Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host Scott DeLuzio and now let’s get on with the show.
Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast today my guest is Brandy Lang. Brandy is an Air Force veteran, a physical therapist, and a five time concussion survivor. And one of her focuses and what we’ll be talking about more today is on TBIs in veterans. So welcome to show Brandy. I’m glad to have.
Brandy Lang: Thank you very much, Scott. I’m glad to be
Scott DeLuzio: here. Yeah, absolutely. So, before we get into this topic of, you know, TBIs and brain injuries and things like that, why don’t you tell us a little bit more about yourself and
Brandy Lang: your background? Sure. Thanks. So, like you said, I’m an Air [00:01:00] Force veteran. You know, didn’t really have many plans after high school , so I was like, well, I need a college degree maybe.
And, you know, just kind of some uniformity and all that good stuff. Learned some, learn a trade I guess we all thought of. So yeah, I went in the Air Force and had a great time there. I was I copied Morris Code, which is very interesting. And then I became a C one 30 load master. So, it’s interesting, I was at an event this past weekend and I was around some paratroopers.
I’m like, Hey, I used to kick you outta my airplane . So that always opens up a great conversation. But you know, after school, so when I was in the military, that’s what brought me to what I do now. I had my first two TBIs while I was in. And I didn’t really get a lot of help in that standpoint to try and recover.
So I kind of had to do it myself. And then when I got outta the military, I, you know, used my job, Bill went to went to school. I’m a biologist. And then I went to school for [00:02:00] PT for physical therapy. And I’m also a personal trainer with NASM and I’m a functional nutrition coach. So all of those things actually led me to the program that I have now because when I first became, When I first had my tbi, my first one, and then my second one, and I’ve had five.
So they just keep happening. , you know, that’s the biggest thing. You really can’t prevent one. I know there’s lots of devices out there, but you can’t really prevent them, so you have to go more on the recovery side. So once I, you know, kind of, did it all myself and just kind of stumbled along and I found this worked and then that worked and then this worked and that worked.
Now the science has actually caught up to me. So, that’s what led me to have a TBI and concussion kind of, program that I do now. And I will say that just because we’re gonna go into a deeper conversation if you’ve had a TBI and you recover from it within four weeks, it’s a tbi, a traumatic brain injury, and a [00:03:00] concussion mild.
Concussion. But if it’s after four weeks and you still have issues, it’s actually called post-concussive syndrome. So that’s really what I focus more on is because a lot of people just kind of fall through the cracks after that four weeks and they really just think that they have to deal with it. And I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.
So, I figured I’d just throw that out there because I know people. Different diagnoses, or especially veterans, you know, sometimes it’s this classification and then that classification. So, all of it is important to, to, you know, seek continued care. So
Scott DeLuzio: Right. So all of those phrases, all those labels that you might put on this type of an injury, they’re all related to something that could quite frankly be from the.
Type of event. It’s just, you know, some of it might be length of time or severity of the the injury that the person receives,
Brandy Lang: right? Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that confuses a lot of people because they may not get the right information. [00:04:00] And so, you know, I try, I do a lot of education just to make them feel good about where they are.
Because a lot of times, I mean, the vets that I work with in fact the event that I was at at Camp for Heroes great organization by the way. They they actually give a space for different organizations to present what they do to veterans. And you can come see us and everything. I got in contact with a lot of great people, but every time I would tell them, talked about what I do, like, Oh yeah, I’ve.
Five in the military. I’ve had 13. I had somebody tell me they had 13. And it’s interesting, like I saw his hand shake and I’m like, that, that needs to be looked at. Like it’s not something you have to deal with. It really our brain, I’m not ki I’m telling you now is amazing, amazing tool. You know, we have to kind of think of it like a muscle almost.
So, a lot. Symptoms that you continue to have can definitely be dealt with and you can recover from, so.
Scott DeLuzio: Right. And so you mentioned that a couple of your TBIs that you had were [00:05:00] in the, while you were serving in the military. Were those due to your military service or do they just happen outside of work kind of.
Brandy Lang: one was while I was serving. And the second one was more of an unfortunate incident, , but it wasn’t while I was on a plane. So, but it was still on base, so,
Scott DeLuzio: Okay. Yeah. So, it, it’s interesting though that, that you said that you didn’t really get the support that you needed while you were in the military and kind of makes me wonder What is available for the people who are in the military who do experience an injury like this and has that improved over time?
You know, I’m assuming this wasn’t a very recent thing. So I’m wondering if that has improved over time. Now what, Now that people are maybe a little bit more aware of what some of the symptoms and the side effects of some of these brain injuries,
Brandy Lang: Right. And you know, I’ve [00:06:00] looked on a lot of the websites for different branches to try to keep up with what information they have.
And like one, one example is I use a neurocognitive test that was built by the d o d specifically to be used on the. Whether it’s in combat or something else to be used actually virtually, like wherever you are, right. And a mobile type of assessment tool, but they actually don’t use it on veterans.
So I don’t really know why they developed it, went through all of that to do that, you know, to actually achieve this assessment tool because it’s fantastic. It is so much clinical support for it and everything like that. And I tried to look and. Some of the information that at least I’m privy to.
And let’s face it, it’s all just gonna be public information, right? So I might not be in the know necessarily but they don’t really use this type of test. But this test is like a gold standard, so I use it. And really [00:07:00] it’s it’s a very comprehensive neurocognitive test. So it tests your memory, it tests your, you know, 50% of your brain is vision.
So that’s one of the things that we really need to focus on a lot of times, is that vision component. But one thing that I’m bringing some of this information out based upon what you said, because the testing has to be there to identify. Those vets that are having issues. But the problem that I think is happening sometimes from a VA standpoint is, I mean, let’s face it, we’re employees of the military, right?
They pay us to do a job and they say, This job requires a hundred people. This job requires a thousand people. You know, whatever it is. We all have our moss, afsc, all these kinds of things. So when you take somebody outta training, that’s, that can affect the mission. And so I don’t think that they necessarily act and put in place [00:08:00] things that are really important for somebody to recover, just simply because that’s not what the military does.
I always try to tell people, you know, I don’t play the blame game or anything like that. I’m here to help you where you are now, right now that you know , you know, to come to somebody else, right? They’ll just keep going to the va. And if they’re not gonna really help you, because the thing about it is, is there’s no medication that can help you recover from a tbi.
So they’re gonna give you medications for a symptom, but that’s actually not gonna heal the source. So we already know that from research. So if you. Are taking a medication and it’s really not helping, then, you know, you need to be proactive and go to the VA and tell them that so they can record it for one thing.
Cuz that always helps what happens down the road. We need people to tell their, the doctors at the VA that this isn’t helping. No, I’m still not, I’m not, I’m still not sleeping. No, I still am busy. I’m still having headaches, I still have memory issues. I still have You [00:09:00] know, maybe irritability and mood issues.
So it, it’s very interesting to kind of try. I was speaking with a mental health practitioner this weekend at that event, and she’s like, I tried to change the VA . She’s like, I’m retiring, I’m done with that. She goes, I couldn’t do it for 30 years, You know? So, I tried to be the voice of just education for.
And so, you know, there’s that standpoint of not really using the tests that they paid for which is problematic in itself. But the biggest thing that happens with serving is that there’s, the first time you have a TBI is not. The biggest problem when you have a traumatic brain injury, whether it’s a blast or whether, you know, you know, maybe a vehicle rolled over or, you know, any, anything that happens, you’ll be being on a C130.
Plenty of times I hit my head. And you don’t even need to hit your head. It can just be other things. So when that happens, you if you recover, if you’re taken out of training and the right [00:10:00] things happen for that four weeks and you recover and they retest you, and hey, everything cleared up, This is great.
We’re gonna put you back into training. That’s the right thing to do, but that’s not what happens in practice because the military just can’t take you out of your mission cuz they need a hundred people. They can’t do this with 99. So I just don’t, you know, they don’t really keep up with the research and then they don’t really kind of apply it.
Because that’s gonna affect the, what they’re trying to do that’s gonna affect their productivity. So, what happens is people get hurt again and it’s that second. Within that four week timeframe, that starts to have more issues that are harder to clear up. And that’s the biggest problem is the second impact.
So, the thing that you can do if you’re serving currently is to just kind of think about your history. Think about, Hey, you know, when did I have these issues? If you get your bell wrong, that’s something most people can easily understand. If you get your be [00:11:00] rung and you’re just seeing stars, you just had a concussion, okay?
There’s no tests. So functional MRIs are not useful. They’re not. They’re not. Actually supporting evidence. Other types of tests. I mean, they’re trying to find something. There’s blood tests they do and all these kinds of things to look for markers, but they’re just not valid at this point.
So we concussions are really clinically based. So if you have this list of symptoms, you know, you only need one to be diagnosed. So, but diagnosis is only gonna go so far. You know, you need to do a whole slew of things within that four weeks. Like I’m telling you, I mean, the stuff that they really need to do, the VA just doesn’t have, they don’t have the manpower.
They don’t have the focus, They don’t have, you know, they don’t really know the research and they’re just, it’s just too big of a system to really change. That sounds really sad and I wish it was different. But you have to have a different diet. When you have a concussion, you need. Have some sleep, but [00:12:00] not too much sleep.
I mean, what they did for me was they just took me out of training and put me in casual or medical and. I got nothing to actually help heal my brain during, they took me off for four weeks, but I didn’t get anything to help me really recover from my symptoms. So I went back to training and I was falling asleep, running, and that’s not very, You know, I mean, when you feel like you’re gonna black out in a second, you’re like, Man, my something’s not right.
My circulation in my brain is just, you know, it’s just not there. So, but you know, I survived that .
Scott DeLuzio: So, you mentioned that when you get your bell rung, you see stars and that’s a pretty clear indication that you’ve had a concussion. Are there other symptoms like that, that people should be aware of that will indicate that they likely have had a concussion of some sort?
Brandy Lang: Yeah, most common ones are, and it can be like literally a whole list of things, [00:13:00] but you can have like you wanna sleep all the time, you feel very fatigued, like immediately. Your sleep is not recovering sleep, and it’s like, I just could. Keep on sleeping, but you know, come on now, you gotta get up at four o’clock.
You know, it’s like the military’s not gonna let you sleep in. So, you know that you can have headaches that just don’t really quit. You can have dizziness like I said, when I was and therefore the longest. Time, even after I got outta the military and I didn’t have my two close together. So that second impact really didn’t happen with me, but it happens a lot with active duty.
Then, and then of course, then when we get outta the military and we may be classified with certain types of diagnoses, those symptoms are still from that second impact. So we kind of have to turn back time a little bit and do a good history to figure out what’s going on. But when I was. When I had my two, they weren’t close together, and I healed a little bit, but it wasn’t complete.
It wasn’t complete that I actually [00:14:00] recovered all the way until I actually went through PT school. And then I added more, Obviously I was in training for something else, and then I’m like, Wow I really have. Deficits on the side of my body. My, my balance is off. I never knew it until I was actually training in something so isolated that I could see it.
But but then I, you know, continued running, like I hated running in the military, but then when I got out I really liked it. So, I just continued doing that. But I would come back from running and feel like I could go to sleep right then. Yeah, so who would do that? Right? It usually gives you energy and you feel really great and all this kind of stuff.
I’m like, Man, this is not right. I just feel like I could go to sleep. And so I just kind of continued my work of self-discovery while I’m, you know, now a pt. Of, you know, nutrition and gut and all these other kinds of things that really do, you know, work with the brain. So, but yeah, so dizziness, headaches double vision blurriness.
[00:15:00] Sometimes you can see spots. It’s hard to focus. It’s hard. Your tension can be decreased. Like that whoosh into your brain. If you’re doing physical activity and you feel like, who? Like it’s different when you’re like, Oh, I’m getting, you know, I’m pumping iron or I’m doing this activity and I just feel the blood pumping.
That is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about this like, this feeling that your blood is just rushing up to your head and things like that. You know, almost
Scott DeLuzio: like you, you stood up too fast kind of
Brandy Lang: thing. Like kind of thing. Yeah. And that can be an indication too, you know, if you never had blood pressure issues and all of a sudden you stand up and you kind of feel like you could pass out, you need to, and you’ve had a tbi.
That’s when you need to see somebody. It’s generally not a blood pressure issue. And that’s what kind of , Sorry. You know, you, to me, I could say whatever, but it kind of sure irritates me a lot with even a pcp. You know, say you’re in a rural area. And you have to travel 200 miles to a VA center.
So you have to [00:16:00] have your pcp who’s just a country doctor or something. I’m not digging on country. I come from the country. But you know, and, and it doesn’t really, I’m sorry cause it’s not necessarily what I meant. This. Say, But just having someone that might not know what the, that the research says, they could be like, Oh, let me go and put you on pain on blood pressure medicine.
Let me go ahead and put you on this. It’s like, No, no. Like every single , I wish every medical doctor would do the proper history to say, Have you ever had a tbi? Because a lot of those, you can have a heart arrhythmia. That’s what I had. I had a heart rhythm afterwards. And it would be like a palpitation that would happen.
I didn’t have AFib, I didn’t have these other kinds of cardiac issues. And I know that because in school, in PT school, we did that, you know, But I could work out, I could do all sorts of things and I wouldn’t have, I wouldn’t be able to. I wouldn’t be able to rep have those symptoms come back up. [00:17:00] It was honestly, when I was super stressed in school, I was not getting good sleep because of school, and I would try to lay down just to get like a nap.
It would just be like, Everything’s racing. And then my heart would just skip a beat and it would make me kind of, you know, take a breath and I’m like, What the heck is going on? You know, I’m a healthy individual, you know, that type of thing. Cuz I went in after high school like most people you know, so I mean, it can be a slew of different things, but You know, you just have to be very careful when you go to a medical doctor and they just put you up to like a blood pressure cuff and it’s like, you know, anytime you can have.
You know, some high blood pressure. I can make that happen, honestly, you know? But you know, there are definite medical guidelines and I’m not trying to belittle that. But it should be something where we look at the whole person and figure out what we can do [00:18:00] to help them. And if they’ve got a tbi, then that needs to be their recovery.
And then if they still have high blood pressure, I mean, I’m not talking about skyrocketing high blood pressure, I’m talking about. Something as easy as That’s kind of a great area, right? So we don’t necessarily, if they’ve had a tbi, they may need to work on that first recovering from PCs symptoms and then see if their blood pressure improves.
So, you know, I’m very I’m a whole kind of integrative. Like I try to put everything together. I do a. Of history with folks. But yeah, it can be a whole slew of things. I mean, you can have memory before and after. And it’s amazing our brain because we always try to fix the symptom, but we don’t always want to take time to really try to figure out.
What our body needs to recover, because another aspect obviously here’s what I wanna make [00:19:00] sure that your listeners here as well, is that. When someone sees you for the first time after a TBI and they do a, an assessment, or if it’s the second one, third one, doesn’t matter how many, and they say, These are the symptoms that you have, and you’re gonna have to deal with them forever.
When that happens, we really, really, really start to cognitively, psychologically go downhill. Okay. They’ve done research on anxiety, depression, PTSD, and tbi. And if someone tells you that you’re going like that verbally tells you that you’re gonna have to deal with this stuff forever and you’re may might not be able to go back to training, you might never have a job again, and you might not do this psychologically.
That really messes with us. So not only do we have. Traumatic experience of how we got the tbi. Most often that’s the case that we have to deal [00:20:00] with and we have to kind of work through. Then we have, you know, somebody telling us that our brain is damaged and that we’re never going to be the same again.
And so that just layers on layers. So anxiety and depression, and actually PTSD can be a symptom of a tbi, so it’s not, you get, you know, we need to be, We need to evolve as a medical society, especially practitioners like myself evolve to understand, listen, you know, if this happened first let’s deal with that and then the other part of maybe traumatic memories or triggers that, that cause some other things to happen with us internally.
I think people are gonna be, in a way better position to be resilient, have stress, resilience, and actually to work through some of that other stuff. If we work with, if we kind of get rid of what’s still there from the pc. And that’s what my mission is like, you know, let’s not just [00:21:00] clump everything together.
Let’s figure out what needs what really is the issue, and then we’re building a healthier person so that they can work through the rest of their trauma. You know, it’s just, it’s a never ending battle almost if you’re working through trauma. And you still got this, it’s a metabolic issue, a tbi.
So you have all these signals that are just still on fire from having your TBI years ago. And so, you know, you’re not able to do the other type of treatment that you need because, or the healing that you need because you know, you, you can’t get past your actual biological makeup, like your body is sick.
We need to. What we need to do first for the, from the PCs side, and then we can, you know, work through trauma. So, you know, that’s a big point. So I wanna make that.
Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, no, absolutely. And I’m glad that you did make that those points there with the different symptoms[00:22:00] and the.
Steps that are necessary to begin that recovery process. But I’d like to also talk about what the recovery process itself looks like. I know you talked about nutrition, you talked about sleeping, not too much, not too little things like that. But I’m sure there’s a much more that goes into the recovery process.
Could you talk a little
Brandy Lang: bit about. Sure. So one of the interesting things I love about the neurocognitive test that I use is not only does it, it actually tests your brain. It’s it’s interesting cuz it’s not a bunch of games, it takes about 20 minutes. So it’s super easy and it’s virtual so I can just like send it to somebody and they can do it on their phone.
But at the. In, there’s questionnaires that have to deal with your stress, resilience, maybe where you are from a psychosocial aspect where you are you know, with your anxiety and depression and things like that, and also where you are in your sleep. So, that’s very useful information because.
Sleep is really [00:23:00] super important. And that’s one of the things that I work with people on because we have our own lymphatic system in our brain. And honestly, , I’ve read research where it’s like there’s no lymphatic drainage in the brain, like. It’s just recent. It’s within the last 10 years that we have known this to be to happen.
So we always kind of have to always look at research because it changes, right? So sleep helps us with that inflammation that happens in the brain. And what happens when you have a tbi? So it’s not necessarily this is your gray matter and your white matter, okay? Two plate. We at least know there’s that much.
So when you have that tbi, it’s not this way, it’s this way. It’s the back and forth of that jostling that when we get our bell rung, that makes the difference and the neurons those cells and everything sheer. And so there’s this not a break necessarily. The first time you [00:24:00] have one, it’s not brain damage.
Okay. But it is something that causes a huge disruption in your immunity, in your absorption of nutrients in your stomach and inflammation in the brain. Inflammation in the gut. I mean, this happens within three hours of getting a concussion. So it’s immediate that we do more of an anti-inflammatory diet.
And let’s face it. Sometimes I see people that have had this for years and I was like, I know you love your pizza , you know, but we gotta do this for your brain. Okay? Your brain is still kind of on fire. You know, if it’s a better visual for some people.
And everybody there’s a lot of information about the vagus nerve. A lot of people wanna look at that because it has to deal with your a lot of trauma recovery and things like that. Well, the vagus nerve is bidirectional, which means it goes in two ways. It connects the brain to the gut and the gut to the brain.
So we can’t do one without the other. It’s not physically [00:25:00] possible. So when I talk to people, it’s like, Listen, you know, if you lose a couple of. That’s great, but that’s not what I’m doing. You know, it’s just not what, that’s not my focus necessarily. But that inflammation really has a huge part to play in how we can repair our brain.
So we need to look at an anti-inflammatory diet. I do look at their sleep because your your drainage system, okay? We know about inflammation. Like if we get a swollen. Leg, we’re gonna prop up our leg because we want everything to drain down, right? So we have lymphatics in our groin and in our armpits, right?
That’s our body. But we actually have a separate, that’s separate lymphatic system of our brain. So we need to stimulate that to actually get rid of the inflammation from the injury. And that happens only when you sleep, but it also happens with, you know, Trying to boost your antioxidants and things like that because you know, the, if you know anything about free [00:26:00] radicals, well that happens after a tbi and, you know, you gotta neutralize all that stuff.
So, the, you know, you can delve into that more if folks wanna do that you have some, you know, you want me to go into that more specifics, but, so I do that, do an anti-inflammatory diet. I really booster antioxidants. I wanna get the right. Building blocks in their system so they can make serotonin, dopamine.
They can get to sleep because you know, serotonin and dopa means the calming, right? We wanna be calm. So we have this fire going on in our brain. We have a fire from the trauma, and we have a fire because of the injury. So we’ve gotta take down the fire from the injury so we can actually see what’s going on and actually feel.
We’re supposed to feel instead of having it be a little bit, you know, convoluted, like where’s it coming from? Well, it could be your TBI or it could be the event. So sleep is very important. So seven to nine hours is your [00:27:00] sweet spot for that lymphatic system to happen. And, you know, one of the biggest things when I talked about the neurocognitive test, I can’t just go in there and say, Hey, we’re gonna we’re gonna put you on this, you know, nutrition plan and we’re gonna get you moving more and we’re gonna up your water and we’re gonna get your sleep going because honestly, because we’ve been told that there’s no way to fix.
We already have a psychological kind of feedback mechanism that there’s no way I can get better. There’s nothing that can be done. And then there’s guilt because of that. And then there’s all these other emotions that just kind of come up because. We just don’t feel like ourselves and we don’t know what to do, and there’s nobody that’s helping us.
And it just, it’s just this overlay of so much crap, honestly, that we’re told that I incorporate cognitive [00:28:00] behavioral therapy coaching. I am not a therapist. I’m not a psycho, you know, a mental health practitioner. But I have gone through coaching kind of training to be. Uses principles and concepts in my in my program because, You know, thoughts and feelings lead to action, and we keep going back to a time when somebody told us that we’re not gonna recover from this.
We keep going back to a time when we just don’t feel like getting outta bed and there’s that anxiety and depression that’s just so heavy. I can’t tell you to go outside and, you know, run a mile. You know, you haven’t done that in 10 years maybe. And unfortunately my. My program is virtual and I made it that way.
Not that I don’t love doing what I do with people, cuz I’m I’m also a myofascial release therapist, which is very helpful when it comes to trauma. I would definitely seek, I would definitely tell everybody to go seek one out. I can give [00:29:00] you my, the email, I can give you the website that I got my training from and you can look for a directory in your area.
So maybe you can, you know, share that with folks afterwards. That’s, Yeah, I’d love to do that. So, but that is, you know, one of those things that is I’d love to, to do that and I do that with people that wanna come to me. But you know, being virtual allows me to meet people when they don’t wanna go outside their house.
You know, we really have a. A real problem when it comes to trying to reach veterans and trying to meet them where they are, you know, I mean, they’re my family. They’re your family, obviously you’re my family, right? You meet a veteran and it’s like we’re together forever, right? So you immediately know them.
You know, you may not know them, but you understand them, you know, and there’s a ease in the conversation and things like that. But We really have a problem with telling veterans that they’re just stuck with where they are. And so there’s a lot of like rapport that I build. I do a lot of the CBT at the beginning.
I try [00:30:00] to work on some goals with them that mean something to them, you know? And when you’re talking to somebody, if you’re helping them with their health, their why is gonna be their wife or their husband or their children or something like that. But when you’re trying to get a, we trying to help a veteran see themselves in a totally different way, then you really have to tell them it’s okay to be selfish.
You know, We’re not selfish. Right. I do for you and you do for me. And so we never think of ourselves first because that’s not what we’re taught in the military. Right. It’s our unit, it’s our flight. It’s whatever it happens to be. Our squad. So, you know, we do what we’re supposed to do for the mission, and that’s the important part.
And then we just don’t think of ourselves as being important in that aspect. But it’s okay to actually own where you are and to really think about yourself [00:31:00] and to just say, you know, I just don’t wanna feel like this anymore. And you don’t have to do that for anybody else, but. You know, because the other people around you are gonna love the fact that you probably care about yourself again.
You know? So, I try to reach out to veterans to just say, you know, it doesn’t have to be tomorrow. It doesn’t have to be next week. It doesn’t have to be a month from now. If you look back in time of how long you’ve had these symptoms, You know what it could be an arms length, you know, it’s just give yourself a little bit of grace.
You know, we’re not used to doing that cuz that means we’re weak. Right. Right. Uh, It’s like, you know what I’m saying? So you don’t have to just wear the uniform forever, even though we do. Right. You have to just say, you know, I was somebody before I put it on and I deserve to, to get better.
So, Right. And
Scott DeLuzio: like you were saying, if you feel like it’s a selfish thing for the [00:32:00] listeners, if you feel like you’re being selfish by doing all these things that are really in the, at the end of the day gonna help you out think about the improvement that you’ll have in your relationships and things like that.
So it’s not really just you helping yourself out, it’s you helping. Yourself and the other people in your life out too. So, you know, if you’re not willing to do it for yourself, cause you feel like it’s selfish, they at least do it for the other people who are in your life so that they can experience the best version of you that they could possibly get to know.
Right. Exactly. And. I’ve heard stories from professional athletes and even other veterans who have suffered a number of different brain injuries, of varying degrees of severity. And they’ve used various forms of therapy to help heal their brains and. They, some of ’em found some relief in some of ’em, some of ’em didn’t find some relief in other forms of therapies and things like that, that they’ve gone through.
But at the end of the [00:33:00] day, there’s something out there that can help everybody. Right. And I’m saying this because like what you were saying, there’s hope for those people who are suffering from a brain injury. And for the listeners, if you’ve experienced a TBI of any burying severity, And you can’t seem to find anything that is working for you.
Just know that there are other options out there. Like you were saying, that if you’ve gone to the VA and they haven’t been all that overly helpful, there are other options out there. Mm-hmm. , and with that there’s hope and I’m glad that you brought that up and I want to encourage the people who are out there who have experienced some sort of brain injuries.
Go get checked out and go find somebody who’s going to work with you and do the necessary work to dig into your past, like you were talking about, to figure out what it is that actually occurred and how it’s affecting you and address the root cause and [00:34:00] not just try to cover up the symptoms. Yeah, and I think that will give you the solution that you’re looking.
Brandy Lang: Yeah, I know. That’s a great, I’m glad you said it that way because you know, we can. We can do a lot of positive affirmations and we can, you know, look at memes that are really positive and all these kinds of things and, you know, say it to ourself. But what I found, especially in my recovery and there was a certain amount of trauma to that too that I really had to work through in myofascial release with was huge in making that happen.
But. Because we keep a lot of the trauma in our somatic tissue, which is the fascia, you know, that’s, it’s not our brain. It’s part of our brain, but it’s not the co it’s not the conscious part of our brain. So when we say things to ourselves, that’s the conscious part of our brain. We’re not really getting to.
The part of our body that we’re, you know, you talk about a an [00:35:00] event that’s happened to you and you cry. You talk about an event that happens to you and you clench your teeth or you get this stuck right here. You know, you just can’t swallow and it gets red and just, Hot or right in your gut, you just feel like it’s getting twisted.
Okay. That’s something that is deeper in us and we really do have a way to, to work through that. But it’s kind of like, Healing is only as good as your next step. So we can heal a cut and still not be able to get, you know, full function out of a muscle. We can, you know, heal from an ankle injury, but still not be able to balance on one leg.
It doesn’t mean that. We’re really through everything. If we can not cry or not clench our teeth when we are thinking about something or something happens or whatever, it really is about. What are you doing for the rest of your [00:36:00] life? Like, what are you what’s happening after that? Am I able to build, just like you said, Am I able to build those relationships with my wife or husband or neighbors or family or my children?
You know, I’ve been deployed so many times, I don’t even know my kids. You know, can I, Right. Can I build that relationship? Can I. , you know, just get to know them in a different way. Can I, you know, go find something else to do that I didn’t learn in the military. Right? Whatever your job was. It’s kind of like, where’s my passion?
What do I do now? I’m just robot. What do I do now? You know, and you just bumping into walls. So I think when we’re really. Pasts were really kind of healed from those injuries and especially if there’s a trauma attached to it, which frequently there is. I think the real true, like, you know, man, this is a great place to be is really when we’re able to take that next step and do something You know, that’s super positive and you know, like you’re [00:37:00] doing super, you know, something fantastic, something very positive.
And, you know, I’m sure there was a process for that, right? It’s not like you got outta the military and said, You know what? I’m gonna have a podcast, you know, , you might have, but you know what I’m saying? So same with me. I didn’t really, I worked in the private sector for a long time and I said, You know, this isn’t really fulfilling me.
This isn’t really giving me Anything back for me. Cuz we have to have that. That’s the thing when it comes to being alive, you know, and I’ve worked in trauma for a long time. Like I, I’ve worked with people for a lot of different you know, assaults and certain injuries from TBIs. I’ve had, you know, injuries from shrapnel and I’ve worked with people that have had.
And just all sorts of things. And to see them recover in ways that they would’ve never, you know, really thought was possible is great. So I’m glad you mentioned the hope piece because it’s definitely doable. The, you know, whoever you Think at the end of your day, whoever you’re grateful [00:38:00] to, whether it’s the universe or something else you wanna call it we really are more, we’re more powerful than we really think we are.
And it’s really amazing. I mean, I’ve seen it with people. I’ve had it happen to myself. I can’t even tell you how great it is, but you know, I just want I’m glad you’re out there to give veterans hope because I wanted to, I wanna do that when I speak out is you know, please don’t feel that you’re in a box, that you’re just fractured.
You know, you’re not a fractured person. You really are a whole person. It’s just, you know, you’ve got all this stuff on the inside that’s just kind of bouncing around. Right. So reorganizing and getting to that point, you know, it takes a little bit of work, but you know, just like you said, you should, you know, do it for yourself or do it for your family or, you know, whatever, what, whatever, you know, drives you.
So, I like the podcast cuz it makes sense. Drive on, right? Yeah,
Scott DeLuzio: right. Exactly. And at the end of the day, whoever you’re doing it for, just do it, you know, get, get moving and, [00:39:00] Get on that path to find something. That works for you. Exactly. Yep. Brand Brandy, it’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today.
Before we wrap up today, I want to give you the chance to let people know where they can go to get in touch with you and find out more about your TBI recovery program and anything else that you might have
Brandy Lang: going on. Okay. Thank you very much. Yeah. It’s been a pleasure as well, Scott. Thank you so much.
So it’s real easy on my website, which is visionary pt.com. You can get in touch with me that way. I have all my social media links on that, and that’s another thing. Not many vets, honestly are on a lot of social media outlets. So usually people will either contact me through email and there’s a form on.
Site where you can just put in your name, address, questions, whatever, and email will come to me. Or you can email me directly at brandy b r a n d y visionary pt.com. So either my website or my email is the best. And I’d be happy just to talk to [00:40:00] you and just find out, you know, if there’s a way that I can help you.
I will quickly, so I’m a myofascial. Therapist myofascialrelease.com. I trained with John Barnes, so that is, he owns that kind of URL, I guess. And so if you go to myofascialrelease.com and look in your state, there’s a directory for therapists and pretty much almost every state. I am, I used to be on the directory, but since I became private, I’m not anymore.
So don’t let that stop you. You can definitely go to your state and even get in touch with one of those therapists, tell them where you’re from and there’s a possibility we already know a fellow practitioner that may be closer to you. So, I always recommend people do that. It’s a great place to start.
And I will say, you know, what myofascial release will never hurt you. Okay? So it will never hurt you. It will always be positive. And so we, if you enter into that with somebody just. You know, just go there with an open mind and an open heart and the [00:41:00] practitioner will lead you and things like that.
So, right now I’m actually really in a lot of different places. Right now I just finished that one event with Camp for Heroes. So if somebody emails me, they can get in touch with. Newsletter and I can keep them up on events and things like that. I promise I won’t spam you. I don’t do that.
So , trust me, if I get one out once a month, it’s a miracle. So, but you can get a lot of good tips like you were asking me and things like that. So I kind of try to just do everything Brain health, everything body health kind of through that newsletter. So, anyway.
Scott DeLuzio: Perfect. And I will have links to all that in the show notes.
So anyone who is looking to get in touch with Brandy or find out any more information for their own purposes or for someone else in their life who might be benefiting from some of these services or practices that might be out there. Definitely check out the show notes. You’ll have all the links listed right there.
Brandy, thank you again for taking the time to join us. I really do appreciate everything that [00:42:00] we talked about today and looking forward to chatting with you again in the future.
Brandy Lang: Yes. Thank you so much, Scott. I appreciate it.
Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.