Chiropractors are often a go-to for adults when it comes to easing pain or maintaining a healthy body. Many, however, are taking on younger patients, and parents are finding that the holistic healing is helping their children no matter how young they are.
Four-week-old Caleb Cole, for example, has been to the chiropractor twice since he was born. His mom Abbey had regular adjustments during her pregnancy, and decided to bring her newborn to Doctor Alaina Rowswell-Kulikowski, especially when she had some trouble nursing.
“He nursed well, but I had some pain, so I thought maybe there was something going on with his mouth or the way he was turning,” Cole explained.
Dr. Alaina found that Caleb was having some difficulty rotating his neck, and was able to adjust him to make feeding more comfortable for mom and baby.
“It has made a difference since,” Cole said. “Nursing is no big deal now.
She says parents who have babies with nursing problems, colic, or whose children generally seem uncomfortable should consider a chiropractor. The doctors can help with issues as they arise, but say they also promote overall well-being, and want to make sure babies’ bodies are functioning properly, so they’re healthy, happy and thriving.
“There are lots of moms out there where their babies aren’t really bonding that well because they’re unhappy,” explained Dr. Alaina. “They’re screaming and crying a lot. Mom is exhausted. Dad is exhausted.”
Doctor Alaina sees infants shortly after they’re born, and cares for many of them through childhood. She says it’s a joy to work with families, and to help moms and babies develop a good rhythm together. She also highlighted the differences between adult visits to the chiropractor and visits with infants or children.
“It’s pretty light. It’s not a big huge crack,” she said, referring to the pressure used to adjust babies. In fact because infants and children have bones that are still growing, and a lot of cartilage, often gentle pressure is all they need.
And many families maintain healthy lifestyles by visiting the chiropractor regularly as their children age.
“I’ve just seen a tremendous benefit for my kids,” explained Jeanette Pohl, who brings her eight-year-old and ten-year-old to Amherst Doctor Steve Niemiec about once a month. “They’re just calmer, there’s this peace about them, their bodies are just back in balance and readjusted.”
Dr. Niemiec says his practice is seeing more and more parents bringing kids in for wellness appointments, rather than for particular problems. He stresses the importance of using chiropractic care to create a healthy balance in the body, and says it’s just as important for kids as it is for adults.
“Kids are more stressed in today’s society,” he explained. “They’re getting less sleep. Bedtime is a lot later for children.”
Both moms encourage parents to do research and decide for themselves, but they say their kids will continue to see chiropractors as they grow up, to maintain a healthy lifestyle for their families.
“My daughter has never been for a sick visit in her three years of life,” said Cole. “Only regular checkups. I just don’t think people know this is an option. That’s made a huge difference in the health of our family.”