This month of October, I'm running a special for parents to bring in their children to get their spines checked and their first adjustment for free. It's been great because it's all part of my mission to educate parents about the importance of a healthy spine and nervous system in babies and kids. So, as I had hoped, many enquiries are coming in and mothers are scheduling to have their kids adjusted.
Not surprisingly, I've also been getting a lot of questions. That's the whole point to my promotion - I want parents to ask questions so they can discover the essentials of chiropractic for kids. Since I've had many questions, all pretty similar to one another, I'll just post the questions and answer here.
Q: Hi. I was wondering if you could give me some more information about chiropractic for babies. How old do they need to be - my son is 6 weeks. How do you do it? Does it cause any pain? I would also be interested in doing it for my other son who is 5 years. How many sessions are recommended?
A: Chiropractic for babies and children is very safe, gentle, and very effective. Babies can be adjusted as early as hours-old (if all else is not in crisis), and can continue on as the baby needs in its early newborn months. The premise of chiropractic for babies is that all babies undergo some type of stress and many times, trauma, during the birth process. It skull bones move around, as well as the neck and spine being twisted during the whole process. In fact, most births have some sort of mild birth trauma because of this day in age of all the complications that arise during labour and delivery. So, what a paediatric chiropractor will do is check for any misalignments in the spine, especially in the neck area and cranial area, to see if there are any joints and vertebrae out of place, causing tension in the muscles, and pressure on the nerves and spinal cord.
Does that make sense?
Many newborn babies experience 'common' symptoms, such as colic, and reflux, restlessness, difficulty breastfeeding, and more. And although these symptoms are very common, they are not normal. A baby with a healthy spine and nervous system will usually not have these symptoms, or, if they do, it's only mild and lasts for a short time. One adjustment will be effective enough to help the baby's body reorganise and heal. And as the baby is growing, developing, and changing, it is also important to continue with regular adjustments to help their system balance.
The adjustments for babies and children are very gentle, and soothing. There is no pain involved and nothing 'pops'. It's very different from what many people envision what chiropratic is, and I believe it's an essential part to a baby's ability to thrive and be as healthy as can be. When a baby is born, their whole body is checked for any problems such as their hip joints, the heart, lungs, etc. But what is totally skipped over is the most important organ and system of the body - the central nervous system - the brain and the spine.
All babies should have that checked and adjusted when born to ensure proper function and balance. Most newborns from 0-3 months should get checked once every 2 weeks, sometimes more, because they are still processing so much adaption to their new world. Their digestion is adapting, their hormones are regulating, and so much is going on in that little body. If the baby doesn't seem to have any symptoms or discomfort, then it's fine to check and adjust the baby once a month. For older children it can vary. It depends what is found in their systems and spines, and also if they are coping with some symptom.
It is important to understand that although it may seem like the chiropractic adjustment is to 'treat' a symptom, it is actually not. The adjustment's goal is not to treat any specific symptom. Its goal is to aid the body to remove the misalignment, to allow better balance in the spine, to take the pressure off the whole system, so that the body can function the way it's designed to. When the body can function properly in an optimal state, then most of the time we see that the symptoms have reduced or been totally remedied.