She Says… Well Adjusted

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?

 

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21 responses to “She Says… Well Adjusted

  1. I have been to a couple of chiropractors in my life. I have moderate success with them in treating my neck pain. However, when Finn was breech, I saw one for the Webster Technique and that plus acupuncture helped turn him right-side down! I should get Jules checked out for her ears.

    As a massage therapist, I will admit I am a massive fan of acupuncture, reflexology, and chiropractors.

  2. I’m glad you gave it a try! I became a fan of chiropractic care after breaking 6 vertebrae in a car accident when I was 16. During the recovery process and years following, chiropractic care was a HUGE help. I’ve continued it my whole life, and it has helped with everything from snowboarding injuries to waitressing injuries to pregnancy ailments. Like you said, there is so much science behind it (I feel the same way about acupuncture as well). I think you’ll be a convert for life. 🙂

  3. So glad you are looking at alternative options for Owen. I was a skeptic most of my life but now I’m married to a chiropractor and I’m about to have my first baby. Honestly, I know I’m spoiled because my husband is truly a healer and it sounds like you found a good one too! Not all chiropractors are created equally. My husband adjusts our cat too! It’s amazing! I know my baby will be in good hands (pun intended) when she’s born.

  4. So glad you had a great chiropractor experience. In my experience, they can be completely hit or miss. I’ve been to both extremes from the “crack and go” type to the hippie, incense burning type. Neither of which were my thing. But, after herniating 2 discs in my back at 15, I found an amazing one who was the perfect balance of practical and non-traditional. She sounds a lot like the one you guys went to actually. I can’t recommend her enough now. She’s the reason I healed so quickly, she always gets me back into alignment when I throw something off and compared to the orthopaedic docs I saw when it first happened, she’s so much more understanding of me and my body as a whole. I love that yours does animals, that’s so cool! Our dog could probably use a good adjustment with all the running around she does and her history of a torn ACL in one leg!

  5. That sounds really interesting, I hope it helps Owen! I’ve been to a chiro once and wasn’t especially impressed (but, I’m sure there is a *huge* range in quality of chiros, so it’s possible I just didn’t see a good one) However, I have had my horse and dog adjusted a couple times a year and they always seem happier and more comfortable afterwords, so I think it must do something good!

  6. I have beachfront property in AZ that I think you’d really like. It’s an investment purchase.

    I’m a jerk, I know 🙂

  7. We had both of the boys adjusted just after birth, per the recommendation of my husband’s chiropractor. (It was his “new baby” gift to the family). My husband has had chronic neck pain since a car accident 13 years ago, and he definitely noticed a difference after several months of consistent treatment. he has been going 1-2 times/week for several years now and is feeling great! There is certainly a range of chiropractic approaches to treatment (crack and go vs. lots of touching and manipulating) and it sounds like you found a great balance. I hope it helps Owen!

  8. I’ve had a headache every day of my life for as long as I can remember (my folks say I started complaining of them around age 6). They range from debilitating to mild, with most somewhere in the middle. My parents had me checked out by every medical specialist imaginable (and my Dad’s a surgeon, so he had a lot of friends willing to take a look!). I’ve had brain scans, MRIs, blood tests, cancer tests. I’ve been medicated for allergies, migraines, sinus infections…none of which I ever actually had. Although I was very skeptical, I saw a chiropractor at age 23 when I’d exhausted every medical avenue. It completely changed my life! I’ve been pretty much headache free now for 7 years, and the only time I get anything more than a mild one is when I’ve gone too long between adjustments (about every 4 weeks). I have no idea why or how it works, or if chiropractics work for everything they claim it does. But man, it sure helped me 

  9. Wow, how interesting… I’m going to look into this for Ryan. Thanks for sharing!

  10. I’m a huge believer in chiropractors [good ones of course]. I haven’t been to mine in 11 years because he fixed me up that well [of running / gymnastics injuries]. Amazing.

    Sounds like you found a winner!

  11. So glad to hear it was a positive experience! In my limited knowledge, chriopractic works because when your spine and other joints are in correct allignment, the nerves that are within your spine and throughout your body can function and fire properly. It keeps your entire body communicating and allows damaged tissues (i.e. injuries and organs that are not working properly) to be repaired since there is no interference.

    I had never been myself until a few months ago. I was skeptical because I knew nothing about it or why it works. I have really changed my mind and seen the benifits for my whole family. My husband has seen a chiropractor on and off for years due to sports injuries from playing college ball and it helped him so much with his severe back pain since we have all be going regularly. My son gets adjusted once a week right now and always sleeps better and is better behaved in general after he gets adjusted. I’ve never heard of pets getting adjusted!

    When we started taking my son, the chiro had me lay down and then my son would lay on my stomach so we were tummy to tummy. It helped him get comfortable with the doctor and the sensations. Now, he can lay down by himself and actual seems to enjoy it! Lots of tickling and clapping helps too 🙂

    I really applaud you Kate, for keeping an open mind and trying out an untraditional approach. Kara, maybe you can take a page from Kate’s book.

  12. I was very interested in having an unmedicated childbirth, and read that chiros can help get the baby in a good position to help with childbirth since your uterus is connected to your spine. I saw a great chiro throughout my pregnancy. I had an unmedicated, relatively short labor, and only had to push a few times since the baby was so low and in a great position. I can’t say for sure it was the chiro who did it, but hey, it didn’t hurt anything and I plan to do it again for baby number 2! I had my little one adjusted when he was a few months old. I’ve been meaning to do it again, now that he’s walking (and falling) often. This post prompted me to call and make the appointment!

  13. Sounds like Schnitzel has the same hip problem I do. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor for a couple of years for back and hip pain, and like Benjamin, I’ve found it helps a lot. I was skeptical, too, and I’m still skeptical of the idea of using chiropractics for problems not related to joints, but as long as you trust your chiro and she has experience treating children, you may as well give it a try for Owen’s ears. My doctor says she’s treated children as young as three days old!

  14. My husband has had bad and amazing experiences at the chiropractor and the last one was amazing. His back has been so off for so long and in one appointment he got fixed. It’s been months!

  15. I’m with you, I’m skeptical of the larger wellness claims of some chiropractic care. That said, I do love my chiropractor. I’ve had back pain on and off since I was a kid. I find most doctors completely useless for back pain, and only the chiropractor seems to help.

    Hope it helps, one way or another!

  16. Just like any medical professional, there are good and bad chiropractors, but if you get a good one – oh my goodness! I am such a believer in chiropractic care that I think people should see it in the same way they view dentist and GP visits, that is, pretty essential!
    My dad’s chiropractor is a guy he used to go to school with, and who happens to live a few doors up the road from my parents. And, luckily, he is really good. I see him regularly, and I took Devin when he was around 20 months to see if it might resolve his sleeping issues… No such luck, he’s just not a good sleeper. 😉 But he did have some misalignment that was fixed up.
    My grandmother used to get unbearable hay fever despite a myriad of medications, until someone convinced her to see a chiropractor about it. She did, not expecting anything to happen, and ended up completely cured.
    I haven’t tried acupuncture, for want of a decent local practitioner, but I’m interested in that for anxiety issues. I wouldn’t tell anyone to expect miracles from these more ‘alternative’ treatments, but I’d definitely encourage people to at least try them. I think it’s great that you’re giving it a go, and I really hope it helps with Owen’s general well-being. 🙂

  17. I have been going off and on to a Chiro since I was 15. It is a wonderful way to help with lots of issues. You just have to be careful telling a “regular” doctor that you are seeing one. Sometimes they tend to not see eye to eye. I’m glad you tried it and it seems to have helped.

  18. I’m a huge fan of chiropractic–hope it helps Owen! He is just achingly adorable in your picture on this post 🙂

  19. I saw a chiro my entire pregnancy and it was magical! Any sciatic nerve pain was fixed asap. I was pretty comfortable most of my pregnancy. I did have to be induced and my epidural gave me half of a numb leg, but labor wasn’t bad at all. They started pitocin at 12:30 pm and I was holding her at 6:14 am. I slept through most of my labor because of nausea meds lol. Now, we take the baby every so often 🙂

  20. My chiro in FL (haven’t found one up here) makes a huge difference with sciatic issues I have on occasion. If it starts to act up and I get adjusted it goes away in a day. If I don’t, it takes about 4 days. However, I did do regular adjustments for almost a year and didn’t feel any great awakening or change that some people love. But if you can find the right person for a specific issue It makes a huge difference.

  21. So happy to hear that you too had a positive experience with acupuncture. After 3 years of migraines (about 8 a month) and some really crazy kinds of medicine, acupuncture once a month has me cured!

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