School starts tomorrow. You and your child are excited, and filled with anticipation, and hope. Hope for a better year, hope for fewer calls and reports from her teacher. Over the summer, you met with your pediatrician, a psychologist, and are looking for options to help him focus, to reduce his impulsivity, to bring him back to center. You are considering options besides medication, maybe diet, maybe exercise, or therapy. You simply want your child to enter school and learn, and make friends, and have fun, and not be cast as different, or troubled, or a problem.
This is an all too common occurrence in our community. Parents are concerned about their child with ADHD and how they will manage each and every school year. If we think back to when we were in school, there was maybe the one child with behavioral issues in our class. Today, its 1 in 11 children. Why the sudden increase in diagnosis? Is it better tools for diagnosis, or broader definitions? Or is there a greater prevalence in the occurrence due to other physical, emotional, and environmental factors? Let’s take a look at these factors and how they play into the health of our children.
Birth. The moment we meet our child. She’s perfect. He’s beautiful. At this moment, time stands still as we look in awe at the miracle of life. Birth is beautiful, but it is also one of the most physically traumatic events we will ever go through in life. The process of labor and birth can be particularly traumatic on an infant that was in a sub-optimal position, needed interventions like Pitocin, vacuum, forceps, or a C-section delivery. During a standard American birth, 60-90lbs of traction can be placed on your little baby’s neck. Add to that, any twisting or bending of the head and neck by the doctor, that child is set up for spinal misalignments from minute one of life. A study performed by Gottfried Guttman, MD, found that 80% of the infants examined shortly after birth had evidence of spinal misalignments, particularly at the very top of the spine, near the brain stem. That’s a pretty large percentage! Misalignments, such as these, cause pressure and irritation to the sensitive nerve structures around the brain stem that are responsible for vital processes, like heart rate, respiration, and sleep. If these misalignments are not corrected, they become chronic, and lead to greater problems in the child’s life.
Now, we have a child with a nervous system that is operating at suboptimal levels. This child may not sleep well, might have colic, chronic ear infections, etc. Add to this physical stress a bombardment of chemical stressors. Stressors like 49 doses of 14 vaccines by age 6; highly processed and sugar laden foods; environmental toxins, like pollution, allergens, household cleaning products, and more. The Body Burden Study examined cord blood from newborns and found that 217 of the 287 chemicals found in the cord blood were toxic to the brain and nervous system. It is the function of our bodies to help clear these toxins effectively. If we have dysfunction to those processes, we begin to see chemical stress build up in the body and have detrimental effects.
What does this all have to do with ADHD? In chiropractic, it has been shown that the first spinal misalignment, at birth, is the beginning of this cascade of events we call the Perfect Storm. There is no one issue, no one silver bullet that we can label as the cause. This is why your child is struggling with
ADHD, and your sister’s child or your neighbor’s child is not. Every body handles these stressors differently, with different thresholds. Chiropractic can help the body get back to its optimal function, reducing the nervous system stress, reorganizing and balancing how the nervous system processes all the input from the classroom, and help your child focus, and have the best school year possible.
Chiropractic is not just about “sore backs”. Bruce Lipton, PhD, a neuroscientist devoted to the function and processes of the nervous system states, “The function of the nervous system is to perceive the environment and coordinate the behavior of all other cells.” When your child’s nervous system has lost the inability to perceive the environment, and coordinate the behavior of his body, is when we begin to see signs and symptoms related to ADHD and other developmental concerns. In our chiropractic community, there are children who have seen massive improvements in their performance in school, increased focus, reduced impulsivity, improved behavior reports, and better grades. All through removing the interference in their nervous system.
I invite you to learn more about how to approach your child’s ADHD naturally and alternatively, without the use of dangerous drugs, by attending our upcoming Parent’s Night Out, called “Focus: A Conversation on ADHD,” hosted by Balance Chiropractic & Wellness, Tuesday September 15th at 6pm at Cool Basil in Clive.
Please visit http://balancechiro.info/Focus0915 to register. We ask that you register in advance, as the meal and drinks are provided.
About the Author
Jennifer J. Thompson, DC, CACCP is a certified pediatric chiropractor located in Windsor Heights (Des Moines) Iowa. Her passion is to Create Healthy Families, One Spine at a Time through chiropractic care. Dr. Jen lives in Ankeny with her husband, Brian, and two daughters, Emma and Lucille. You can learn more about Dr. Jen and her practice by visiting www.balancechiroandwellness.com
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