Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Infants
A few weeks ago, a mom brought in her 2 week old, very gassy, very colicy babe. As I was examining this beautiful little newbie, I shared with her mom how some parts of Baby A's spine weren't moving as well as they should or could be, which chiropractors refer to as subluxations. As a new mom and new chiropractic patient, it was important to explain to her that subluxations in infants can be the result of breech postitioning inutero, labor and delivery trauma (and yes, even a normal labor is one of the most traumatic events of our lives), or even a result of the repetitive nature of flexing the pelvis to change diapers. I also shared that subluxations are common and can quickly be corrected, and provide a lot of relief for Baby A. You see, the vertebra of the spine will affect the gastric tract of nevous system and the nerves that supply the stomach and intestines. If the spine isn't moving optimally, it places stress on these nerves and challenges the infant's body to overcome the nerve interference. With just a handful of adjustments, most infants often have a remarkable respone as the alignment and motion of their spine returns to normal.
Most of the time, adjustments are made with just light pressure from the fingertips. They occur very quickly, so the visits tend to be quick. Occasionally, instruments are used to assist in the adjustment, but again, they are very gentle. Often, you can see tension release from the infants face and muscles as the adjustment is made. In the case of Baby A, she was totally relaxed the entire visit.
More often than not, mom notices changes that day. Baby A was less gassy and took a long nap following her first visit. Her mom reported that for even the following couple days, her naps were much more "smooth," and that "every time she was adjusted I could tell an instant change. She was more comfortable, less gassy, and slept sooo much better."
Depending on the health of the baby and their state of stress, I usually recommend 1-2 visits/week for 4 weeks, with a re-evaluation at that point. In these subsequent visits, I re-examine the motion and alignment of the spine, and ONLY adjust what needs to be adjusted. Over the course of this treatment plan, the body responds and adapts, so less and less subluxations will be found. As the baby holds these adjustments, I recommend tapering off treatment, to 1 visit every 2 weeks, to 1 visit every month. Of course, if there are unexpected illnesses, traumas or symptoms that occur, the frequency may change.
The development of our immune system parallels the development of our nervous system, so if there is stress on the nervous system, it could wreak havoc on the immune system. The resulting irritation to the nervous system can be the cause of many new born health complaints. For infants, colic, unexplained crying, poor appetite, breathing problems, gas, reflux and allergic reactions can be traced to nervous system dysfunction caused by abberant motion of the spine. With a healthy spine and nervous system, a child can better combat the sore throats, ear infections, stomach-aches, fevers, measles, mumps and the hundred-and-one other challenges that often accompany childhood.
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