Butt-shuffling, W-Sitting, and Moody Teenagers

Last time I was in New York, I went to a kid gymnastic class with my friend and her daughter. 

There were a bunch of mums there hanging out, waiting in the mummy-hang-out-area where lots of mums sit and chat during the class.

There were also lots of babies there.

One of the babies was bum-shuffling to move around.

So I asked the mother if she's been doing that for a while.

"For about a month."

Then I asked her if she crawls at all.

"No."

(I had a suspicion that she never crawled and she only shuffles.)

So I explained to her that it would be good it she took her to a paediatric chiropractor to assess her spine and pelvis to see if anything is causing that.

Crawling is probably one of the most important developmental milestones.

The action helps create the proper development of the brain and it's direct connection with all the muscles in the body.

The left side of the brain needs to be able to properly communicate with the right side of the brain. 

And the crawling action makes those connections happen with each stride.

Right arm, left leg.

Left arm, right leg.

As your baby develops, many movements and reflexes function to help the brain cross-communicate.

This leads to optimal brain function.

As the child grows, the muscles need to grow and contract properly in order for them to walk properly, become more coordinated, as well as other actions such as speech development, learning, eye sight, and behaviour.

If a baby doesn't crawl, it's indicative of something not ideally developing in the brain and body, and leads to a cascade of other developmental issues.

The next thing that a child might do which is commonly correlated to bum-shuffling is W-Sitting.

W-Sitting is a sign that the 'tone' of the body is hypermobile, or hypomobile.

The younger a child start W-Sitting, the more significant of a problem it can be.

When I explained all this to the mother in NY, another mum piped in and rudely said, "Oh, this stuff doesn't mean anything. How do you know all this?"

I was shocked at how NY-bitchy she was.

She started debating with me!

So I just asked her, "How do you know your child has a healthy spine?"

She just stared at me, like, "Uuuuhhhhhh?"

Then I said, "How do you know if there's a problem in your child's nervous system?"

Again, "Uuuuhhhhhh?"

Then I stopped and decided that I was wasting my breath with her. 

You can bring the horse to the water, but you can't make it drink.

Anyway, let's fast forward through a baby girl's life to age 14.

Often, when I see a teenager with painful periods, horrible headaches, moody PMT month after month, I find out that this girl had signs of improper developmental milestones as a baby.

Bum-shuffling, W-Sitting, late walking.

This can indicate poor spinal development, which can cause a dysfunction in the whole system, affecting other parts of the body's systems.

The hormonal (endocrine) system.

The reproductive system.

The immune system.

The digestive system.

All of it.

This is why it's so important to have all babies checked when they are newborns. 

This will give them more opportunity and likelihood to have proper development of the spine, brain, and nervous system.

So, if your baby isn't crawling, or they aren't properly crawling, bring them in and let me check their spines!

They grow up to be healthy happy kids!

Who wants a severely moody teenager anyway?

See you at your next adjustment!

— Dr MaryAnne

 

The most important thing they miss

I had my first child in a birthing centre which was located on the 11th floor of the hospital on the Upper West Side in New York City.

I chose it because it was a great birthing centre, and it happened to be only twenty blocks away from our flat.

Convenience and practicality are pretty high on the list of a labouring woman.

I had a midwife, a doula, and my husband helping me through the labour.

And after 3 hours of active labour (making it a total of 23 hours from the very first contraction I felt), my little baby girl was born at 3:00 in the morning.

I remember how insanely overwhelming the whole experience was. 

Giving birth, pushing a 4kg baby out of me in the middle of the night, being up moving around labouring all day, feeling intense pain, thinking how my Ironman was easier than this ... then not to mention how do I do this mommy thing ... 

It's all a lot to process.

Don't ya think?

After everything settled (and I had a huge breakfast with coffee and pancakes and eggs that amounted to probably 10,000 calories), I was ready to bring my baby home.

But, I was told, the pediatrician has to sign you off.

What does that mean, I ask?

I had no idea how these things worked.

(It was my first baby.)

The nurse explained to me that the doctor had to look my baby over to make sure everything was healthy.

Ok.

Fair enough.

That's important.

I could already tell she was fine.

But it's important to make sure everything really is doing fine.

So, the doctor finally arrived and did her thing.

With stethoscope in hand, she poked and prodded.

Heart: check.

Lungs: check.

Hips: check.

Reflexes: check.

Strength: check.

Spine?

Skull?

Alignment?

Nope. 

Nada.

Zilch.

The doc didn't check those last three things.

I thought, "Doesn't matter, I'll check her. Just let me go home."

It wasn't until years later that it dawned on me that pediatric medical doctors don't do what I would do.

To be fair, they have their specific skills, and it's essential for them to do their job.

I'm grateful for that.

What's missing is the newborn's spinal check.

That's one of the most important bits!

All newborns need to get checked after they are born.

It needs to be a standard normal procedure done by a skilled trained paediatric chiropractor. 

Or even an osteopath.

The point is, so many babies are born every day, every where, and it's usually not until the mother thinks something 'is wrong' with her baby that she takes them to see a chiropractor.

That just doesn't make any sense to me.

Why, at the hospital within 24 hours of birth, does the doctor have everything checked except for the integrity of the nervous system and spine?

Babies also undergo hearing tests too. 

But where's the assessment for the baby's spine?

Please, can someone explain that to me?

In any case, if you have a baby, or children, and they haven't had their spines checked, go NOW.

Take them to a chiropractor and have their spines assessed and adjusted.

Because it's MUCH easier to keep children healthy than to deal with grumpy difficult contorted adults.

See you at your next adjustment!

— Dr MaryAnne

How my trip to the pub was ruined by the British government

We're usually not organised.

My husband and I.

When it comes to our anniversary (12 years today), we usually forget to book anything, let alone get a babysitter in advance.

So for dinner tonight, we just decided to take our whole brood to the pub up the street.

We were starving.

Pub food isn't my usual thing, even thought I love a good burger, and it's been a while since I had a humongous meal with fries and lots of comfort food.

Plus, I've been training like crazy, lifting more weights, and my trainer told me I have to eat more to increase my muscle growth and recovery.

Win for me!

Anyway, my husband went up to the bar to order our food.

Burgers.

Ribs.

The usual.

We scarfed down our food.

(I'm still amazed, and will always be amazed, at how much food my kids can put down, especially my son, and be super lean. I mean, where does it all go?)

We all finished, and then I was in the mood for dessert.

(Right? What girl doesn't want to at least look at the dessert menu?)

Mmmmmm.

Yummmmm.

Millionaire's ice cream sundae.

Oh My God.

Yes please.

(Cue in shock horror music)

Then, in italics it says,

"1050 calories"

Wait, what?

I kept reading down the list.

Brownie hot fudge sundae:

1200 calories.

Are. You. Freaking. Kidding. Me?

Caramel Toffee Pudding:

985 calories.

I look at my husband with a really pissed off stare.

He looks at me like he's done something wrong.

I blurt out, "One thousand calories? Really? Why the hell are they telling us?"

He answers in relief thankful that it's not his fault this time,

"Oh yeah, blame the British government. It's sort of becoming the law."

Really?

Oh, for feck's sake.

Let's order three.

Yes, I ate my share.

Live and let live.

Life's too short.

Carpe diem.

Oh yes. It was goooooood.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Have a great long weekend.

— Dr MaryAnne

How not to get divorced

A topic that really fascinates me is marriage.

Overall, it's the art and science of relationships that keep my mind busy.

My twelfth anniversary is next week, so I've been thinking about this more these days.

Why does one couple who is crazy, coo-coo-for-coco-puffs in love when married, and seven to ten years later, they divorce?

Or, two people who have never met one another are arranged to be married together, and then learn to love one another making it work for 30+ years together?

I've read books about this topic, listened to podcasts, spoken to many people, as well as heard about what old married people say.

My parents have this spectacular love story.

They met in Tokyo.

My traditional and Catholic French mother decided to go off the beaten path and moved to Tokyo to teach French in a primary school.

My Japanese and academic geeky dad was working in that same school as the head of the French department.

For him, it was love at first sight.

(It wasn't often that there were caucasian busty young women in Tokyo back then.)

For her, it wasn't exactly that, but maybe because her strict French father ordered her NOT to bring home a Japanese man.

(She didn't do as she was told.)

A few years later, they got married, moved to the South of France, and had my brother and then me.

When I was nearly two, we all moved to New York, and my parents had two more children.

They raised us with an abundance of love, always being there with us, teaching us many things directly and indirectly coming from different cultures and backgrounds.

In fact, nearly every day, we had a mix of French and Japanese cuisine.

French was spoken in the household, and we were a family with a fusion of three different cultures mixed together.

Overall, I had a wonderful and loving childhood.

(My older brother beat me up all the time, but I got through it, and now I'm a tough gal.)

Fast forward to 1998, my parents suddenly decided to separate, and eventually got divorced.

It was like the classic case of 'last child leaves the household, and one day they woke up, looked at each other and had no idea who the other person was'.

For the next 7 years, they stayed mostly amicably together, especially during Christmas when we all got together.

All six of us.

In fact, it was like nothing changed.

Then after eight years of living separate lives, they got back together, and remarried.

Crazy story.

Amazing story.

They're such a cute old couple now.

The eight years apart was a blessing to their relationship.

Every time I think about their story, thinking back to my childhood, how they were as parents, wondering how they made it through all the tough times, it leads me to think what they've done to CHOOSE to be with one another.

This is what I've come up with:

  1. Respect one another.
  2. Don't sweat the small stuff.
  3. Accept that it's not about who's right and who's wrong.
  4. Learn that your happiness isn't their responsibility. It's yours.
  5. Be the first one to say sorry.
  6. Consider that you will always learn something new about them every day, every week, every month, or every year.
  7. Your expectation of how you want to be loved is probably not the same way they want to be loved. (The Five Languages of Love)
  8. If you feel resentment or contempt, do something about that and clear it up.
  9. Learn to laugh and joke with each other, especially when you've recently had an arguement.
  10. Constantly tell them "I love you" because conversations 'disappear'.


There's more, but that's the bulk of it.

Nearly every day, I strive to be as great as them in every area of my life as a wife and a mother. 

And now, I'm paying it back. 

To them.

To my siblings.

To my husband.

To my kids.

To my friends.

To my community.

To my practice members.

And to the rest of the world to make a difference.

Chiropractic is also a huge component of that.

I want to do big big things in my life, and coming around to my 12th year of marriage, I've learned so much.

I'm at a secure and expansive point in my life, and I owe so much of it to my parents, and my philosophy with chiropractic.

My gratefulness is enormous.

Thank you.

In love and expansion,

— Dr MaryAnne

A lil' sumthin sumthin

I used to live in Queens, New York when I was little.

That was about forty years ago (holy moley, that sounds like ages ago).

I remember once, when I was about 7 years old, being with my friend playing at our school playground, and some boys were bothering us.

You could say they were being bullies, but at the time, I just thought they were trouble makers.
 
They wouldn't stop calling us names, annoying us, and trying to be tough.

Then, they started chasing us.

I remember feeling scared, not knowing what I did to make them do this, and were they intending on hurting us?

I hated that feeling of fear.

I remember at one point I was running, trying to get away, feeling terrified, and then suddenly, something came over me.

I think my thoughts were saying, "This-is-crazy-I-don't-like-this-I-feel-so-scared-and-threathened-make-this-situation-stop-what-can-I-do"

And I just stopped running.

Then I turned around, held my arm and hand out signalling for them to stop.

They just stopped in their tracks.

I just stood my ground, breathing out of breath from all the running, and said something like,

"Listen, why are you chasing us? Wouldn't it be better if we all got along, worked something out? We can be friends. I think we could be friends."

You know what?

Just like that, the kids shrugged their shoulders, and just like that said, "OK."

I remember thinking, "Whoa, I did not expect THAT outcome."

In fact, I had no idea what would happen.

My adrenalin was pumping and flooding my body, I probably would have been able to pick up a car.

My fear had turned into action. 

Action to create solutions.

To connect with people.

Find that lil' sumthin sumthin.

It was like a snap and the boys switched from attackers to our friends.

I called my other friend who was way down the street by then, and we all just worked something out.

I think I've always had the natural sense of, "This person is nice. He has love and greatness in him too."

Even at the age of seven.

That's how I've always been.

I always see the greatness in people.

Love is there.

In all humans.

That's how I approach everyone. 

Or at least, that's how I want to be.

Somehow, innately and intuitively, when I was a little girl I accessed that desire to connect with people and speak into their side of love and greatness.

I'm happy I never lost that.

That's what I bring into my practice every day with everyone, all the time.

That's why I love adjusting people.

I love it.

Greatness and love.

To me, it's awesomeness.

— Dr MaryAnne

 

They think you're stupid

They think you're stupid

No one can decide who you are and what you should do and who you can be. Only you can.

It's called the whip nae nae, mom.

Spending time with my girls in Paris has been a chock full o' fun.

(And lots of learning about the latest trendy stuff. My daughters talk even more than I do.)

My 11-year-old is practically a teenager and she's teaching me a lot of songs, dance moves, and new ways to speak.

Frankly, I don't remember being like this when I was eleven.

(I probably was though.)

Kids these days seem to grow up much faster than when I was a kid.

(Is it technology that accelerates it the maturity process?)

Anyway, since we used to live in Paris, I still have a few friends living here so we went to have lunch with a close dear friend of mine.

She's a little bit younger than me, and my daughter really loves her too.

I hadn't seen her for a couple years, so it was great to see her.

The last time I saw her, things were a little sketchy in her life, and she was not doing very well causing her to resort to anti-depressant drugs.

When she told me this at the time, I did whatever I could to help her remotely, chatting with her online, texting, and emailing. 

I always told her that I knew she had it in her to fight this tough time in her life without using the drugs. I was confident that she didn't need them.

Unfortunately, so many women (1 in 7 women in the US) are taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs for their emotional states of depression.

And these women have no idea that almost all cases can be remedied and healed 100% naturally.

Take a look at this awesome interview with Marie Forleo and Dr Kelly Brogan.

Dr Kelly is a board-certified psychiatrist, who specialises in women's health, specifically depression and anxiety.

She just released this book all about healing depression naturally through exercise, diet, mindfulness, and meditation.

It's a phenomenal book.

I love it.

She's a big supporter and advocate for chiropractic care as well. 

I highly recommend learning more about what she teaches, how diet, foods, exercise and meditation can help clear and heal so many diseases, including depression.

As for my friend, over lunch with her, she was glowing with happiness, and she was so proud to tell me that she was doing fantastically well and she was able to get off the anti-depressants and heal herself naturally. 

Awesome. 

It is absolutely possible to make this happen. I know this and I'll always stand by that truth!

Healing naturally is how you will be healthy. Not the drugs.

Check out Dr Kelly Brogan's website to see what she's saying about it.

In the meantime, make sure you book your massage at this amazing price of £25 for one hour!

Remember, you can book the massage now for a date later on in the future.

You pay now, and have the massage in a few weeks if that makes it easier for you!

See you next week!

Have a wonderful Easter weekend.

— Dr MaryAnne

My kids speaks this strange alien language that I don't understand

As someone who was raised in America, I've always been amazed at how easy it is to travel to a completely different country within a couple hours from London.

Plane or train.

Doesn't matter.

It's very cool.

A two-hour train ride in America, and you're still in the same State (most of the time). 

I can't believe more Londoners don't take advantage of living so close to Paris!

It's so great to be able to hop on a fast train, and then BAM, you're in frogland.

Oui! Oui!

C'est magnifique!

Anyway, on the very crowded train, I met this very sweet young mother with her toddler daughter.

I couldn't help but offer my assistance because there was a jumble of seats with a big family of overgrown loud teenagers, and I could tell that this mother just wanted a comfortable seat with her little girl.

So I managed to talk the other people into rearranging their seating plan, and the young mother was able to sit next with us in the quattro seating (with the table in the middle).

Much better outcome.

She was very grateful.

It was simple to do. 

Little effort.

Big payout.

Stressless journey with children.

(Is that really possible?)

We had a lovely ride into Paris.

My kids played with the little girl, and everyone was happy.

I was probably the happiest because my eldest kept on talking in the strangest accent. I think she picked it up on YouTube. She contorts her face and has this annoying rhythm, tone, and intonation. 

Very strange.

So I basically ignored her. I had to. Instead, I focused on having a nice conversation with the young mother sitting next to me.

She asked me if I work and what I do.

Sure enough she became very interested when I told her that my special interest is with babies' and children's spinal health.

Most people have no clue what chiropractic paediatrics is.

"What does it mean for a child to go have a chiropractic check-up?"

I explained to her how important it is for all newborns to have their spines check shortly after birth.

Doesn't a paediatrician check the baby's heart, breathing, ears, genitals, etc?

How about one of the most important organs in the body?

The brain and the spine - the central nervous system?

This mother was totally fascinated.

"Yes, that makes sense!"

She even explained to me that her baby was born with forceps because she was twisted in a strange position stuck in the birth canal.

(Do you know how often I hear mothers say this?)

Listen, I love what I do. And if I can speak to one mother a day to show them how important it is to have her child's spine checked, then I feel that I've helped make a positive change in that child's (and mother's) life.

Because a healthy child is what we all want.

Healthy children lead to a happier world for the future.

Do you get it?

Good.

Now, I'm off to go eat some delicious French food.

Au revoir et a bientot!

See you next week for your adjustment!

(Don't forget to book in your £25 massage! Only ten days left at this price.)

— Dr MaryAnne

I wanna be a movie star and an astronaut

When I ask my son what he wants to be when he grows up, he usually says,

"I wanna be a YouTuber star, like a movie star. And definitely an astronaut."

Good goals, son.

Easy-peasy, right?

When did that question stop being fun to answer?

For me, it doesn't stop. 

Ever.

Because, actually, thinking like a child, being in the moment, with little or no sense of time, is really the way to view this tough world.

It is rough out there, and sometimes I wish I can literally push the pause button on the clock.

When I was a teenager, there was this American TV show where this girl was half-alien, and she had this one power:

She would touch her two index fingers together and time would just freeze.

Everyone around her would stand still.

Time would stop.

But she wouldn't. 

She could walk around people, tickle them, fart in their face, or whatever.

Time was paused.

Wouldn't that be so cool?

Well, it's highly disappointing, but that power just won't happen.

Instead, I'm thinking about my own way of time travel into the future.

It helps me get through my days now.

You know that sometimes annoying question, "Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?"

I know what my answer is, but I think for lots of people, it's not easy to answer.

For me, it's easier to imagine myself two years out.

Basically I imagine how I want my life to be and look like, and then I scale it backwards and visualise what I'd be doing to achieve that.

For example, one of my goals in my career is to start teaching other chiropractors paediatric adjusting. I have to train more for that and it'll take time to organise.

Also, we've always had plans to renovate our house. I have many desires for my beautiful newly renovated kitchen, and as many Londoners know, getting a house worked on is no joke.

There are so many steps to take with that!

These are just two clear examples, and there are many more, but you get my drift.

I'm very certain about how I want my life to look like in two years, and for me to have that in place, I know what I need to work on, plan, and get into action with.

One constant regular action step that's always there is getting adjusted.

How about you?

Gotta take care of your health, always.

See you at your next adjustment!

— Dr MaryAnne