When I was a younger woman I did not like children; then I had kids and everything changed. I realized I loved them! When I opened my chiropractic office in Woodland Hills, I wanted to be known as a pediatric chiropractor and so I designed my office to be family friendly and welcoming to children (and parents!) of all ages.
The most common things I hear when people learn I work on a lot of children are: Why would a kid need a chiropractor? (lots of reasons, I’ll go over them below) and Do you crack kids’ necks? (NO!) and Is it safe for a baby to see a chiropractor? (Yes!)
Here’s a little about my journey to becoming a pediatric chiropractor
I started chiropractic school in 1999 and graduated in 2002. During my school years, I learned very little about working with kids. I knew pediatric chiropractors existed, but I used to say, “I’ll NEVER have a pediatric practice!” The thought of kids running around my office, touching everything, asking lots of questions… no way.
When I got out of school and started practicing, I defaulted to working with chronic pain patients, and I was really good at it. I helped lots of people improve the quality of their lives, get back to work, avoid surgery, and more. The work was rewarding, but it was also physically exhausting. People who live with chronic pain are often depleted emotionally, and I found myself drained at the end of every day. I was a new mother at the time and I might have been tired from that but it was hard to define which aspect of my life was draining me.
After 10 years in practice, I moved out of the area, closed my practice and took a couple years off to rest and reflect on what I wanted my practice to look like.
I took a really cool course on finding purpose in life (yes, I had my purpose – to help people – but I wanted to narrow it down more) and what came out of all the exercises was that I loved food, kids, and cats. And if I could figure out a job helping people with food, kids, or cats, I would be fulfilled!
Well guess what? I already had a job helping people, I just needed to integrate the kids into it! And that started my journey. I took some advanced training for pregnant mamas called the Webster technique, and during that class the concept of normal physiology for a normal birth was instilled. Our body’s processes are impacted by spinal stress and spinal stress can negatively affect our physiology. Lots of women have spinal stress before pregnancy, but it isn’t bad enough to do anything about or they think “it will go away.” Then they get pregnant and as their body starts changing the symptoms show up or get worse!
I also realized that when mom is stressed during pregnancy, that affects the baby, so by helping mom during her pregnancy, we are also helping the baby before it is born. Then I had an understanding of how labor and delivery are tough on both mom and baby, and how the birth process might contribute to spinal stress in the baby. Once all those dots were connected, I realized I wanted to work on pregnant moms and their babies.
So why would someone take their child to a pediatric chiropractor anyway? Newborns might have trouble turning their head both ways, which makes breastfeeding difficult. Babies with reflux, colic, or constipation often respond very well to gentle chiropractic adjustments. Babies or toddlers with lots of ear infections often find that chiropractic care helps. Kids with asthma, bedwetting, and challenged immune systems have all responded well to adjustments. If the child has spinal stress and that stress is impacting their body in a negative way, then improving that spinal stress improves things.
Pediatric chiropractic is really that simple.
Because a child’s bones are not fully developed, they don’t need chiropractic adjustments like you might see on YouTube. Gentle pulsing using slight pressure (imagine testing an avocado for ripeness, that’s all the pressure it takes) is enough for babies. Kids often like getting adjusted with a tool, and the pressure on that goes up and down, too.
Pediatric chiropractic is a safe and effective solution for many families. If your baby or child is dealing with any of the above, give us a call. I’d love to chat and answer your questions. A chiropractic examination includes testing to evaluate spinal stress and would answer the question, “Can chiropractic help my child?”