain, it changes your fascia, changes your nervous system, digestion and beyond. But it simply is aging people at a faster rate.

Evelyne: I’m curious about the type of fascial work that you do. I’ve had craniosacral therapy done. I’ve worked with an excellent doctor of osteopathy. It’s just incredible, and I think sometimes I don’t even realize how tight my scalp is until I touch it or have some kind of treatment, and so I’m wondering, is your work, your hands-on work similar to that?

Simone Fortier: Would they be similar to my work would be my question? Sorry. I’ve been actually teaching myofascial fascial work since 1997, way before it got popular. From that, I’m looking at for a practitioner’s point of view, how to engage the fascia itself to open up the fibers. From this, what practitioners are saying, like osteopaths, athletic therapists, physical therapists, people who are, because the courses that I offer are for those people who are already exceptional, they come in and one, they say it’s life-changing because really fascia work is an experience. We do, again, less is better. We’re just nudging basically the body, the fascial system, the inner physician to open up. From that, it creates change. I’m looking at it when I teach, we do a fascial assessment. Where are the biggest lines of tension in the fascia? We take those out and then we keep going really micro and also too for head injury, we look at all the lines of tension on the cranium.

This thickness here, the aponeurosis, is very thick fascia for protection. People who’ve had a lot of falls, which are ADHD people also too in sport, that can become concrete. That, again, can be a vice on your brain, compression injury, and we look at creating that space. It’s a system. I think what is different is the engagement of the fascia and also to the system of how to create lasting change. People come in, it’s like, “Okay, we go through the whole intake, all of that thing, create a treatment plan for really lasting results.” The craniosacral people refer to me and we create a system because the two are very different and lymphatic people refer to me, I refer to them, because the lymph won’t move if the fascia is restricted.

We all work together, and what I’ve noticing, because I’m working with the 20% that they’re referring to me because like I just did the best treatment ever and it’s not working. I get those people, then we start doing that, and I help the patient create a treatment plan, because when you do the fascia work with me, it takes anywhere from four to five days to continually open up. It’s still changing after the treatment. People’s proprioception is off, their balance could be off, and so we don’t want an introduction of any type of stimulus to stop that. With craniosacral and found this out again by trial and error working with craniosacral people, they’re like, “Oh my gosh! Your brain is doing this and your fascia is doing this, we got to shut it down.” When they did that, the person’s symptoms came back, so I’m like, “Okay, we got to create the hierarchy of treatment.”

When they get the fascia treatment, it’s best to do the craniosacral before, then we do this treatment, then they don’t have another treatment for four to five days after, and whether it is even traditional physical therapy or whatever it is, we don’t want too many stimuluses into the brain and the fascia in the beginning. This is in the beginning, then after, we get them to a place of homeostasis balance, then it’s fine. But in the beginning, it’s really important because again, less is better for these people. I’m working again looking at the 20% that don’t get better.

Evelyne: Right, thank you. Simone, I also want to go back to something that you said a while ago regarding nutrition and timing and how that doesn’t work for the 20% that you treat. Can you expand on that for us?

Simone Fortier: Yeah. We’ll talk about taurine. If people have four major deficiencies and taurine actually helps down-regulate the brain. It gets GABA into the brain, it helps the brain relax, and it is really the only mechanism of all the neurotransmitters that actually helps the brain down-regulate. With that, because that’s what taurine is supposed to do, but with the ADHD concussion person, they can’t take it after like 5:00 PM, because when they’re that deficient, it actually wakes the brain up. The brain’s like, “Wow! I have this nutrient,” and so again, it affects and influences their sleep for quite a while. That, we have to do between a certain period of time during the day, and I say between 10:00 and 6:00, depending on if they have high anxiety in the morning or if they are deficient in dopamine.

If they’re deficient in dopamine, there’s another protocol, and then that one has to happen outside of the taurine at least two hours, because again, they compete for the same receptor. Well, they don’t really compete, sorry, the same receptor, but they do the opposite. One is down-regulating the brain, the other is actually helping with focus, and it’s waking up the brain and it with performance, so the two have to be taken really quite a distance apart from each other, yeah.

Evelyne: Got you. Thank you for clarifying that.

Simone Fortier: Does that answer your question?

Evelyne: Yes, yeah. I do have a question or three questions for you that we ask every guest. The first one is, what is something you’ve changed your mind about through all of your years in practice?

Simone Fortier: How did I change my mind about? So many things actually.

Evelyne: I’m sure.

Simone Fortier: I changed my mind that ADHD is actually a superpower. It’s just a place where people have a different view of the world and creativity. I also changed really my whole entire approach to nutrition. I was not really that interested in supplementation before I discovered this program, so it was really, that was a huge shift for me. The importance of supplements, because I hang around a lot of medical doctors, I hang around medical doctors who own supplement lines, but they don’t promote supplements. There’s that disconnect, but I was always like, “Oh, do they work? Do they not?” When I was a kid, I watched this program, these astronauts were eating this fake food, and I’m like, “Oh, that’s probably not really optimal.” I had a lot of dialogue in my own head about it until I actually saw the significant change in my own life of how instantly getting the nutrients in within five minutes changed my anxiety.

I had crazy social anxiety that I just thought, “Well, I’d book three things in one night and not go to any of them,” but it was because I really didn’t want to go. I created all of this stuff, and now I have so much more ease in my life, and to share that for the last six years, I haven’t had one thought of suicidal ideation, and my kids aren’t either when they’re doing the program, and so that’s a huge testament to how powerful supplements are. That’s one thing that was totally changed in my life.

Evelyne: Yeah, that’s amazing. What are your three favorite supplements for yourself?

Simone Fortier: Well, taurine will be my friend forever. It usually helps with my anxiety and omegas, because omegas simply do so much in the body, like the anti-inflammatory, the helping digest bad fats, heart health, brain health. That one is usually one of my favorites. What’s another one? Well, another one is the B12, because I’m genetically anemic, and that has helped my circulation tremendously. With this program too, and also too with the Bs, is that I never have cold feet or hands. That’s a testament to metabolism, circulation, and so that’s another one that I just really, I love.

Evelyne: Nice. Simone, what are your favorite health practices? I’m sure you do a lot of them that keep you healthy and balanced.

Simone Fortier: Movement is hugely important. That is just even hands over your head, because people don’t do that all day long, and I’m teaching that just, and some people can’t even put their hands up at 30 years old, at 35 years old, because again, they’re looking down and if you’re looking down, it’s really hard to put your hands up, so movement is huge. Also too, hydration. I have a little story about hydration is, I was actually in a hot tub with six girlfriends, and they were all younger than me, and they’re like, “Why do you look so young?” I’m like, “Hmm, there’s the fountain of youth. It’s a secret, and that’s water.” They go, “If that helps me look younger, I’m going to start doing it,” because they seriously looked 15 years older than me, and they drank maybe a cup or two cups a day.

Hugely important for fascia, takes away pain, resolves headaches almost immediately. But again, I like to keep things simple, and then the body actually responds really well to simple, so hydration movement. The other thing that is really important is always keeping a positive attitude and knowing that all things are possible. Saying that, I’ve done this research for six years on my own because I believed at some point this would support other people, and I have had tremendous pushback from so many people, and I still stayed focused because I knew that there was really nothing for the 20%, and just always maintaining that if you are different, you are creative and you’re creating something that really is out of the box to just keep focused on doing that because somebody out there needs what you’re doing. If you can help one person and even prevent one suicide, for me, that is a huge win. Again, mindset is everything.

Evelyne: Yeah. Well, Simone, thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us today, and I wish you luck with your publications, and I look forward to reading some of those in the future.

Simone Fortier: Oh, thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Evelyne: Yeah. Where can practitioners read more about you?

Simone Fortier: They can go to thefasciatraininginstitute.com or SimoneFortier.com. The two are different, the practitioners, there’s courses on the Fascia Training Institute. There’s also blogs on Fascia, concussion. Then, Simone Fortier is really focusing on the ADHD component, consulting, also in-person treatments, but both have blogs. Simone Fortier have been blogging on there probably for about 20 years, so there’s tons of content on there, and also too, info@SimoneFortier.com if they want to connect directly.

Evelyne: Sounds good. Thank you so much. Thank you for tuning into Conversations for Health today. Check out the show notes for resources from today’s conversation. Please share this podcast with your colleagues. Follow, rate, leave a review wherever you listen or watch, and thank you for designing a well world with us.

Voiceover: This is Conversations for Health with Evelyne Lambrecht, dedicated to engaging discussions with industry experts, exploring evidence-based, cutting edge research and practical tips.


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