Sometimes the small adjustments make the biggest changes.
It’s sometimes simply a light push with my pinky finger behind the ear; using little more pressure than you’d comfortably press on your own eyeball with. And with a light pressure, in the appropriate area, all of the sudden feeding improves, crying stops, ease is restored. Oh… I forgot to mention… this is about adjusting a newborn baby with “colic” and trouble breastfeeding.
It’s a scene that has played out many times in my office. A Mom and Dad come in looking as though they have not slept in a month, talk to me for a little bit and hand their new bundle of joy to me. Why? Usually because a friend had a similar situation when they had a newborn, and we “cured” it. (Reminder: WE don’t cure it)
The first reaction from many folks that are not aware that we work with paediatric patients is usually shock. I’m not sure why, though. Perhaps they assume I work the same way I work with adults. I don’t… not even close. Perhaps they look at me and think yikes! (I’m 6’3″ and about 230 lbs… not exactly a little daisy. and to quote a student observing me adjusting an infant my “Hands are Huge!”) I constantly tell people how important it is that we are able to temper our adjustments force to fit all patients, from the large to the smallest each patient requires their own specific force to remove the interference in their system.
The real reason I think folks worry is a perceived safety issue. I say ‘perceived’ safety risk because the research shows that there is nothing to be concerned with in regards to safety of working with children and infants. The most recent article on the matter was written by a former classmate of mine and did an involved study with nearly 1000 European Chiropractors working with children, reporting “no severe negative side effects” reported in nearly 20,000 treatments per month.
So, my question is to the public. If it is safe and effective; why wouldn’t you try it before alternatives like medications and surgery?
Let’s look at colic, for example. The response to colic tends to be one of two things; gripe water or ‘wait it out’. Well, neither has any real help or basis behind it. Colic is essentially a collective term for a child that “cries excessively”. There are parents that come in worried about colic, but on further questioning, it appears to be a normal pattern of crying and on examination the child appears well nourished and no shifts in the spine to be looked at further. There are others that come in with a screaming, red faced child; that report very ‘colic-like’ issues. And really, it could be from numerous sources. A baby cries as it’s only way of communicating that there is something wrong; discomfort, hunger, needing a change, etc. So at times they may be trying to tell you about, a headache, or some discomfort they are having as a result of the birthing process; where other times they are telling you they are hungry or wet. When I do my assessment I will often tell Mom and Dad that working with infants is a lot like being a Veterinarian; (aside: I’m sorry for comparing your precious little one to a dog… but I have a reason… read on!) because the person I am looking at can not tell me what is wrong, only their ‘owners’ and their physical signs tell me what is going on deep down.
The best news of all is that when appropriate Chiropractic Adjustments, in my experience, take effect on the youngest of patients very quickly. With parents often coming in amazed at changes with what appears to be such a small adjustment.
Keep Chiropractic in mind the next time you, or a friend or family member, have a little one in need. It’s safe. It’s gentle. But, most of all, it’s effective when indicated.
If you know someone in need outside the Burlington, ON area. Feel free to contact me and I will try to find a Pediatric Chiropractor in your area.
Dr. Matt Lindsay, DC
Aligned Chiropractic – Burlington, ON