Chiropractic for Children
Why would a child have a spine and nervous system problem? Traumatic births. Learning to walk. Slips. Falls. The list is endless. Yet, because children have such an adaptive capacity, these problems are often brushed off as “growing pains” or just a “phase they’re going through.”
“As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”
When a child has some form of physical trauma or physical stress it puts their nervous system into a higher state of stress, or what we call "fight/flight".
How does this happen?
Most individuals and parents understand that the central nervous system is a very important system, if not, the MOST important system in maintaining and coordinating health. But most people don't understand the details of the central nervous system. The nervous system works in two modes of operation: 1.) sympathetic or "fight/flight" or "gas pedal" and 2.) parasympathetic or "growth/development" or "brake pedal". These two modes of operation, for the most part, are an autonomic (or automatic) response to our environment or our lifestyle.
When your little one is running around the soccer field, his/her sympathetic nervous system automatically engages to enhance other systems like the cardio-respiratory centers to increase heart rate, increase breathing, pushing blood and oxygen to fuel their muscles, and at the same time it weakens the response for systems such as immune modulation, growth and digestion. This "fight or flight" mode is designed to be "turned on" for a short period of time and then "turned off". So when your little one shakes hands at mid field and goes back to the van with mom and dad, the parasympathetic nervous system should automatically turn on while the sympathetic or "gas pedal/fight/flight" should be turned off so they can absorb and digest their healthy post-soccer game snack that mom has prepared for them. Make sense?
So what's the big problem?
One thing we must understand is "we cannot be in GROWTH and PROTECTION mode at the same time".
The biggest problem we see is the sympathetic or "gas pedal - protection mode" response gets "STUCK ON" for kids at an early age because of some sort of birth trauma (scheduled C-section, emergency C-section, vacuum, forcep delivery, increased in-utero constraint, breech position, etc), early childhood slips and falls, or mom experiences a very stressful pregnancy.
Because this protective "gas pedal" response gets "stuck on" the nervous system never has a chance to "grow and develop" and coordinate the other immature or developing systems such as: immune system, digestive system, endocrine, etc...
The BIGGER problem.
We live in a time where more children are suffering from chronic illnesses than ever before (allergies, ADD/ADHD, autism, breathing difficulties, gut problems, immune system imbalances, eczema, auto-immune disorders, etc) and the reason is simply STRESS (stressful pregnancy for mom, birth trauma for baby, GMO food, environmental chemicals, etc...) that has caused our "gas pedal" response to get "stuck on" and our body, or our children's bodies, never get to "grow and develop" as they are designed to.
How does Chiropractic and keeping your pregnancy less stressful help PREVENT this epidemic of sickness in our kids?
Your nervous system's role is to "perceive your environment and coordinate the behavior of every cell." When mom conceives, a half cell from dad and half cell from herself meet to form one cell (This ONE cell has all the functions of growth, respiration, reproduction, digestion, perception, etc that the ENTIRE body will need after it is bore into the world in roughly 9 months). This cell then undergoes replication and division for the next 9 months to grow a perfectly healthy baby.... but only if mom is under minimal stress. When mom's nervous system perceives a stressful environment it activates her "gas pedal" response. When this happens, mom's nervous system, which is coordinating the behavior (development) of her soon-to-be baby's tissues, organs, nervous system, etc.., does so, stressfully. Under these stressful circumstances; fear, pressure, poor diet, lack of movement, environmental toxins, etc..., it is very difficult to "grow and develop" a baby with healthy, well-functioning tissues, organs and systems.
The chiropractic adjustment, because it stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, applies the "brakes" and slows mom's nervous system down and hence, allowing the "growth and development" of her baby to happen normally and naturally and a good doula or midwife will educate and empower soon-to-be mommas with the knowledge to make the best informed decisions for herself but more importantly, the baby - minimizing the emotional (mental) stress of mom during her pregnancy and help minimize the risk of birth trauma and other unnecessary interventions.
Chiropractors, doulas and midwives work together to help keep mom and the baby in "growth and development" mode. Because let's face it..... the 9 months of pregnancy is the biggest growth and development phase anyone will ever go through!
This is a great reason to consider a doula or midwife as well as a chiropractor for your pregnancy.
- Chad Schleiger, D.C.
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