Your Results May Vary

[originally published in KCN, August 2011]

After practicing nearly fifteen years, I am still honored and humbled when asked to adjust a newborn.  The other day I adjusted a three-day-old.

Now before you stop breathing at the thought of an infant receiving an adjustment, understand that the birth process itself can be extremely traumatic.  As a matter of fact, the average force placed on the head and neck by the delivering doctor’s hands during a “normal” childbirth is 40 to 70 pounds!  Contrast that to the specific fingertip pressure of two to four pounds that a chiropractor needs to adjust the tiny vertebrae in an infant’s neck.

The delivery doctor shared with the parents that because of their baby’s size, he had to exert more pressure on her head and neck than usual.  This concerned the parents, and frankly, the doctor.

From my vantage point the baby appeared okay on my house call visit, and in my opinion was cuter than most.  But when I put my fingers upon the right side of her neck, I immediately knew something was wrong.  The middle neck vertebra was stuck and not moving.  Surrounding it, the muscles were tight.  What’s more, she let me know that my prodding did not feel good and began to grimace and fuss.  Then I delivered a very gentle fingertip thrust to her jammed vertebra in the direction of movement it lacked with no more force than needed to test the ripeness of a tomato.  She cried for a moment and then was returned to Mommy’s arms.

As I proceeded to check the rest of the family, Mom played with the little one on her lap while seated in the recliner.  Five minutes later the baby let out a gaseous explosion.  With the child laying in her lap, Mom quickly and skillfully changed her after one of the other children fetched a clean diaper.  As she was about to button things up, she noticed Baby was not finished…  And then the playful attitude of Mom quickly changed, and a look of worry swept over her as a virtual mudslide of contents evacuated her child with such great intensity, rate, and volume that she was quickly covered.  She was yelling for towels and looking at me with a raised voice, “What did you do?”

As things began to settle down, I smiled at the mother and explained that I didn’t do anything but remove an interference in her child’s nervous system.  The traumatic birth had created a “short” in the baby’s electrical system, and I, with my adjustment, simply restored it to working order… like a house coming back to life after a power outage.  With so many variables in the human body, I often have no idea how it will respond when I “plug a cord back into the wall.”

What a humbling experience to have a hand in restoring the life force in a child.  I wonder to myself what would have happened had she not received that adjustment.  It’s hard to tell, but I know that the body would have found a way to cope and adapt — there just would have been a cost, of which this child need not worry about now.

True chiropractic has nothing to do with neck and back pain.  True chiropractic is about turning the power on.  Chiropractic is based on the simple premise that our bodies are self-healing and self-regulating. One of the prime factors needed for this to play out appropriately is a proper brain-body connection.  That’s all we are trying to achieve.  When it comes to attaining vibrant health:  we need to eat right, avoid poisons, exercise, rest, and make sure our power is on.  And that is why their whole family gets checked.  It’s as simple as that!

Explore posts in the same categories: adjustment, children, chiropractic 101, chiropractic philosophy, healthy living, infants, maintenance care, pregnancy, subluxation, whole body health

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