What Do Chiropractors Do When Our Children Are Sick?

It’s highly unlikely we’ll give them any medication or rush them to a walk-in clinic. Instead, we honour the innate wisdom of the body and it’s power to heal from the inside-out.

Each illness a child experiences helps to strengthen and enhance their natural immunity. Rather than suppress their symptoms we encourage the immune system to process the bacteria or virus as effectively as possible by supporting cellular function.

My sons are 12 and 8 years old, and have never had any medication whatsoever. Do they get sick sometimes? Of course they do, but at a much lower frequency than many of their peers. They eat really well, get plenty of rest, are active, happy, and get adjusted regularly!

When they get a cough, cold or some congestion, this is what I do:

– Adjustments to correct spinal subluxations to remove nerve interference (daily).

– Encourage added sleep and rest.

– Keep them home from school until they have no fever and their energy is back.

– Supplementation with vitamin C, vitamin D, and a high quality multi vitamin.

– Eliminate all refined sugars and dairy products from their diet, keep foods simple and nourishing.

– Offer increased fluids, nutrient-dense smoothies, and warm herbal teas.

– Mix some olive oil with a few drops of the essential oils of tea tree and eucalyptus, rub into their chest and under their collar bones to encourage drainage of the lymph glands in those regions.

– Offer natural raw honey to soothe the throat.

– Have them gargle with salt water (1/4 tsp sea salt with 1/2 cup water) to flush bacteria out of the mouth and to ease discomfort in the throat.

– Offer lots of love, comfort, and reassurance!

I’ve also found that illness is always a great teaching moment with them. Helping them understand how their bodies work, what is happening when they have a fever, and are coughing/sneezing, and what their body needs to feel and function well is a lesson that everyone needs!

This approach has never failed us, and I am confident that their developing brains and bodies are stronger for it.  Next time your children are ill, consider supporting their body naturally, and working with health professionals who can help you along the way.

Coughs, Colds & Congestion

69443tegi1jeqhsMany times when people in the practice are dealing with colds, coughs, sore throats, or congestion they want to stay home, but you’ll often hear me encourage them to come get adjusted and stress the importance of it during illness.

If germs were the only factor that made us sick…we would all be in serious trouble, but a healthy body is dealing with germs everyday and does not become ill. Sure some bacteria or viruses are more threatening than others, but in general when we become ill it’s because our body’s ability to cope with the demand on our immune system has failed.

Congestion, coughing, sneezing, fevers, and a runny nose are all signs the body is effectively creating an immune response to help the body eradicate the bacteria or virus causing the infection. This is a good thing and not to be suppressed! Medications to make you feel better offer temporary relief, but often create other imbalances in the body that can affect your long-term health.

As per any ailment, my recommendations are always to support the body as best as you can and strategize to boost the immune system, and Chiropractic care is a huge contributor to a healthy immune system!

Chiropractic works: A study by a neurologist found that 92% of children with chronic tonsillitis had upper cervical misalignments, and after studying 76 children with chronic tonsillitis it was concluded that “tonsillitis goes hand in hand with movement restriction in the cranio-cervical skull and neck junction”

If you’re sick and suffering make a spinal check-up high on your priority list. In addition to increasing fluids, sleep, and nutritional support, your body will likely recover without any other intervention and give your body better health moving forward.

Understanding Fevers

ID-10036546As both a Chiropractor and a mother, I have personally seen the benefits of a more natural approach to children’s health, and seen hundreds of children thrive without reliance on pharmaceuticals for everything that ails them. My sons are 7 and 11 years old, and I can  count the number of times I have taken their temperature.

They rarely get sick, but when they do fall ill, I understand the importance of monitoring them, giving them love, fluids and nourishment, and letting their body deal with the bacteria or virus on their own. They have never taken any medication (and yes, that is a fact I am proud of!) and I have certainly never given them any medication to treat a fever. Here’s why:

What is a fever?
A fever is a raise in the body’s core temperature above:
37.8    If taken orally
37.2    If taken under the arm

Fevers are part of a healthy immune response, one of the body’s first lines
of defense against bacteria and viruses.  By raising the temperature inside the body bacteria cannot survive!  The number of circulating white blood cells increases (important immune system fighters), the amount of iron in the blood (which bacteria need to survive) is moved into the liver where it is stored, and many toxins are released through perspiration.

Fevers are a good thing!  They are the sign of a healthy, functioning immune system.  A fever on its own is not a reason for concern.  It’s important to monitor your child for other signs of possible illness (runny nose,tugging at ears, coughing, etc.) before assuming they are sick.  Other factors can also be responsible for an increase in body temperature (i.e.over-dressing, physical activity, heat exposure). When in doubt, seek advice from a health professional.

If your child has a fever: Watch them for other signs of a possible illness. Ensure they eat nutritious food (unprocessed, low-sugar, unrefined, whole foods), get adequate rest, and increased fluid intake (broth, diluted juice, H2O). If they are breastfeeding increase the frequency of feedings. Give them extra love, comfort, and reassurance their body is strong and working well to help them heal.

Can Chiropractic care help?  Yes. Spinal adjustments can provide beneficial support of the immune system, and subsequently, can help reduce a fever since the body is more easily able to process the bacteria or virus within. Fever is no longer needed because the infection subsides.

Can a fever be dangerous?   Untreated fevers caused by viral or bacterial infections do not rise inexorably, and will generally not exceed 105 degrees because the body actually has a built-in mechanism to prevent an infection induced fever from reaching 106.  Temperatures that climb to these levels are part of the cycle that normally occurs when the body is trying to fight the infection.  Although 95% of childhood fevers never reach 105, those that do often peak and then start to descend as the body heals.  Only in the cases of externally caused fevers (heatstroke, poisonings, etc) does the body’s inborn mechanism fail, and it is in these cases where fevers can exceed 106 and warrant immediate attention.

Head to the emergency room if your child…has a fever that persists for more than 3 days, develops other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, vomiting repeatedly, muscle twitching or other strange movements; is an infant younger than 2 months of age; cries inconsolably, has a high-pitched or weak cry; is difficult to waken, excessively drowsy, confused or delirious; has been exposed to an environmental toxin or ingested something poisonous; has had a seizure, a stiff neck or has purple spots on their skin; has difficulty breathing and does not feel better once nose is cleared; is acting very sick; or has underlying risk factors for serious infection.

If none of these are present, TRUST the body’s wisdom to use a fever as an adaptive response to restore health. Look to support your child’s health overall with a variety of preventative measures rather than symptom management. The long-term benefits are proven and your child will thank you!

Kids Have Spines Too!

CIMG0902I love seeing children in the practice. Their energy is contagious and they are so much fun to be around. Many people are still surprised when they see me adjusting children…here’s some of the most commone questions I hear:

 

Why do so many parents choose to bring their children to Chiropractors?

To help them grow strong and healthy! Spinal misaligments (subluxations) begin early in life, and the sooner they are corrected, the better the body is able to recover and heal. Whether in an adult or in a child, subluxations cause joint damage, inflammation, reduced mobility and structural imbalance. More importantly, subluxations impair nerve system function, affect the ability to adapt to stress, and inhibit normal body function.

Parents seek Chiropractors for their children to help them recover from an illness, develop proper motor skills, support their brain development, and offer relief for many ailments.

Is it safe? How are children adjusted?

Clinical experience shows that chiropractic spinal adjustments are very safe and comfortable, even for newborns. Chiropractic examinations and adjustive techniques are modified to fit a child’s size, weight, and unique spinal condition. They are both gentle and specific to the child’s developing structures, and parents often comment about how much their children enjoy their adjustments and look forward to visits. The best part about chiropractic care? Unlike over –the-counter prescription remedies and other drugs, chiropractc simply helps the body heal itself…no side effects, just good effects!

Does is Work?

A study compared the level of health of children raised under chiropractic care and mainstream medicine. The results revealed that:

– Nearly 43% of the medical children suffered from tonsillitis, compared to less than 27% of the chiropractic children

– The chiropractic children showed lower antibiotic use and a lower incidence of disease, especially ear infections. If this group of children did became sick, it was reported that the illness was mild compared to those exhibited by their classmates.

A pilot study was undertaken to determine if a relationship existed between the incidence of childhood diseases and the intensity of chiropractic care. “Intensive” chiropractic care (i.e. more than seven visits per year, for more than one year, according to categories defined in the study) increased resistance to common childhood diseases.

Proper Spinal Care is Essential to Your Child’s Health.    

Now more than ever before, parents are searching for proactive lifestyle habits that will nurture their child’s health. Your child may not be sick, but their spine may be developing with spinal subluxations. Consider chiropractic as a natural, safe, preventive strategy to support healthy growth and development.

Ask Your Kids

Photo on 2012-09-30 at 19.53 #4Parenting is not easy. My sons teach me far more than I teach them, and I think I will be saying this for many years. They are also my greatest source of joy, and developing them into amazing human beings is by far the biggest accomplishment I am working on.

I believe we create independent children by giving them freedom to make choices, within limits of course, while providing them guidance, support, encouragement, and tons of love along the way. If we empower them to have some control over their lives, I believe they are more accountable for their actions and can feel more proud of themselves with what they achieve.

To start this summer, I decided to ask my sons for their thoughts about how they should spend their time.  My goal was to figure out what they wanted to do, rather than just imposing my ideas on them, and to give us a framework to plan our time.

I gave them this simple list of questions to answer.  To be honest, reading their responses moved me to tears.  Sure, I was reminded of their interests, and I learned a few new ones that had developed, but I was also completely inspired by some of their comments and very proud of the people they are becoming.

Obviously, it goes without saying that communication is the key in any relationship and the ones we have with our children is no different.  Giving them opportunities to express themselves with you will always succeed, and sometimes written communication  can offer different insights than verbal alone. If you’re connecting with your children, start now.

I mentioned this exercise to a few parents in the practice and they asked for a copy, so here it is…

school’s out!

Sleeping Like a Baby

Ty day2b

In addition to what we see clinically, research continues to support Chiropractic care for children!

 

 

One study looked at SLEEP PATTERNS IN CHILDREN regardless of the initial reason they were brought to a Chiropractor. Of the 116 infants enrolled in the study, 10% had reported ‘sleep disturbances’ and 75% had presented with ‘excessive crying’.

Overall, better sleep habits were seen in all the infants – and what parents wouldn’t appreciate that?!  Specifically, consecutive hours of sleep, quality of sleep, and time taken to settle before sleep all showed significant improvement. Parents reported that their infants settled more quickly and easily, noting improvements after only a few adjustments.

Chiropractic works. For everyone.

Back to School! Tips for Using Back Packs

Its that time of year again….school is in! Kids going back to school carrying packs on their back is a great reminder to all of us to exert some caution when using them to haul our stuff around. Check out these brief tips below:

– Avoid slinging your backpack on one side – this can cause the spine to lean, putting stress on the joints and muscles in the mid – and lower – back.

– As much as possible, wear both straps and adjust them so that the pack fits snugly. You should be able to slide your hand between the backpack and your back. Ensure the straps don’t dig into the skin to prevent proper circulation.

– Use the waist strap during periods of long wear since it reduces the strain on your back and transfers some of the load to your hips.

– Position the shoulder straps on on your shoulders!  Carrying your backpack too low will cause you to lean forward and puts the weight on your upper back.

– Bend with your knees to lift the pack, or place the pack on a table or bench to more easily slide it onto your back instead of bending and twisting.

– Choose a pack with plenty of compartments and make use of them! Pack the heaviest items closest to your body, and place awkward shaped items towards the front so that they do not dig into your skin.

The most important thing to remember is this: when your spine is healthy, when your muscles are strong and balanced, everyday activities are not a problem for your body! Regular chiropractic care ensures this. If you haven’t yet made time to find a Chiropractor to work with to achieve your family’s health goals…now is the time!

Chiropractic & Fever

Caring for children is by far the highlight of everyday in my practice. I love watching the children grow, but I love watching the parents grow too! Our programs for children help parents learn about how to care for their family naturally, and offer guidance for many questions and parenting dilemmas that pop up.

“I thought I’d share a little something which means the world to me!  My son was at daycare on a very hot Monday.  When I picked him up at 4, he was acting kinda off.  All the other kids seemed fine. When I got home with him, I felt his head and he felt warm, but I figured it was the hot weather and thought little of it.  That night he did not sleep well, which is not normal for him.  In the morning I checked his temperature and it was 99 degrees.  I kept him home Tuesday and monitored him all day.  He was off all day and needed mommy.  By Tuesday night his temperature was 100, so putting him to bed, I gave him infant advil. It helped him sleep, but he was restless. Wednesday morning, I checked his temperature and it had gone up to 102.  I called Telehealth and they told me that there was a virus going around infants and toddlers, and that it was a cold with a fever and that it could last up to three weeks.  They said that what I was doing was perfect and that if it gets any worse to call them back.  I knew you were working 3-6, so I called to book him in for an adjustment.  I knew it couldn’t do any harm.  The adjustment was obviously a surprise to him because he cried, but when I got him home, he was almost back to normal.  I thought I would check his temperature just to see what it was and I was floored!!  Twenty minutes after you adjusted him his temperature was back down to 98 degrees.   You’re awesome!!! This is twice now I thought I was going the ER but I’m so glad I came here first!”    MT

Barefoot Bliss!

It all started innocently enough a few summers ago. In the practice one afternoon, my shoes hurt, so I took them off.  After adjusting a few people, however, I was, almost instantly, converted.  I felt stronger, more sure on my feet, grounded.  More purposeful and connected with each adjustment.

So as per most products, concepts,  new trends or fads….I experimented on myself, and did a bit of research before being ready to share my thoughts.

I am not a runner, but I have heard about barefoot running.  I believe strongly in the importance of children being barefoot, particularly in their toddler years when just learning to walk.

I asked some colleagues and was not surprised to find that many of them also adjust barefoot – the simple answer when I asked why? its more natural and the way we were designed! I was also surprised to learn so many people I adjust prefer being barefoot, finding it more comfortable.

Many health experts agree that bare is the healthiest state for your feet to be in.  Most shoes have no relation at all to the natural shape of the human foot.  It’s also been argued that most adult foot trouble would not exist if properly shaped shoes, or better yet, no shoes at all had been used during childhood.

Children who are encouraged to walk barefoot typically have:

– fewer instances of deformed toe

– greater foot flexibility

– greater ability to spread the toes

– denser muscles on the bottom of the feet

– greater agility than those who had never gone barefoot

– better hip rotation and more flexibility of leg muscles

– greater balance

– better posture, spinal balance and overall nerve system function

What are the benefits for you?

– natural shaped feet, including straighter toes free of corns, hammer toes, bunions and callouses in the wrong places

– well shaped legs resulting from a natural and balanced gait.

– a more natural motion, free of weight brought on by shoes

– prevention of blisters, ingrown toenails, and plantar warts

– better posture & spinal health!

It’s also been suggested that people who are barefoot tend to be less stressed and authoritative, leading to a more relaxed environment at both home and work. Many cultures believe that the positive energy of the earth, known as chi, prana, is absorbed through the soles of the feet. When you are walking barefoot your body is absorbing this positive energy, allowing you to think more clearly.

AND…there is evidence that the natural motion of barefoot positively affects brain function!!!

Other than the spine, the foot is the region of the body which contains the most proprioceptive sensory receptors, the distinctive nerve circuits that help your brain know where your body is in relation to the space around you.  Given this abundance of sensory information, the natural unrestricted movement of the feet is vital for overall neurological health!

I have happily embraced being barefoot as much as possible. Even though I do love shoes, I find myself wearing them more because I need to, not because I want to…and I kick them off as soon as I can.

Why Get Adjusted?

Recently, I asked some people in my practice why they were getting adjusted.  Here’s what I heard:

“It allows me to function without severe pain.  You helped me understand that this is what I need to stay healthy, the way you explained everything made sense…and I CAN WALK easier now! I used have periods of immobility because of the pain in my legs, but that never even crosses my mind anymore! I realize that coming here is simply a lifestyle choice I am going to make for as long as I live.”

“The adjustments are helping my body feel better.  When I am aligned my posture feels better, stronger and I just feel well.”

“Because Chiropractic care changed my life.”

“I work hard and use my body, and so I keep getting sore.  Although I don’t specifically remember how I was feeling last year, I definitely know it was A LOT worse and that my adjustments help me a ton.  I come here to keep the level of health I have achieved.”

“I came here with a sore shoulder but now I am sleeping better and my digestion has improved – who would have thought?!”

“My son used to get sick chronically and now, he never does – this is just part of our life now to keep us all strong and healthy, and I love how we don’t rely on medications anymore”

“I don’t know.  I didn’t come here with any problems, it just makes sense to me!”

Although each comment made me smile, the last one particularly struck me – investing time and money in something without really question why, simply because it resonated with her beliefs and desire to stay healthy!

Chiropractic is not a treatment for a disease but a way to support your body’s innate ability to function well.