Several of you, my wise readers, have suggested that we explore chiropractics as a possible treatment for some of Owen’s ailments (particularly ear infections). I have to admit something to you. I am a bit of a skeptic.
My gut reaction to things like acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments and reflexology is kind of along the lines of how I think about fortune tellers and sleeping with a magic rabbit’s foot under your pillow. I am hesitant to buy into it. That said, once I start to do a bit of research and begin to understand the science behind each of these methods, I become more and more of a believer. I think my initial resistance comes from not having a lot of experience with these types of treatments in my own life. But, there is a lot of compelling evidence out there that moves me to keep my eyes and ears and mind open to learning about them. And, you know, trying them for myself.
About a month before I got pregnant with Owen, when I was struggling to conceive, I tried acupuncture. It was quite a leap for me, since I had a hard time believing that these tiny needles in my hands and feet were going to have an effect on my whole body. But I learned what I could about the process and dove in. That cycle, I got pregnant. It was also my first cycle on a new dosage of Clomid and probably the first time I ever ovulated since going off birth control, though, so I’ll never know if it was the Clomid or the acupuncture that “did it”. But that doesn’t matter in the slightest to me. Something worked. And if the needles had something to do with that outcome, I’m sold. Hey, the 45 minutes of just sitting quietly could have had something to do with it too. The world will never know!
Similarly, I feel that taking Owen to see a chiropractor can’t hurt our chances of kicking this latest ear infection and strengthening his immune system. I don’t want my innate skepticism to keep him from a natural remedy for his discomfort and asthmatic tendencies. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not throwing his antibiotics out the window or stopping the daily asthma treatments that have been recommended by our doctor, but I think a blended approach is a well-balanced way to treat Owen’s body as a whole.
So last night the whole family went to the chiropractor. Benjamin sees a chiropractor for chronic back pain and she recently mentioned that she adjusts children and even animals! Schnitzel has been limping on and off for the last few weeks and so we decided to make this visit a family affair.
Schnitzel went first. The chiropractor watched him walk and patted his back and legs. Immediately she noticed his hips were out of alignment and the tendons in one of his legs were messed up; she manipulated his body and stretched him in various ways to put things in alignment again. I hadn’t even told her that was the leg that was causing the limp, and he wasn’t visibly limping at the time that she saw him. I was impressed. She massaged him a bit and identified that he had a rib out of alignment; fixed it. She watched him walk again and go up and down stairs and all of us could see a visible change in how he moved. He seemed immediately more comfortable and was putting more weight on his leg. I was very impressed.
Since she passed the Schnitzel (and Benjamin) test, we moved on to Owen. We talked for awhile about some of his issues and she gave me a lot of information about how the ear, nose and throat systems in children are joined in a different way than adults. She explained why kids get ear infections so much more than adults, and why some kids (cough, cough — Owen — cough, cough) get infections so much more often than other kids. She talked about asthma and eczema and how they are connected to the respiratory infections Owen gets. It was all information I had heard before, but the way she explained it helped me make connections I hadn’t made before. I was impressed.
Owen was a little tired and a little hungry (in retrospect, after a long day of playing at daycare was NOT the best time to try this for the first time), and he wasn’t really digging being touched by this strange woman. So we took it slow. We let him play around the room and ride the electronic bed up and down. She felt his head and neck and ears and chest.
Immediately she noticed that he had 2 ribs out of alignment (just like Schnitzel!), probably from the pneumonia and coughing/gasping of his asthmatic breathing when he is sick. With one quick, gentle squeeze she put them back. She mentioned that his ear canals on both sides felt inflamed (no surprise there, since we know he has one infection and both have been red recently, hence the antibiotics he is on to kick this tough infection). She showed me how to stretch his ears a certain way to encourage drainage without pushing on the ear canal; something I could do at home now that I know how to do it safely.
Then she gave Benjamin a quick adjustment since his back was out of whack from driving for 8 hours in the snowstorm last week. I didn’t get adjusted this time around, but now that I’m sold I want a turn too! I want to make a separate appointment and see what she has to say about my body too. I’m amazed at what she can know just from a few quick touches and questions.
I gotta say, I’m still a bit skeptical at what chiro can do in terms of general wellness and immune system bolstering and breathing better, etc., but I’m willing to give it a shot! Happy to have my eyes opened. Every little bit helps.
Have you ever gotten a chiropractic adjustment? Have your kids? Your pets? What differences did you notice afterwards?