So far my wife and I have 3 boys. In the picture below, the oldest is 6, the next is 4, and the youngest is 2. Being the kids of a chiropractor, they are going to be raised a little different that most American kids. Face it, chiropractors are weird. I understand they are going to be outliers and that I’ll face the “so and so is doing this, why can’t I” battles later in life over the health type decisions my wife and I will make.
One of those parental decisions that make our children outliers is that they get checked and adjusted regularly. So far, both were checked and adjusted minutes after birth. Once mom had some initial bonding, she handed the child to me to check him out. If you think labor and delivery is hard on mom, imagine leaving paradise forcefully (the womb) and havings your head shoved through a much smaller space, to be welcomed into a cold world naked, where everyone makes funny sounds and goofy faces. This might be where the fear of clowns start for many.
Thankfully my kids are not the only outliers. It’s not just other kids from other chiropractors. I can say almost every adult member in my practice that has kids living at home still, also get their kids checked and adjusted regularly. This was an initially foreign concept for many of the families at my office but once they started seeing results for themselves, they wondered if it may help with their kids too.
The results weren’t pain related. The results that the parents noticed were things they weren’t even expecting, like their allergies were gone or less severe, they weren’t getting sick during the winter months, even though most everyone around them was getting sick, and the kids were sleeping…finally.
Most of the time, we have the conversation, “why get my kid checked, he’s not having any back pain?” Utilizing chiropractic for back pain outcomes only is about as limiting as using an iPad for the calculator function. Sure chiropractic can be utilized as a safe, non-drug, non-surgery treatment for pain just like an iPad can be used to add and subtract.
But why chiropractic can be used to manage and alleviate pain is just scratching the surface. Pain is a perception in the nervous system of a dysfunction happening in the body. Most of the time, the place you feel the pain is actually not the actual place of the problem but a compensation.
Those compensation patterns happen as a result of the nervous system playing triage to keep you moving and shaking. The nerve pathways that create muscle compensation and pain are also the same nerve pathways that regulate heart, lungs, kidneys, digestion, and immune function.
Let’s go back to birth. The kid’s head gets rammed into the mom’s pelvis repeatedly for a period of time until it is finally able to sneak through. If you decide to repeatedly bounce on your head, do you think your neck could be affected? There’s a powerful nerve that exits between the skull and 1st vertebrae called the Vagus nerve. Just look at all the organs that are controlled from branches that arise from the vagus nerve. Why do you think a broken neck is so deadly to the body?
It’s not just birth. We’re in an age where kids are constantly looking down. They sit with their head forward playing video games. They are walking zombies while texting. Their tablets or laptops find a home in their, well, lap. In the sports world, there’s more and more coming out about head injuries. If there is enough impact to cause a head injury, there is a neck injury, mostly in the upper neck. When I hear head injury, I think nerve injury.
You’re a great parent and change your kid’s diaper often. Each time you lay the child on her back, you lift the legs up to wipe and put a new diaper under the pelvis. When you’re bending that kid in half, you create a pivot point in the upper back. If you trace the nerves of the upper back to the corresponding organs, much of it goes to the stomach and lungs.
How many of your kids were constantly spitting up as babies? As the kid ages and the head shifts forward from all the looking at their crotch with smart devices, the upper back rounds more and more putting more stress on those areas of nerves. Add a 50 lb backpack on a 60 lb kid with a deconditioned spine and you’re just looking for trouble.
Those are just the physical stressors kids face. Kids experience emotional stress as well and the nervous system has to adapt. The nervous system will shift to a more dominant fight or flight type expression. During fight or flight, your immune system drops, memory, concentration, and learning drop, digestion decreases, respiration gets shallow and communication shifts from the logical frontal lobe to the emotional limbic system. Ever try and reason with a 3 year old during a tantrum? Or how about a 3 year old on a good day.
Getting chiropractic for your kid isn’t about removing anything like a symptom. Getting chiropractic for your kid is about adding a layer of adaptation boost to their life. Kids are stressed and so is their nervous system. Creating chiropractic kids creates a generation of kids that can adapt to stress more efficiently.
No pun intended, but if well adjusted kids (physically, chemically, and emotionally) grow up to be well adjusted adults, we start creating a well adjusted world where people are happier, healthier, and more productive.
But how do you know if your kid’s nervous system is stressed? They are constantly sick. They have trouble concentrating. They are spitting up. They have ear infections. They are on medication. They have a hard time adapting to life. Getting checked and adjusted will boost those natural adaptation responses but there’s still a lifestyle component that needs to be addressed in order to minimize the stressors.
It all starts with a conversation to get an idea of where, when, and how the stressors began and manifested. It’s a small step in creating a world of change for your child.
If you want to talk to some of the families in the practice that get their kids checked and adjusted regularly, you can have a real conversation with them unbiased. Let me know and I’ll connect you with them. If you have questions before coming into the office, take advantage of our free 15 minute phone consultation. You can book online or call the office 719-602-4545.
Great thoughts. I will be sharing this post. We would love a post from you on how you guys plan to navigate the nutritional aspect as the kids get older. We are working at finding a balance of eating well but finding as they are getting older it’s becoming necessary for them to learn and start choosing those healthy choices for themselves (at least we hope). How do you plan on navigating, holidays and halloween and birthdays at school etc? We would be interested in hearing your thoughts.