Children and Chiropractic
By Dr. K. Shane Neifert
You know you are doing a good job with your patients when they trust you with their most prized possessions, their children. The basic principles behind chiropractic is that if you give the body an opportunity to heal itself it will make every attempt to do so. Just like a cut will heal automatically on its own the body will prioritize and reroute the bodies resources to maintain balance (commonly called homeostatis). This means sweating when your hot and shiverling when your cold. When your body is no longer able to adapt to the enviroment properly this is truly an illness.
Now one must distinguish between symptoms and underlying conditions. Cancer often will have no symptoms until the final stages. The same is true of diabetes, many heart conditions, and other known society ills. Yet we would not call these individuals with these conditions well or healthy. Where as some symptoms may actually be the sign of a healthy immune system. A fever is the bodies way of burning out an infection. An infection is an invasion of foreign bacteria or viruses which are causing general mayhem and disruption in the tissues where they are present. The brain recognizes this invasion and will send all available help in the form of white blood cells, fluid, and increased temperatures to remedy the situation. Vomiting is another sign of a healthy body response. Should you eat a piece of rancid meat I would hope that begin both vomiting and diarhea to clean out your intestinal tract. By avoiding the clean out procedure the toxins remain in the body longer giving them more of an opportunity to cause damage. With this information it may not be in the best interest of the individual to stop the expulsion throught the use of drug therapy.
How chiropractic comes into play is in the area of nerve transmition. When we are first formed in our mothers womb the embryo’s first distinguishing changes are in the form of brain and spinal cord. From this rudimentary central nervous system all the nerves for the body branch off and communicate to the cells of the embyro what part they are to play in the newly developing body. As the hands are forming due the the nerve impulses directing the activity the nerves remainin place to later allow the infant to control the apendage. Every organ, tissue, and limb is formed the same way. As we grow our brain controlls all function through the nerve system comunicating unceasingly to every part of the body. The goal is to maintain homeotasis or balance. Anything that interfears with the brains ability to direct the bodies functions is harmful. The question is how harmful, and how long before the effects are seen? The bone structure around the spinal cord is a marvelous creation which allows for mobility and yet protects the bodies most valuable organ. Those moveable joints called vertebrae may also inhibit the nerve flow if they are slightly out of postion and are placing stress on the nerve or associated tissues. By removing the stress off the nerves through chiropractic adjustments the brain may once again more completely maintain control of the body.
Children heal much quicker than adults. This applies in all areas of body function. Note how long a 4 year old is in a cast versus a 60 year old. In part the children have less burdens to carry and therefore are able to use more of their energies to healing. They have less emotional bagage, less history of physical tramua, and have less toxin build up from pollution. All of these contribute to the phenominal rates of recovery that kids make generally.
Chiropractors who adjust children have developed techniques to releave the stress on delicate tissues without harming the patients. One of the more common things to see in my office is children who come and enjoy their visit and adjustment, quite a different picture from the one the medically doctor sees. One way in which stress may be detected on children (and adults) is through the use of Surface Electro Myography or SEMG. This computer generated sensing device is able on kids who are able to voluntarily relax laying in a face down position measure the muscle activity on both sides of the spine. Should the balance of muscles of the spine be off then there is more than likely an area on the spine which needs to be adjusted to free up the nerve stress which is manifesting itself in the form of muscle imbalance.