Has your child been told by a professional they have any of the following, or maybe you’ve noticed some concerning behaviors related to these conditions?
Although the above diagnoses, behaviors, and developmental concerns present differently on the OUTSIDE, they all have ONE THING in common on the INSIDE: neurological stress and tension within the nervous system that interrupts communication pathways between the brain and body… which leads to an overwhelmed, confused brain that does not operate as intended.
When a child’s brain is not able to send and receive CLEAR neurological messages to and from other organs, tissues, and muscles in the body, dysfunction (expressed in various ways) begins to arise.
Our love and passion as pediatric, neurologically-focused chiropractors is to use gentle, specific adjustments that RELEASE wound up tension and stress in the nervous system so pent-up energy and stress have a way to escape, improving brain-body communication which allows the body to heal itself from the inside-out.
Keep reading to learn more about objective tests that can identify if your child’s nervous system is stressed and overwhelmed and the most effective ways to help calm their busy, overactive brain and nerves so they can thrive in their physical, mental, and behavioral health.
When it comes to understanding the root cause of your child’s health concerns we use objective in our exams to see how well (or poorly) your child’s nervous system is operating.
1.The first test we use is Heart Rate Variability (HRV) which tells us how well your child’s nervous system can adapt to stress and the environment. Children whose nervous system is stuck in “fight or flight” mode are easily overwhelmed and often have difficulty with sleep, impulsivity, emotional regulation, sensory input, and more. It’s hard for a child’s brain and body to rest, heal, and remain calm when their nervous system is stuck in a state of chronic stress.
The chart bellow is an example of an HRV scan showing a nervous system stuck in “fight or flight” mode with low energy reserve and poor adaptability to stress.
2.The second test we use is sEMG, which shows how much energy a child’s motor nerves (nerves within the muscles) are using to support their posture and balance. Scans with black lines on the edge of their back and neck (or wider) tell us they have a lot of pent-up energy with no escape route. Their nerves are working overtime and wasting precious energy, which can look like hyperactivity, impulsivity, anxiety, or even exhaustion.
The chart below is an example of an sEMG scan typical of a child who presents with some of the above symptoms.
3.The third test we use is Thermography, which shows where and how much tension and nerve interference (subluxation) is present between the brain and spinal cord. Subluxation hinders a child’s development and function of other organ systems because neural pathways are not able to send, receive, and perceive messages as they should.
The chart below is an example of a child’s thermography scan showing significant subluxation in the C1, C2, and S1 regions of the spine (as evidenced by the red bars).
When we see kids struggling with ADHD, we find that their nervous systems are stuck in overdrive. This is like putting the pedal to the metal and it gets jammed. These children have difficulty hitting the brakes to slow down or calm their minds, and cannot stop moving, jumping, and touching things. Just like a car that never stops to refuel, these kids eventually "run out of gas" too. It may look like emotional outbursts, intense frustration, or defiance instead of going to bed easily to rest and recharge their bodies.
We understand ADHD to be a mental disorder in children that makes it difficult for them to focus, keep their body still, and refrain from making inappropriate comments. If we know this issue stems from their brain, and the brain is part of the nervous system - which controls their focus, movement, and speech - then doesn't it make sense to fix the problem at the source? We sure think so!
Receiving chiropractic adjustments helps get the gas pedal "unstuck" and allows the nervous system to hit the brakes! If we don't help the nervous system calm down from a state of overdrive, we will not see nearly the progress we would with diet, lifestyle changes, and therapies alone.
Our thoughts on medication? They should be a last resort, not a first move.
Stimulant medications often prescribed for ADHD increase activity of the central nervous system. Specifically, they work by increasing the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Dopamine helps the brain reinforce rewarding behaviors while norepinephrine affects heart rate, blood vessels, blood pressure, and breathing - all of which temporarily improve one’s ability to pay attention, think and stay motivated.
However, using drugs to force chemical reactions in the brain and nervous system means the body is not truly changing or healing. Once the effects of meds wear off the nervous system is stuck in the same dysregulated spot as before - which means the focus and behavioral struggles will likely return. Then of course there’s the potential unwanted side effects of common ADHD meds like decreased appetite, trouble sleeping, digestive upset, nervousness, or irritability.
For these reasons we think it’s best to start with chiropractic care where we improve the function of the central nervous system NATURLLY so that the neural pathways between the brain and body communicate effectively and work together at their highest potential, without the negative side affects that medication can bring. When the nervous system is functioning optimally other care options to help with ADHD like diet and lifestyle changes are more likely to have an impact.