By Jeanne Ohm, D.C.
More often than not, it has been our experience as chiropractors to watch an issue of truth come to the masses–a very issue we as chiropractors knew all along to be so! Think about a few of these issues which DCs have known to be true and have recently gained public popularity and acceptance–even medical approval!
Body movement is one which comes to mind. DCs have long taught the importance of keeping the body in motion for both healing and regeneration. Exercise became the buzz word of the 90`s. Right along with this has come the consciousness to eat better. I can think back to my student days in the early 80`s and recall my first intro to good foods coming from DCs. The rest of the world thought we were crazy to be somewhat conscientious about what we put into our bodies. Today, nutrition is becoming vogue and accepted as an ingredient to health.
Another issue was our innate apprehension about antibiotics and their complicated effects preceded the inkling that a greater scientific law was being tampered with. The 90`s brought out study after study warning of the dangers of antibiotic usage. One need only to look back to BJ`s writings in the 50`s to realize that from a chiropractic standpoint, antibiotics were destined to be shown up as causes of further complications.
As chiropractors, our history and perspective on health and wholeness has always shown us reason to doubt, fear and most importantly refuse vaccines. Today, there are more and more groups out there becoming leery of vaccines and obtaining the scientific data to support their concerns. Now lets be realistic here–it hasn’t been the sole effort of DCs which has gotten these messages out to the public, but it has been our diligence to communicate and our unfaltering knowing which has greatly contributed to the public finding out about these issues. The little bit each and every one of us does, adds up to a momentous tide for change.
What I want to point out is another one of those bits of knowledge we as DC`s know to be true. It needs our attention, because as with all of our concerns for humanity, the lives of many depend on it. Thanks to the works of some greats in our profession, the significance of the birth process as the first cause of subluxation was brought to the attention of the world. Teachers like Dr. Joe Flesia gave us the research and educational tools to support the hypothesis and the devastating effects of VSC at birth. Others, like Dr. Arno Burnier provided us with the passion and commitment to educate our patients about birth. Still others like Dr. Larry Webster equipped us with adjusting technique, skills and equipment. He taught us how to prevent traumatic birth with specific maternal adjustments and how to analyze and correct subluxations in infants and children.
What I hope to do here is to bring you closer to the devastating effects a traumatized birth can have on the life of a child. First, I would like to look at some of the atrocities which lead to trauma at birth. In our country, women are led to believe they are having a “natural birth” if their eyes are open. Local anesthesia, spinal taps, episiotomies, induced labors and birth positions which go against gravity and anatomy are all considered part of a normal, natural birth. With fear tactics and intimidation, women have been led to compromise one of the most powerful experience they will ever have. When women`s natural capacities are violated like this, the birth process becomes a painful, traumatic, unnatural procedure for both the mother and baby. The effects of this type of birth on the newborn can be life-threatening, indeed.
One only needs to look at some birth pictures or videos to realize the undo force applied to the baby`s neck and spine. It`s amazing how gentle everyone is with the child`s spine and head when passing a newborn from one to another, and in contrast, how brutal the actual birth procedures may have been just minutes before! The force applied with forceps and vacuum extraction is far beyond any force you could imagine exerting on a delicate newborn spine. As chiropractors, we can look at these procedures in horror and shudder at their probable effects.
As professionals interested in research results, we can read medical studies which support the theory that the birth process is a life threatening experience. One such report “Latent Spinal Cord and brain Stem Injury in Newborn Infants” by Abraham Towbin MD published in Dev. Med Child Neurology tells us that “the birth process even under optimal controlled conditions is potentially a traumatic, crippling event for the fetus.” He goes on to tell us that “Survival of the newborn is governed mainly by the integrity and function of the vital centers in the brain stem. Yet, paradoxically, the importance of injury at birth to the brain stem and spinal cord are matters which have generally escaped lasting attention.”
These are serious statements and are certainly supportive of our suspicion that modern birthing procedures in this country are indeed life-threatening to infants. Just how life threatening is my thought proposal for you now. Several years ago, while attending a vaccination seminar, a homeopathic MD was reviewing the relationship between SIDS and the DPT shot. The latest medical studies on SIDS was drawing a substantial connection between a baby`s sleeping position as a possible cause of SIDS. It was being considered, that placing a child on its back reduced the incidence of SIDS. Being firmly fixed on the DPT vaccine/SIDs relationship (which I am in no way discrediting) he looked at it as nonsense. My chiropractic antenna went up and so did my hand. I explained to him the idea that placing a child on its stomach to sleep causes undo stress to the cervical spine as the child`s head needs to be turned one way or another. Combining this biomechanically unsound position with an even slightly traumatic birth could be the insult added to injury that affects the spinal cord`s respiratory centers in such a way as to cause SIDS. Sound plausible? Towbin`s other report, “Spinal Injury Related to the Syndrome of Sudden Death In Infants” published in the American Journal of Clinical Pathology supports the relationship between birth trauma and SIDS. This study, too was published in the 60`s. Yet today, if you ask the “SIDS experts”, they will tell you no known cause exists, just make sure you place your child on its back–for whatever reason.
If you are detecting cynicism, yes, I do confess. Perhaps it is because more children die of SIDS in a year than all who die of cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, child abuse, AIDS, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy combined! It is also because when searching a website called “Child Secure” under their SIDS section, they not only held to the medically protected theory that there is no known cause for SIDs, they further slandered Chiropractors and their theory connecting birth trauma and SIDS as “old wives tales and ignorance”. (Look it up yourself if you want a blood pressure surge). The defensiveness points that we may be onto something big here.
Well folks, here we are again faced with an issue which needs our immediate attention and efforts to bring it into play. As always, we must continue to educate. Patients are not aware how damaging the birth process can be. Women need to be reoriented about birth and what they can do to regain their say in this crucial event in their child`s life. We need to do what we can to help prevent these harmful births from happening. Our adjusting skills need to be fine-tuned to work more specifically and effectively with children. Makin` Miracles is working to provide chiropractors with the opportunities to make an impact on birth trauma. As I travel each weekend to different cities around the world, I am privileged to share accumulated knowledge with the attendees about adjusting infants and pregnant mothers. It is a wonderful thing that we as DC`s can make a correction to an infant`s spine, remove interference to the nervous system and watch the infant`s body heal and repair from the damaging effects of birth. It is even a greater thing however when we have the skills to adjust the mother throughout pregnancy, remove interference to her nervous system, help balance her pelvic muscles and ligaments and allow her to have an easier, safer delivery because of it.
Every day we get up and draw on our inner strength to face the masses–to be the one voice among the noisy crowd. Amongst the confusion and the chaos and the resistance, we get up and we do what we know we have to do. Sometimes we soar ahead, and sometimes we are knocked back a few steps. Then there are the times we wonder if we are really making a difference at all. Those are the times most critical–those are the times we must not just simply hold on, but realize the tremendous impact we have made and must continue to make in this world.
Applaud yourself–you deserve it! We are the one clear voice in the turbulent, noisy crowd. What we have to offer is life giving. We need only to perfect the skills of our hands and draw from the strength of our hearts. In this way, we will continue to make a world of difference.
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Dr. Jeanne Ohm has had a family wellness based practice for 20 years. She is an international instructor on Chiropractic in Pregnancy and Infancy. Dr. Ohm is also the Executive Co-ordinator for the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. Visit the website at: http://www.icpa4kids.com
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