Most of us know how to change a diaper or have changed a diaper. Almost all of us do the sniff check, undo the diaper, lift the baby up by the legs to get the dirty out, wipe the creases and apply the clean diaper, a couple swipes of the tape, velcro or snaps and it's all done. It's the way we've seen it done in the movies, on TV, and in our own living rooms for generations. But I'll tell you this - the way most of us have intuitively changed a diaper is not sound spinal biomechanics, and it very well may be the cause of your baby's colic.
As a family wellness chiropractor, I seen plenty of colicky babies. We've done plenty of research on it as a profession and have witnessed pretty impressive results- one study showed adjustments were more effective than medication for colic, and another showed a 93% success rate in helping children with the symptoms of gas, bloating and pain. We understand that the intestines get a large portion of their nerve information from the area of the spine near the bottom of the rib cage and the upper portion of the low back.
It's one of the areas we check when a parent brings their child in with colic symptoms because interference to that flow keeps the intestines from functioning properly. If the area is being interfered with, or subluxated, than adjustments help restore normal function and allow the body to heal. The reason chiropractic works so well for babies is that it deals directly with the nervous system, and that's the system running the whole show.
When we're born we have one spinal curve. It's the fetal position, the c-shape that our middle backs keep, which is necessary to stay tucked nice and snuggly inside our moms. That primary curve is the only curve we have as an infant until we build the other two in our spine. The first re-shaping of the cervical spine happens in our necks when we learn to lift our bobbly heads and hold them up. The second, called the lumbar curve, happens in the low back, and it forms when we learn how to crawl. We need these secondary curves to support our body weight for standing, bending, and lifting.
But until we build them, the mechanics of the spine function very differently. If you think of a baby's spine like a bridge, one that doesn't have a cervical or lumbar curve, then the peak of the bridge is between the 9th and 11th vertebra in the thoracic spine. To give you an idea of where that is on you, the ribs that make up your ribcage exit at the 8th thoracic vertebra, and the "floater" ribs exit from the 9th to the 12th. Compare that to where an adult's peak is -right between the shoulder blades- and you're going to come to the same realization I did.
If you were hunched over a lot, like if you were working on a laptop or driving for too long, most people start feeling tightness in their middle backs as their vertebra start creeping backwards out of position. The more you do it, the more sore it gets. In a way this is exactly what is going on with our babies when we raise their legs over and over again to change their diapers- a lot of parents without realizing it are causing the subluxations and nerve interference that results in the colic I see in the office.
The double leg lift is pretty intuitive, so I don't blame us for thinking it was the right way to change a baby. Infants are folded inside mom, and once they discover their feet it's virtually impossible to keep them out of their mouths. But the difference in the bending here is at the hip joint. The femur heads in infants are barely developed because they don't need the bony structure for standing or the muscle strength and tension for walking.
That lets them fling their feet over their heads and giggle without even thinking about it. But when we use those legs for handles for a child who doesn't have that secondary lumbar curve, we're folding the spine at its peak, pushing the vertebra out of alignment where the nerve flow for the intestines comes out, and we're doing this how many times? Three? Five? Seven times a day? No wonder chiropractic has such a high success rate with colicky babies - we just put back what parents keep putting out!
We need to break this cycle, for everyone's sanity. This is why I advocate the roll technique for diaper changing babies who haven't started crawling yet. It takes a little practice, but after a few days you'll get used to it. Holding the baby by his/her chest and rolling side to side keeps his/her spine in alignment and will help hold her adjustments so much better. For further details on the technique please call or come to our in office wellness workshops.
Inflammation can control our lives. Have you or a loved one ever dealt (or currently deal) with pain, obesity, ADD/ADHD, peripheral neuropathy, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, migraines, thyroid issues, dental issues, cancer, digestive issues, depression, anxiety, or fatigue?
If you answered yes to any of these disorders you are dealing with inflammation. Sadly, most of us are suffering from one or more of these disorders but have no idea how to eliminate inflammation. Most doctors use pharmaceuticals/drugs to cover up the root cause.
If often seems extremely foreign to most people when they realize the majority of inflammatory diseases start in the gut (or a poor diet) with an autoimmune reaction which progresses into systemic inflammation. To truly be effective at managing or hopefully overcome a disease it needs to be addressed on all levels and taking a look at where this process starts.
So where does inflammation begin?
Your gut is made of an incredibly large and intricate semi-permeable lining. The surface area of your gut can cover two tennis courts when stretched out flat. Its degree of permeability fluctuates in response to a variety of chemically mediated conditions. For example, when your cortisol is elevated, due to stress, or your thyroid hormone levels fluctuate your intestinal lining become more permeable in a matter of minutes. They, you sit down to eat and partially undigested food, toxins, viruses, yeast, and bacteria have the opportunity to pass through the intestine and access the bloodstream... this can lead to leaky gut syndrome, or LGS. When the intestinal lining is repeatedly damaged due to reoccurring leaky gut syndrome, damaged cells called microvilli become unable to do their job properly. They become unable to process and utilize the nutrients and enzymes that are vital to proper digestion. Eventually, digestion is impaired and absorption of nutrients is negatively affected. As more exposure occurs, your body initiates an attack on these foreign invaders. It responds with inflammation, allergic reactions, and other symptoms we relate to a variety of diseases.
So you might ask, what's the harm of inflammation and ongoing allergic reactions?
It may sound relatively harmless, but this situation can and often does lead to numerous serious and debilitating diseases. Since your immune system can become overburdened, these inflammatory triggers are cycled continuously through your blood where they affect nerves, organ, connective tissue, joints and muscles... Now you can probably begin to see how 'chronic' disease can develop.
Give us a call if you have more questions
Why Wellness Works
Why do people need wellness now a days? Because Dis-ease is at an all time high, obesity rates are higher than ever, 60% of Americans are overweight and 50% of them are obese, 50% of children are overweight, adult onset diabetes had to be renamed because it no longer just happens to adults, this generation of children is the only generation of children who will not outlive their parents, the U.S. makes up 9% of the world's population and we consume 53% of the world's drugs yet we are only ranked 49th in overall health... do I need to go on? We've gone from the world's 'super species' to the world's 'sickest species' in the past 100 years. Why?
It's because we live in a model of health care that does not work. (symptom based health care).
The answer to the problem is a functional based health care system that deals with how the body 'FUNCTIONS' rather than how it 'FEELS'. The system in the body that coordinates and regulates every function is the nervous system so it is very important to maintain a proper spine for proper health and well-being.
Stresses (emotional, physical, and chemical) all cause subluxations. Subluxations activate a chronic flight/fight response which weakens the immune system and leads to chronic stress symptoms such as; allergies, headaches, asthma, insomnia/sleep disturbances, eczema, anxiety, aspergers, ADD/ADHD, depression, acid reflux, high blood pressure, seizures, OCD, cancer, constipation, high cholesterol, bed wetting, ear infections, fatigue, bipolar, behavioral issues, epilepsy, sensory processing disorders, heart disease, and the usual aches and pains.
Subluxation has 3 basic components: a misalignment of a vertebra, which then causes fixation (the joint becomes "stuck"), which in turn leads to interference and stress placed on the nerve and the nerves in that area. We know that subluxation(s) cause the entire nervous system to go into a state of flight/fight, know as the sympathetic stress response.
The benefits of chiropractic for adults is well established - almost 20 million men and women visit licensed chiropractors annually as part of their health, wellness, and pain management regimens. But now an entirely new and potentially unlikely group is experiencing the drug-free benefits of chiropractic: infants and young children. Today, our birth rituals are often unnatural and cause harm so it is very important to get an infant checked, as injuries are common during delivery.
Newborns can benefit immensely from chiropractic adjustments. The birth process, complicated by a constricted uterus, a breech presentation, or a difficult delivery, can result in unintended spine or nerve damage to a vulnerable infant. For example a study of 1000 babies found that of the 17% suffering from vomiting, hyperactivity, and sleeplessness shortly after birth, 95% showed signs of spinal injury and dysfunction. Fortunately, chiropractic treatment for these maladies was found in the study to demonstrate success rates that "overshadow every other type of care." And the benefits extend beyond the child's newborn stage: chiropractic care has been shown to assist breast feeding, nervousness, sleep disorders, colic, and even ear, nose and throat infections.
During the birth process, a newborn's neck vertebrae can become misaligned, and affect the Eustachian tube. This may lead to fluid buildup in the middle ear, causing recurring ear infections. However, a study in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics found that 90% of children who received chiropractic adjustments did not experience another ear infection within six months of their initial visit - a success rate that's music to the ears of parents struggling with their kid's chronic ear infections. "While no medical condition is specifically treated by chiropractic care, it's been shown to benefit the immune system, because of the close relationship between the human nervous system and the immune system.
"Sweat it out"
Sweating is just a nasty annoyance to many modern day people. Sweating keeps one from overheating while exercising or if you're exposed to hot weather. But most often, perspiration is seen as a negative body secretion to be stopped whenever possible with chemical-laden antiperspirants. On the positive side, many traditional cultures have used induced sweating (such as sitting in sweat lodges) to benefit health. It's been mostly assumed that the physical benefits from sweating are the result of toxins released in sweat...
But now comes information of how incredible the human body uses sweating to help protect health in another way - Sweat contains amazing disease fighting chemicals. An international team of scientists has discovered how a natural antibiotic call dermcidin, produced by our skin during perspiration can destroy tuberculosis germs and other dangerous pathogens.
Their study, just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that sweat spreads highly efficient antibiotics onto skin to protect our bodies from dangerous disease-causing "bugs". For instance, if you scratch yourself or get a mosquito bite, antibiotic agents secreted in sweat glands, including dermcidin, immediately and efficiently kill invading germs if perspiration reaches them.
What's even more impressive is scientists say theses natural substances (dermcidin), know as antimicrobial peptides (AMP's), are more effective in the long-term than traditional antibiotics. The reason? Germs are incapable of quickly developing resistance against them. Unfortunately, germs are capable of mounting resistance to many antibiotics created by Big Pharma (if not used properly) and this has caused the development of the so-called "super-bugs".
This brings a whole new meaning to; "If you're sick, sweat it out!".
Why fix it if it's not broken?
This is the 'Let sleeping dogs lie' approach to health care. "I feel well, why do I need a doctor?"
That's the problem with the lifestyle induced problems facing our country/culture. The problem quietly festers in the background, often without any signs or symptoms. Arterial plaque builds up, blood pressure rises, weight starts to get the best of us, certain foods now give us heart burn, and now every morning getting out of bed is slower and more stiff. You hardly notice the incremental change.
Ironically enough, these are the same folks who religiously change the oil on their car and perform maintenance to get optimal function (extend the life, improve function, horsepower, appearance and performance) out of their family's vehicles.... but forget about the most important vehicles in the family... Our family's bodies.
If you like feeling your best, you'll love visiting our Elkhorn office. No drugs, no medicine, no "healthier-than-thou" attitude, no preaching...just HEALTH.
Chiropractic and Migraines
It's another perfect February afternoon. Your kids are outside playing in the snow, building frosty, laughing, throwing snowballs, and enjoying the hot coco that the neighbor, grandma Angus, just brought out to them. You'd love to join them, but you're trapped inside again, enduring the pain, frustration, and agony of yet another migraine headache...
If you suffer from migraines, you're certainly not alone. They're relatively common, affecting an estimated 10% of the population. You might ask, "what can be done to get rid of migraines besides drugs?" According to a recent study, chiropractic might hold the answer to your problem.
127 migraine patients (all had at least 1 migraine headache per month) were divided into 2 groups for comparison. Group 1: Received chiropractic adjustments at specific vertebral subluxations (spinal misalignments). Group 2: Served as a control group and were given an inactive treatment of electrical stimulation.
Results: Subjects receiving chiropractic adjustments reported substantial improvement in migraine frequency, duration, disability, and medication use following two months of treatment/adjustments. 1 in 5 participants reported 90% reduction in migraines, and half reported significant improvement in migraine severity.
Are you tired of having to deal with the effects of migraine headaches? Are you tired of taking over the counter drugs which may have minimal results and many side effects? Its time to fight the cause of the problem rather than just the symptoms.
If you or someone you know struggles with the challenges of migraines or headaches
What moves you out of balance?
Physical, Emotional, and Chemical stressors can all move a child's body out of balance...
1. Physical Stress (trauma)
I recently watched a video a man's personal childhood story. At the age of 7, when entrusted to play 'nicely' with his four year old sister (he suggested playing 'combat'), his sister fell off the top bunk bed and plummeted to the floor on all fours. As the shock set in on his sister's face and the tears welled up, the man remembered running over to his little sister to save the day and said, "Amy, Amy wait don't cry! Did you see how you landed? No human lands on all fours like that! Amy...I think this means you're a unicorn."
This story is a reminder of just how common knocks and falls are in childhood. It is estimated that at the age of 3, a child will have had 3 major falls and by the age of 5 will have fallen over 5,000 times per year. The 'bounce-back' resilience exhibited by children typically hides subtle damage that leads to poor posture and neurological function across time. Each seemingly insignificant slip and fall adds up. "As a branch bends, so grows the tree..."
Physical stressors can impact the body even before birth. The vertebrae of a fetus's tiny spine can be misaligned (known as a subluxation) due to restricted positioning in the womb. Movement within the womb is vitally important as it stimulates the development of the brain and nervous system, while research suggests lack of mobility may be one contributing factor for developmental delays.
Spine and nerve distress due to birth process itself are exceedingly common. Contributing factors include false labor, a long or very short labor, failure of the woman's cervix to dilate, the use of drugs to increase contraction intensity, the use of vacuum extraction or forceps, caesarean section delivery, and the cord wrapped around baby's neck. Even straightforward vaginal births can create subluxations.
This is why chiropractors recommend parents to take their babies to have their spine checked post-birth. When the nervous system is not functioning well it has the potential to affect communication channels between the brain and the body and can impact all aspects of ones health - including neurological delays, sleep disturbances, constant crying, chronic ear infections and illness, as well as digestive issues.
Another modern hazard to health for your child's health is posture. It is estimated that 32% of young people (2-7) and 65% of older children (8-18) have a television in their bedroom and the average child spends approximately 6.5 hours watching medial every day. Repetitive or prolonged postures while watching television and playing computer games can certainly impact the developing spine.
1. Find a wellness Chiropractor. Chiropractors can assess how your child's spine and nervous system is adapting to the lifestyle stressors placed upon it, and regular chiropractic adjustments help to support optimal growth and nerve function.
2. Chemical Stress (toxins)
Over the last few decades we have come a long way in learning how health is taxed by environmental chemicals. We now know that unborn babies and breastfed children are exposed to toxins that a mother inhales or ingests, or that passes through her skin. It was once believe that the placenta shields the fetus from these harmful toxins but new research shows that it can act as a steady stream of industrial chemicals, pollutants and pesticides that cross the placenta just as readily as residues from cigarettes and alcohol.
It is estimated that 60% of our immune cells exist in our intestines so eating can affect our immune function. Poor dietary habits, antibiotics, lack of water and environmental toxins destroy important flora (good bacteria) of the bowel, affecting digestion and impacting our immune system. Chemical stress may result from chlorine and fluoride found in water and many toxins in food, including pesticides, herbicides, preservatives, colorings, additives, hormones, damaged fats and high levels of sugar. Sadly millions of children suffer from eczema, asthma, allergies, sleep problems, and behavior difficulties.
1. Eat Well. Buy high quality organic fruits and veggies and try to eat a 51% raw diet.
2. Drink Well. Consume 66% of your body weight in ounces of water per day. Dehydration can lead to hunger and over eating. So keep hydrated.
3. Use pro and prebiotics. Make sure to use high quality. I personally use Shaklee products because of their high rate of absorption and backing by clinical research. visit www.yourchoice.myshaklee.com and order any of the products you'd like including the pre and probiotics (optiflora).
4. Visit your wellness Chiropractor. Chiropractors remove subluxations that cause nerve interference and help restore balance to the body, hence increasing its function (including digestive and immune system function)
3. Emotional Stress (thoughts)
It's important to realize that children are not immune to stress. Epigenetics and other areas of research have shown that emotional stress affects human beings at all stages of life, including in utero, creating changes at a cellular level that can be detrimental to a child's future health.
One of the causes of emotional stress is a hostile home or school life. If a child feels their safety or the safety of their parent(s) is threatened, physiological responses arise which can result in anxiety, personality issues or health complaints. Chronic emotional stress in turn creates digestive stress, altering the body's acid/alkaline balance. This can ultimately alter digestive and immune system health.
1. Limit late nights. With social, school and family activities, bedtimes can gradually become later and later for older children; however, sleep requirements remain just as vital for teenagers as when they are young.
2. Set a routine. Having a set routine for dinner and bedtime makes life easier for everyone, as it gives the body and mind cues to slow down, relax and prepare for sleep.
3. Encourage exercise. Children sometimes resist sleep because they are not doing enough physical exercise during the day. Encourage them to be active frequently. Families should create regular rituals that include some type of physical fun!
4. Spend time together. Limit TV and electronic time and spend more time together as a family, relaxing and connecting.
Thank you for reading! - Your
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