Family Wellness

Thinking About Pain in a New Way

Pain tends to have a negative connotation in our minds. Believe it or not pain is actually an emotion and our thoughts towards pain can affect how we experience it.

Inflammation

Inflammation is a part of the body’s natural healing process. Rather than associating pain with a signal that the body is breaking down, think of it as a response that comes along with the regeneration and strengthening of the body. When overcoming an injury, it is important to have that mental picture in your mind of the injured area internally healing by itself, remembering that this process is continuous. The body never stops repairing itself.

Seeing Us to Relieve Pain?

Seeking help from professionals like those at NewPort Village Chiropractic can often be a reactive response to feelings of pain. Pain can become what motivates us to do this, but it is more beneficial to our overall health if we can get regular care and adapt a preventative mindset. When we reflect on why we are seeking help it is more likely influenced by the things pain is keeping us from doing such as going to work or playing sports rather than the physical discomfort. Our bodies are capable of much more than we think, and it is often the mind that limits us.

Health = Function

When thinking about what you want to get out of your care, the desired outcome should be aimed at improving the function of the human body rather than simply masking the pain. Chiropractic adjustments are intended to improve the function of the nervous system, which is all about fixing the problem rather than removing symptoms. Often with improved function, feelings of pain will simultaneously decrease, however this shouldn’t be the main goal.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Creating a more positive objective towards your care will enable you to reach higher levels of health. Coming in to avoid injury is beneficial in terms of prevention and is better than reacting to feelings of pain, however to get to that next step where you can truly achieve optimal health the purpose behind your care needs to reflect that. See your care as enhancing your performance, strengthening your body, and moving you towards a greater quality of life.


Written by Fiona Brown, Chiropractic Technical Assistant

Fiona joined our team in September 2017. She is a co-op student from the University of British Columbia studying Kinesiology. She hopes to inspire patients at the clinic to adopt values of health and wellness. She is a track athlete specializing in the 800m. She enjoys outdoor activities such as cycling, hiking and skiing.


 

GaryThinking About Pain in a New Way
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A Special Assignment for the Stress-Free Person

Gary Barone, Tuesday, August 7, 20189:15 AM

It is a beautiful Tuesday morning here in Port Moody.  It is right after the BC Day long weekend and I can look back on a wonderful weekend with my family, hanging out, playing soccer, going on rides, and yes, even doing a little work on videos and articles and a book I am writing.

As I get back into the Tuesday routine I am compelled to address a special category of patients that is all-too common.  That category is the “Stress-Free” person.

I can’t talk about patients in any way, so I will create a fictional character.  Let’s say his name is Doug.  Doug has been under care for four weeks, and has been raving about his results. “I can’t believe how great I feel.”  Normally, if a patient is crazy about their awesome results, I will buffer it a little.

“Listen Doug, I know you are feeling great, but it is important to stay the course because you may have ups and downs in the first two months and that is totally normal as your body heals.”

A week later, the unthinkable happens.  Doug’s back pain creeps back.  “Why do you think that is?” I ask him.

“I don’t know.  I didn’t do anything.”

“Doug, do you remember the three sources of stress we talked about?”

“Yes, physical, mental/emotional and chemical… but I am not under any stress.”

“So you have no stress at all?”

“No, my diet is great, my life is great, I exercise, everything is great. I don’t get it!”

It’s not unusual that I look down at the little table where people place their belongings and I see a packaged energy drink (or a Starbucks or a bottle of pop)  Poking out of his jacket is a cigarette pack or vaporizer.  They have not one but two cell phones, and they are both buzzing. I look into his chart and see he is on 5 medications for anxiety, blood pressure, and pain.  I look at their appointment list and they have no-shows, and I recall them complaining that our hours don’t suit them (yes, that’s a sign of stress).

Let’s not even get into their bad CoreScore, or the decreased movement and misalignment of their spine.

This person isn’t always overweight or weak, in fact they can often wear the mask of being what we think is healthy.   They even fool themselves sometimes.

This is hard to deal with as a doctor.

Can you live without stress?

I want you to imagine the Lions Gate Bridge for a moment. Even without cars on it, does it have any stress?  Of course it does.  Stresses make it stand.

“Complete freedom from stress is death. Contrary to public opinion, we must not— and indeed cannot— avoid stress, but we can meet it efficiently and enjoy it by learning more about its mechanism and adjusting our philosophy of life accordingly” – Hans Selye

The truth is that even without the vape smoke or processed drinks or stimulants or job we are exposed to physical emotional and chemical stress every single day whether we like it or not.

Physical:  Exercise, gravity, sitting, repetitive strain, any physical challenge we undertake and even getting out of bed in the morning is a certain amount of stress on our bodies, not to mention the cumulative damage from the  experiences throughout our lives.

Emotional:  We are under more stress than ever, we hear more news, more traffic, more financial stress.

Chemical:  Probably the root of it all, pollution, pesticides, herbicides, plastics, caffeine, fats, the list goes on.

So let’s look at this in a new way.  It isn’t that you are not under stress.  It is how much stress.  More importantly, how much stress can your body process.

If you can process more stress, you can do all the things you want.  If you can’t process the stress, then you won’t be able to get out of bed in the morning.

Understanding the mechanism of stress means understanding that your brain and whole nervous system controls the way your body processes every stress in your life.  When your nervous system functions optimally, your life force flows and you can process more and do more of the things you love.

When I hear you (yes you) tell me you have “no stress” part of me wants to yell “BS!!” (That means baloney sandwich)… but I will probably take a more tactful approach that may still come off a bit harsh to some.

“Relapses are caused by something, a weak point in your body that isn’t able to process the amount of physical, emotional or chemical stress you are under.  There is no other possibility.  I just want you to be mindful of this and let me know next time if you discover anything in your lifestyle that explains this.”

Knowing is Half the Battle

It may take time for people to realize that what they previously perceived as healthy or normal is a source of stress.  Maybe it’s the rock climbing, or the weights, or the pump class, or the spinning.  They don’t realize that the 2 hours of watching the news, or the way they treat their co-workers or festering on the hatred of an opposing sports team is emotionally taxing.

They don’t realize the diet pills and even the vitamins they are taking are a stress on their body.  The so-called “diet” they are on is harmful and filled with processed foods, or jogging during rush hour and being exposed to toxicity in the air.

Or maybe it is something bigger, significant, that they just decide to ignore.

My job is simple.  When that stress exceeds your ability to process it, it causes dysfunction in your body (a subluxation), and it’s my job to correct it and help you address what’s causing it.

It’s a journey isn’t it.   I have a relatively small part in it, to provide care to improve the function of the nervous system.  It is a relatively small thing that can make all the difference in the world.

GaryA Special Assignment for the Stress-Free Person
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The New Zen Masters : Kids and Mindfulness

My journey with mindfulness, at least in a deliberate form, began when I was about 19 years old.  I wrote a report in psychology 101 about meditation, mostly  centred around a book called The Relaxation Response by Herbert Benson.  Herbert Benson was a medical doctor who framed transcendental meditation in a way that western people would accept it.

I was one of those people.

I never talked about it, or called it “transcendental meditation,” I just did it.  That’s because the universe, at the time, was trying to convince me meditation was crazy.  It was a time when the Natural Law Party just arrived in Canada.  The well- publicized and ridiculed practice of yogic flying was weird enough to make me avoid the brand “Transcendental Meditation” altogether.

 

Hilarious!  Yet the science in Benson’s book was convincing.  A few years later I found the same practice gaining popularity, using the term “Mindfulness.”  (Thankfully, there was no bouncing).  I was willing to go with that.  Jon Kabat Zinn wrote a book called Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.  I read it over and over again, usually a chapter at a time, so each topic had time to enter my everyday life.

The New Zen Masters

Now “Mindfulness” has gained a lot of popularity.  There are apps like “Muse” and “Headspace.” My wrist watch tracks minutes of “mindfulness” right along with my steps, exercise, sleep and heart rate.  It’s a really big deal.   Electronics are an interesting tool, but no, the new Zen Masters are not apps or robots.

My own meditation practice has waxed and waned over the years, and I was looking for a little inspiration.  I found out I could travel to the US attend a mindfulness retreat where I could meet John Kabat Zinn.  After contemplating the time away from my family,  I decided not to go, but there was his book on my shelf. It was right there, right now.  Free.  And so I opened it up.

You know, they say that when a pupil is ready, the teacher appears.  When I opened the book this time, a chapter appeared that I had never noticed before.  It was called “Parenting as Practice.”

I would have to give up the retreats, at least for some time, I said to myself that I could always return to the contemplative setting when my children had grown up enough not to need me around all the time…

This chapter, at least in my consciousness, did not exist before.  I had no reason to read it.  But now here it was, telling me to stay home. Affirming that my priorities were correct.

But there was more.

This is how I saw it:  You could look at each baby as a little Buddha or Zen Master, your own private mindfulness teacher, parachuted into your life, whose presence and actions were guaranteed to push every button and challenge every belief and limit you had, giving you continual opportunities to see where you were attached to something and to let go of it.  For each child it would be at least an eighteen-year retreat.

It was at that moment I walked into the next room and sat with my kids.  Just like before I would read the chapter and let it permeate into my daily life.  And so the retreat goes on with my two kids, my personal Buddha and Zen Master… And wow, there is no limit to what they can tell me.

By Gary Barone.

 

 

 

GaryThe New Zen Masters : Kids and Mindfulness
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Can Chiropractors Turn Breech Babies?

If you had any idea how often chiropractors get asked if they can turn breech babies, you’d be shocked. As if chiropractors were obstetricians. The external cephalic version (ECV), a procedure done by obstetricians and some midwives, is a medical procedure that numbs the mother’s uterus and manually attempts to turn the fetus from head up to head down while in utero. It is done in a hospital in case something goes wrong and an emergency C-section is warranted.

Completely separate from the medical ECV is the phenomena of reestablishing pelvic balance. This helps to remove tension in pelvic muscles and ligaments and through the restoration of normal biomechanics in the mother, babies optimize their positioning on their own. This is essentially what chiropractic is all about, restoring normal physiological function with gentle spinal adjustments. With no structural or neurological interference, the body has a fascinating ability to correct abnormalities, heal itself, and restore normal function.

Chiropractic and Baby Positioning

When a mother’s spine is realigned to proper position, a symphony of physiological responses happens immediately in response to the uninterrupted communication between the central nervous system and the rest of the body.

Tension inmuscles and ligaments is released and the now balanced pelvis may allow the baby to assume a more optimal position in preparation for birth. More than a dozen articles have been published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health alone that observe and reference this phenomenon in the clinical setting.

The Webster Technique

While chiropractors can’t turn breech babies, what they can do is gently and specifically adjust a mother’s spine and pelvis back into a proper balanced state, reestablishing normal physiological function. In this balanced state, the baby can do what it’s designed to do, find the best possible position for itself for birth.

The Webster technique was developed by Larry Webster, D.C., in 1982. This specific chiropractic analysis and adjustment was designed to restore normal body function. It was observed time and time again that when this technique was used on pregnant women who were carrying breech, their babies turned from breech to head down. (Some babies even turned from posterior to anterior.) Once balance in the mother’s pelvis was restored by this adjustment to her spine, babies sought out their optimal position for birth.

To most people it seemed like chiropractors were “turning breech babies.” After all, before Mom visited the chiropractor, the baby was
breech. After Mom visited the chiropractor, the baby wasn’t breech anymore. Therefore the chiropractor turned the baby, right? Not exactly…

Inside-Out Approach

If chiropractors could turn breech babies, chiropractic would be an “outside-in” approach. Meaning, the doctor would be treating the breech directly. In fact, chiropractic is an “inside-out” approach. Here’s how it’s described by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA): Chiropractic care benefits all aspects of your body’s ability to be healthy. This is accomplished by working with the nervous system—the communication system between your brain and body. Doctors of chiropractic work to correct spinal, pelvic and cranial misalignments. When misaligned, these structures create an imbalance in surrounding muscles and ligaments. Additionally, the resulting nerve system stress may affect the body’s ability to function optimally.

The ICPA also states that the Webster technique:… is a specific assessment and diversified adjustment for all weight bearing individuals and is utilized to enhance neuro-biomechanics in that individual. The ICPA emphasizes that the Webster adjustment is not a treatment for fetal malposition or in-utero constraint. Both breech and in-utero constraint are conditions of the baby, and only obstetric practitioners treat the unborn baby.

Referring to the Webster technique as a “treatment” for breech presentation creates misunderstanding and unnecessary controversy, and ultimately defies the very principles that chiropractic was founded on. It is important to recognize that not every chiropractor is thoroughly trained in performing the Webster technique. This is why the ICPA offers extensive postgraduate coursework and awards qualified chiropractors a Certificate of Proficiency in the Webster technique. Only those doctors on the ICPA’s directory maintain recognized certification status for the Webster protocol, as they receive continuing education and updates regarding this technique.

Provided and published by ICPA, Inc. For more information visit: www.discoverkidshealth.com

Courtesy of Webster Certified ICPA Member, Gary Barone DC, ICCSP, CACCP

GaryCan Chiropractors Turn Breech Babies?
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Why Chiropractic Care is Being Recommended for Ear Infections

By Janaiah von Hassel

I was recently on a Mom forum where a distraught mother complained about her two-year-old’s chronic ear infections. She
was tortured over the notion of giving her daughter yet another antibiotic which seemed to do nothing but guarantee a return
of the ear infection.

This Mom’s concerns weren’t unfounded

For decades, the evidence-based research about antibiotics has shown that not
only are they ineffective at treating ear infections, but they will actually lead to repeated ear infections in the future. In 2004 the American Academy of Pediatrics began its “watch and wait” approach to treating ear infections with antibiotics.
I was thrilled to read in the comments, under this mother’s post, that many other mothers were suggesting chiropractic care
citing their positive experiences.

One Mom reported “My children used to be on antibiotics more than they were off them due
to ear infections, sinus infections, strep throat etc. Once we began chiropractic care we said goodbye to all that drama.”
Chiropractors will tell you that they don’t treat ear infections. So how is it that so many parents report that their children under chiropractic care no longer suffer from ear infections? Among many pediatricians who seek safer options for children, well-renowned Dr. Sears recently said that he encourages chiropractic care to avoid the onset of ear infections.

Why? Because misalignment of the spinal bones can cause undue pulling on the child’s neck muscles creating tension to
their eustachian tubes. The subsequent dysfunction of these tubes to drain lymphatic fluid causes an increased risk of
infection. The chiropractic adjustment aims to reduce the tension of misalignments all throughout the body–restoring normal
physiology.

The Purpose of the Adjustment

In an article in Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine, “Chiropractic and Ear Infections: What We Offer Makes a Difference,
the author explains, “The purpose of chiropractic care is not the treatment of conditions or diseases; rather, it is the
restoration of normal body function. Chiropractors work with the nervous system via gentle spinal adjustments to reduce
stress related interferences to the nervous system thereby enhancing overall body function. All systems of the body—
muscular, glandular, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, eliminatory, hormonal and immunological—depend on the optimal
functioning of the nervous system. With chiropractic, we focus on improving the nervous system to enhance all the body’s
systems.”

Chiropractic adjustments do not treat the symptom or infection. They do not suppress or mask the symptom, but instead they
allow the body to regain its natural state of function and health. Infections indicate an overloaded immune system. The best
course of action is to support the body in regaining its balanced immune system. Treating the ear infection with antibiotics
causes an additional overload to the immune system and can actually create greater havoc, leading to the susceptibility of
repeated infections.

The science of physiology has made clear that the body is an intricate ecosystem

A vigorous disruption to any of the body’s systems cannot support long-lasting health, nor does it honor the balance of health within. Chiropractic care is all about the restoration of normal physiological balance. With this balance a child’s immune system will function more efficiently.
While you follow the evidence based recommendations to “watch and wait” follow the scientific recommendations set by
normal physiology and support your child’s immunity with safe, gentle and effective chiropractic adjustments.

To learn more holistic approaches to ear infections visit:

http://pathwaystofamilywellness.org/Holistic-Healthcare/holistic-care-of-middle-ear-problems-in-children.htm

Compliments of ICPA member Gary Barone DC

GaryWhy Chiropractic Care is Being Recommended for Ear Infections
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“Thanks Mom!” We Love You!

By Judy Campanale, DC, ACP, FCSC (hon)

May is the month we celebrate Mom. We try to show them how thankful we are for all they do and all they are. Moms ARE truly extraordinary and their story is among the most incredible examples of how amazing our bodies really are!

First, babies weigh anywhere from 5 to 10 pounds at birth. Imagine yourself walking around with a gallon of milk (about 8 pounds) everywhere you go for even a single day let alone weeks on end. And most moms gain additional weight to support the baby growing inside them which makes getting around all the harder.

Beyond the sheer physical feat of lugging around in your belly a growing baby, think about the fact that each of our moms were growing us inside them for about 9 months—some a little more some a little less. That’s almost an entire school year! It’s fascinating though, that at present, none of us could live where we spent our first 9 months, and not just because we are too big to fit, but because we need air and light, and in our Moms’ bellies we were basically under water in the dark. So that means you would have to hold your breath for 9 months!!! The average person can’t hold their breath for more than maybe a minute or so.

Finally and maybe most amazing of all is how one person can become two people!!! Actually you started as two separate cells, one from your mom and one from your dad. Those two cells got together and grew into the incredible, amazing organism that is you. An organism that is so complex and so sophisticated that even the most brilliant minds on the planet don’t have it figured out! But your mom’s body knew and that is truly astonishing!

When those two cells first came together they divided and grew. And as they began to become you, the first “Thanks Mom!” system to develop was your nerve system. From that very early time, your nerve system directed your growth and development, including ten other different systems, dozens of different organs, 206 bones, 640 muscles and 37.2 trillion cells!!!

It’s important to know that even after you are born your nerve system continues to direct and organize your whole body’s function and performance. By connecting your brain to your body your nerve system is not only able to communicate about what is going on in your body but it is also able to provide the information required for your body to adapt and perform at its best.

That’s why it is so important to see your family’s chiropractor regularly. He or she will make sure that there is nothing interfering with your nerve system so you can continue to grow into the amazing person you were meant to be. Maybe your mom already takes you to the chiropractor. Well then that’s just another reason to thank her and show her some love on Mother’s Day and everyday. Thanks Mom!

Provided and published by ICPA, Inc. For more information visit: www.discoverkidshealth.com

Compliments of ICPA member Gary Barone DC

Gary“Thanks Mom!” We Love You!
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The Wholeness of Chiropractic

-Simon Senzon, D.C.

When you read about chiropractic in the popular press or watch something about chiropractic on television it rarely captures the full picture. Chiropractic has been around for so many decades that not everyone knows there are many approaches, methods, and viewpoints about it.

One of the most compelling and fascinating ideas in chiropractic is wholeness. Since the earliest days of chiropractic this idea has included the fact that the central nervous system governs the body’s functions. Only in recent years however, has this idea been more completely understood.

The nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord is interconnected. When one part of it is affected, all of it is affected. This is a deep and profound wholeness.

The primary concern of a chiropractic analysis is to determine if there is a problem with the nervous system. More specifically, to determine if an area of the spine is interfering with the proper function of the nerves. This is more common than most people realize because it is structural, foundational, and often very subtle.

Chiropractors have been developing methods and techniques to analyze the spine and nervous system for over 120 years. Many of these methods emphasize the wholeness of the nervous system. This is important to understand. A gentle chiropractic adjustment at one area of the spine could affect any part of the nervous system that is not functioning properly.

Light Touch Adjustment

Ever since the 1930s, chiropractors developed what used to be called “reflex techniques.” These techniques usually involve an exam of the spine and body and then a light touch or gentle chiropractic adjustment at one of the ends of the spine. Other approaches to chiropractic include more structural adjustments. All of these approaches have developed considerably in the last 80 years.

Whether your chiropractor uses a “light approach” or a more “structural approach,” they are affecting the wholeness of the nervous system. When any part of the nervous system is able to function better and without interference then you function better.

Provided and published by ICPA, Inc. For more information visit: www.discoverkidshealth.com
Courtesy of Gary Barone DC

Iris LaiThe Wholeness of Chiropractic
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Legend of the Kefir Grains

So, where did kefir come from, and what exactly is this wonder culture? The origins of kefir are somewhat shrouded in mystery. The long-lived inhabitants of the Caucasus Mountains have used kefir, perhaps forming by spontaneous wild fermentation, for more than 2000 years. This extensive mountain range, the dividing line between Europe and Asia, is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse places on Earth. The Muslims of the Caucasus considered the kefir grains a gift from God, a sacred food. Grains were passed down from generation to generation; to this day, people in Tibet enjoy a breakfast of kefir, which they culture in yaks’ milk and favour with salt. I cannot help but feel connected to this process when I consider that my grains come from such a long tradition of honour and care.

History

The precious “jeweled grains,” were brought to Russia; the legend of the journey is a story of romantic intrigue, involving a Caucasus prince and a beautiful girl. From there they have traveled westward ever since. The grains themselves are not true grains, but are a gelatinous matrix of bacteria consisting of various strains of friendly yeasts and lactobacilli, lipids, sugars and proteins.

There are two varieties of kefir grains: milk and sugar. You can culture milk kefir grains in a medium such as cow, goat, sheep, yak, nut, or soy milk. They transform ordinary milk into a slightly effervescent, slightly sour beverage that is much higher in gut-friendly microorganisms than yogurt (a cultured dairy product with which most of us are familiar).

Milk kefir grains are opaque, pale cream to yellow in color, and resemble cooked cauliflower. As they feed, they produce more grains over time.
Sugar kefir grains, also called water kefir, feed on a mixture of sugar and water, often with dried fruit added for additional flavor and trace minerals. These grains are similar to milk kefir but do not have the same bacterial complexity. They are smaller in size, and transparent in appearance. Sugar kefir results in a beverage that is fizzy like soda, but unlike the high fructose corn syrup drinks on the market, this tasty treat is full of enzymes and probiotics. It’s a favorite of our children, and even the sweet neighbor kid who is a known picky eater.

Photo Courtesy of Tia Ohm

Suzi Croes, Pathways Issue 32

Establishing and Advancing the Chiropractic Family Wellness Lifestyle
Provided by Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, published by ICPA, Inc. For more information visit: www.pathwaystofamilywellness.org and www.discoverkidshealth.com
Compliments of ICPA Member: Dr. Gary Barone

Iris LaiLegend of the Kefir Grains
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The Heart Brain

As chiropractors, we emphasize the importance of the brain as the master controller of all body systems and functions. When misalignments to the cranium and spine impair our brain signals then important body systems begin to lose their optimal function.

In 1991, new scientific discoveries revealed that there are sensory neurites in the heart. This discovery became known as “the little brain in the heart.” Now, undeniably, we recognize that the heart has the neurological capacity to think, learn, remember, and feel, just as the brain does. Discussion abounds about these two organs and the potent neurological network between them.

Although this is a new discovery for western culture, indigenous peoples have understood its basis for centuries. In their cultural customs they have recognized the importance of tuning in to this heart intelligence, as it is the essence of their way of life. In fact, these indigenous people prepare themselves in such a way that the head brain actually receives instruction from the heart brain.

Chiropractic has recognized that physical, chemical, and emotional stressors affect neurological function. We also see how adjustments can stabilize and heal physical traumas and chemical deficiencies. This is largely by recognizing the brain as the master controller of all systems and functions. But what about those patients who report outstanding changes in their emotional and social well-being once they start chiropractic care?

Perhaps their heart brain is activated with the adjustments, and performance is enhanced in these cardiac sensory neurites.
This is where Porges’s theory of the vagus nerve and the little brain of the heart both connect with the chiropractic adjustment. After all, the heart is innervated by the social vagus. Chiropractic care directly affects vagus nerve function. And the vagus nerve stimulates the production of oxytocin, the hormone of love.

It is my humble opinion that we are entering a new story, one in which our realization of the importance of this neurological expression becomes paramount in the life choices we make for ourselves and our children. One in which we recognize how the chiropractic adjustment restores our innate capacity for this to occur. One in which we open our hearts to new possibilities and regain a more profound expression of human potential.

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Siever Photography
Establishing and Advancing the Chiropractic Family Wellness Lifestyle
Provided and published by ICPA, Inc. For more information visit: www.discoverkidshealth.com
Compliments of ICPA Member: Gary Barone DC

-Jeanne Ohm, D.C. This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #51.

Iris LaiThe Heart Brain
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Why Infants Need Chiropractic

It is common to get strange looks from people I talk to about why infants need chiropractic. I know what is going through their heads: Is it safe? Babies don’t have back pain. Do babies get adjusted the same way I do? These are legitimate concerns for any parent, but to answer them I will begin with the most important question: Why?

Infants need chiropractic because being born is tough work. There are a lot of pressures and forces being exerted onto your baby during her journey into the world. A recent study by Viola Frymann demonstrated that 90 percent of newborns suffered the effects of birth trauma: associated strain through the neck and cranial areas following birth. Frymann, an American osteopathic doctor, studied more than 1,500 babies periodically across an eight-year period. She examined all babies within the first five days of birth; in fact, many were checked within the first 24 hours of birth. This study revealed that approximately:

  • Only 10 percent of the newborn babies had perfect, freely mobile skulls or cranial mechanisms.
  • As many as 10 percent had severe trauma to the head, evident even to untrained observers.
  • The remaining 80 percent all had some strain patterns in the cranial mechanism.

Left uncorrected, this trauma continues to impact a baby’s spinal growth and development, reducing the healthy function of her nervous system later in life, which could easily have been prevented.

Birth Trauma

Birth, in its many different forms, can be quite traumatic. While each birth is unique, there is always a chance that the baby suffers some sort of strain, due to a variety of reasons. Even the most natural births can result in trauma that goes undetected. As researcher G. Gutmann has written, “The trauma from the birth process remains an underpublicized and therefore significantly under-treated problem.”

What can cause birth trauma?

Very short labor, very long labor, failure of the cervix to dilate, use of Pitocin to strengthen/induce uterine contractions, use of forceps or vacuum extraction, or cord around baby’s neck. Cesarean delivery also increases the likelihood that infants need chiropractic.

Evidence

Beyond the Frymann study detailed above, a Harvard University pathologist, Dr. Abraham Towbin, found evidence of spinal injury common as a result of the birthing process. He also found evidence of spinal injury in many cases of SIDS and infant respiratory conditions.

Birth trauma often causes neurological dysfunction. In fact, a study by Gutmann examining more than 1,000 infants concluded that approximately 80 percent had some form of nerve dysfunction. This is of utmost importance, since 65 percent of neurological development (brain and nervous system) occurs in a child’s first year. During this crucial time, it is vital that the nervous system be healthy so the child can grow and develop to her potential.

What can nerve dysfunction from birth trauma lead to?

  • Respiratory dysfunction
  • Digestive disorders
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty nursing (impaired sucking, swallowing or head positions)
  • Balance issues
  • Sleeping difficulty
  • Delayed developmental milestones

Chiropractic maximizes our potential for well-being.

Photo Courtesy of Jamie Siever Photography
Establishing and Advancing the Chiropractic Family Wellness Lifestyle
Provided and published by ICPA, Inc. For more information visit: www.discoverkidshealth.com
Compliments of ICPA Member: Gary Barone DC

-Cole Bradburn, D.C. This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #50.

Courtney ChanWhy Infants Need Chiropractic
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