The Birthing Process and Chiropractic

The birthing process is a very complicated process that puts a lot of stress on both the mother and the baby. Because birth is so complicated, numerous things can go wrong. However, chiropractic is an amazing tool for any expecting mother, that has benefits for both mum and baby. Before, during, and after labor, and helps provide a safe and comfortable birthing process. Here is how chiropractic can help at all stages of the birthing process.

Before Labour

It is important to get checked by a chiropractor from the beginning of your pregnancy, as being under chiropractic care allows your pelvis to comfortably expand and change in order to give space for your baby to grow. If the baby has room to grow comfortably this will allow them to be in the best position possible for when it is time to give birth1. However, some babies can sometimes end up in the wrong position for birthing – known as breech position.

Breech Babies

Most babies in the breech position need some type of intervention, such a a Caesarean section, to help them be born safely. There is a pregnancy specific chiropractic technique, called Webster technique, that focuses on balancing the pelvis, including pelvic muscles and ligaments. This can help take pressure off the uterus, and can result in the baby repositioning itself into the ideal position for birth taking away the need for extra interventions2.

During Labour

Because chiropractic balances the joints of the pelvis and gets the nervous system working at its best, this usually results in faster and easier births. This is due to a few reasons. As mentioned above, chiropractic care allows the baby to be in the best possible position for birth, it also makes sure that the mother’s pelvis is ready for giving birth. Because chiropractic clears interference from the nervous system, this allows the brain to be able to better control the uterus and cervix, allowing the birth process to happen faster and more smoothly3.

Chiropractic care and reducing labour time

Estimates show that women under chiropractic care, have on average a 25-30% shorter labour time than those who are not under chiropractic care4. When the labour can run without complications due to the baby’s position, this decreases the need for extra medical interventions, allowing for a safer and more comfortable birth for both mother and baby. Chiropractic also has an impact on pelvis floor muscles, giving them a better ability to relax when the pelvic floor muscles are at rest. These muscles are very important in giving birth. When these muscles are working properly, it increases the chances of being able to have a safe, natural vaginal birth5.

After Labour

Chiropractic is important for the mother both before and after giving birth. Because it equips her body to be able to bounce back to normal as quickly as possible. If there was for some reason some type of trauma during the birth, chiropractic increases the body’s healing capabilities, allowing the mother to heal as fast and effectively as possible4.

Even a safe, fast birth can still cause a lot of trauma and stress on the newborn baby’s system. It’s important to check after birth so chiropractors can find any areas of stress caused by the birthing process. Then remove them using extremely gentle and safe techniques, specific for very young children. From the moment babies are born, their brain and body start growing and adapting. Chiropractic clears their nervous system from any stress that may have been caused by the birthing process, which allows them to grow and function at their very best.

References:

  1. American Pregnancy Association. (2019, October 31). Chiropractic care during pregnancy: Safety and benefits. https://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/chiropractic-care-during-pregnancy/
  2. Spinning Babies. (2015, February 19). Professional help. https://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/techniques/professional-help/
  3. The WOMB. (n.d.). Chiropractic care. https://www.thewomb.ca/index.php/services/chiropractic-care
  4. Borggren, C. L. (2007). Pregnancy and chiropractic: A narrative review of the literature. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 6(2), 70-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcme.2007.04.004
  5. Haavik, H., Murphy, B. A., & Kruger, J. (2016). Effect of spinal manipulation on pelvic floor functional changes in pregnant and Nonpregnant women: A preliminary study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 39(5), 339-347. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmpt.2016.04.004
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Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 5 Sleep

By Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani: Tip # 5 Sleep

Sleep

Poor sleep habits can also contribute to unnecessary stress in the household…

If a child does not wake up easily and with energy each morning, this could indicate they are not getting enough quality sleep. This in turn will affect their personality, their learning and their health in general.

Tired children cannot concentrate, learn tasks, or play sports well. And just like adults, typically tired children crave sugary foods that leave them prone to yeast imbalances.

The parents role

As parents, we often miss our child’s ‘tired cues’ and then we have great difficulty trying to put them to bed when their brain has moved back into fourth gear. If your child consistently wakes up tired or is slow in the morning, then try getting them to bed an hour earlier for a period of time and watch how this can transform grumpy or emotional behavior. Over the years I have learnt that a set routine for dinner and bedtime makes getting to sleep earlier easier, and life easier for everyone. This means aiming to feed children early—well before they are tired. Plan an ideal time for bed and give yourself plenty of time for baths and the reading of evening books, etc. Some nights you will be able to have luxurious, long baths and other nights you will need to be drill-sergeant.

It is a good idea to limit the number of late nights that children have in a week. With social, school and family activities, bedtimes can gradually become later and later for older children; however, sleep requirements remain just as vital for teenagers as when they are younger. It turns out that teenagers may actually need more sleep than in their
younger years.

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Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 4 Immune System

By Dr. Jennifer Barham-Floreani: Tip # 4: GET DIRTY – Benefits to the Immune System

Many of us have been led to believe that germs are the root of all evil. And that we should go to great lengths to avoid them…

Anti-bacteria hand creams, sprays, and wipes, fill our handbags and counters. Yet, compelling research tells us that we have gone too far. Some exposure to pets, dirt, and other children, for example, are vital for stimulating the immune system to work effectively. In experiments where we grow animals in completely sterile (germ-free) environments, their immune systems do not develop normally. In a conclusion, they develop severe immune diseases, including allergy and autoimmunity.

When our “microbiome” (our internal network of helpful and harmful bacteria) becomes imbalanced, our digestion, immune function, state of mind, and general health and wellbeing in time become compromised. Scientists now believe, an imbalanced microbiome to be one of the primary causes of several diseases and disorders. Such as:

  • Chronic infection
  • Inflammation
  • Autoimmunity
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Cancer
  • Neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s, autism, and schizophrenia.

The Canadian Medical Association Journal just a few months ago stated that “the disruption of the gut balance [is linked] to an increasing number of diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer, allergies, and asthma.”

Studies now tell us that exposure to dirt and germs is incredibly essential. We need regular exposure to bacteria and viruses to strengthen our immune system. In our own homes, among our own families, we want to take the opportunity to build up our immune systems.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Letting children crawl on the floor is fine, playing in the dirt is a good thing; we encourage having family pets and sharing a spoon with your sister is, again, fine.
  • Cleaning away visible dirt or grime on any surface — sinks, floors, or door handles with thorough washing and cleaning products that are free of harsh chemicals — is usually enough without constant sterilizing. And also using disinfectants such as bleach (which probably kills everything in the air around it, too!).
  • Washing our hands with simple soap dislodges and removes surface particles without stripping everything on the skin. Antibacterial soaps kill both good and bad bacteria. They also strip the skin of the environment it needs to sustain good bacteria.
  • Be less concerned about germs but instead focus more on considering how strong is your child’s digestive power and immune system.

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How To Make More Time For a Healthy Lifestyle

Everyone already knows what to do to be healthier. For starters, eating less processed foods and moving more is what you’ve heard since you were young. And guess what… It’s true! But then come the fancy diets and elusive theories that cause confusion. On top of that, you’re busy with work and kids and LIFE.

If you’ve been meaning to eat healthier and exercise more for a while, believe me, you’re not alone.

What’s required is a system of thinking, prioritizing, strategizing, and planning that identifies what’s important to you as an individual and the steps to get there without them being too overwhelming.

Of course, it’s not easy, but it’s highly rewarding once you start reaping the benefits. Let’s get started.

  1. THINK: Ask “why” 5 times.

  • Understanding why you want to achieve the goal you want to achieve is important because it digs deep to find your inner motivation to keep you going.
  • All you have to do is keeping asking yourself why until you end up with a reason that’s worth your time.
  • Here’s an example:
    • Why do I want to eat better and move more? Because I want to lose weight.
    • Why do I want to lose weight? Because I’ll look better
    • Why do I want to look better? Because when I look good, I feel good about myself.
    • Why do you want to feel good about yourself? Because when I feel good about myself I’m more confident and in control.
    • Why do I want to be more confident and in control? Because when I’m confident and in control, I won’t be scared to go for it and live out my dream.
  1. PRIORITIZE: Fill in the big rocks first.

  • Stephen Covey, the author of “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” gave the best analogy for prioritization: Think of your time as a jar that you can fill with rocks, pebbles and sand.
    • Your big rocks are the necessary things in life, like friends, family, health, career, and sleep.
    • The pebbles are the fun things in life that aren’t completely necessary but you love doing them, like playing piano, competing in sports, and discovering your passion for baking.
    • Your sand is all the bonus activities that are enjoyable but not at all important to your survival and fulfillment, like checking Instagram, playing video games and going out drinking.
    • Now if you fill your time with sand first, it wouldn’t make sense because then it’d be way more difficult to fit your rocks and pebbles in. But if you place your rocks first, and then your pebbles around them, and finally fill in the rest with your sand, then you’re good as gold!
  1. STRATEGIZE: Increase your activities 15 minutes at a time.

  • No one ever got everything done at once. When you find out the important activities that you want to do more of in your day, pick ONE of them. Replace 15 minutes of low-value activity with 15 minutes of that high-value activity.
  • For example, instead of 15 minutes of scrolling through Instagram, do 15 minutes of meal prep for the next day. You can even put in headphones and listen one of your favourite podcasts while you meal prep to keep it interesting.
  1. PLAN: Schedule it in your diary.

  • If you wait until you “feel like it”, a lot of your time will be spent doing less important things. Schedule it in and more importantly, stick to it!
  • BONUS: Review how you spent your time at the end of the week.
    • If you did a lot of low-priority stuff, reduce any triggers that make you want to do them. This may require you to move the TV to the basement or limit your screen time with an app. Or you can get an accountability buddy, such as a friends, colleague or partner.
    • If you simply didn’t have time, look into hiring out some of the tasks like getting a healthy meal delivery service or arranging a nanny so you can go to the gym.

Don’t get distracted, stay focused and you will get $%@& done 😉

This blog is sponsored by Little Ninja & Priorityfitness.

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Mobile Phone Posture

As a chiropractor, I look at a fair few x-rays from week to week and a concerning pattern I am seeing is the amount of people, young people, with necks that curve the wrong way. Less mobile, due to mobile use. The cervical curve should somewhat resemble a backward C when viewed from the side, the curve isn’t as much as a C but you get the idea. Many people coming in have a straight or reversed curved yet they don’t have any history of a neck injury.

A big factor that I believe contributes to this, and I am not alone, is the way most of us are using our smartphones and devices. Take a look around the next time you are in public. You will see the majority of people, especially young people, hunch over their phones with no idea of the impact it is having on their bodies.

The normal neck curve is designed to support the weight of the head and protect the spinal cord and nerves. When this curve gets altered it will cause the joints to wear out faster, which can lead to pain and even nerve issues later in life. A few extra kilos of effective weight on the neck is added for every inch forward of the shoulders that the head is.

What can you do about it?

  1. When you are using your mobile always have the screen at eye level. When your arm tires, then take a break!
  2. A more sustainable posture is to hold the device at eye level with one hand. Place your other arm across your belly as if you were folding your arms. Then use the back of your hand to support the elbow of the upright arm.
  3. Be conscious of how you hold your head and neck when working long hours on the laptop. Keep your chin tucked and head and shoulders back.

References:

Hansraj, K, “Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Posture and Position of the Head,” Neuro and Spine Surgery, Surgical Technology International XXV

Nejati P, Loftian S, Moezy A and Nejati M (2013), “The relationship of forward head posture and rounded shoulders with neck pain in Iranian office workers,” Medical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Vol. 28,26. 3 May 2014, http://mjiri.iums.ac.ir

Quek J, Pua Y, Clark R, Bryant A (2012), “Effects of thoracic kyphosis and forward head posture on cervical range of motion in older adults,” Manual Therapy, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.math.2012.07.005

 

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Could Cold Showers Be Good For you

It’s time to make friends with the cold. It may be hard to believe but there are quite a few benefits to having a cold shower. The idea of using cold water as a therapy has been around for thousands of years. Even after the Greeks developed running hot water for bathing they would still use cold bathing as a mental and physical therapy. Taking a dunk in an icy lake after a sauna is a common activity in Finland and the other Scandinavian countries and Rickson Gracie, a legend in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, would often sit in cold water as part of his training and recovery.

So what benefits might you gain from such a masochistic activity?

 

Physical benefits

 

The Thrombosis Research Institute of England put out a study with some evidence linking the increase in metabolism due to the body fighting the cold to a stimulation of the immune system, increasing white blood cell activity. The same study also indicates an increase in testosterone. A hormone essential for particularly for men in regard to libido, fertility, strength and energy, but also an essential hormone for similar reason in women.

Many athletes use various cold therapies to aid recovery and reduce inflammation caused by their training. Alternating between hot and cold in the shower can aid circulation. Because, cold water causes your body to restrict blood flow and send it to your organs and away from your extremities and hot water does the opposite.

Taking a cold shower daily can be a cheap (or should I say free) and less harmful (please read the warning at the end) than regularly taking anti-inflammatory pills if you suffer from chronic pain and inflammation.

 

Get started

 

I recommend you start by having a normal shower. Over the course of a week spend the final 15 seconds in a progressively cooler temperature until you are using the coldest possible water.

Then go from spending 15 seconds to 30, then 45, then 1 minute and so on. I have found that once you get used to the cold it is no longer a shock to your body. Then you can start to actually look forward to the cold!

An extra bonus is that you can save on your water bill as I guarantee you won’t be spending as long in the shower!

BE WARNED: if you suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure then this may not be for you. The shock of using cold water can put extra strain on the heart. Please take extra caution and try doing progressively cooler showers instead of going straight to cold.

 

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How Smartphone Time Is Harming Your Children

At Revolution Chiropractic we take a structural correction approach to your spine and one of the big indicators of spinal dysfunction is forward head carriage. The head is basically a bowling ball balanced on the top of your spine and every inch it moves forward causes an exponential increase in how hard the muscle must work to continue to hold it up. The issues go much deeper than neck discomfort, this poor postural position increases the tension on your spinal cord, puts you at greater risk of a strain injury to your neck, speeds up the degenerative process of the spine and can cause nerve root impingement, which let me assure you is not fun at all.

What is really concerning is the number of children we are seeing with this postural issue. Chiropractors are seeing more and more children as patients with issues linked to forward head posture and a HUGE contributing factor is the amount of time they are spending on handheld screen devices. I have personally seen many children with their necks bent to 90 degrees as they stare at a tablet or phone on their lap.

According to the NZ Ministry of Health children age 5-17 should spend less than 2 hours per day sitting and using screens, and this time should not be continuous but rather broken up throughout the day.

 

Cont.

 

On top of smart devices creating postural problems, they are also reducing the amount of physical activity that kids are getting. Which reduces the creativity of tactile play. For the health of your children, we strongly recommend you reduce the amount of time they spend on devices, perhaps reward them with some screen time after some physical activity. It is much easier to raise strong children than it is to fix broken adults! Remember that kids imitate those around them, especially their parents, and let’s face it, we could all benefit from spending less time on our mobile devices.

When you are using your phone or tablet make sure you keep it at eye level for healthy posture. Your arms getting tired from holding them up is a great reminder to take a break!

Your Trusted Auckland Chiropractor

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