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Chiropractic Care and Asthma

While asthma is a common condition, it is anything but simple or normal. With asthma, symptoms vary based on the child and situation. The medical community defines asthma as a “chronic inflammatory disease” that causes shortness of breath, tightness of chest, wheezing and coughing.

Unfortunately, asthma follows no set pattern as symptoms differ from person to person, can vary from mild to severe, may flare up from time to time and then disappear for long periods of time. Because asthma is chronic, it needs to be monitored and managed over one’s lifetime. While anyone can get asthma, it’s usually first diagnosed in children.

Causes and Triggers

The cause of asthma is currently unknown with no cure. What is known is that certain triggers induce asthma attacks. Personal triggers can be very different amongst people with asthma. With every asthma case, it is crucial to avoid triggers in order to minimize airway inflammation and keep symptoms at bay.

Conventional Medicine

With asthma being a “variable” disease, doctors administer medicine and prescription doses at differing levels customized to child’s severity. In the realm of conventional medicine, most children with asthma take two types of medicine to treat each aspect of the condition.

Firstly, controllers or “preventers” are medications taken every day to reduce airway inflammation. The second medication, relievers, is used to treat symptoms immediately. However, reliever medications are a short-term solution to breathing problems as they fail to address the inflammation’s root cause.

How Chiropractic Can Help Asthma

“Dr. Laura uses very gentle techniques that Cameron finds fun and silly and her child care also addresses nutrition. Cameron has been with her for about 2 1/2months and is already off all of his asthma meds, sleeps through the night consistently and I haven’t had to take him to the Emergency Room once since we started with her.”

Lynsday B., Evolve Patient, on how chiropractic care helped in alleviating her son’s asthma.

Read his full testimonial here

Chiropractic is not a treatment for asthma. However, many who suffer from asthma report improvement after receiving chiropractic care.

There is research that suggests a link between the nervous system and the respiratory system. This may be why many have mentioned improved breathing by consulting our practice.

The incidence of children suffering from asthma seems to be rising, which is believed to be due to a combination of factors, especially the increase of chemicals in our environment. If these factors were the only issue, why wouldn’t all children living in the same house and breathing the same air, suffer equally? Your diaphragm is the primary muscle used for breathing. Nerves that control each breath leave your brain and exit the spinal cord in the mid-neck (C3, C4 and C5) area. Spinal problems in this area can have a profound effect on the nerve supply to the diaphragm.

Reducing misalignments/subluxations in the spine may help restore proper nervous system control of the lungs and improved function can begin, possibly reducing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks.

While large scale research results are lacking, there are many case studies showing improvement, sometimes dramatic, among asthmatic children with spinal misalignments.

References:

Asthma Society of Canada. Retrieved from: http://www.asthma.ca/adults/about/

 

 

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The 411 on Bowel Movements

It may not be the most glamorous of topics, but this is an important one! What your child’s stool looks like and how often they use their bowels can tell you a lot about their state of health and wellbeing. If we don’t pay attention to our children’s bowel health and teach them the importance of it, then our whole body, including brain function will be negatively impacted.

What is a Healthy vs. an Unhealthy Stool?
A healthy stool signals when it is ready to come out and slips out easily. The ideal form of a healthy stool is similar to a brown banana featuring a point at one end or looks like an ‘S’ shape. Lastly it should look well hydrated. Stools that looks like little balls bunched together have been in the colon too long.

Signs of an unhealthy bowel movement include your child having no urge to go, pain or hurting during and taking a long time to pass stools. Stools that come out frequently loose and fast, looks like pieces or little balls or features blood or mucus are also signs of an unhealthy bowel movement.

Top Tips for Optimal Bowel Movements

Keep up the H20
Hydration assists greatly with digestive health, as it keeps the foods your child consumes moving along through their intestines and also keeps the intestines smooth and flexible. Extra fluids keep bowels soft and easy to pass.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Teach your child the importance of chewing their food, not just swallowing it. Encourage them to slow down when eating and be mindful of how they are eating. Continued chewing prompts the digestive process to kick start.

Fruits and Veggies
Load your child up with fruit and veggie snacks every day to maximize their fibre intake. Keep the skin on apples and pears for added nutrients.

Keep them moving
Make sure your children stay regularly active about 3-5 times a week because when we remain stagnant, so do our bowels.

Make Some Cuts
Try to keep your child away from refined sugars and processed foods as they breed bad bacteria. Antibiotics are also another one to avoid if possible because diminish the beneficial bacteria that helps with our natural defenses

Think Whole-Grain not Whole-Wheat
Incorporate more whole-grain into your child’s diet, preferably from sources like kamut, spelt, quinoa and gluten-free grains. These whole-grain types help to flush fat and cholesterol out our systems.

Constipation

Children can become constipated for a number of reasons. Some of these include:
• Not drinking enough water
• Not eating enough fibre (think fruits and veggies)
• Not enough exercise
• Emotional distress
• Misalignments in the spine

Chiropractic Can Help

“This treatment plan had Milena passing bowel movements once a day within 2 weeks of the start of the treatment. More importantly, these BM’s were soft, and Milena would pass them without the screams and without the look of fear in her eyes. Milena was finally not suffering, and mentally, I was not suffering anymore. This huge weight was finally lifted.”

Andrea Scipione on the results her daughter received from chiropractic care for constipation

To read Andrea’s full testimonial, visit here

“Evelyn was a wonderful baby that ate and slept well but she did struggle with passing gas. It took forever to burb her and she seemed very upset when trying to have a bowel movement. Since being adjusted by Dr. Lardi, Evelyn is perfectly content and has no trouble burping or pooping.”

Ashley House on the results her baby girl received from chiropractic care for gas and fussiness troubles

Wellness Chiropractic is a holistic and natural approach to help with bowel-related issues like colic, gassiness, constipation, and indigestion by promoting optimal digestive strength. Chiropractic care encourages proper digestive function by correcting nerve stressors and misalignments that are impairing your child’s immunity and natural ability to fight infection.

It is crucial to emphasize that chiropractic is not a treatment for the above digestive conditions. When bringing your child in for an adjustment, chiropractors look specifically for distortions or misalignments in their spine that may be causing nervous system stress. If detected, chiropractors then gently reduce these misalignments with safe and natural chiropractic adjustments, thus helping to restore nervous system integrity. For a child or infant, this usually requires little more than a light touch with our fingertip at just the right place and direction.

References

Barham- Floreani, J Dr. (2014, July 23). “Poo Tips” For Adults & Children. Retrieved from: http://welladjustedbabies.com/poo-tips-for-adults-children/


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Pack it Light: Backpack Tips

It only makes sense that we delve into the backpack safety essentials with the school season upon us. Whether it’s your child that wears a backpack every day or you carry one frequently, these best backpack practices are universal.

Poor backpack design, weight distribution and carrying does not only yield short-term discomfort, but can also lead to long-term pains and spinal health issues. These pressures can compromise the natural alignment of your spine, placing stress on the back, neck, shoulders, muscles and other areas.
Don’t carry the weight of the world on your shoulders! Drastically reduce backpack discomfort as well reduce injury and chronic conditions with these tips:

The Right Bag
Certain features or ergonomic designs of a backpack could make all the difference for your spine:
• Above all, chose a backpack that is in proportion with your body
• Look for padding on the back and shoulder straps
• Adjustable waist and chest straps are ideal in that they redistribute some weight onto the pelvis, easing the strain on back and shoulders
• Opt for a bag featuring multiple front and side pockets to balance out the load; this easier accessibility will aid in minimizing unnecessary strained movements like twisting, reaching and digging
• A bag made out of lightweight material like vinyl or canvas will decrease its overall weight

Pack it Light
When it comes to your backpack, you should not be carrying more than 15% of your body weight. Kids should not be carrying more than 10% of their body weight. Pack smart:
• Try to distribute packing across many different compartments of the backpack
• Be cognizant of unnecessary items from your bag and make a rule of ONLY carrying essentials
• Opt for a smaller, compact water bottle that you refill throughout the day instead of a large one
• Go for mini travel-sized pieces like personal care items (hairbrushes, creams) and pencil cases
• Figure out an efficient system for binders or notebooks, such as depositing them into a main binder at home so you have a lighter load on the go
• Organize your backpack on a weekly basis to avoid items piling up and being forgotten
• Pack heavier items towards the back of the bag so they are closest to your body

Wear it Right
Carrying yourself well also applies to backpack wearing! Ease the wear and tear on your spine with specific carrying techniques:
• Walk with a straight posture and avoid hunching/leaning forward as much as possible
• Always wear both shoulder straps of the bag; never tote a backpack around on just one shoulder as this yields strained balance and posture
• Carry the heaviest items closest to your body to prevent stress on the spine
• If the bag features a waist or chest belt, try to use these this for extra support
• Adjust the straps so that the backpack fits securely and comfortably against you

References:

Ontario Chiropractic Association. Pack it Light. Wear it Right [Fact sheet]. Toronto, ON: Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Ontario Chiropractic Association. Pack it Light. Wear it Right on the go [Brochure]. Toronto, ON: Ontario Chiropractic Association.

 


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The Importance of Spinal Check-Ups

Your child may recover from bumps and everyday stresses completely unmarked, but these minor “knocks of life” can significantly affect the still developing spine.

As your child grows, and starts to walk, run, climb, or ride a bike, the inevitable falls and bumps impose stress on the spine. Even minor spinal trauma caused by, for example, improper lifting of the child out of a car seat, can impair the nervous system and interfere with your child’s normal healthy function.

Why Spinal Check-ups are Important
Spinal check-ups are important because many childhood health conditions may be the result of malfunction caused by spine-related problems and stress on the nervous system.
Neglected spinal issues in children can lead to more serious problems into adulthood, which become more difficult to correct. Regular spinal check-ups with a wellness chiropractor allow for early detection of spinal problems, as well as monitoring of healthy growth and development.

When to Visit
As with most things, it is best to treat a child’s spine as early as possible, as misalignments in the spine interfere with nerves that control developing muscles and organs. It is ideal to have a “well-baby check-up” right after birth to ensure a healthy spine.

Spinal and nervous stress can occur even before a baby even enters the world. If a baby’s position in the womb is restricted or compromised, physical stress on the nervous system and spine can occur. Further, the process of childbirth itself can impose significant stress to a still developing fragile spine.

Signs of Misalignments/Subluxations
It is always recommended to take preventative measures when it comes to spinal check-ups and not wait until your child is in pain.

However, here some signs indicating that your child may have a spinal misalignment/subluxation and that a spinal check-up is strongly recommended:

• Head tilt to one side
• Restricted motion of the head to one side
• Difficulty breastfeeding due to limited neck movement or a poor latch
• Altered sleeping patterns
• Changes in appetite
• Tugging on one or both ears
• Colic or long periods of constant, inconsolable crying
• Change in behaviour (withdrawn or aggressive)

The Spinal Check-up Stages
We addressed why wellness spinal check-ups are important for infants, but spinal check-ups are important at every stage of development – for the toddler, pre-school, and school-aged phases.

Toddlers: Toddlers are very active, moving quickly from their first steps to walking, running, jumping, climbing, kicking…you name it! Their physical development is affected by the formation of new motor patterns, changes in foods and environment overstimulation. Spinal check-ups are a must at this age to scan for distortions caused by the stress of their fast-paced movements and developmental changes.

Pre-Schoolers: At this stage, children are being exposed to more environmental stressors such as watching more TV, processed foods, medications/antibiotics and environmental toxins. Their physical movements have graduated to more intensive activities like bicycling, skateboarding, balancing and playground play. New environmental stressors combined with increased physical activity leave the spine and nervous system susceptible to interferences.

School-Aged Children: School-aged children are facing different new kinds of physical stresses on the body such as organized sports, more extracurricular activities, prolonged sitting in school and more exposure to technology. Their nervous system may also be impacted by the heightened school and social pressures.

References

Wellness Media. Chiropractic and Kids: Your Child’s Way to Wellness [Pamphlet]. Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia: Wellness Media Resources.


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8 Easy Steps to Keep your Kids Holiday Healthy

There’s really no way to hide from the giant sugar rush that rolls around in December – unless you put you and your family up in a bubble. The sugar-addled holidays may be inevitable but that doesn’t mean you have to cave to their alluring powers and give up any sense of nutrition. That’s why we have gathered some easy tips to inject some healthier eating in your kid’s tummies amidst holiday excesses.

1) The Starter Food: At family dinners or gatherings, serve veggies or broth-based soups first. This will help in filling up your kids so they’ll be less likely to over eat higher-caloric foods after.

2) Clean Hot Chocolate: Rather than using the mixed packages of hot chocolate loaded with sugar, make a clean version of hot chocolate for the kids with skim milk and cocoa powder.

3) Don’t be Part of the “Clean Plate Club”: Let your child know it’s okay if they don’t finish their plate completely even if they served more food to themselves than they could eat. You don’t want them to eat unnecessarily if they are already full.

4) Create a Kid’s Drawer: This can apply all-year as well, but create a drawer specifically for your kids in the refrigerator and fill it with healthy fruits, veggies and any other healthy snacks (yogurt, cheeses, etc) hand selected by them. Then, give the kid’s total access to that draw so they are more likely to make healthier food choices when it’s snack time. Make sure the drawer is stocked plentifully during the holidays to stick to healthy choices throughout all the holiday temptations.

5) Refer them to Good Quality Chocolates and Sweets: Explain to your child the difference between ‘quality’ items and ‘junk’ items (cheap, chemically processed sweets). Allow your child to occasionally have these ‘junk’ items to deflate any false hopes they have with these well-marketed items. Have a box on hand filled with good quality chocolates and treats that they can exchange with the ‘junk’ items they have likely received over the holidays. Overtime, they will appreciate the quality sweets and start to happily exchange them.

6) Don’t Make them Feel Guilty: Always remember here that the most important thing is not to make your child feel guilt about enjoying the foods they love. Do make it known that it is okay to enjoy treats once in a while and in MODERATION and encourage them to be active.

7) Smaller Portions at Buffets: Teach your kids about moderation by showing them how to stick to smaller portions of food at holiday buffet tables. While they may want to try everything, help them prioritize the items they want to try the most and eat small portions of each.

8) Light Snacks Before Parties: To take the edge off of hunger before holiday parties and gatherings, encourage your child to have a healthy light meal or snack so they are less likely to go crazy when first encountering the food table.

References:

Montefiore Medical Center. (2014, November 17). Ten Easy Tips to Keep Kids Healthy During the Holidays. Retrieved from: http://www.newswise.com/articles/ten-easy-tips-to-keep-kids-healthy-during-the-holidays

Ponessa-Fratello, J. (2010, December 13). Five Tips to Keep Kid’s Holiday Eating in Check. Retrieved from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeanne-ponessa-fratello/five-tips-to-keep-kids-ho_b_795660.html


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10 Reasons Children Receive Chiropractic Care

These days, more parents are turning to chiropractic care for their children. Regardless of whether one’s spine is large or small, spinal misalignments will impair the communication channels of the nervous system, thus leaving the body imbalanced.

The Nervous System as the Master Controller
The nervous system is the master controller of all functions in the body and is protected by the spinal bones (vertebrae). When the spinal bones are in the proper position, they protect the nerve pathways. When the bones become misaligned, interference to the nerve impulses occurs, reducing the overall functioning of the nervous system and the particular organ it corresponds to.

Chiropractic care ensures that the nervous system has every chance to freely communicate and work. With optimal nervous system function, our body’s self-healing and regulation abilities are activated.

A Body out of Balance
Many childhood health conditions may be the result of spinal distortions leading to nerve irritations. These nerve irritations can manifest into colic, fussiness, breastfeeding troubles, behavioural issues, digestive problems, asthma, headaches, and much more.

These nerve irritations can be the result of everyday life stressors such as bad posture, knocks and falls, poor diet, dehydration, toxin exposure, or stress and anxiety.

Even before these lifestyle stressors come into play, research has pointed to the occurrence of nerve irritation in the uterus due to unnatural positioning, restricted womb movement and toxin exposure. Trauma from labour or birth complications can also lead to subluxations.

It is never too early for detection and babies can receive wellness check-ups soon after their birth. Once we understand how the nervous system is affected by spinal distortions, it becomes apparent why more parents are attending to their child’s spine and nervous system health through chiropractic.

The List
1) To foster good neural plasticity (brain and nerve development)
2) To promote optimal nerve communication throughout the entire body
3) To help strengthen their child’s immunity for fewer colds, ear-infections and other conditions
4) To reduce nerve interference which may be hindering their child’s ability to learn and focus
5) To allow their children to thrive by supporting strong digestive function
6) To help address breastfeeding issues and colic/fussiness
7) To diminish the damaging impact of modern world stressors on their child’s health
8) To encourage overall body balance helping to resolve issues such as asthma, allergies, poor posture and bed-wetting
9) To help children remain fun and care-free
10) To reach the ultimate state of health and wellness in children

References
Barham-Floreani, J Dr. (2014, July 2). 10 Reasons Parents Take Healthy Children to Chiropractors. Retrieved from: http://welladjustedbabies.com/why-parents-take-children-to-chiropractors/


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A Natural Approach to Colic

Struggling with a colicky baby can be both physically and emotionally taxing. Parents feel helpless at not being able to comfort their upset infant. Fortunately, more parents are starting to discover how chiropractic care can help ease their infant’s colic.

What is Colic?
The most widely accepted definition of colic today is “unexplainable and uncontrollable crying in babies from 0 to 3 months old, more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week for 3 weeks or more, usually in the afternoon and evening hours.”

How Common Is Colic?
Colic is the most common condition pediatricians address during infant’s first 16 weeks. Colic typically occurs between birth and 24 weeks old and peaks usually between 3 and 6 weeks. The good news is that majority of cases (86%) will resolve by 3 months of age. Some cases can last longer than others, though.

Colic can occur for a number of different reasons:
Difficult Birth: A traumatic or difficult birth can lead to upper cervical spine misalignments which will inevitably cause nerve irritation and stress. In the infant, this will manifest in the form of infantile colic.
Indigestion: Spinal misalignments in the lower spine can affect the digestive system and result in poor digestion of breast milk and formula causing major discomfort in your baby, leading to a colic episode.
Cow’s Milk: Colic has also been linked to the consumption of formula containing cow’s milk.

What Colic Can Lead to:
• Linked to post-partum depression as persistent crying is highly stressful for the infant and parents
• Inconsolable crying is the leading cause of Shaken Baby Syndrome
• Some cases have revealed the possibility of behavioural problems, lower academic performance and bonding issues later in life due to untreated infantile colic

Chiropractic Care for Colic

“I brought him in when he was just a few weeks old and struggling with colic. Through even a few adjustments, Dr. Lardi was able to reduce symptoms significantly and he is now colic-free and a happier baby.” V.R Dundas

Read the full testimonial here

Chiropractic is not a treatment for colic. When parents bring their child in, chiropractors look specifically for the spinal distortions or misalignments that may be causing nervous system stress, materializing as infantile colic. Once identified, chiropractors will gently and safely remove your infant’s misalignments that are interfering with nervous system pathways throughout the body.

In correcting spinal dysfunction, chiropractors are minimizing irritation to the child’s nervous system, thereby allowing for the natural resolution of colic symptoms. Chiropractors will also advise parents on proper nutrition, supplementation, and infant ergonomics to further support the infant’s development.

Overall, studies reveal that seeking chiropractic care for a colicky infant will likely result in reported reduced hours of colic by the parent. A research study of 316 cases of infantile colic unearthed sufficient results with chiropractic adjustments in 94% of cases. These results occurred within 2 weeks of adjustments and an average of 3 treatments.

References

Wellness Media. Colic and Chiropractic: Safe and Effective Relief for your Infant [pamphlet]. Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia: Wellness Media Resources.