I was empowered watching this video to continue teaching my patients and the public at large about dynamic natural health through whole food nutrition, exercise, and chiropractic adjustments. We have such an awesome gift: our body. I want to help people learn how to make their body feel energized, beautiful, and powerful.
I’m very proud to announce that on June 8th, 2011 our son, Finn, had his first chiropractic adjustment.
He was officially one week old. I would like to share the why and how of this exciting event in hopes that it might help others.
Patients often ask me, “Do you adjust children?” I respond, “I adjust children after they are age five.
Before that age I refer them to a chiropractor that specializes in chiropractic pediatrics. The chiropractor I refer to in these situations is Dr. Beate Teufel (DC).”
I have spent most of my time since graduation from chiropractic school focusing on sports medicine and functional nutritional medicine. Dr. Teufel, who in addition to being a doctor of chiropractic, is a registered nurse and worked in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for ten years, did her advanced studies in pediatrics. The day my son was born I set up an appointment for his first visit to her office.
“Why would you adjust an infant?” is a question I am frequently asked. I love answering this question because it is at the heart of what is so special about chiropractic. My answer to this question is two fold.
The Birth Process is Traumatic
First, the birth process is a traumatic experience. Yes, we have been doing it since the beginning of humanity, but squeezing an infant’s huge head and tiny body through the cervix and vagina by forcefully contracting the uterine walls is a challenge on the infant’s delicate body.
Indeed, my wife’s labor and delivery went very smoothly, but our son, Finn, came into the world with a two-inch round hematoma on his head. The cause: getting forcefully contracted upon while his head wasn’t turned exactly perfectly to align with the birth canal.
This is a very normal occurrence in the birth process, and the hematoma, a large bruise, and collection of blood under the skin, is resorbed and goes away within a few weeks.
The hematoma goes away. But what about the fixations and misalignments in the neck and spine that can happen with such a compressive force on the head and body during vaginal delivery?
It was no wonder that during Finn’s first chiropractic assessment and adjustment, he had a misalignment in his upper cervical spine.
The misalignment was easily corrected with an adjustment using a precision instrument called an Activator.
The Activator carefully applies a measured force of a few ounces to a couple of pounds.
Compare that to the average vaginal birth that subjects the newborn’s neck to an average of 40 pounds of traction or torsion. And if the birth is more difficult, like during a cesarean section, forceps or vacuum extraction, the force can reach upwards of 100 pounds of pull on the newborn’s neck.
Don’t You Want to Give Your Child The Best Chance at Health and Happiness?
We take our children in for routine medical check-ups. We get their teeth cleaned and cavities filled. But what about getting their joints, muscles, and nervous system checked by a chiropractor, a specialist in the proper function of the human frame? Don’t our children deserve to have their spine checked as well as their teeth?
Children, especially before they are talking, have a hard time letting us know that they are in pain or experiencing some difficulty with their body. Sure, a baby might cry a lot, but is that because they are hungry, need to be changed, tired, etc? As an example, how does your son or daughter let you know that they have a hard time turning their head to the left?
Although they are often overlooked, sometimes parents will notice these asymmetries in their child’s movement patterns. A common statement I hear is “I noticed that Sydney doesn’t like to lie on her right side or feed from my right breast.” The parent may or may not link this to their child’s difficulty with certain postures that can be caused by misalignments in the child’s spine. A chiropractor is trained to assess the child’s spine and make adjustments where appropriate.
I fell from a second-story window as a toddler. I suffered with problems in my nervous system and spine for years not knowing how my body should feel. With such a severe trauma at such a young age, I thought, “this is just how my body feels.”
When our son was born, we wanted to assure that his spine and nervous system were working to their full potential. We want our child to become all that he can become, and we obviously want to remove any barriers to his success. That is why we had him evaluated and treated by a chiropractor soon after his birth.
Obviously, I am biased as I have dedicated my life to chiropractic and natural healing methods. That being said, the children that I see under chiropractic care get sick less, have improved balance and posture, and overall seem to excel. I believe that a balanced health care approach, where the medical doctor (M.D.) and doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) work together towards the well-being of the child is always the best approach. I hope that you will have your son or daughter evaluated by a chiropractor today so that they can realize the gift of limitless health.