I’m finding more and more that parents of young children are opting for chiropractic care as a solution to ear infections. For years now, parents are seeing the evidence-based research on antibiotics that has shown that not only are antibiotics ineffective at treating ear infections but they will actually lead to repeated ear infections in the future, not to mention lots of nasty side effects and trouble with their child’s gut and immune health. To understand how we as chiropractors help assist the body in healing from ear infections without the nasty side-effects, please read the article below and be sure to share this with other parents looking for answers to their child’s chronic ear trouble.
If you are thinking about having children in the near future or currently have children or grandchildren please read this article. I just became a parent and this information now resonates with me more than ever. It is up to us as parents to make the changes and instill the TRUE meaning of health in our children. Myself and the other chiropractors in our clinic are trained in pediatrics and we strive to teach families how to be healthy every day. It starts with YOU! Below you will see a list of the info that we discuss with our parents in the office every day.
An Inconvenient Truth Regarding Children’s Health
February 19, 2016 · by Pathways · in Children’s Health and Wellness
By Maureen McDonnell, BS, RN
As a holistic, pediatric registered nurse for more than 35 years, I feel the crisis we now face regarding our children’s health is no longer just a medical one to be kept from the public, but rather it is a moral challenge facing our society that we all must become aware of. My intention is not to cause anguish and despair, but rather to spur awareness and action (especially by moms) to bring about positive change. The emphasis of this article, is on hope with a focus on effective solutions.
Ready or not, here are the current stats:
54% of the children in this country have one or more chronic illness.
There has been a 300% increase in Asthma in the last 30 years (6.7 million kids are affected)
12 million of our kids have Type 2 Diabetes (this is a lifestyle and diet related illness, not genetic)
Obesity rates have tripled in children in the last 30 years (17% of children between ages 2 and 19 are either very overweight or obese)
3 million kids suffer from allergies
The CDC reports: 1 in 6 children have either a neurological, developmental or behavioral disorder
1 in 6 children in public schools now receive special education
ADHD affects 5 million children
1 in 7 school aged children receive antipsychotic medication
The Autism rate which was 1 in 5,000 30 years ago, is now according to recently released numbers from the CDC,1 in 45… and yes, you read that number correctly…1 in 45!
And finally, the Infant Mortality rate of a country is one of the most important indicators of its health as a nation. It is the number of deaths of infants under the age of one year old per 1000 live births. Currently, according to the CDC, the US has a higher infant mortality rate than 27 other countries. Despite the fact that we spend more on healthcare by far than any other country in the world, a baby born in the US today is less likely to see his first birthday than one born in Hungary, Poland or Slovakia
This “new normal” is not normal!
Frankly, I’m embarrassed! As you can see, kids today have more chronic illnesses than ever before, and as a society we should refuse to accept those statistics as normal! Thankfully, children are no longer dying at a young age from infections (as they did prior to our collective understanding that contaminated water supplies, exposure to sewage, malnourishment and poor hygiene practices made them more susceptible to infections.) Additionally, the advent of antibiotics in the 1950s and the introduction of vaccines (which, at least in theory, help them resist infection) all contributed to longer survival rates and healthier children.
But now, it seems we have traded one problem for another and currently we have a different breed of children’s health problems to contend with. Having this many children affected by asthma, allergies, Autism, ADHD, Type 2 Diabetes, autoimmune illnesses, and learning and behavior problems is not normal, and it is not acceptable! The argument that all these conditions were always there in the numbers we are seeing today and that we just became better at recognizing and diagnosing them is a fallacy. Ask any well-trained pediatrician or school nurse or teacher who was working 30 years ago how many kids were unable to focus or required special education or stood outside the nurse’s office at lunch to receive their medication for hyperactivity or bi-polar disorder. Our schools and our society at large are struggling to deal with all the children who are handicapped by these physical, behavioral and developmental issues and require special services.
Why moms? Why Now?
Across the country and across the globe, mothers are beginning to speak out and share their concerns about how sick their kids are. These conversations combined with the natural wisdom mothers possess as to what is best for their children has led to an unearthing of solutions, very smart solutions!
Mothers—not medically trained nurses, doctors or researchers—hold the key to unlocking the answers as to why this tsunami of sick kids has hit. And more importantly, since mothers carry, care for (and most often are the ones to shop and cook for) their kids, they hold the power for preventing and treating these conditions.
Here are a few solutions as to What Moms Can Do Now
Become informed. Although your pediatrician is an important member of your child’s health team, don’t abdicate total responsibility for the health of your child. Do your research and find effective, safe and natural ways to prevent and treat various conditions and then discuss them with your child’s medical doctor, chiropractic physician, nutritionist, and other integrative practitioners.
It was no slouch or ill-informed, self-proclaimed healer who said “Let food by thy medicine”. That came from Hippocrates, the father of medicine and one of the wisest men who ever lived. So take the Hippocratic Oath as a mom…When your child is showing early signs of a cold or infection, before heading to the pharmacy, make a pot of homemade soup with tons of organic vegetables, an organic protein source, parsley, garlic and other herbs. Get that juicer out from the back kitchen cabinet or head on out and buy yourself an affordable Nutri-bullet and start whizzing up some organic vegetable juice (carrot, green apple, spinach with a touch of fresh lemon is a good place to start). Familiarize yourself with healing herbs such as Echinacea and Astragalis. These and many other natural remedies will support the body’s immune system and its innate ability to heal. Medical treatment of course may be necessary, but continue to support the body nutritionally.
And speaking of your child’s immune system… try not to reduce the very complex subject of vaccines to a simplistic “for or against” opinion. Trust me, after 38 years as a pediatric registered nurse, I can tell you there are many ways to enhance your child’s immunity (that do not get the same well-funded air time) including whole, organic, non GMO food, herbs, nutrients, probiotics, juicing etc. Do your research into this topic. Although the concept of vaccinating makes sense (who wouldn’t want to protect their children against infections?), the effectiveness of many vaccines is questionable. Add to that issue thetoxic ingredients they contain such as formaldehyde, propylene glycol, aluminum, aborted fetal tissue, mercury, polysorbate 80 etc. which are injected directly into your child’s blood during the most vulnerable stages of their development. Any thinking person would have to agree, this is a practice that is outdated, outmoded and needs (at the very least) to be reexamined and revamped. The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC.org) or Safeminds.org both will provide you with eye opening material to help you make informed decisions regarding the 36-45 vaccines that are currently being recommended for our children before the age of 5.
If your child is super picky (and most kids are), the pickiness can be a sign of nutrient deficiencies (especially in the all-important mineral Zinc). Start with a good comprehensive multi vitamin designed for kids, but if after a few weeks, their repertoire of foods does not expand (and they have white horizontal lines on their fingernails, indicating a Zinc deficiency), consider adding additional Zinc. Start with 5mg and gradually increase to 20 or 30mg per day. Stay within the recommended dosage parameters unless you consult a nutritionally savvy practitioner.
Replace soda and juice with lots of pure water or water with a splash of juice. Add a little seltzer or Perrier for fizz. Keep your kids hydrated throughout the day by giving them at least 6-8 glasses of filtered water.
Balance their blood sugar levels. If a child has difficulty focusing, their moods are unstable, they get irritable or anxious, or they have periods when they feel weak and tired, try giving them a protein source every 3-4 hours. Don’t overdo it, but hardboiled eggs, rolled up turkey slices, a handful of organic nuts, a protein based smoothie or a protein pop will do wonders for stabilizing their mood, energy, focus and overall health. For snacks: instead of sweets or fruit, try some organic humus, organic almond butter (if your kids don’t have a nut allergy) and chop up some veggies for dipping. Make some fresh organic chicken, turkey, beef and veggie based stews and soups and freeze them for meals during the week.
Gut health: Improve the health of the gut by reducing sugar and by giving your kids (and yourself) a high quality probiotic. Additionally, Google “fermented foods” and start making your own homemade sauerkraut (which is teaming with good “friendly” probiotic bacteria that bumps out the bad organisms which in turn strengthens the immune system.) Remember 80% of the immune system is headquartered in the gut. So if your child is dealing with an immune dysfunction (recurrent infections, autoimmune illness like rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, allergies, etc.), start by healing the gut. Oh and by the way, the brain neurotransmitter that is responsible for keeping us in a good mood, reducing anxiety and depression and helping us focus (called Serotonin) is also manufactured in the gut. So, if you or your child has any of these conditions, working on healing the gut with a healthy, organic, non-inflammatory diet, probiotics and vegetable juicing is a very wise strategy indeed. It is often said in the holistic, integrative world of medicine “heal the gut, heal the child!” If your child does have to take an antibiotic, be sure to give a probiotic (not at the exact time of the antibiotic, but throughout the course of treatment and well afterwards) and continue to support the body nutritionally.
Give it time mom…
Transformation does not happen overnight. Unlike medications that tend to mask symptoms and generate more immediate results, dietary changes, supplements, herbs, juicing etc. can take some time to produce results. However, from my experience with my own children, as well as having guided and advised many moms over the past 4 decades who deal with underlying causes, these time-tested natural approaches are effective in bringing about long-lasting improvements and often resolution of the various conditions plaguing our children today.
Our country has been heavily influenced by the quick fix, magic bullet approach to health and has only recently awakened or rediscovered many of these natural healing approaches. So, reversing the illness trends in our kids is going to take some time. Give yourself that time to learn, and hang out with like-minded moms who also want to investigate the underlying causes of these disorders and not just treat the symptoms. Research, read, and watch enlightening documentaries such as “Bought”, “Trace Amounts”, “Forks over Knives”, “Cowspiracy”, “The Autism Summit” and “Supersize Me”. Google the GAPS Diet, vegetable juicing, etc.
Just as the movie “The Inconvenient Truth” spurred a revolution in thoughts and actions about our environment, I am seeing a movement develop of moms reconnected to their own instinctive wisdom and empowered with the knowledge of natural healing. Not surprisingly, this movement is leading to the restoration of health and well being in many of our children!
Maureen McDonnell has been a holistic, nutritionally-oriented RN for 38 years. She is the health editor of WNC Woman Magazine, the former national coordinator of the Defeat Autism Now! Conferences and the co-founder of Saving Our Kids, Healing Our Planet (SOKHOP.com). Maureen lectures widely on the role the environment and nutrition play in women and children’s health. She has 8 grandkids, is an Executive Area Manager with Arbonne International and lives in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina
– See more at: http://blog.pathwaystofamilywellness.org/pathways/an-inconvenient-truth-regarding-childrens-health/#sthash.EeEJgn0X.dpuf
It’s swim suite season! Are you ready? I was interviewed by Sonja Shin on how to get rid of belly fat for the summer. I discuss the top 5 ways you can quickly see results in your body in the most healthy way.
It is common for peri and menopausal females to experience hair thinning as their hormones decline.
Any patient who has experienced hair thinning/loss in our practice, has also experienced restored hair growth once their health is restored.
Some benefit from supplementing branched-chain amino acid whey protein and/or biotin. Sometimes an herbal combination is recommended.
In answer to a question from a mom about babies who poop infrequently:
Obviously if mom is not exclusively breastfeeding, then the whole picture is skewed. But, I can tell you generally that I go through the obvious potential latch problems–many mothers have them when they think they don’t–for example a baby who grows like crazy on mom’s oversupply, but is a passive eater who cannot feed effectively. I take a birth history bc birth trauma can often be the cause of structural or neurologic injury (especially to the vegal nerve) and specific medical interventions can give me additional clues. I look at the baby for indications of structural misalignment (which may well simply be from positional restriction in utero or be caused by an assisted delivery, cesarean, etc), feeding habits (such as a preference for one side or a baby who adopts behaviors that indicate attempts to self-correct misalignments (like throwing the head back).
I evaluate for tongue-tie. Most peds and LCs are not good at this, especially with posterior TT–you need someone who has expertise. Kids will untreated TT often have digestive problems.
I take a maternal history–looking at mom’s health history and nutritional profile. I am particular about ferreting out mom’s own gut issues, bc often mom thinks she has none until I ask the right questions. I am very interested in mom’s own food addictions, preferences and dislikes.
I look at baby’s behaviors. Feeding patterns, use of artificial nipples, any overt indications of food sensitivity such as reflux, skin conditions, thrush, cradle cap, gassiness, eczema, respiratory infections, etc.
I take any useful history on other children and dad, especially any indications of inflammation or chronic disease.
Then we develop interventions if they seem appropriate. Usually infant stooling patterns will change pretty dramatically and will consistent changes will normalize completely.
The possible types of interventions: elimination of allergens/foods mom or baby are sensitive to, gut healing that may include probiotics, slippery elm, digestive enzymes, etc., external use of castor oil compresses to acutely address inflammation, referral for bodywork to a ped chiropractor, CST, PT. DO (depending on who is in your area with baby experience who I think is good enough), homeopathy, cell salts, and a lot of dietary changes for mom that address nutrient density and improving her nutritional status.
So, I know this was general, but it gives you an idea of how many things might be playing a role for a baby whose gut is not working properly.
Urinary incontinence occurs so often in my older patients but far too often in my pediatric patients and postpartum patient population as well. This article explains why chiropractic care is effective for UI and many patients report that after beginning care their symptoms improve or all together eliminated.
Conservative chiropractic management of urinary incontinence using applied kinesiology: a retrospective case-series report
The purpose of this case series is to describe the chiropractic management of 21 patients with daily stress and occasional total urinary incontinence (UI).
Twenty-one case files of patients 13 to 90 years of age with UI from a chiropractic clinic were reviewed. The patients had a 4-month to 49-year history of UI and associated muscle dysfunction and low back and/or pelvic pain. Eighteen wore an incontinence pad throughout the day and night at the time of their appointments because of unpredictable UI.
Intervention and Outcome
Patients were evaluated for muscle impairments in the lumbar spine, pelvis, and pelvic floor and low back and/or hip pain. Positive manual muscle test results of the pelvis, lumbar spine muscles, and pelvic floor muscles were the most common findings. Lumbosacral dysfunction was found in 13 of the cases with pain provocation tests (applied kinesiology sensorimotor challenge); in 8 cases, this sensorimotor challenge was absent. Chiropractic manipulative therapy and soft tissue treatment addressed the soft tissue and articular dysfunctions. Chiropractic manipulative therapy involved high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation; Cox flexion distraction manipulation; and/or use of a percussion instrument for the treatment of myofascial trigger points. Urinary incontinence symptoms resolved in 10 patients, considerably improved in 7 cases, and slightly improved in 4 cases. Periodic follow-up examinations for the past 6 years, and no less than 2 years, indicate that for each participant in this case-series report, the improvements of UI remained stable.
The patients reported in this retrospective case series showed improvement in UI symptoms that persisted over time.
The neck of a human bod is a bio-mechanical marvel. It possesses a wide range of mobility in nearly ever direction. The neck serves as a conduit for the major blood vessels to the brain and is the primary pathway to the central nervous system. The cervical (neck) is one of the most important areas of the body and a growing body of research clearly shows that its structural integrity of function are absolutely critical to overall health and healing.
The curves of the spine are important because they allow the spine to support more weight and to withstand more stress than if it were straight. This is because the curves increase resistance to axial compression — that is, head- to-toe squishing of the spine. That means ten times more weight can be supported by a curved spine than if it was straight. This is why I do the “bowling ball” analogy for all new patients.
As you can see in the picture below, humans begin with a C-shaped spine in the womb and as babies learn to crawl and walk the spinal curves become more developed in resistance to different gravitational stresses that affect the body.
The first spinal curve to develop is the cervical curve and it develops as the baby learns to lift its head.
Head Support: The cervical spine supports the weight of the head, which weighs between 10-14 pounds — about the same as a bowling ball. With proper posture, the weight of the head is held directly above the center of gravity. In a forward head position, the head is held ahead of the center of gravity and results in a stress load on the cervical spine that is equivalent to the weight of the head multiplied by the number of inches the head is forward from the center.
The science of Chiropractic is founded on the premise that a properly functioning nervous system is the foundation of health, and that the structural integrity of the spinal column must be maintained in order to facilitate optimal nervous system transmission and communication.
Virtually all spinal problems are caused by some type of mechanical or structural stress; therefore, it stands to reason that they require a mechanical correction. Drugs can do little more than suppress the symptoms that may be associated with spinal conditions and surgery, even when required, can eliminate some of the more obvious structural effects of subluxations, but neither can correct and restore the optimal structure of the spine.
Doctors of Chiropractic detect and correct vertebral subluxations by physically adjusting the spine to restore normal spinal function and balance which allows the nervous system to send and receive information.
This allows the inherent healing potential of the body to best express itself.
Chiropractic adjustments restore the normal structure of the spine and maximize the posture of the human frame — a process that is unique to the Chiropractic profession.
The Chiropractic correction of the spine is not something that happens overnight. The time frame for correction varies with individuals.
The corrective process requires time, and usually corrective exercises and changing of ergonomic and postural habits, but the results are worth it.
“So this past week marks 3 months Colten hasn’t had an ear infection. We ended the year with a recommendation for tubes since he was having ear infections every other month. Then we found Felicity, who is remarkable. She has improved our lives in such a positive way. We are so grateful for her & the staffs’ patience, understanding, & assistance in our lives!” M.S
Happy Mama Testimonial “Maizy is 10 months and was waking up for 2-3 hour at a time as it was a struggle for her to get back to sleep. She was noticeably uncomfortable and arching her back in discomfort. After her adjustment she filled her diaper on the way home from the office and had HUGE improvement in sleep. She only woke up twice the night after her adjustment and it was brief with no sign of discomfort. I actually had to wake her up in the morning! The following night’s sleep has been great! ~ Teresa G.
“I had first heard about Dr. Keough through one of her patients that was in the same birthing class as me and my husband. I had heard great things about her care especially for pregnant women but since I was already a patient of a chiropractor right down the road from us I decided to keep going there……that was until week 36 of my pregnancy and baby was STILL in a breech position. We had tried different techniques and excircises that our midwife suggested and nothing seemed to be working. I was getting increasingly discouraged by the thought of the possibilities that our birth wouldn’t go as planned. I called Dr. Keough and scheduled an appointment that week.
My first visit with Dr. Keough was wonderful. She assured me that I was not alone and she has had quite a few other pregnant women with breech babies that she has successfully helped turn. She explained everything in great detail before she did anything and took her time in adjusting me and explained the reasons for some of the low back pain I was having. She took great care in making sure I was comfortable the whole time helping me up and down etc. then she moved on to the techniques to help turn the baby. She was very knowledgeable and gentle with every movement and again, explained everything she was doing while it was happening. I was completely comfortable and relaxed the whole time. She spent almost an hour with me the first visit and after leaving there I felt encouraged, relaxed and in complete alinement. I have been going to a chiropractor most of my life and I had never experienced an appointment like that. Most of the time it’s “get in, get adjusted, and get out” but since that first appointment with Dr. Keough I knew this was the type of chiropractic experience I wanted. After we left Dr. Keough’s office we had our appointment with our midwife and sure enough the ultrasound showed that our little guy was head down already! Every appointment thereafter has been wonderful, and has helped keep me comfortable and baby staying in the right position. I will be not only be continuing to get care from Dr. Keough after my pregnancy, but I will also be bringing my newborn, my 4 year old and my husband!” Rachel M.