Tuesday, June 26, 2018

How to have fun with your Child's Physical and Emotional development

Parenting is hard and so much fun. Learning and exploring with your child at any age is rewarding and exciting as you see and feel new experiences with your children. Here are a few ideas from a chiropractor to enhance spinal health, emotional health, and physical health and development.

1.      REDUCE SCREEN TIME- we are all over ‘screened' and we all need to take a break, unplug and explore the world.
2.      Exercise. Get moving- being upright and physical using the upper and lower limbs in sports and activities- go to the park and get those kids active
3.      Sensory exploration. Explore all the sense with your child Touch, visual, hearing and taste. Go for a walk and get your child to close their eyes and listen to the sounds, crunchy leaves, snap twigs and let them tell you what they hear.
4.      Sensory. Do a sensory walk or path with bare feet (make sure it is safe). We do a lot of hand sensory bins for our children for the hands and eyes, now try for the feet.
5.      Balancing. Work on balancing with feet together eyes closed, try the tree pose on both legs. While doing these try to play catch or get them to read out loud. Exercises like these can be fun but challenging.
6.      Breathing. Teach your child breathing exercises, blowing through a straw, blowing a pinwheel, sniffing flowers, blowing bubbles or whistling.
7.      Gargling. Gargling helps give your nervous system tone. Get your child to start gargling 1-2 times a day.

These are some of the ideas and exercises I encourage the children in my practice, try them with your child and see the surprising results as they learn, develop and grow.
Dr. Joelle Johnson practices at Family First Chiropractic and Wellness, 142 Erickson Drive, Red Deer, T4R2C3 www.family1stchiro.ca 403-347-3261.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Constipation in Infants

Before we look at constipation in infants, let's remind ourselves just what constipation is:
A simple definition is the inability to have a comfortable and regular bowel movement. A normal range is having a bowel movement between 3 times a day to 3 times a week.
We all suffer from constipation from time to time but sometimes it becomes persistent and uncomfortable. While the most common causes of constipation are poor diet and lack of exercise (with adults), for some groups other factors also have an influence on our ability to eliminate waste from the body. As a craniosacral therapist I have found that constipation is a common problem among babies, toddlers and pregnant women. These groups have special needs and experiences that make them prone to constipation.

Let's now move on to looking at constipation in infants and toddlers.
In my own experience, the following are the most common causes of constipation in babies:
·         Both breast and bottle-fed babies may experience a difficulty in digesting components of milk.
·         Switching between formulas can also cause constipation.
·         Change in diet from breast to bottle.
·         Moving on to solids at around 6 months and...
·         Birth Trauma. This final cause is the common cause of constipation that I address directly as a craniosacral therapist.

Let me explain a little about the connection between a traumatic birth and constipation. If intervention was necessary at birth, the baby is often left with a restricted spine and head. The compression on the baby’s bones can prove excessive if the use of forceps or vacuum is needed. Or, indeed, the total lack of compression is also a problem if the baby is delivered by C-section.
Excessive compression on the head or neck leads to tension on the baby’s nervous system which in turn triggers digestion and elimination problems. Craniosacral therapy can assist in helping your baby to recover from a heavy birth process which at the time was necessary for safe delivery. With the help of a craniosacral therapist the little head and spinal bones can slide gently into place freeing the vagus nerve which allows the baby to relax.
Other problems clear up too! Baby is now happy to sit in their car seat, on their backs, sleep for longer periods and are happier and more content.

Jeannette Raskin practices at Family First Chiropractic, 142 Erickson Drive, Red Deer, Alberta.  403-347-3261. www.family1stchiro.ca.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Primitive Reflexes Remediation

Primitive reflexes are automatic, involuntary movements necessary to a baby's survival in the first few weeks of life. These involuntary reflexes develop in utero and are quickly inhibited as higher centers of the brain form.

Primitive reflexes persisting beyond 6-12 months of life are considered abnormal.

When these reflexes do not morph into postural reflexes by six months to one year of age, then this demonstrates an immaturity of the central nervous system (CNS). Generally, when the child reaches the first birthday, all the primitive reflexes should be integrated.
Retained reflexes can cause issues with proper childhood development physically and emotionally.
The normal neurological development shows a progressive inhibition of the primitive reflexes and continuous development of new skills such as gross motor skills, crawling, walking, balance, coordination, fine motor skills, and speech.

Children sometimes have some persistent primitive reflexes present.

Some factors that may cause retained primitive reflexes are as follows :
Breech presentation
Birth Trauma
Cesarean birth
Antibiotics in pregnancy or birth or postnatal
Baby not moving enough
Not enough tummy time ( 1 hour per day minimum)
Back sleeping
Devices like jolly jumpers and Bumbo chairs and Car seats
Too early screen time
Early walkers, Scootch crawlers
Dietary issues/ allergies/imbalances
Trauma or injury, excessive falls, Head injuries
Chronic Stress, Emotional trauma
Chronic ear infections
Environmental toxins

Why is it essential for primitive reflexes to be integrated?
Integration is necessary to free up areas in a child’s brain for higher learning. Simply put, if these areas of the brain do not develop, there is no room for further learning and development, like childhood motor development.

Symptoms of retained primitive reflexes:
    Anxious, Hypersensitive
    Difficulty with ball games
    Inability to sit still or remain silent
    Poor concentration
    Continued bed wetting above the age of 4 years
    Poor handwriting
    Tiptoe walker
    W sit
    History of not crawling
    Poor balance, rigid or floppy muscles (seen  in running)
    Visual perceptual difficulties
    Possible auditory problems
    Organizational problems
    Poor sense of time and rhythm
    Poor posture lies on a desk when writing
    Poor eye-hand coordination

Fortunately, retained reflexes can be integrated.  Chiropractic can help the brain can rewire, and primitive reflexes can still be integrated. Dr. Joelle Johnson at Family First Chiropractic and Wellness can examine and assess your child for these retained reflexes.

A treatment plan of specific movement-based exercise program to address a particular retained primitive reflex as well as address any motor skill deficiencies in a child will be developed for your child.
A chiropractor will gently adjust the nerves that are found in the joints and correct spinal dysfunction, both of which hinder a child’s information processing or may distort the information received by their environment.

Dr. Joelle Johnson is located a 142 Erickson Dr. Red Deer, www.family1stchiro.ca. To book an appointment for your child, please call 403-347-3261.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Prenatal Massage

While prenatal massage does share many of the goals of regular massage, such as relaxing tense muscles, easing sore spots and improving circulation and mobility, studies continue to show that being massaged during pregnancy can also reduce stress and anxiety and decrease symptoms of depression. It can also have a positive effect on labour and your baby’s health. Recent studies also reveal that hormone levels improve significantly when massage is used as part of prenatal care, especially those hormones associated with relaxation and stress.
Other benefits of Prenatal Massage are:
·         Reduce any swelling in your hands, feet and ankles
·         Lessen sacroiliac joint pain, the most common lower back/hip pain that usually flares up in the second trimester
·         Ease muscular discomfort in areas such as your lower back, legs and feet
·         Relax tense muscles in your shoulders and neck
·         Relieve cramping in your legs
·         Increase flexibility
·         Ease headaches
·         Relax and de-stress
·         Decrease insomnia
·         Increase oxygen in the blood

Guy Lacoursiere, RMT practices at Family First Chiropractic and Wellness, located at 142 Erickson Drive. Call 403-347-3261 to book an appointment or visit us online.