Every thought you’ve ever had, movement you’ve ever made and sensation you’ve ever experienced has been dependent on nerve messages flowing freely throughout your body. Your brain and spinal cord are protected by your skull and the 24 movable bones of your spine.
Your nervous system can be divided into three sections:
- The central nervous system consisting of your brain and spinal cord.
- The peripheral nervous system, incorporating cranial (head) and spinal nerves.
- The autonomic nervous system, which oversees involuntary muscles such as your heart and can be divided again into sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.
Your nervous system can be likened to and information highway that delicately balances the self-regulating and healing mechanisms in your body. Even while you sleep, your body continues to work. In fact, every minute 2.5 million cells will die and then be replaced.
BIRTH CAN BE A SPRAIN IN THE NECK!
Parents often ask why a newborn baby should be checked by a Chiropractor. A researcher, Gutman, who examined the effects of the birth process, comments that, “the trauma from the birth process remains an under-publicised and therefore significantly under-treated problem.”
Ideally, babies should be checked and adjusted as soon as possible after birth to help alleviate spinal problems caused by constraint or abnormal positioning in the uterus, or by spinal distress from the journey through the birth canal or during the delivery process itself.
More than 1,000 infants were examined in Gutman’s trial, and it was concluded that approximately 80% of all newborns had some form of nerve dysfunction. These results support the findings of other studies.
Gutman commented that many health problems may arise from subluxation of the first vertebrae in the neck, including a lowered resistance to infections with the ears, nose and throat. He noted how, even with the lightest pressure of the index finger (adjustment), the infant’s clinical picture normalized.
ADJUSTMENTS FOR BABIES
Chiropractic adjustments for adults differ significantly from those performed on newborns. Often the chiropractor will use light fingertip pressure on the baby’s back or neck, other times they may choose to use an instrument (known as an ‘activator’) to adjust the baby’s spine. Chiropractors may also choose to gently massage the muscles on either side of the baby’s spine or stomach. Infant adjustments are very gentle and typically a baby will be soothed by an adjustment. It is important to note that 65% of neurological development (ie. Development of the brain and nervous system) occurs in your child’s first year. It is there imperative to ensure that your baby has every opportunity to maximize their nerve function during this critical period in their development.
Gutman G. Blocked Atlantal Nerve Syndrome in Babies and Infants. Manuelle Medizin. 1987, 25:5-10
Dr. Jennifer Barham-Floerani How to have Well Adjusted Babies Second Edition. 2009, Ch.21: 503-507