Our chiropractic practice became focused on pediatric maternity and family care as we saw more and more kids needlessly getting surgical procedures and being put on medications, off-label, for things like acid reflux, when these little babies are so perfect when they’re born. So, I did a lot of extra study through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, and I’ve taken a lot of seminars live, not just online, to maintain that level of expertise.
With that focus, now we attract more moms, infants, and children. A lot of times, a mom will come in when they’re pregnant, and then a couple weeks later, or sometimes even less than that, they come in with their newborn to have their newborn checked. So, the reputation that we have in the community is that we really specialize in pediatric, maternity, and family care. I have such a love for working with these infants and children and helping them stay healthy without using drugs and surgery.
Here are my top 10 reasons to bring your kids to a chiropractor:
1. Promote Healthy Growth and Development
During the child’s first nine months they undergo tremendous growth inside the womb, and every stage of growth and development as they prepare to enter the world, the brain and the nerve system are always the first to develop from conception, right? And then the spine and the skull, which is the housing that protects that master controlling nerve system as it develops, it will start to form. And then we’ll see, if you look at any early embryonic development, the first thing that forms is that spine and nerve system, and it gives them an opportunity for that inborn intelligence to develop their physical, emotional, and spiritual nature.
When your baby is born, it’s like a brand new computer and all the hardware is there, but the software is going to get programmed over time. That software, we call it an innate intelligence, it knows how to run, regulate the body.
The messages that flow from the brain to the body through the nerve system can be interfered with. That can be from stress, tension, poor posture, accidents, falls, kids get dropped, when they learn to walk they fall millions of times every day.
2. Remove Subluxations or Misalignments
During pregnancy, when the baby is head down with their neck flexed in the proper position for three months, they can get misalignments or subluxations. Later, if the child has a long, difficult labor, or there’s a forceps delivery, or the doctor pulls on the baby’s neck to get the baby to turn vertical so they can come out, all those things can put a little stress or trauma into the neck, and typically that’s the first thing to misalign.
When the vertebrae in the neck get misaligned or subluxated, it irritates the nerve system. When the nerve system is irritated, particularly if you get out of balance with sympathetic and parasympathetic, and understanding that the sympathetic is about stress and fight or flight, a kid who’s imbalanced and in sympathetic overdrive is going to be colicky, coughing and sneezing, their immune system won’t be as strong, and that baby’s going to be agitated, crying, and screaming, and the moms don’t know what to do.
A chiropractor can realign those vertebrae to allow the free flow of information from the brain to the body. When those pathways are open, neural development occurs without interference, proprioception, balance, coordination, all the information going to the cerebellum is important. A lot of the most recent research shows when there’s an interference of information, particularly proprioception, how the body balances and is aware of its place in space, going to the cerebellum, that contributes to scoliosis development, and that’s a pretty hot topic that they’re talking about.
3. Alleviate Colic and Acid Reflux
Incoordination in the infant’s body can cause the infant to have trouble latching and even suck too much air while they’re breastfeeding. That can result in colicky behavior, spit ups, and reflux as well. It’s not a deficiency of anything, and certainly not a deficiency of Prevacid, which they like to put these kids on off-label.
Many times, parents will come in with a colicky baby, and we can balance out the sympathetic and parasympathetic. The kids calm down, their digestion’s better, they slow down or stop the projectile vomiting. Balancing the nerve system is what does the trick in these kids.
4. Improve Sleep Patterns
Chiropractic care also improves sleep patterns. The vagus nerve, which is one of the nerves that really is primarily responsible for balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic, regulates and controls digestion, allows the body to rest, and really connects up to the gut, every part of it, the stomach, the intestines, large intestine, small intestine. The vagus nerve starts all the way up at the very top, and goes down and hits approximately 90% of our viscera and our organs. So, it is so important that communication goes free without interference as well.
5. Prevent and Alleviate Ear Infections
Chiropractic care can help prevent and alleviate ear infections that result from the infant’s subluxation of the atlas, that top cervical vertebrae. When that’s out of alignment, that can change the flow of cerebral spinal fluid and slow the drainage, and that can create a back pressure to the ears. That stagnated fluid allows for a greater chance of infection. By making those adjustments, we open up and see an improvement in cerebral spinal fluid flow. That’s been demonstrated on MRI in adults, but they didn’t do many MRIs on infants.
6. Improve Posture
With kids growing up with iPhones and iPads, we’re seeing all this forward head posture, or what they call tech neck. For every inch that kid’s head moves forward, it adds 10 pounds of weight. Chiropractors can help improve posture and teach parents and children how to maintain proper posture.
7. Enhance and Support Immune System Function
The link between the nerve system and the immune system is undeniable. When the nerve system is disconnected from the immune system, it just doesn’t function properly. That’s something we see in a lot of people who are paralyzed in a wheelchair. They never live long, healthy lives, because there’s not enough neurology to control the immune system. Particularly like Christopher Reeve after his accident, they put people on antibiotics for the rest of their lives because they know that the immune system isn’t up to snuff.
The immune system, which is controlled by the nerve system, has to develop naturally and if there’s any interference or pressure on the nerve system, it can slow down the way the immune system develops.
8. Improved Range of Cervical Motion
One of the big reasons that moms bring their kids in to receive chiropractic care is to address torticollis, infant torticollis, where the head is flopped over to one side, the baby’s not latching properly, or will only feed on one breast. Because they’re not moving their head around too much, they get plagiocephaly, which is those flat spots. Using upper cervical and cranial sacral techniques, we can actually adjust the bones of the cervical spine and of the cranium, and improve the range of motion, and the development and the shape of the skull. So, better alignment means better function, just basically by the elimination of subluxations.
9. Promote Overall Health and Wellness
Many parents always report, when they begin chiropractic care for their infants, toddler, and children, that they see an improvement in the quality of life in their child, particularly like better immune system function, resulting in fewer colds, fewer ear infections, improved appetite, sleeping through the night, and an overall happier child. Because again, when you balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerve system, the kids are not under as much stress.
10. Support Nerve System Function
Chiropractic care supports neuroplasticity, the development of the nerve system. Kids are absolutely amazing, they have a nerve system, they have an innate intelligence that runs and regulates their body and heals their body, and they have an ability that is naturally pre-programmed in there with this immune system, to heal, run, and regulate the body. Being able to coax that out and keep the body free from interference is so important.
A clear nerve system will support every stage of growth and development like we talked about. It helps to prevent and manage scoliosis by keeping everything aligned, because as a twig is bent, so grows the tree. And it really sets the stage for a healthier, drug-free life for kids.
Dr. Gregg D. Rubinstein, D.C., is a midtown Manhattan chiropractor with over 20 years of experience providing customized chiropractic treatment services to a wide range of clients in the Midtown Manhattan/West New York City area. Dr. Gregg Rubinstein and 57th Street Chiropractic can be reached at (917) 534-6484 and is located at 119 West 57th St. in New York, NY.