Dr. Michael Day discusses pediatric chiropractic care as a wellness option for parents and their growing children.
Why should you get chiropractic for your child?
Their spine is not yet formed, what good can it do?
My doctor doesn’t believe it will help.
Is it safe?
These are many of the questions and concerns parents have when considering pediatric chiropractic. I decided to write this article to dispel rumors and to help parents know what chiropractic care for children really is.
We experience our whole world through our nervous system. It provides both the sensory and motor ability to carry out every movement, every thought and every sensation. We have an unconscious nervous system overseeing organ tone and activity, as well as helping our immune system and vascular system function. The nervous system is a symphony of tones playing at all times.
Sometimes the tones can become inharmonious. An injury, a trauma, a mental emotional stressor: can shift the tone of our body.
Our biggest organ and our biggest interface with our holistic system is our musculoskeletal system. It will tell signal changes in tone to muscles and joint receptors if our inner life is out of harmony. Stress on the nervous system is manifested in muscle and joint guarding, changes in the way we move, and eventually pain and physical symptoms.
In children we see issues when there is trauma at birth, with slips and falls, or if their “inner life” is out of balance. The child may have undergone birth with forceps, or excessive neck twisting to turn the shoulders exiting the birth canal. There are even theories that if the pregnancy is stressful, the child exits with their nervous system and body already “ramped up.” C-sections are a common cause of infant trauma that lead to colic, digestive trouble, and torticollis to name a few. This happens because of the excess force that is often needed to extract the baby.
I became certified in pediatric care after my first child experienced excessive neck torsion in order to help is almost 10 pound frame exit the birth canal. It was a natural birth from a midwife, but I still remember the twist his head went under. After birth, he was fussy and was unable to sit in a car seat. No matter how long the drive he would never soothe, he would scream for hours. I began gentle chiropractic on his atlas or first cervical vertebrate and he began to fall asleep on drives like a baby should after only three treatments. It was the most subtle contact on C1 and the sub occipital muscles that did the trick. It was a profound experience that actually even impacted my care of adults.
I immediately registered for post doctorate certifications in pediatric care. It has been a joy to add the whole family to my practice over the last five years. For both parents and their children to get care, and receive the joys of balanced nervous system flow has been a tremendous gift.
With my son and every infant I treat, there is never any cracking or violent movements needed to stimulate healing. It’s about providing a stimulus to the nervous system using the gateway of the spine. Movement of the spine where abnormal “locking” takes place eventually reboots the signal to optimal.
The chiropractor only needs to contact a spinal joint and hold contact with the tip of their finger, with occasional a light pulse or rocking movement to create a change. Afterwards, we have seen results with colic, ear issues, headaches, torticollis, constipation, less sick days, and even epilepsy.
We are not promising a cure for any of these disorders, only offering a natural option. I am still amazed daily with what a gentle adjustment can do. But the connection of the nervous system to our whole body is intertwined, when you step back and think about it, working on the body to create healing is common sense. Hands on work with a child is about changing the tone, not “cracking” their spine. That is the case with even adults, but sadly the public is unaware of what the essence of chiropractic truly is.
It is about harmony. When life is stressful, our body can’t hide it. It can even remember past stressors. It’s up to a holistic chiropractor to relieve the armoring and provide gentle movements to aid the body in healing. The amazing power of the nervous system will do the rest.