Information for Parents about Pediatric Chiropractic~

The Premise of Chiropractic

Labels: Chiropractic for Life, Author Bobby Doscher, DC, Issue #32
Written by Bobby Doscher, DC   
Thursday, 01 December 2011 00:00

The basic premise of chiropractic philosophy is: “The power that makes the body heals the body.” There is a vitalistic force constantly at work in all living things, keeping them organized and adapting to the forces in their environment. This life force is the vibration which keeps all life going forward, and holds every cell and particle together. The ordinary man is not usually aware of this vibrational frequency, nor is he always mindful that this force maintains his life as well as the Earth itself.

The human body is miraculous. This principle of organization produces a self-healing, self-organizing and self-regulating organism that is adapting and appropriately responding to its environment, constantly striving for optimal function. In chiropractic, this is known as “innate intelligence.”

Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

Health is a state of balance and harmony of the body within the larger environment. The body heals itself using its own recuperative power. Every process takes time, and healing is a process. It is not the Band-Aid that heals the cut, nor the cast that causes the bone to knit. You can put a Band-Aid on a rump roast, but it will not heal itself because the roast is no longer a living thing. Only living things can heal themselves.

Healing the body is a dynamic process, and with time the changes will come. The path to health is not an easy process, especially in the beginning, because it takes time to change our lifestyles and habits. The change will be great and then small. Ultimately, each small change will lead to the greatest change of all—optimum health, full potential and the ability to give back to life.

Children’s bodies heal quickly due to their strong recuperative powers. A child will begin to feel better and his body will begin to renew and revive itself. Parents will see changes immediately, then day after day, week after week, and month after month, as they carry out the discipline of following the chiropractic care plan. Just as the sun gets brighter at the start of each new day, the light of the life force grows brighter as the body heals and reaches optimal potential.

Chiropractic releases the power within, and the light returns to the eyes. Whatever the malfunction, imbalance, health loss or challenges, when the child’s neurological organization engages, it is like a beam of light getting bigger and brighter. The child becomes more and more conscious of himself and his surroundings. Each new accomplishment brings more challenges and responsibility to the child, and a little less work for the parent.

With time, the body’s energy increases and the child becomes more energetic. As this energy increases, chronic health symptoms begin to recede. Toxins are eliminated from the body as it gets stronger. These typically manifest as skin rashes, diarrhea, vomiting, fevers and seizures. As the body regains its strength and performance, a retracing of interrupted development begins. Retracing means going back to the original pattern of development and re-experiencing correctly the stages of sensory intake and motor output, and the integration of emotional well-being and higher intelligence. Retracing is part of the body’s healing process.

It is the innate intelligence of the body that heals continuously from moment to moment. In other words, you heal yourself! Hippocrates told us, “Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well.” As parents seeking true wellness, it is imperative we seek out care providers who recognize, respect and support this healing from within. Chiropractors are such providers.

≈This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #32.


Healthy Children and Chiropractic

Labels: Chiropractic for Life, Author Donald Epstein, DC
Written by Donald Epstein, D.C.   
Tuesday, 07 October 2008 10:00
There are two models of health: biomedical and social science. The biomedical model refers to physical symptom status and laboratory tests. The social science model refers to the individual's functional status; the ability to utilize the uniqueness of one's environment and one's experience. It also includes the changes to one's perception, the ability to make healthier choices, and improvement in one's overall quality of life.Providing health care services to children involves a dimension not often encountered in rendering care to adults. Not only must the child's needs and concerns be addressed, but those of the child's parents as well. The child doesn't have educational bias, is usually simple to care for, and will respond immediately to physiologic changes that enhance life expression. The parents may require more attention to further their knowledge and understanding of health. This article addresses the issue of how to know if a child's health is improving, and how to assure the parent of this.

Health, by definition refers to optimal function physically, mentally and socially, not merely the absence of disease and infirmity. The social science indicators must be considered to fully assess health. Since chiropractic is a non-medical discipline, it is all the more vital that our chiropractic and health assessments not be largely based upon medical indicators. In the course of chiropractic care, it is common for parents to remark that their child's disposition has improved, that he learns better in school, that she is more at peace, that he reacts to stress more effectively, sleeps better, and that in general he is more able to function without restriction. These are all indicators of health. At times a presenting symptom may not reduce or be eliminated, but the child's health will be improving in a variety of other ways.

It is important to eliminate inconsistencies in our philosophy, clinical approach, and communication. If we wish to assist in the restoration of spinal integrity (with its associated enhancement of health and well being) through specific adjustment of vertebral subluxations, then our methods of outcome assessment must be consistent with this.

Is the spine healthier than at the entrance visit? What is the general trend, and what are the specifics at the time of re-evaluation? Is there a positive improvement in both the correction of subluxations and spinal integrity? And lastly, what is the child's personal assessment or the parent's opinion of the child's status in the following categories:

  •     Physical State
  •     Mental Emotional State
  •     Stress Evaluation
  •     Life enjoyment
  •     Overall Quality of life

It is important that the chiropractor not focus more clinical attention on the presenting complaint or symptom than the social science health and wellness indicators. The patient/family member might equate chiropractic care with a particular physical symptom's improvement rather than the goal stated above. Often particular symptoms may intensify during the healing process, while other indicators of health and wellness improve. The presenting complaint may be amongst the last of changes in the health picture. The practitioner must be certain of his or her focus and intent in monitoring the patient's progress.

A parent may notice their child has a fever, however the child's behavior may not appear any different than usual. In another instance the child may be less feverish, yet his behavior may be considerably affected. Is the fever in itself a measure of impaired health? Or has the overall picture of the child, including his interaction with his environment, reactions to stress, mood, and sense of humor been viewed? Rather than questioning an adaptation of the body's internal wisdom, such as fever, ask instead about how the patient feels (or appears to feel) about how he feels. In questioning a parent simply shifting the wording from "Tell me about Johnny's symptoms" to "Tell me about Johnny" will yield a far greater spectrum of information about your patient. The biomedical approach deals with the conditions only. The social science indicators refer to the person in which the condition is present. As chiropractors, it is the person, not the condition we seek to help.

A recent research paper titled A Retrospective Assessment of Network Care Using a Survey of Self Rated Health, Wellness and Quality of Life1 presented the largest epidemiological study of a chiropractic population to date. It represents the largest study of chiropractic patients for such a wide range of health and wellness indicators. It established the initial validation for a new instrument of patient self evaluation for the categories mentioned above. Patient's reported significant, positive changes in all the mentioned domains of health, as well as an enhanced quality of life. The improvements reported suggest that this particular application of chiropractic is associated with significant benefits in all categories. This study of 2,818 patients, conducted through multiple departments at The University of California, Irvine not only documented the health benefits of chiropractic care, but has established a new basis for evaluation of the health and wellness benefits of non medical disciplines.

Since the overall health and wellness benefits continued throughout the duration of care in the population reported in this study, it would be unfortunate to identify the goal of care as the reduction of a particular symptom, and miss the greater implications of long term vertebral subluxation based chiropractic care to the child's health. With accountability to our objectives and alignment of our procedures and communications, we can use safe, effective and gentle applications of chiropractic adjustments to position ourselves as leaders amongst the non-medical approaches to the health and well being of children.

1 Blanks R., Schuster T., Dobson M., A Retrospective Assessment of Network Care Using a Survey of Self-Rated Health, Wellness and Quality of Life. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research 1997 1 (4) 15-30

Originally Printed in: I.C.P.A. Newsletter January/February 1998