Farragut couple’s quest leads to new business

A quest to help their daughter led Farragut residents Jeff and Angel Ogden to open a new business, Brain Balance Achievement Center of Farragut.

They hope to open Brain Balance, 157 Brooklawn St. in Kroger Marketplace shopping center in mid- to late-May.

“It’s a new experience for us,” Angel Ogden said. “God has laden on our hearts to help kids.”

“We wanted to bring something right here,” Jeff Ogden said.

Brain Balance Achievement Center addresses processing disorders, ADHD, behavior and social issues in children starting at age 4.

It is a comprehensive non-medical 12-week program combining physical and sensory motor exercises with cognitive skill training and healthy nutrition to place both hemispheres of the brain back in sync and allow children to reach their full potential, Jeff Ogden said, adding children go three times a week for one hour.

“It’s not that the child is not intelligent; it’s that the brain has not matured as quickly,” Angel Ogden said. “The program is designed to stimulate the weaker hemisphere [of the brain].”

The venture started as a way to find therapy for their daughter, Annalise.

“Our daughter [Annalise] has had processing issues,” he said. “She was really slow to crawl, slow to walk. So we had her in some different therapies throughout her childhood, and she’s now 10.

“She had developed an issue with dragging one of her feet when that leg got tired,” he added. “So, we’ve been to physical therapy, occupational therapy and all these different things. They seemed to progressively be getting worse.”

In August 2015, the Ogdens went to Atlanta, Ga., to the Carrick Brain Center.

“They went through some non-medical treatments with her.” Jeff Ogden said. “It was more doing different exercises and things to strengthen her core and such. When we came home we had some exercises to do as well.

“They called us back in March 2016 and said they were going to bring in some specialists, especially to treat children.

“Little did we know [one of the] specialists they brought in was [Dr. Robert Melillo] the founder of Brain Balance,” he added.

Melillo wrote “Disconnected Kids: The Groundbreaking Brain Balance Program for Children with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, and Other Neurological Disorders,” and “Reconnected Kids: Help Your Child Achieve Physical, Mental, and Emotional Balance.”

The books address children who have trouble focusing, have processing issues and other disorders.

“I thought, ‘Wow, this is exactly what our daughter needs,’” Jeff said.

However, the closest Brain Balance center for the Ogdens was Roswell, Ga.

“It was a major commitment,” he said. “They initially recommended two of the 12-week sessions, but we could only do the first one because when school started back we just couldn’t keep making that drive.”

Still, Jeff Ogden said, “We were pleased with the progress Annalise made from the first session.

As the Ogdens talked to the staff in Roswell, they started thinking about opening a center in the Knoxville metropolitan area. Jeff said they talked to corporate headquarters and learned Farragut was one of the locations in which the corporate office was interested.

The Ogdens signed their franchise agreement with Brain Balance the end of September 2016.

“Since then, we were looking for a lease space, went through the process of getting a small business loan,” he said.

“[Brain Balance] is a non-medical approach, so you don’t have to have doctors or a therapist,” Jeff Ogden added. “No medication is administered. It’s based on [the children’s] sensory motor exercises they do in center and then cognitive exercises.

“Our role will be to hire three full-time employees [who are] coaches, who will walk the children through different stations.”

“All the coaches will have a

psychological background in sports medicine,” Angel Ogden said. “When the children come in, we do a three- or four-hour assessment. We can determine a special program on which parts of the brain are weaker so both sides gain equilibrium.”

The center will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with a majority the sessions after school.