As parents you may wonder, why would my child need to see a chiropractor? Is it safe? Will it hurt them in any way? How will they benefit from a chiropractic treatment? What are the benefits? What can chiropractic treat? What age can my child see a chiropractor from? All of these and many more questions may run through your mind when you consider taking your child to a chiropractor. Let’s not also forget those of you with great concerns and worries about your child seeing a chiropractor. As a chiropractor I am well aware of these parents, and I assure you that chiropractic is safe, incredibly effective and will only help to see your child thrive…developing to the absolute best of their ability.
Before we continue any further it must be said that ‘who’ you choose to see as your chiropractor is of the utmost importance. Choose a chiropractor that is recommended by your trusted doctor or midwife. Recommendations by friends and family are also extremely valuable, especially when it comes to children. Find a chiropractor that uses a gentle approach in their treatments and that you feel 100% comfortable with. Especially when it comes to having your children treated, you want a doctor that shows empathy, has a gentle nature, and informs you 100% every step of the treatment, keeping you informed and empowered on the decisions being made for your child.
Now to get back to just why you should see a chiropractor. “The doctor of the future will use no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame.” As a chiropractor this is one of my most favorite quotes, and it reinstils in me time and time again just why I do what I do. To me chiropractic is truly a miracle, being able to treat another person just with your hands and yet to achieve such remarkable healing, incredible! It still never ceases to amaze me, and to me the bodies own ability to heal, combined with chiropractic, is near invincible.
How can chiropractic achieve such remarkable results, you may wonder? Especially those of you that have never experienced the benefits of chiropractic. Well, our nervous system controls our whole body, it’s like the control tower at the airport that controls every flight movement and not a single plane takes off or lands without a message from the control tower. And just the same not a single movement is made by your body without a message from your nervous system to do so. Every thought you’ve ever had, every movement you’ve ever made, and every sensation you’ve ever experienced has been dependent on nerve messages flowing freely throughout your body.
Being the “control room of the body” your nervous system coordinates all bodily functions, including your breathing, digestion, and immune responses. Your nervous system can also be likened to an information highway that delicately balances the self-regulating and healing mechanisms in your body. Nerve messages are sent throughout your body coordinating all your bodily functions. Nerve messages are not invincible though and they can be interrupted and affected by spinal subluxations.
Spinal subluxations occur when there are misalignments of one or more vertebrae. This results in impaired nerve function. Many subluxations are pain-free and you may not even realize they are present, butter they are left undirected the body’s capacity for health can deteriorate. Chiropractors determine the presence of subluxations and adjust the body with specific techniques to allow the body to heal itself. Chiropractic treatment therefore removes the interruption to nerve messages and restores the delicate balance of your information highway, your nervous system.
So what causes these subluxations? Subluxations are created by physical, chemical and mental stresses.
Physical stress can range from knocks and falls to whiplash trauma and sustained postures. Sustained postures most often result from our desk setup at work and many of us are guilty of poor desk setups and prolonged hours sitting with no breaks.
Chemical stress includes anything from too much alcohol, sugar, toxins and preservatives, to breathing environmental pollutants. These toxins upset your body chemistry, disrupting the tone of both muscles and ligaments, resulting in subluxations.
Mental stress ultimately results from stress as we know it. This may be from work pressures, relationship pressures, financial pressures. This is also created by emotional stresses like anxiety, depression, and the likes. If this stress is sustained our body undergoes significant physiological changes.
You may still wonder why would you need to take you child to a chiropractor, let alone your newborn baby. They aren’t stressed, drinking alcohol, and spending long hours at their desk? It is a good question, but it must be said that your baby is not brand new when it is born, in fact it has already been developing in the mother’s womb for around nine months when born. Towards the end of babies nine months in utero it may well be cramped up inside moms womb, depending on how much room and how much amniotic fluid there is, as well as how big baby is. Mum may even remember feeling her baby sitting on her hip, pressing under her ribs or being in an awkward position whilst in utero. These internal environmental factors can all have an effect on your baby’s spine and nervous system.
Then it all happens, the birthing process. This is a very important process in the development of the health of each baby; however it can be a very traumatic event and as such can affect your baby’s spine. Whether a baby is born via a caesarean section or the natural birthing process, both types of births have their own effects on a newborn baby. It is recommended to have your newborn checked soon after birth. The birth process exerts pressure on the spine and nervous system, and the use of forceps and ventouse can create further distress.
As your baby grows into an exploring infant and then toddler, there will be many falls, bumps and knocks that can also compromise their function. As such, many parents choose to have their children checked periodically to give their kids the best chance at optimal growth and development. Our aim is to maximize your child’s function.
“There is a vast difference between treating effects and adjusting the cause.” – BJ Palmer, DC (one of the founders of chiropractic)
How will I know if my baby/child needs to see a Chiropractor?
Some common indicators that your babies nervous system, and therefore your babies mind and body are not functioning optimally are for example, a preference for your baby to feed, face and sleep one side, reduced arm range of motion such as when dressing overhead, and any behaviour changes.
An ever increasing amount of research has shown that a wide range of childhood symptoms may respond favourably to Chiropractic. These include:
- Irritable baby syndrome
- Poor Posture
- Poor Sleeping Habits
- Gastric Reflux
- Ear Infections
- Back and Neck Pain
- Growing Pains
- Poor Coordination
- Learning Difficulties
- Recurrent Chest Infections