Written by Dr. Daniel Kimbley
Every parent wants what is best for their child yet it’s hard to know where to begin to set our kiddos up for a lifetime of success. Ultimately, success comes down to one thing-brain function.
We get many parents, or parents-to-be asking the question “why would I get my child adjusted?”. And the answer lies within the rapidly growing little one’s brain.
If a child develops with any type of stress either in utero or during the labor/birthing process they are likely to enter the world in fight or flight mode.
What does that mean?
Entering the world in fight or flight mode means that the little one may not feel safe which can result in slower development of the higher centers of the brain responsible for success, issues with digestion, issues with sleep, or irritability and fussiness.
When the body goes into fight or flight mode, known as having a sympathetic response, the adrenal glands release cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. These three hormones protect us from a threat and prepare our bodies to literally fight or run away.
Imagine you’re driving home from work and someone cuts you off and you have to hit the brakes hard, nearly rear-ending them. What happens? Your heart is likely pounding, your hands may start to sweat, and you may feel a little jittery. Which is great, your body is preparing to protect itself from danger.
Now, imagine a beautiful newborn with this same stress response, from the birthing process, from mom being chronically stressed during pregnancy or during the labor. Those stress hormones will work the same way in a newborn who should not be having that stress response at all.
Interestingly, those stress hormones shut off the part of the brain responsible for memory, focus and attention towards goal-oriented tasks, shut off the digestive centers in the body, and create increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and increased excitability.
In a young child, here’s what we see: postural or muscular asymmetries (head turned or tilted to one side or the other), inability to make eye contact, late on developmental milestones, difficulty pooping, chronic irritability, or maintained primitive reflexes that should be gone.
All of these things are indicators of stress responses stuck on in the body, which ultimately, the longer they are left unaddressed will lead to diagnoses of ADD/ADHD, sensory processing disorders and learning disabilities.
A key foundational principle in understanding a child’s developing brain is understanding how the brain develops. In the first 4 years of life, the right side of the brain is developing. This right side of the brain is responsible for creativity, play, and more artistic and exploratory expressions. More importantly, it’s the part of the brain responsible for connecting with others, intuition and the ability to empathize.
What’s less known is that the right brain actually drives and supports development of the left side of the brain. In other words, if a kiddo hasn’t developed their right side early on, then the left side will dominate creating a huge imbalance. The left brain is responsible for logic, mathematics, language, and reasoning. This left side of the brain, without the balance of the right leads to anxiety, hyperactivity, and sometimes worse.
So when a parent asks why should a young child be adjusted, it has everything to do with ensuring healthy brain balance so that the parts of the brain responsible for memory, empathy, intuition, connection, presence, and productivity are stimulated or turned on. This can ONLY come from properly moving joints of the spine.
Having your child clear from nervous system interference will set them up for a lifetime of success, so that they have a balanced and healthy brain and are clear and connected through every phase of life.