Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADD or ADHD is becoming an epidemic in children. In the United States, between 3-7% of children exhibit some of the symptoms, including decreased attention span, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. Ritalin is the most commonly prescribed treatment for this condition. There is considerable evidence that ADHD responds well to chiropractic care.
ADHD is diagnosed by meeting 6 or more of the following criteria:
- Often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work or other activities
- Often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activities
- Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
- Often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to other causes)
- Often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
- Often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort
- Often loses things necessary for tasks or activities
- Is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
- Is often forgetful in daily activities
The latest research shows that ADHD seems to be the result of a part of the brain, called the anterior attention system, which is responsible for scanning for a stimulus to lock onto, being more active than the posterior attention system, which is respoinsible for locking on to one stimulus. When the brain cannot lock onto a stimulus, it continues scanning inappropriately, resulting in a lack of attention span, hyperactivity and impulsivity. Ritalin, a stimulant similar to amphetamine, works by bringing both centers up in function. Although there is still a difference in their level of function, they both work sufficiently hard that the symptoms of ADHD temporarily disappear.
Chiropractic treatment focuses on determining what the causes of the imbalance are, and correcting them. Typical approaches are nutritional changes, supplementation, and specific easy-to-perform exercises that are coupled with chiropractic adjustment.
Baby (or infantile) colic is a relatively common condition affecting infants involving crying that won’t stop for more than 3 hours, and is not caused by an underlying medical condition. Numerous studies over the years have shown a strong correllation between chiropractic therapy and resolution or reduction of colic symptoms. Many hypotheses exist to explain the development of infantile colic – why some children develop it and others do not. Birth trauma contributing to abnormal spinal biomechanics looks to be a major contributor, and this also explains why being treated by a chiropractor helps to resolve the problem. The techniques used to adjust infants are much different from those used to adjust adults. About as much force is used as would be applied when holding a ripe tomato. Many infants (and their parents) get relief from chiropractic therapy.
Middle Ear Infections (Otitis Media)
The middle ear is the area behind the eardrum that contains the three small bones that turn sound vibrations into a signal for the brain to interpret. There is a canal that leads from the middle ear to the back of the throat, called the Eustachian Tube, and when it becomes obstructed ear infections frequently ensue. At North Jersey Whole Health Center, we strongly encourage all mothers that are able, to breastfeed their infants. Breastfeeding seems to be one of the single biggest predictors in preventing chronic ear infections. In other words, breastfeeding helps the infant’s Eustachian tubes to open up and drain the middle ear, as well as helping boost the immune system and a number of other healthy benefits. Chiropractic adjustments have also been shown to help drain the middle ear and prevent future middle ear infections from setting up.
Colds and Flus
One of the fundamental concepts in the germ theory of disease is that if you have a sick animal, and you extract some bodily fluid and culture a disease from the bodily fluid and then subsequently inject that cultured substance into another, healthy animal, and the animal develops the same disease, then the pathogen that you cultured from the first animal caused the disease. These are called Koch’s Postulates. These rules were developed by Dr. Robert Koch around 1890 and formed the basis for the study of all infectious disease. However, we now know that not every microorganism will cause disease when introduced into a healthy person. There are other factors at work.
Components of a healthy lifestyle: exercise, diet and nutrition, stress relief and good healthcare help contribute to the strength of the immune system and resistance to disease. Sometimes however, stress gets the best of us, or we don’t eat well, or even a lack of exercise result in a weakened immune system, and if exposed to a pathogenic disease, our immunity will not protect us and we become sick.
Chiropractic therapy centers on restoring the natural ability of the body’s immune system to fight off disease by increasing the strength of the immune response. It is important to remember that the reason that we feel “sick” when we have a cold or the flu is because of our own immune system and its response to the foreign invader. In some cases, therapy may make us feel worse initially, but will vastly shorten the duration of the illness. A combination of botanical medicines, and body work may be prescribed to knock out the infection.