#258 - Functional Neurology for Kids with Dr. Conner Bor

by Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC May 31, 2023

#258 - Functional Neurology for Kids with Dr. Conner Bor

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Functional Neurology for Kids with Dr. Conner Bor

Dr. Conner Bor was born and raised in Voorhees, New Jersey. He completed his undergraduate degree in Health & Exercise Science at The College of New Jersey and went on to earn his Doctorate of Chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic. While at Palmer, Dr. Bor received many academic honors and was awarded the prestigious Clinical Excellence award upon graduation. 

Growing up, Dr. Bor’s passion for helping others was fueled by having two uncles who are chiropractors. While competing in both high school and college athletics, Dr. Bor relied heavily on chiropractic care to recover from injuries and maintain peak condition. Dr. Bor found his calling early on and earned his undergraduate degree early so he could begin his journey as a chiropractor. 

Early on in chiropractic school, Dr. Bor discovered his passion for neurology and began his post-graduate training while still in school. Dr. Bor completed over 500 hours in training the field of Functional Neurology and was the President of the Functional Neurology club while in school. He went on to receive a Diplomate in Chiropractic Neurology through the American Chiropractic Neurology Board. Dr. Bor is also fellowship trained in the management of childhood developmental disorders through the International Association of Functional Neurology. In an effort to provide this information to as many as possible, Dr. Bor developed a comprehensive online course that teaches both parents and other healthcare practitioners how to apply the concepts of neuroplasticity and nutrition. This course has helped children with developmental delays from around the world maximize their neurologic potential and reach their goals.




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Functional Neurology for Kids with Dr. Connor Bor

Dr. Conner Bor, a New Jersey native, completed his undergraduate degree in Health and Science at the College of New Jersey before earning his doctorate in chiropractic from Palmer College of Chiropractic. After graduating from chiropractic school, Dr. Conner relocated to Phoenix to work alongside Dr. Trevor Berry, a renowned functional neurology expert. 

He spent a year and a half under his mentorship before establishing his practice in September 2021. Dr. Connor will discuss the advantages of functional neurology for individuals with retained primitive reflexes, the techniques utilized for treatment, and highlight how such interventions stimulate the nervous system, improving balance and enhancing overall performance.

What Is Functional Neurology?

Functional neurology studies how the nervous system works and how the brain communicates with the body. It concentrates on the nervous system to enhance a child’s coordination, balance, focus, emotional regulation, and cognitive processing efficiency.

The practice of functional neurology is adopted by various modalities of practice, including chiropractic, psychology, occupational therapy, and even by some conventional Western medical practitioners. However, functional neurology is most frequently practiced by chiropractors.

It applies neuroscience research from laboratory studies and explores how it can be practically used in patient care. By supporting the nervous system through optimal fuel and stimulation, the nervous system may be protected and thrive.

How Is Functional Neurology Practiced?

Functional neurology has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing the impact of retained primitive reflexes. These reflexes are natural and automatic movements that infants use to facilitate physical growth, such as crawling and rotating their heads to explore their environment.

If these primitive reflexes persist into adulthood, they can cause a range of developmental challenges. These may include impaired motor skills, language difficulties, concentration, and behavioral and social concerns.

We conduct a thorough neurologic exam and gather a comprehensive medical history to improve our understanding of their needs. Moreover, we can access functional assessment tools such as qEEG brain mapping.

This technique offers a more precise evaluation of brain function, allowing us to make informed treatment decisions customized to each child’s specific neurodevelopmental requirements. Usually, we begin with twelve sessions to allow adequate time for the desired changes to take effect.

Once these initial visits are complete, we assess the child’s functional level and decide on the best action for further treatment. Although there are no guarantees with this process, the twelve sessions provide ample opportunity for both the child and parents to evaluate whether we are a good match and to build trust in our approach.

Cold Laser Application in Functional Neurology

The modality most utilized is the laser; however, not all lasers are equivalent. Thus, using a laser does not automatically mean that chiropractors or physical therapists can use it on children’s heads without taking appropriate precautions.

Unlike some high-wattage lasers used in specific settings that rely on thermal reactions, Dr. Conner’s laser is a cold laser that does not produce heat. Our laser enables us to administer precise treatment to specific areas of the head, promoting chemical reactions without heating the underlying tissues. 

The laser operates by activating specific receptors on our cells that absorb particular wavelengths of light. When exposed to the appropriate wavelengths of light, we provide the cells with the energy required to function at their best.

The vagus nerve, which controls the “rest and digest” aspect of the nervous system, can be activated by applying the laser to specific body parts such as the neck. Additionally, treating children’s chronic gastrointestinal issues can be improved by focusing the laser on the stomach area, relieving symptoms.

The laser’s capacity to alleviate muscle-related pain or nerve issues is frequently undervalued. Therefore, the laser is not only an effective method but also an incredibly versatile tool.

Benefits Of Laser Therapy On Primitive Reflexes

While integrating primitive reflexes, we often employ co-activations, which entails placing the laser over the particular region of the brain or nervous system we intend to target. There is some connection between postural reflexes and their top-down inhibition; several of these reflexes are situated in different parts of the brainstem.

Tackling The Moro Reflex

We first apply the laser to that specific section of the brainstem before commencing the reflex exercises. This method enhances the energy in that region of the brainstem, leading to improved reflex integration.

Addressing The ATNR

We position the laser over both the cerebrum and brainstem while executing head turning and other movements. We utilize various sensory-motor therapies customized to individual brain regions; for example, when targeting the right brain, we employ techniques such as vibration on the left side of the body, smell in the right nostril, or sound in the left ear. 

This entails targeting reflexes, postural reflexes, proprioceptive input, vestibular input, eye movements, and autonomic regulation. By attending to these factors, we can effectively assist individuals in managing sympathetic and parasympathetic overload.

Our objective is to effectively trigger the brain inhibitory processes, which can be accomplished by providing improved proprioceptive input to the brain. Thus, it is crucial to implement effective strategies tailored to the unique circumstances and needs of each individual and their parents or caregivers.





While we make every effort to share correct information, we are still learning. We will double check all of our facts but realize that medicine is a constantly changing science and art. One doctor / therapist may have a different way of doing things from another. We are simply presenting our views and opinions on how to address common sensory challenges, health related difficulties and what we have found to be beneficial that will be as evidenced based as possible. By listening to this podcast, you agree not to use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or your children. Consult your child’s pediatrician/ therapist for any medical issues that he or she may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guests or contributors to the podcast. Under no circumstances shall Rachel Harrington, Harkla, Jessica Hill, or any guests or contributors to the podcast, as well as any employees, associates, or affiliates of Harkla, be responsible for damages arising from use of the podcast.

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

This podcast should not be used in any legal capacity whatsoever, including but not limited to establishing “standard of care” in a legal sense or as a basis for expert witness testimony. No guarantee is given regarding the accuracy of any statements or opinions made on the podcast.

Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC
Jessica Hill, COTA/L & Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC

Rachel Harrington, COTA/l, AC, CPRCS, and Jessica Hill, COTA/L, CPRCS are Harkla's in-house Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants (COTA) and Certified Primitive Reflex Clinical Specialists. They have been working with children for over 6 years in outpatient settings. They specialize in creating easy-to-digest, actionable content that families can use to help their child's progress at home. Jessica and Rachel are the in-house experts, content creators, and podcast hosts at Harkla! To learn more about Jessica and Rachel, visit the Harkla About Us Page. Make sure to listen to their weekly podcast, All Things Sensory by Harkla for actionable, fun advice on child development.

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