Your Brain and Nervous System is Everything In a few short months from the time your baby was conceived, a microscopic number of cells that are the beginnings of the brain would have expanded into an intricate network of nerve cells (a neural network) with a few billion interconnections. Yet, this fragile mass of cells will fit nicely into the palm of your hand! By 5 years of age the human brain will have reached 90% of its adult weight.
It is important for parents to understand that brain and nervous system development is both a product of genetics and chemicals (the internal environment) as well as the interactions of the developing nervous system with its environment (external factors). Chiropractic focuses on providing health care within the framework of the function of the nervous system.
The Brain Can Change Itself
For many years mainstream medicine and science has believed that the brain could not change, it could not alter its structure ever and that to find a new way to function after damage had occurred was impossible.
We now know that the brain can change its own structure and function through thought and activity. We call this “neural plasticity” (neuro is for neuron , the nerve cells in our brains and nervous systems. Plastic is for “changeable, malleable, modifiable” and it is one if the most exciting areas of scientific exploration at the moment.
Every Child needs Chiropractic Care.
So, a child’s (& adults) brain and nervous system is the product of its internal and external environments, yet how it functions is not fixed, it can be changed. A child may display a wide variation of signs or symptoms that lead us to conclude that their brain and nervous system function has been altered or changed. Sometimes the signs are subtle, not easily seen or obvious unless you understand what to look at or examine. Other times the signs are obvious to a parent, a carer, a Maternal and Child Health Nurse or other health professional or possibly your child’s teacher. Common things to look for as a parent are: late or unusual development in any developmental milestones, poor posture or low muscle tone (“floppy”), an odd walk/crawl, a flat head, difficulty with school, poor sleep habits, behavioural problems, any complaints of pain or fatigue, digestive problems like constipation or poor appetite, breathing problems, poor immunity (lots of colds or ear/throat infections).
While many children are referred to us when someone notices these signs, whether it be a health professional or a family member / friend, it is not unusual for a parent to bring in their child just for a check up – to see if we can identify those signs.
Things to Ponder…
More than likely the most traumatic event that will occur in your child’s first year of life, involves being cramped in the womb towards the end of your pregnancy and of course the birth process itself. Needless to say, there isn’t a lot of room in the womb towards the end of pregnancy. It is also common for an area of your baby to be pressed up against a hard maternal body part, which can cause the little joints in their spine or limbs to become subluxated (“stuck”, “not moving like it should”). Similarly, the birth process involves pressure on your baby’s joints that can also cause these subluxations, whether it is a “normal” delivery or a Cesarean birth.
Do All Chiropractors Treat Children?
No, not all chiropractors feel comfortable treating children, in particular babies and toddlers. However, Dr Lademann, Dr Smith and Dr Eccles are chiropractors who have a special interest in paediatric health care and provide full-time chiropractic care for children at our office. We are happy to refer you to a chiropractor in your area that is qualified to see children.
Is Chiropractic safe for children?
Absolutely! Our chiropractors all use a form of full body assessment based on gentle touch and very light pressures. They are extremely safe and exquisitely gentle. Most of the procedures that we use for correcting problems involve a pressure you can easily bear on your eyeball.This very specific, low force adjusting method allows the nervous system to better interpret and integrate the sensory input from the adjustment and to appropriately process it throughout the brain and spinal cord. This technique is referred to as the NeuroImpulse Protocol (NIP). It is not at all uncommon for a sleeping baby to not even wake up when the adjustment is given. Some babies, of course, will cry and wriggle around a lot, not because they are in any discomfort, but because they object to being held still during the examination. They are not is any pain.
How old must my child be to receive chiropractic care?
We are able to assess babies from birth. The more problems you had during the pregnancy or interventions you received during the birth, the earlier we like to see the baby (a day old is OK). We have clinically observed that issues during pregnancy such as breech position, low fluid levels, posterior position of the baby, pre-eclampsia or common interventions including induction of labour, the use of forceps/vacuum, being on your back during labour and having a Cesarean-section may contribute to restricted ranges of motion in the spine or other joints of a newborn.
Will my baby or child have to come back really often?
No. We will identify for you the extent of their particular problem and will tailor make a management plan. You will only be asked to make a single or a small number of appointments at a time and that with your express agreement. Your opinion and personal health care choices will always be respected and honoured by our chiropractors.
The Eastland Family Chiropractic team welcomes you to a whole new world of chiropractic health care for your children and the whole family.