In this episode, I am speaking with Sargent Goodchild who is working with children with neurodevelopmental issues (ADD, Autism, learning disabilities, and more). We will talk about the best tools Sargent has found to improve neurodevelopmental symptoms and life quality for his patients.
Table of Contents
In this podcast, Sarge and I discuss:
- Sarge’s mind-blowing childhood experiences and the health battle that almost saw him institutionalized
- How toxicity contributes to neurodevelopmental issues like autism and ADD
- How skipped developmental phases are the overlooked problem in children who struggle to develop normally
- What happens to an infant when a stage like crawling is missed
- How specific exercises and chiropractic treatment can help restore normal cognitive function
- The three essential areas to address when treating children who struggle to keep up
- What posture and structure have to do with children’s mental health
- How a sonic whole-body vibration platform, PEMF and hyperbaric oxygen therapy can improve issues
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Ari: Hey, this is Ari. Welcome back to the Energy Blueprint podcast. I am very excited to share today’s episode with you. It’s on something near and dear to my heart. Helping kids, particularly helping kids with neurodevelopmental issues, everything from ADD to autism spectrum stuff to learning disabilities and many other kinds of issues.
Sarge Goodchild is doing incredible work and very unique stuff. He’s got an almost unbelievable story to hear where he was as a child and where he is now. I think you’re going to be really touched by his personal story. Anybody who has children who have any kind of neurodevelopmental issue, anybody who knows, who has friends or family members who has children, who have children, who have these kinds of issues, please please listen to this episode, connect with Sarge.
I think he’s doing very important work and with all of that said, I think a lot of kids’ lives can truly be transformed if they’re exposed to this information. I hope you’ll take a listen and I hope you enjoy the episode. I certainly enjoyed doing this interview so without any further ado, here is the episode with Sarge Goodchild.
Sarge: I appreciate the opportunity to be on your podcast. Thank you very much.
Why Sarge started working with patients with neurodevelopmental disease
Ari: It’s my pleasure. I’m looking forward to this so, tell me a little bit about the business side of what you do. Are you, do you work one-on-one with clients or what kind of work do you do?
Sarge: There’s two different aspects to my office. Active Healing has grown a lot since its inception, so the inception of the business began with my experiences as a child. As you might have read in my bio, I was– without going into too many details, just a very abridged version of it, I had a lot of challenges as a kid, which largely from the fact that I had severe epilepsy, was put on a ton of medications, and was subsequently considered autistic, cerebral palsied.
My father was told I had Huntington’s chorea, I wouldn’t live past the age of eight. I was supposed to be institutionalized. My parents were advised to put their time and energy into my younger sister and brother and visit me when the opportunity came up.
Sarge: Fortunately, they didn’t go that road. They went down this path of what we call today neurodevelopmental movement and that basically leverages these very important developmental milestones to try to recreate healthy structures within the brain and give the brain an opportunity to mature in the way that nature intended it to in the very first place, which I deviated from considerably as a child.
So I went from being the kid who was drooling all over his paperwork in the back of the classroom being considered mentally retarded by the teaching staff and simply called a retard by all the kids on the playground and whatnot to being, I won’t say I was at the top of my class academically, but I was academically very strong, I was athletically very strong and I made this huge transition over a number of years.
A lot of parents got to witness that transition because I was in the same school system throughout that entire transition and so people literally started showing up at our doorstep and asking if something that my mother had learned from her journey with me might be applicable in their child’s condition, whether it was their son or their daughter, depending on the challenge that they were facing. The company grew out of that. I never intended to go into this as a business, but as fate will have it, this is where I landed and have been working for the last 27 years,.
The primary focus of the company is to leverage these really important developmental milestones and try to create healthy mature brains as a result of that. In an effort, when we talk about autism, when we talk about everything that’s going on in the world, as I know that you’re acutely aware, there’s an enormous amount of toxicity, and we’ve got huge epigenetic problems with our kids.
Their methylation pathways are all screwed up and they’re not detoxifying as they should. Active Healing has brought in all sorts of different resources to help with the detoxification process and we now offer those services to a much broader public than just the neurologically disorganized and brain-injured, learning disabled kids, kids on the autism spectrum.
I find myself in this really interesting position as a layperson now supporting people who have really challenging medical conditions, whether it be cancer, it might be early-onset Alzheimer’s which is really just nothing more than a label for all sorts of other things. I’m working with kids who have concussions, I’m working with tick-borne illnesses and Lyme Disease and all sorts of other things. As well as just people who are looking to support their already well-earned health. It’s become a really broad business.
Ari: That’s that was a beautiful answer. I was intending that to be more like chit-chat before we really started the interview, but it was almost so good. I might want to keep it, do you want me to go into that layer by layer and talk about some of that in a lengthier way to start the official interview or do you want to keep what you just said?
Sarge: I’m perfectly fine keeping that as the initial part of our interview if you feel that that’s a good fit for your audience, Ari.
Ari: I think that was great. I might want to step back just a moment. I think your story is so powerful. I think I want to go back into that to start with, so let’s talk just a bit about– you did talk about it quite well. Do you feel you want to go more into that?
Sarge: I can get into more details about that, but don’t let me get too deep into the weeds on it, because my story it’s a lengthy story. I’m the first, my mother had three children. I’m the first of three. I have a sister who was three years younger than me. Unfortunately she passed about 18 months ago from cancer and I have a brother who’s four years younger than me. Before my mother became pregnant with me, she had a number of miscarriages.
She was working for a medical doctor at the time who was studying birth control pills because this was the late 60s. I believe that she was put on some sort of medication to make sure that her pregnancy with me was a viable pregnancy. She never really coped to that ever. My mother and I ended up having a very interesting relationship in our adult lives, because of the intimate process that we went through to help me recover my health.
In any case, when I was born, I wasn’t born on my exact due date. The doctor had left very specific instructions because of my mother’s history to make sure that he was the only one to deliver me. Thus, her labor was prolonged. She was prevented from going into push labor when she naturally should have. When I was born, I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. There was some degree of oxygen deprivation. I was a little bit floppy, a little bit blue and stopped the doctors from giving me great Apgar scores, though, and I was the first.
So my mother was a little bit concerned because I didn’t look white right when I was born. She was a new mom. She didn’t have any experience and she did ask the doctors is my son going to be okay? They said, “Well, Mrs. Goodchild we’re not going to be able to tell you that until he is about four or five years old,” because it was 1969. We didn’t have the technology that we do today to make those determinations.
By the time I was four, I then had a one-year-old sister and my one-year-old sister over the course of that first year of her life had reached and gone through her milestones in a much different manner than I had and was already capable of doing things that my parents weren’t really seeing for me at the age of–
I’m now four and she’s one. I was always a really well-behaved baby. You could put me in a corner of the room and you could come back two hours later and I’d still be in the same corner of the room. I really just didn’t move around a lot. I didn’t have a lot of interest. I wasn’t a healthy kid, but my parents were like, oh, look at how well- behaved he is.
Ari: It’s interesting those– Sorry to interrupt. I just want to share a little personal aside. I have a five-year-old and a two-year-old, five and a half, two and a half. My two-year-old daughter is incredibly gifted with language. She’s had the language abilities since she was like one and a half, two years old of a child at least one year older than her.
My son is also gifted in many ways, he’s fine with language. I wouldn’t say he’s exceptionally gifted. He’s definitely not bad with language, but he’s very gifted with science and engineering and physics type of understandings for his age. He often hears us talk with each other or other people how amazed we are with our daughter’s language abilities. He hears that and he starts thinking well, was I gifted like that? If she better than me? And it’s interesting to watch those kinds of questions come up and I’m sure that dynamic was even a hundredfold more intense in the situation you’re talking about.
Sarge: It was. My parents went down this medical route with me because my father was a very successful commercial real estate broker working Downtown Boston and was responsible for properties, skyscrapers all over Boston and up and down the major thoroughfare we have here as Route 128. So he had access to all the best doctors that you would ever want to take a child to.
When I was about five years old, they decide that this immature startle reflex that I had was not actually a startle reflex. Before that, it had been determined that I would best be supported by getting into a Head Start type of a program and so I was enrolled in a school in a neighboring town and in order to get into that school, I had to get brought up to speed on my vaccines, which included the MMR vaccine.
I did not produce saliva for a year following that vaccine-
Sarge: -which we now know is a very serious adverse event following that vaccine, has huge implications obviously in my digestive process.
Ari: Don’t say anymore, I won’t be able to put this video on YouTube or I’ll be banned. [chuckles]
Sarge: I won’t go any further than that but in the time that passed, I went from having an immature startle reflex to having what many of the doctors at the children’s hospital felt was the most severe form of epilepsy that they had ever seen. I was put on a ton of medications.
At different times I was on phenobarbital, I was on Dilantin, I was on Klonopin, I was on Valium. I had to take maintenance doses of Benadryl for all the upper respiratory infections that I had. I was in such a bad state from all of those medications that my eyes were nearly swollen shut and my teeth could not come through my gums because my gums were so inflamed.
Ari: Wow. How old were you at this age?
Sarge: By the time I was that toxic from the medications, I was probably seven or eight years old. I’d been on medications without seizure control for years and this is what left me drooling in the back of the classroom and really unable to– I was attending school from a physical perspective but I wasn’t attending school from an academic or social perspective in any way that was productive.
My father was doing everything he could to record the announced medications and prescribing doctors because again, we have to remember this is now the 70s and people didn’t have personal computers, we didn’t have laptops. Every time you called the hospital, you spoke to a different attending physician who had changed the medications, the amount of medications. It was all really hard to keep track of [inaudible 00:14:13] The Shining, which may be an old reference for some of your listeners but in that movie, there’s a scene in which the star is writing just over and over and over. He’s supposed to be writing a book and all he’s writing is, “All fun and no play makes Jack a very boring boy.”
When my father ended that journal, all he was writing in it was, “Medication stepped up again, medication stepped up again,” and so it was shortly thereafter that I had the good fortune of my parents were introduced to this process of neurodevelopmental movement. My parents were told that all of the symptoms that I was experiencing were the result of a brain injury and that none of the things that they were using were treating that injury. They were only treating the symptoms of that injury and that wasn’t going to help the brain recover.
After beginning that program, which was intense, I had to learn how to crawl on my stomach. I had to learn how to creep on my hands and knees. I hung upside down by my ankles in something that we call suspended inverted rotation. I did on periodic, something called hypercapnia, which triggers the deep breathing from the lower loads of the lungs and gets as much as 60 to 80% more oxygen to the brain. We removed things like Bounce the fabric softener from the dryer and within 10 months of beginning this program, I was seizure-free.
By the time I was 10 years old after five years of seizures that were uncontrollable from a medical pharmaceutical perspective, I learned how to crawl, I learned how to creep, I developed all these milestones and the last time I had a seizure, I was 10 years old and I’m 52 going on 53 right now.
Ari: Wow. Incredible.
Sarge: Yes. That’s how the business got started.
Ari: For 27 years, you’ve now been working with families with children with disabilities as the president of Active Healing.
Sarge: Yes. It was founded by my mother. I started working here in I guess I want to say it was ’94, it could have been ’95 but it’s been about 27 years and I really took over the reins completely by, I would say, 1998 or 1999. I’ve had the pleasure of going around the world and being able to teach people these techniques.
In my office today, I have a family from Vancouver who is doing an intensive program with me. They’re at home doing a program but every couple of times a year, they like to get some intensive time with me. I’m working with their son next week. I have a boy from California coming in to do an intensive with me, but those are unusual cases. Mostly what I do is I train the parents how to carry out these programs at home and be the primary therapist.
Ari: Beautiful. I have to say on a personal note, I consume so much information and I’m generally so sick of hearing people’s personal stories. I just like, oh, let’s skip the fluff and just tell me the stuff, tell me the meat of what you’re trying to get to and I have to say that I really was moved by your story in a big way.
It’s just the level of emotional trauma that I’m sure you must have dealt with as a kid is just massive. It’s beautiful to see you now as the adult that you are doing the work, that’s just so beautiful. I just have to comment on that.
Sarge: I feel very much like I have been thrown into this work. It was not so much of a choice as it was my way of paying back what I’ve been given and it really it’s, there aren’t very many people who do what I do. If you count pretty liberally, there are maybe 18 to 24 people in this country who do what I do and so I don’t benefit from advertising.
I don’t have big purse strings that I can draw from to do, so podcasts like this really are appreciated because they help spread the message that otherwise isn’t really getting out there to the public.
Sarge’s approach to neurodevelopmental movement
Ari: Yes. Agreed 100%. That’s why I wanted to have you on and I’m going to run this up a big flag pole and help you get the word out.
To everybody listening to this, please do the same. Please share this with your friends and family, and any children that could be benefited from this information, please help out because especially when you’re talking about kids, you can change the whole course of somebody’s life with this kind of information.
You’ve alluded to this a bit already. You talked about some of the things that you were involved in, but tell me some details of neurodevelopmental movement. What is this sort of methodology all about and what kinds of practices do you do?
Sarge: It starts from the premise that– Oftentimes, when you’re dealing with a child, let’s say your child is now six or seven years old. They’ve been identified by the kindergarten teacher as having some challenges. Maybe you get a referral to a physical therapist or an occupational therapist. They might look at that child and they might say, really Johnny should be able to skip at this point so we’re going to do some lessons on skipping and we notice that he has a lot of trouble pronating and supinating his wrists. So we’re going to have him take water from this container and dump it into this container and back and forth again and what he’d he’d do really well. We think that he’s got convergence insufficiency with his eyes so it would be appropriate for you to got him to a developmental optometrist.
All of these, what is traditionally missed is that in order for a child to be able to achieve those higher level skills that I just discussed, there are prerequisites that they must go through that build the foundation that allow those skills to evolve naturally. When we don’t take a child back through those steps, we miss an incredible opportunity to work in a global perspective with the integrity of their nervous system and the maturity of their brain.
When you go and you watch a child crawl on their stomach, as an example, so this is in a military-type of pattern.
They’re laying on their stomach. What will typically, what should happen in a healthy, typical developing kid is they will get a real– they’ll life their heel high up in the air. They’ll one leg will be straight, the other leg will be bent. The bent leg is going to have the heel high up in the air, and they’re going to get a really strong toe [unintelligible 00:22:15].
As they drive off of that, as they drive off of that leg, we can imagine what’s happening into the structure of that leg. They’re arching the bottoms of the feet. That movement that they’re going through is helping create a nice arch in the bottom of the foot. It’s also stretching the heel cord from where the heel cord attaches at the heel behind the knee. It’s helping to develop a nice, well worn hip socket.
You’re structuring the secondary curves in the spine and you’re stimulating all of the parts of the body that are the most tactilely sensitive, the most sensitive to touch. Touch is the only sense that you can’t live without. We all know people who’ve been– taste and smell. If you can read an expiration date, taste and smell are not as important as they once were and we certainly know people who have bad sense of taste and bad sense of smell who get through life just fine.
We also know people who have composed symphonies while deaf, and we know people who are great artists that were nearly blind. Those four senses, we know that not only can you live without, but you can be really successful without them, but without your sense of touch, your IQ drops enormously. Without a sense of touch your heart doesn’t beat, you don’t move your bowels. You don’t empty your bladder. You can’t stand up, you can’t pick things up, you can’t swallow food. All of those things are dependent on your sense of touch.
When a child is going through these movements, this sequential process, one of the biggest things that they’re doing is developing that sense of touch in the proper way. Beyond all that, when you are on your stomach, you’re developing a part of the brain that’s called the pons, which is responsible for your awareness of pain, temperature, and discomfort. It gives you a sense of belonging and my understanding is that it’s the part of the brain that is responsible for signaling the production of serotonin in the stomach. We know if our innate pharmacist is working the way he should or she should, we know exactly how much serotonin we need and where it needs to be delivered and in what amount.
The pons plays this incredibly important role as a foundational part of our of our brain that allows us to feel like we belong in the community, we belong in the family, we belong in the classroom, we belong in the school building and we belong in the community. When the pons isn’t functioning, we feel like the black sheep and like the world is a hostile place. We will usually have some form of sensory integration disorder and we may have some anxiety as a result of that lower serotonin level. There’s a tremendous amount that’s going on.
During this developmental stage, when the child’s crawling on their stomach, they’re learning, they’re looking out a little bit to the right, a little bit to the left, a little bit to the right. Their eyes are beginning to learn how to sequence across the horizon and we’re developing tracking skills for the first time. Our hands are pulling across the surface that we’re on and we’re stimulating our sense of touch.
Eventually, our hands get so much stimulation from all of the development in which we’re palms down, that we can discriminate the difference between the heads and tails side of a quarter. That is a really refined sense of touch. You can’t do that with your toes. Even if your toes were articulate enough to do that, you wouldn’t be able to do it because your toes are only on the engaging with the surface that you’re crawling over for those first eight months of your life. Then you get up on all fours, the palms of your hands still are in contact with the floor, but the soles of your feet are now turned up towards the ceiling. so they’re no longer getting any more of that stimulation.
There’s just all of this stuff that unfolds, and we can go back and I can take little Johnny or Samantha or whomever, depending on their intellectual abilities or whatnot, I could certainly take you one of your kids, Ari, and I could watch them crawl, or I could watch them creep up on hands and knees, and I could see what they were doing wrong.
Then I can go back and I could make a verbal correction. I could say, Samantha, when you’re doing this, I really need you to like lift that heel, dig with that toe, really drive off of that leg and reach with your opposite arm. Little Samantha’s going to be able to do a bunch of that because she’s got the intellectual capacity to hear what I’m saying and take instruction.
The pons, which sits back here behind the eyes, it does not have the ability to understand spoken or written languages and it never will. It wasn’t developed for that. The only language that the pons can understand is movement and touch. So if we start telling little Samantha or little Johnny what we want them to do, they will circumvent that part of the brain that we’re trying to influence, the pons, and they’ll start controlling that movement from the cortex.
What we do in neurodevelopmental movement is we do these really choreographed patterns of movement depending on the child’s ability level. Oftentimes, there’s a parent or even two parents who are involved and we will be moving their arms and legs for them while they’re up on like a massage table, we’ll be putting them through this really choreographed movement that is perfectly synchronized, so that we are doing all of this healthy input for them.
They’re getting input, input input, and then once they’ve had enough, we take them and we put them on the floor and without telling them anything, we just ask them to crawl and because we’ve been doing this really structured, healthy input that shows them what it feels like to move in a healthy pattern, they will begin to output that on their own when they’re on the floor.
And as we watch what they’re doing on the floor, that further informs us on what we need to do to properly assist them to learn this from a pons level up. Am I making sense?
Ari: Absolutely. It’s fascinating stuff.
Sarge: Oftentimes, that will mean in addition to doing these choreographed movement patterns that we do with them, that might mean taking something from another school, like doing reflex integration with them, because there might be a primitive reflex that’s getting in the way of their ability to acquire that skill.
I often refer to chiropractors because I don’t want there to be– I have a remarkable rapport with the chiropractic profession as a whole and I think that what they bring to the table is incredibly important. I do not mean to pigeonhole what they do at all, but I’m talking from a very professionally-centric way right now.
From a chiropractic standpoint, if you came to me, Ari, and you said, “Hey Sarge, I want you to train me for the Boston marathon next year,” but you came in and you had a broken leg. We’re going to have to wait for the leg to heal and repair itself before I can properly train you for the marathon because structure always impacts function and function always impacts structure.
If there’s something structurally off in a child’s spine, their neck or their hips, et cetera, it can prevent them from using the arms and the legs in the way that I’m hoping that they’re able to develop. We want to remove any of those structural, any of those subluxations in their spine so that they have the full use of their limbs.
In addition to that, chiropractic is awesome at restoring function, not just to the way a child moves through their environment, but it’s really important as far as making sure that they have all of the organs are functioning and that all of the tissue and muscles and what have you are all getting the full [unintelligible 00:31:34] that they need to express health. Not really sure where to go from there, but hopefully you’re getting an idea.
A typical program of neurodevelopmental movement is going to be about an hour’s worth of physical exercises five days a week. It is incredibly useful for children who are on the autism spectrum, who have ADD, who are oppositional or defiant.
I work with a tremendous amount of kids who are adopted from third world orphanages and they’ve got attachment and bonding disorders like reactive attachment disorder, obviously cerebral-palsied kids. This is a really important intervention for kids with cerebral palsy and even the simpler stuff like dyslexia, which is not to say that dyslexia isn’t a significant concern for some children, but when you compare it to a child who’s wheelchair-bound and cerebral-palsied, it’s little bit less on the continuum.
Treating eye problems in kids
Ari: Do you work with kids who have eye problems, like who have strabismus or esotropia or other issues like that?
Sarge: Yes, esotropia, exotropia, exophoria, all of those things. Quite often those can be the result of a couple of different things. They obviously can have a basis in this neurodevelopmental movement. When a child is learning how to crawl on their stomach, they’re developing that horizontal tracking skill. When they get up on hands and knees, initially what they should be doing is they should be looking directly down at their hands.
Now, we’ve got gravity pulling the eyes together and giving a central convergence point for each eye to land on, which happens to be why our comfortable reading position is about an arms length away from the eyes because it’s where we learn how to converge as kids from that position.
In order for the vision to be properly developed, you need to go through these two developmental stages. One that is giving you just that initial skill of being able a little bit to the right, a little bit to the left. When you start creeping, your hands are a little bit wider apart, we continue with a more exaggerated horizontal tracking skill, but now we’re drawing in the convergence aspect of it.
If a child doesn’t go through those two mobilities correctly, they can often end up with what you and I call a strabismus, but what your listeners might refer to as a lazy eye. That I have seen resolved, not just through the work that I do, but I’ve also seen it resolved with chiropractic and I work with an optometrist who specializes in something called neuro-optometric rehabilitation, which is another really interesting intervention that is very holistically centered and they have a very different model of vision.
Ari: Excellent. You mentioned there could be two things at play for kids with those kinds of eye issues?
Sarge: The neurodevelopmental piece, the structural piece, oftentimes there’s a cranial nerve that’s being impinged on. If you get into a cranial-sacral therapist or a chiropractor and you release that pressure on that nerve, you’ll see that the eyes go back into place.
Then the third piece would be, if we’re not successful with those two, then my next thing would be an optometrist who specializes in neuro-optometric rehabilitation.
Ari: Excellent. Tell me again, the list of issues that would be appropriate for neurodevelopmental therapy, so autism spectrum issues, ADD, what else?
Sarge: All sorts of different learning disabilities from dyslexia to nonverbal learning disabilities, oppositional behaviors, cerebral palsy. Oh my God. Basically, I see a ton of kids.
You can basically group the kids that I see in this office into three major groups, learning disabilities, which is a big umbrella term, kids on the autism spectrum or kids who have attachment and bonding disorders.
How to assess a child on the autism spectrum
Ari: Got it. What might a typical assessment of a child on the autism spectrum find in terms of your findings?
Sarge: What you’re often going to find– With all of these kids, not just the kids on the autism spectrum. I’m going to break it down a little bit more for you even than that.
What you’re typically going to find is a child who’s suffering with do they belong in the world? Kids who feel like the black sheep who don’t feel like they fit in, who’ve got sensory integration disorder. Oftentimes, you’ll find most of those kids are fairly flatfooted.
That tells you right then and there that they haven’t crawled enough. Because they’re not using their feet when they’re crawling, they’ll also tend to have something, a diagnosis like dysgraphia.
Ari: Like what?
Sarge: Dysgraphia, so poor penmanship, trouble manipulating pens and pencils.
Ari: Interesting. I’ve never heard that term.
Sarge: Doing fine motor skills like that. Those who’ll be your pons-level kids. Your mid-brain level kids will be the kids who have anxiety issues, who have a lot of trouble with recall. Everything– I trust that with all the kids that I work with, because I think it is much more often the case than not the case. We underestimate– In fact, there’s a great book by that title. We underestimate just how much knowledge these kids have in their brains. They are sponges. Their ability to pull that information out may be very unreliable, but the amount of information that these kids take in is astounding.
They’re often much much smarter than we give them credit for and so the kid who we suspect is smart and has a lot going on inside there, but really struggles again with anxiety, with ability to recall, with poor test taking, et cetera, those are going to be your mid-brain kids.
Your kids with autism, you’re going to find that their issues are primarily in the pons and in the mid-brain and really the same with your kids with cerebral palsy. The interesting thing about the kids with cerebral palsy is when you think about the typical child with cerebral palsy, you think about, I know you can’t see me very well, but it’s like they return into fetal position.
Their shoulders roll inward, the wrists go inward, the neck goes inward and if you could see what I’m doing with my upper body right now, you’d see I was doing the same thing with my lower body. My knees are turning in, they’re drawing up towards my chest. My ankles are rotating in, all of this stuff and I’m literally going back in the fetal position.
It’s traditionally in my experience, we think of that muscle contracture as being due to cerebral palsy. What I have consistently found in my office is that is a stress reaction. The internal rotation of all the major joints in the body is not particular to cerebral palsy, it’s more of the body has been under stress for such an incredibly long time, that it’s no longer able to adapt to the stress load. So it withdraws and you find that the child withdraws or the person with cerebral palsy starts to withdraw inward and there’s a physical manifestation of that in the internal rotation of the joints.
One of the most amazing things that I have found is that if you can induce a relaxation response in someone with cerebral palsy, you see this opening of their chest and their arms and an ability to almost go out there and embrace the world. If you can induce that relaxation response consistently, you are going to see a massive improvement in those muscle contractures. Which makes them then workable so that you can get them through a program, right?
Because what I do, I have to be able to take a child’s leg and at one moment it’s an extension, and the next minute it is going into flexion. I have to be able to manipulate that leg smoothly back and forth from extension to flexion and I have to not only manage that with one leg, but I have to manage it with extremities and I have to have the head turning at the same time.
When you can induce that relaxation response– and I do that at my office using a sonic whole-body vibration machine, which is one of my favorite pieces of equipment that I have in this office and I will pair that usually with either an audiovisual entrainment session or cranial electrical stimulation. It’s a lot.
Ari: You work with people in person at your office as well?
Sarge: I do. Absolutely. Yes As I said–
Ari: Where are you located?
Sarge: I’m located just north of Boston. I’m located on the north shore of Boston in a little town called Beverly.
Ari: Okay, great. Okay so you have a pretty broad scope to some extent in terms of the work you do. Is there anything else that you do in your office at Active Healing?
Sarge: We just discussed a little bit the sonic whole-body vibration. This is a whole-body vibration platform, but the only thing that causes the plate to vibrate is a frequency of sound. Basically what you have is a voice coil that nests inside an enormous magnet and as the sound is pushed out through the voice coil, it interacts with the magnetic force of the magnet, and that causes the plate to go up and down in a strictly vertical manner, which makes it incredibly tune-able because we can not only work with any frequency of sound that we want to put through that speaker if you will, but we can adjust the volume too.
We can put a New England Patriot player up on it, or I can put an 85-year-old grandmother on it and they can both get huge benefit. That is set up right next door to a big nylon bag, where I capture 900 liters of oxygen, 94% oxygen. If I’m working with a client who has cerebral palsy or someone who has a concussion, we can actually put them on the whole-body vibration platform and without raising their heart rate, we can vibrate the cell membrane and make it much easier for them to absorb the oxygen that they’re breathing in.
Ari: Wow. Very, very interesting.
Sarge: It’s a lot less expensive than doing hyperbaric oxygen and it is probably maybe 65, 70% the benefit of a hyperbaric dive. It doesn’t replace hyperbaric oxygen, but it is a really nice option for people who need that.
That is also great, so we know that there are certain diseases that are anaerobic, right? Like cancer thrives in an oxygen-deprived state. One of the ways that I support people with cancer in the office who come in regularly is to do exercise with oxygen. You can’t take someone who’s got cancer and we can’t elevate their heart rate and keep it elevated for 30 or 40 minutes at a time because they don’t have the ability.
Or if they’ve got dementia or any other number of health challenges, but we can stand them on a whole-body vibration platform and get them to really deeply absorb that oxygen that we’re providing, which is going to be really helpful.
We do pulse electromagnetic field therapy. I’ve had huge success with that mat and the most glaring success that I’ve had with that are people with frozen shoulders and bad backs and car accidents and whatnot. It’s a great way to ground people. It’s a great way to reduce inflammation, reduce pain. Awesome for bone knitting, phenomenal for bone density.
We’ve taken some people between the whole-body vibration platform and the pulse electromagnetic field therapy. We’ve taken people who have osteoporosis and returned them backwards to osteopenia. Those two technologies are amazing.
Then we do ion cleanse detox [unintelligible 00:46:07] footbaths. We use a Major Differences footbath, they’re a company based out of Colorado and I’ve been exceptionally happy with them.
The healing benefits of sound vibrations
Ari: I’m curious with regards to the sound vibrational therapy that you’re using. Do you use specific sound frequencies? Because I know that there’s some research on this. In fact, I was just reading a study yesterday where they were comparing the physiological effects of 528 Hertz to, I believe may 432 or 444, 448 or something like that but what they found was that the 528 Hertz induced profound physiological relaxation that was not seen with the other sound frequency, which is really interesting, and would to me suggest that, hey, if you’re not already and you probably are, but if you’re not already maybe even using very specific frequencies, that might amplify the effects.
Sarge: On the machines themselves, their sound cards go from 3 to 50 Hertz but the beauty of these machines is that because they’re a speaker, I have an audio input and through my computer or some sort of frequency generator, I can put any frequency through these things up to, I think, 100,000 Hertz. They have a very broad capacity.
The 528 Hertz is awesome. I have a 528 Hertz tuning fork sitting at my front desk. When I’m stressed, I give it a good bang, put it right up to my ear. I love 528 Hertz. When we’re on the whole-body vibration, there are some frequencies that I use that are much higher and we can actually do chakra balancing with it but the frequencies that I find myself using the most on that machine 3, 4, 5, and 6 are unbelievable at stimulating the immune system. 9 resonates in the liver. 10 is the mitochondria.
Unbelievable success with 12, with the adrenal glands in supporting adrenal health. 16, 17, and 18 resonate in different aspects of the lungs or the bronchial tubes. We use those a lot when someone’s either doing oxygen or they have asthma or bronchitis, whatever it might be, and 20 to 35 Hertz or what we call the cats purr frequencies. When a cat is sitting off in the corner of the room, and it is purring, it’s contributing to its own bone density, and a cat purrs between 20 and 35 Hertz.
When we put those frequencies up through the plate, those are the ones that are going to be phenomenal for the person who has osteoporosis. They’re going to be phenomenal for bone tissue and muscle repair ligament stuff. Yes, 21 Hertz is good for serotonin release so there’s all of these really low frequencies and that’s one of the really interesting things about this as a piece of equipment is because it’s not limited by any mechanical structure, there’s no mechanical limitations to what you can do. Most whole-body machines can’t get into those really low-frequency ranges and those seem to have a profound effect.
Ari: Sarge, this is amazing stuff. I’m personally very excited about this. I know a number of people with kids who could benefit from the work that you’re doing, and I want to say on a personal note. Okay, I’ve been studying health science since I was a little kid. I know a lot about it. I also know quite a bit about many of the things that t you’ve spoken about here. I have corrective exercise and I’ve studied some aspects of neurodevelopment processes as well. My older brother is a chiropractor who has done a ton of work in this field and he’s also my best friend and lifelong travel buddy and workout buddy.
All of this to say that I know enough about many of the things that you’ve talked about to tell that you really know what you’re talking about and I’m very impressed with this and I hope that many listeners will come from this and help spread the word about the work that you’re doing and help more kids get helped. Is there any one last piece of advice that you want to leave people with before we end?
Sarge: Yes, I would say this, Ari. This is often how I end a lot of my talks. When I was a young child, when I was between the ages of five and my recovery occurred between the ages of nine and 13. It took me four years to complete this full process.
The first year was when I got rid of all the seizures and then it took an additional three years beyond that to recover my intellectual abilities and be able to make own way. The doctors would’ve had me in an institution as a child and I very likely would’ve died at a much earlier age because of all the toxicity of all the drugs that I was taking would’ve accumulated and I probably would’ve had a fatal seizure or a heart attack or knows what could have happened to me.
Never allow someone’s opinion of you or your child to become your reality, ever. Because they have no idea what potential you have within you. The human structure is endowed with a remarkable recovery potential. As parents and as adults, we have the ability to release that potential in a way that we’ve never had before.
There are amazing technologies out there and there are incredible techniques and keep searching until you find the one that’s going to unlock that tumbler and allow all your potential to spill forth.
Ari: I love that. Thank you for that. I have to say, Sarge, I didn’t really know you before this interview and you’ve turned me into a raving fan in the last hour. I’m very impressed and I’m very excited about the work that you’re doing. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your wisdom. Where can people get in contact with you if they want to work with you?
Sarge: My website is an active healing.org and I’m on Facebook. I still have a Facebook page. I’m Sargent Goodchild on Facebook. We’ve got an Instagram account that’s Active Healing and my phone number at the office is 978-969-6593.
I do offer free I do offer, excuse me, one-hour screenings. If you think this might be a good fit for your child, but you’re not ready to commit I can spend an hour on some sort of video conference with you and your child, and we can have a really in-depth discussion.
I don’t use it as a feeder system for my office. I use it as an opportunity to educate parents, and if I feel they need to see a chiropractor or they need to get to a functional medical doctor or an optometrist who specializes in neuro-optometric rehabilitation, I’m going to recommend that before you see me and those are an awesome opportunities to learn a lot about your kids and what might be a good fit for them.
Ari: Beautiful, thank you so much my friend. I’m really glad to have connected with you and to have you on the podcast, and I’m going to be definitely referring a lot of people to you. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your wisdom.
Sarge: Ari, thank you so much for having me on. I really appreciate the opportunity and I hope we can do it again someday.
Ari: I hope so.
Why Sarge started working with patients with neurodevelopmental disease (01:41)
Sarge’s approach to neurodevelopmental movement (19:25)
Treating eye problems in kids (32:25)
How to assess a child on the autism spectrum (36:34)
The healing benefits of sound vibrations (42:00)