CHILDREN AND CHIROPRACTIC LIFESTYLE
“Chiropractic has only one side effect… health.” – B. J. Palmer, D.C., Ph.C (Developer of Chiropractic)
The birth of a child is a wonderful and miraculous event. What happens after birth may be even more of a miracle. A child’s nervous system immediately begins to learn. It responds to the world within, and without. Patterns, acquired habits, are responses to the world’s stimuli. The developing nervous system does not distinguish between a good and a bad stimulus. A bad stimulus can cause an unproductive, or inefficient, learned response. A bad stimulus could be an injury, bad food, even a harsh word from a loved one.
As a chiropractor I use specific adjustments to normalize the programming errors of the nervous system. Chiropractors call those errors a Vertebral Subluxation Complex (subluxation). A chiropractic adjustment removes the subluxation to change the patient’s programming errors. Then the abnormal habit can be replaced with a habit that is normal.
Many birth procedures cause Traumatic Birth Syndrome (TBS) which often causes a subluxation. With a subluxation the normal vibratory motion in the spine is reduced or stopped. This interrupts the communication between the body and the brain. The result can be many negative health consequences for a child. A chiropractic adjustment restores the vibration, and the communication between the brain and the body.
There are many signs of TBS and subluxation in an infant. APGAR is a numerical value assigned to the newborn immediately after birth, and again at 5 minutes. An APGAR score of less than a 10 generally indicates birth trauma. If an infant fusses when the head is turned a particular side to nurse, or holds the head in the same position most of the time, or cries too much it indicates the presence of subluxation. The majority of health issues seen in adults have their origins in childhood.
Many parents wonder how a chiropractor can detect subluxation in an infant or a child. If the child can stand I evaluate posture and show the parent the deviations. With the child on its belly I bend and lift each leg while touching a bone near the waistline. This lets me see whether the joint moves properly. When it does not I have the parent touch and feel the difference from side to side.
Nearly 100% of young children will initially have restricted motion in their pelvis. That restricted motion sets off a cascade of events that slowly erode the health of the child. Common complaints are growing pains, leg pains, restless leg syndrome, hip pains, foot pains, scoliosis, IBS, colitis, digestive difficulties, breathing problems, elimination problems and hormonal problems as they mature.
It is extremely common to find that a child’s neck bends to one side much more than it does to the other. This is another sign of subluxation, and the parent usually has no problem feeling this when I show them. With this finding it is common to have, or have had, a history of ear infections. Usually it is the right side that will not bend, and the right side is also usually the site of ear infections.
If the child is old enough to lie still I will check leg lengths, both with the child on their belly and their back. This, again, is something that the parent can usually observe.
After this brief examination the child is adjusted. The adjustment will be a combination of hands-on adjusting, instrument adjusting, and vibration. Everything is low force. It is much easier to restore the normal vibratory motion into a child’s spine than it is to restore motion to most adults.
After the chiropractic adjustment I go back and show the parent the changes that have happened since the exam. Leg lengths change, motion is restored, and sometimes posture is immediately impacted. These are indications that subluxation is removed, that the nervous system has adapted and is allowing new habits to develop.
The adjustment is the most important part of a child’s visit to the chiropractor, however a family’s lifestyle choices may influence the child’s ability to “hold” their adjustment. During childhood cells and organs are growing at lightning speed. Nutrients key this growth. Most problems we face as adults start out in childhood, and many are avoidable if we avoid poor nutrition. Junk food and fast food are at the top of the poor nutrition pyramid.
Inactivity has contributed mightily to an epidemic in obesity. The result is pain, illness, learning disorders and even depression at much higher levels than ever before.
We need to look at the way kids eat, breathe, sleep, exercise, and how they feel about themselves. We are part of a culture that is not working and causes distress. But, when the body is free of subluxation the nervous system works efficiently. When a healthy nervous system is complemented by nutrition and exercise our children have the opportunity to maximize their potential and not become another statistic.
It is up to the parents to make the choices that support wellness and a thriving child leading a maximized life. An astounding 9 of 10 children eat junk food every week. Not long ago only adults suffered from diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, cancer, and other degenerative illnesses. Now they are common in teenagers. Our world is more toxic than ever before. Heavy metals, medications, aspartame, processed whey, MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, are crossing the blood brain barrier and entering into our personal computer, the brain. It is a parent’s responsibility to minimize the risk of these things.
Chiropractic does not cure anything. Just as we cannot fight darkness, but must turn on the light; we cannot fight disease, but must turn on life. The chiropractic adjustment turns on life! It restores function to our personal computer, the brain. So, have your children checked and adjusted by a chiropractor today. The rest is up to you.
“Chiropractic is not something that occurs around you. It occurs within you.” – Joe Flesia, D.C.