• Daycare Germs and Infant Illness: Boosting Your Baby’s Immune System

    30 October 2019
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    The season of sickness is upon us. This rings especially true for infants, toddlers, and young children in daycare. 

    Daycare germs are real. They have been researched and explained away as evil necessities of childhood. If anything, most parents joke about the fact that their children spend more days sick than healthy while in their first few years of daycare. They then try to explain their theories with the myth of, “getting sick now builds a baby’s immune system to be healthier later!” (While this sounds ok, it is completely untrue due to the lack of developed immune systems, over vaccinating, unhealthy diets, over sterile environments, etc.)

    Yes, an infant in daycare is going to get sick more often than one who is with his mother throughout the day. Breastmilk builds antibodies to the environment around the mother. This helps protect the baby from getting sick, and is known as ‘Nature’s Vaccines’ by those who like to label everything. But, we live in a world that takes significant funds to navigate through, and mothers find themselves in a position that returning to work is a necessity. With our deplorable maternity leave ‘benefits’ in the United States, most working mothers end up enrolling their newborns (yes, newborns) into daycare between 6-12 weeks of age. While this is less than ideal, it happens every day. 

    Returning to work is stressful enough, but add into that the alarming statistic rates of infant illnesses related to daycare attendance, and it leaves a mother in a panic. Your baby’s first cough, stuffy nose, cold, or fever is never a fun experience, and when in daycare, it typically means that the flood gates are just opening.

    How to Prevent or Limit Daycare Germs

    First and foremost, breastfeed. Send breastmilk and educate your daycare provider on the importance of pace feeding. Your milk is the single most important thing that keeps your baby healthy. Keep yourself healthy and boost your own immune system to pass on all the positive nutrients to your baby while you are separated.

    Give Probiotics. There are high-quality infant probiotics that you can give your baby daily to help his gut keep healthy bacteria present.

    Vitamin D3 is a necessity. A drop or 2 every day can help boost your baby’s (still developing) immune system.

    If you are nursing, you can help by taking Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Omega 3 Fatty Acid, and Probiotics regularly! This of course should be paired with a whole foods diet full of leafy greens, garlic, ginger, fruits, vegetables -as organic as you can manage. Include plenty of exercise, too.

    Please start your baby with regular chiropractic care. A chiropractor contributes to the overall health and wellness of your little one.

    If your little one is starting to sit independently and showing an interest in eating food, continue to breastfeed as often as possible, but feel free to also boost their immune system through healthy foods. If your child is beyond the breastfeeding years, definitely start working on his immune system.

    10 Ways to Boost the Immune System

     

    1. Supplements: Can be taken preventatively to boost the immune system or as treatment if you are sick.
    • Vitamin D3 – Vitamin D rapidly destroys the cell walls of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, including the influenza virus.  Getting as much sunshine on your skin will also boost the immune system! Send those babies outside to play.
    • Elderberry – In 2000, a study was done on the effectiveness of elderberry during a flu epidemic in Panama. In a placebo controlled double blind study of influenza B, a complete cure was achieved within 2 – 3 days in nearly 90% of the elderberry-treated group compared with at least 6 days in the placebo group. Elderberry is very high in antioxidants and is a good source of potassium, vitamins A, B and C and nutrients like, amino acids, carotenoids, tannin and rutin. Anthocyanins, one of the most powerful antioxidants known to man, are found in these remarkable berries in far higher quantities than either Vitamin C or E alone. This accounts for the excellent health benefits of elderberry.  You can find elderberry in liquid form and even make your own gummy versions at home!
    • Echinacea– This natural herb will enhance the immune system. Medical research has shown it to be safe and effective in decreasing the frequency, duration, and severity of common illnesses such as ear and sinus infections, colds, and the flu. Echinacea comes in adult tablets and liquid, as well as children’s chewables and drops. Numerous clinical trials have been carried out on Echinacea preparations: it appears that the extracts shorten the duration and severity of colds and other upper respiratory infections (URIs) when given as soon as symptoms become evident.
    • Vitamin C– This simple vitamin can fight off invading germs. Younger kids up to age 6 will benefit from around 250 mg per day. Older kids and adults can take 500 mg per day. Available as a powder, chewable, or capsule. You can get enough Vitamin C through a good diet, but if your diet is not quite where you would like it to be, supplementing will help.
    • Fruits and vegetable supplement– The immune-boosting properties of nature’s food is remarkable. If your kids won’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, taking a “raw foods multivitamin” will help.
    • Zinc– Zinc is an important nutrient required by the body for proper growth, better immune, nervous and reproductive systems. Unfortunately, the body cannot produce this nutrient on its own and hence it needs to make up for it through a proper diet.
    • Probiotics– Probiotics help to regulate the immune system by balancing the good bacteria (flora) in the tummy. These “good” microorganisms potentially reduce the risk of diarrhea and respiratory infections. Strengthen your child’s immune system by serving live-cultured products like organic yogurt or by adding a probiotic supplement to their water or applesauce. Be sure the probiotic is organic high quality. The best species of probiotics are lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. Available as liquid, powder, and capsules, children and adults can take as directed.

    2. Nutrition/Diet: A healthy immune system begins with a healthy diet. Processed foods are full of chemicals, and toxins that weaken our ability to fight illness and stay healthy.  Skip anything that comes in a box (or a bag typically) and stick with whole foods.  Yes, this means you will be preparing and cooking more, BUT grab a crockpot and let it do the work for you.  Most foods that boost the immune system are those that are good sources of one or two particular vitamins, minerals or nutrients, so eat a diversity of foods. For the immune system to function properly and be able to defend your body against pathogens, it is very important to supply the body with a sufficient amount of all vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. Immune health and proper immune response cannot be obtained without all these essentials.

    Foods to Include:  (Superfoods list)

    • Tumeric: a powerful anti-inflammatory, new studies show that turmeric also lowers fevers.
    • Garlic: It’s antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal. Garlic has some serious infection-fighting capabilities.
    • Bone Broth: Homemade can’t be beat. A cure-all in traditional households, bone broth or stock can be made from chicken, fish, or beef bones.  It builds strong bones, soothes sore throats and nourishes the sick.
    • Almonds: Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it requires the presence of fat to be absorbed properly. Nuts (especially almonds) are packed with vitamin E. A half-cup serving provides nearly 100 percent of the recommended daily amount.
    • Citrus: Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C and with such a variety to choose from it’s easy to add a squeeze of C to any meal.
    • Red Bell Peppers: red bell peppers have twice as much vitamin C as citrus, as well as being a rich source of beta-carotene.
    • Broccoli is super-charged with an arsenal of vitamins and minerals. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E, as well as numerous antioxidants, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables you can put on your table.
    • Ginger: helps prevent a cold from taking hold of you
    • Spinach: full of antioxidants
    • Yogurt, kefir: Probiotic-packed foods!
    • Mushrooms: Numerous medical studies have shown that beta glucans (found in mushrooms) can positively modulate and strengthen the immune system and prevent infections.

    3. Lose the Sugar: If you do only one thing to boost your immune system, eliminating sugar will do the most good.  Refined sugar is a poison which, among other things, dramatically decreases immune function.

    4. Herbs and Salts: Epsom Baths, salves, teas, steams, tinctures have all been found to have immune boosting qualities!  You can make your own, or purchase high quality versions to use at home on yourself or your little one.  Mixing magnesium flakes and Epsom salts with a few drops of essential oil will give you boost.  Same with a steam shower with a few oil drops.  Doing these things weekly will keep your body cleansed and ready to ward off illness.

    5. Massage: Just what you have wanted to hear! A massage session calms you down, eases your anxieties, and even helps you sleep at night. A study by the government’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine finds that those sessions help you ward off illnesses, too.

    6. Exercise: Physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may reduce your chance of getting a cold, flu, or other airborne illness. It causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells, which circulate more rapidly and detect illnesses earlier. The brief rise in body temperature while exercising may prevent bacteria from growing and fight off any existing infections more effectively.

    7. Essential Oils: While it is not shown safe to ingest any essential oils, you may diffuse them, use them in salves, rubs, baths, etc. There are “hot” oils that should not be used on children, so make sure you know what you are purchasing and how you are using it.

    8. Sleep: If your child is 12 and under and gets less than 10 hours of sleep per night, or if your tween or teen is getting less than eight and a half hours— they ’re prime candidates for a weaker immune system. Make sleep a priority in your home.

    9. Fresh Air, Germs, and Play: Yes, you read right – GERMS. Not all germs and bacteria are bad for you! Some exposure to germs can help build a child’s immunity and protect them from illness. As homes become cleaner and more sterile, the immune system doesn’t have to work as hard to defend the body against common bacterial infections—and this may have led to an unintended consequence: allergies. A theory, the “hygiene hypothesis,” developed by immunology experts, states underexposure to germs and bacteria are decreasing the body’s ability to fight allergies and asthma later in life. Allow your kids to be kids, get dirty outside and play with friends—and don’t worry incessantly about germs.

    10. Skip The Chemical-Filled Products: Anything you put on the skin is absorbed into the body, either helping or hurting yourself or your child.  From toothpaste to shampoo, read your labels or make your own products.

     

    Sources:

    http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/feeding-eating/family-nutrition/foods-to-boost-immunity/boost-your-childs-immune-system http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78 https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-Consumer/ https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/#h3 http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/health-concerns/childhood-illnesses/echinacea http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15035888 http://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/the-many-different-kinds-of-sugar https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007165.htm http://theholisticmama.com/take-this-herb-daily-to-boost-immunity/

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  • Breech Presentation in Pregnancy

    14 September 2018
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    Breech births occur in approximately 1 in 25 full-term births, but this statistic is drastically skewed due to the number of mothers who opt for an elective c-section between gestational weeks 37-40 due to their baby’s position.

    As a family chiropractor, I see many mothers throughout their pregnancies. I cannot begin to count to number of women who begin to worry about a baby who is sitting in a breech position. The first thing that I remind them is that there is still time! Until labor actually begins, and even throughout early labor, there is time for a baby to change positions. However, I completely understand the state of panic as the weeks fly by and a baby remains in a less than ideal position.

    I will cover all of the ins and outs of the Webster Technique and how chiropractors can aid in helping a pregnancy be as uneventful as possible in another post, but today I want to break down breech positioning and the options you have as the mother.

    To begin, there are several positions in which a fetus can become situated in utero; the most common being head down in an either left or right occipital anterior position. This means that the baby’s back is facing the mother’s abdomen (complete OA position) or is turned slightly with the back facing the left or right side of the mother and the head looking the other direction. These are commonly referred to as LOA and ROA positions (Left or Right OA). While these are the most common and easiest to birth positions, there are several other options a baby may choose.

    A transverse, or side-lying baby is the only position in which is truly unsafe to birth. It can possibly be fatal for both baby and mother; however, a c-section does not need to be scheduled, as a baby can turn once labor begins. When the body begins labor, different hormones are released and both mother and baby work together. This can encourage the baby to turn head down. If baby’s position does not turn as the labor progresses, a c-section will be needed.

    A breech baby, one who is sitting upright, presents a whole new level of challenges. There are three breech positions:

    • Frank (or extended) breech—legs are straight and feet are up near the baby’s head.
    • Complete (or flexed) breech—knees are bent, but feet are above the baby’s bottom.
    • Footling breech—feet are below the baby’s bottom.

     

    Most medical birth teams will start discussing the scheduling of a c-section after 36 weeks gestation. Typically, it is recommended to have the surgery between 38-40 weeks gestation, but it seems that most doctors choose never to discuss the most natural option: let labor occur naturally. It wasn’t but a few decades ago that all doctors (and midwives) delivered breech babies. It is known as a ‘hands-off’ delivery, meaning the birth team does not assist the baby as it is born. Pulling, tugging, or rotating a breech baby as it is born can cause severe problems, complications, or even end in death. Due to these risks, most doctors today have never even witnessed a breech birth, therefore will not perform one. It is a sad turn of events, as the risk is so little, and is truly only an increased risk when the birth is interfered with.

    Breech presentation can be the effect of a pregnancy with multiple fetuses, placenta previa, amniotic fluid levels in abnormal range, abnormal pelvic conditions, or just a stubborn baby. It can be easy to learn that your baby is in this position, as kicks are felt in the lower abdomen. An ultrasound will also tell you more exact information.

    If you are faced with a breech pregnancy and would like to help baby find a better position, there are several things you can do:

    Practice Good Posture: Poor posture can encourage poor fetal positioning.

    Exercises from www.SpinningBabies.com

    Chiropractic Adjustments: The Webster Technique has a high success rate with encouraging babies to find a more ideal birthing position.

    Therapeutic Massage: Muscles and tendons control more than one would expect. By using pressure points and massage, the body can be triggered to relax and allow the baby to move easier.

    External Version: This manipulation is not recommended until after 34 weeks gestation, but most doctors will not perform the technique until 38 weeks, as they want baby’s lungs developed prior to trying to manually ‘flip’ the baby. This technique does not come without risks, as it can cause the placenta to be torn from the uterine wall, bleeding to occur, and immediate delivery of the baby. While rare, these are possible outcomes and make sure you discuss them with your birthing team.

    Of course, there is always the option of having a vaginal breech birth. Finding a doctor who will perform this delivery may not be easy, but it is not impossible. Several midwives will attend breech deliveries, and it is your right to birth your baby as you please. A hospital may have you sign a waiver that you are going against medical recommendations, but it is your birth. You need to feel comfortable with your birth team and confident in your decisions, no matter what you choose.

    References:

    https://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/baby-positions/other-fetal-positions/left-occiput-anterior-loa/

    https://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/baby-positions/breech/when-is-breech-an-issue/

    https://www.rcog.org.uk/globalassets/documents/patients/patient-information-leaflets/pregnancy/a-breech-baby-at-the-end-of-pregnancy.pdf

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(00)02840-3/fulltext?_eventId=login

    http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/breech-presentation/

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  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome: Misunderstood, Misdiagnosed, and Management

    14 September 2018
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    At least 10% of women, that is over 5,000,000 women in the United States are affected by PCOS, with at least 50% of women suffering being misdiagnosed or undiagnosed all together. The true number of women living with pain is far larger than any research has been able to detect. 

    If you are diagnosed, the treatment is limited, at best, and most women are told they will have symptoms and ailments throughout their lives. Considered to be the most common endocrine disorder among fertile-aged women, it is no wonder that infertility is on the rise. 

    A condition is which a woman over-produces the male sex hormones, PCOS means there is an imbalance of estrogen and androgens within the body. This can be noted by:

    • Facial Hair
    • Weight Gain
    • Ovarian Cysts
    • Irregular/Absent Menstrual Cycle
    • Acne
    • Hair Loss
    • Extreme Cramping and Pain
    • Infertility
    • Fatigue
    • Mood Swings
    • Pelvic Pain
    • Headaches
    • Sleep Problems 
    • Type II Diabetes
    • Eating Disorders
    • Cardiovascular Disease
    • Other Health Issues

    PCOS is not only genetic, but it can be triggered through environmental factors, too. New research explores the high possibility that PCOS gene mutations can take place within the womb. This leads to environmental triggers bringing about symptoms if puberty does not. Obesity, chronic inflammation, poor diet/lifestyle choices, and exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals all pay a role in the development of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. 

    Every PCOS case should be looked at independently, and treatment should be discussed and planned according to each woman. However, the best place to start is with a diet that restores insulin sensitivity to the body.

    Dietary Changes

    Fill your plate with high-quality protein (about 4 ounces worth):

    • Wild-caught fish
    • Organic Chicken
    • Grass-fed beef
    • Free-range eggs
    • Pasture-based dairy

    Cut sugar:

    This means no processed or fast food items enter the body. Skip boxed foods and stick with whole foods. 

    Healthy Fats (Remember to cook with fats that are good for your body):

    • Pasture-based butter
    • Organic Olive, Coconut, or Avocado Oil

    Lifestyle Changes

    Exercising daily improves metabolism and insulin sensitivity.

    Avoiding endocrine-disruptive chemicals can lessen symptoms and improve fertility/pain experiences. Avoid the following:

    • BPA  (Found in food containers, liners, and cans)
    • Phthalates (Found in beauty products, plastic wraps, plastic containers)
    • Pesticides
    • PFCs (Found in non-stick cookware and fabrics)
    • Chemical Sunscreens (Any including oxybenzone)

    Supplements

    While working with a doctor, herbalist, homeopath, or team of your choice, you will find the right supplements combination for you. There are, however, several supplements that have been found to work individually or (as a power house) all together. You can find the following packaged together, but remember to find a high quality supplement.

    Maca: An estrogen balancing herb that increases energy, libido, and decreases stress, Maca can be looked at as an all-around bonus to your day. 

    Calcium-D-Glucarate: At 25 mg daily, C-D-G has been shown to help the body eliminate excess hormones before they re absorbed, aiding in a positive balance.

    Cinnamon: At 75 mg daily, cinnamon has been shown to help balance glucose levels.

    Vitamin D: Low VitD levels are linked to almost every disease or illness known. PCOS is no exception. Vitamin D paired with calcium has been shown to normalize menstrual cycles.

    Omega-3: The liver and cardiovascular health are both benefitted by taking the anti-inflammatory Omega-3’s.

    D-Chiro Inositol: The most promising instill compound for PCOS. It can improve insulin sensitivity and ovulation.

     

    References:

    http://www.pcosaa.org/pcos-symptoms/

    http://www.pcosaa.org/symptoms

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nrendo.2010.217

    http://www.healthylife.com.ng/top-5-maca-root-benefits-nutrition-no-4-best/

    http://www.ohlonecenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Howe_E_PCOS_2015.pdf

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0015028206045559

    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199904293401703

    https://europepmc.org/abstract/med/12917943

    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0039128X99000124

    https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/94/10/3842/2596989

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/01443615.2012.751365

    https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2012.10720443

    http://www.pcoschallenge.org/symposium/2014-presentations/pcos-natural-integrative-care-elizabeth-board.pdf

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  • Nestle Vegan Infant Formula: Friend or Foe?

    5 September 2018
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    The articles are circulating all over social media about Nestle, one of the world’s largest food companies, patenting the rights to a new vegan infant formula. There are articles cheering the company on and singing their praises, and there are articles throwing flames. What side is the right side?

    Before I explain their newest product, there needs to be background information given.

    Nestle has been (rightly) boycotted by many for a long time now. They make billions of dollars selling water that they bottle for next to nothing, and they continued to bottle their water throughout the extreme drought conditions of California.

    Nestle was found to be purchasing its chocolate from farms breaking child slavery laws. In the annual $100 billion chocolate business, Nestle wins consumers with lower prices. These prices are attainable due to the cocoa plantations the company shops at. While they do not own their own plantations, they have plenty of say over the conditions in which their products are chosen from. Supporting plantations that break child labor laws is unethical.

    There are more unethical battles that Nestle continues to be involved with, including using suppliers known for clear-cutting for the purpose of palm oil harvesting without permits or government oversight. Palm oil is highly controversial due to issues like rainforest clear-cutting and habitat destruction for multiple animals.

    The company continually loses lawsuits, but being the empire that it is, little effects have been felt.

    After reading this, learning that Nestle uses its power to potentially harm (or kill) infants in order to become richer may not shock you.

    You think I’m being extreme? Well, I wish that were the case. Since the 1970’s, Nestle has entered into poverty stricken countries and brainwashed new mothers into believing that they need formula over breastmilk. They give out just enough samples to last until a mother’s milk production is affected. At this point, the mothers are forced to buy the expensive formula. This is often not possible, meaning babies become malnourished, breastmilk supply is completely lost, and in many cases, infants die.

    Let me pause… The issue of infant formula is not on the chopping block here. Everyone knows that breastmilk is the healthiest option, but high-quality formula options are needed to be available. However, using marketing and false information to ruin a healthy and nourishing relationship, possibly leaving a mother to watch her child die of malnourishment, is on the chopping block.

    This leads me to the topic at hand:

    Nestle’s Vegan Infant Formula

    Infants’ guts are extremely impressionable, and they can lead to a lifetime of problems if exposed to toxins or inflammatory, disruptive ingredients. Most formulas are over-processed and filled with ingredients harmful to the gut. It can be hard to choose a formula for your baby if breastfeeding does not work out. The choices are overwhelming.

    Infants have a hard time digesting dairy. Even if there is not a true allergy, dairy can cause skin issues, colic, pain, and other ailments. Are you surprised to know that it is found in most formulas on the market? When you start reading labels and realize that finding a non-dairy infant formula means that your baby will then be consuming soy or rice (along with wheat and other fillers). Neither of these are the healthiest of options.

    Nestle states that it’s new vegan infant formula will be made from potato protein microparticles and will be hypoallergenic, minimally processed and cost-effective to produce. If released, this will be the first vegan infant formula that is easily available in the United States and Canada. This will allow vegan, non-breastfeeding mothers an easy formula to purchase, along with non-breastfeeding or supplementing mothers whose infants have dairy allergies/sensitivities.

    So, the question is: Do you support Nestle creating a vegan infant formula?

     

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  • The Purpose of Pubic Hair

    6 March 2018
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    I was recently asked my medical thoughts on pubic hair and if it truly served a purpose. I am highly aware of the trends today, and have learned that 95% of women are assumed to alter their pubic hair by trimming, shaving, or removing it completely. Over the last two decades, our society has gone from trimming the bikini line to believing that the entire labia and pubic region must be bare to be clean.

    This is, of course, not accurate.

    While research on this exact topic is hard to come by, there are enough studies and research articles to connect the dots. A 2000 study found that after 4 months of dietary supplementation of selenium, the mercury levels found within the pubic hair of those with low selenium levels dropped by 34% and increased selenium levels in the hair by 73%. This study alone should trigger further cause for research on the true purpose of pubic hair, as these researchers found that pubic hair is connected to the minerals naturally occurring or being supplemented into the body.

    Further research links pubic hair to providing the pheromones that attract a sexual mate in life. Every person has an almost undetectable and different hormonal smell, and the pubic hair seems to capture and allow this scent to be utilized as it was meant. Pheromones are the hormones linked to sexual attraction.

    Pubic hair is also a sign of maturity, as it occurs throughout puberty. But is does not reach its adult-status of maturity until well after puberty has occurred. The area starts smooth and then develops very fine hairs. These hairs spread over the pubic region, but do not reach the thighs until much later. It has been suggested that once the pubic hair reaches its mature state that it signifies sexual maturity. If one links this theory to the facts known about pheromones, it can be understood that the pubic hair plays an important role hormonally. Testosterone and estrogen (in men and women respectively) increase significantly throughout puberty, triggering pubic hair growth, and level off over the course of a few years. Just because the hormones find a balance does not mean that the pubic hair’s purpose is complete.

    Research has found that removing the hair leaves the follicles susceptible for infection and places individuals at a greater risk for chronic irritation. This irritation, combined with the warm, moist environment of the genital area provides the perfect breeding ground for bacterial pathogens such as methicillin resistant staph aureus (MRSA). It has been found that staph boils needing drained due to infection are more common on shaved pubic areas than un-shaved. What is even scarier is that doctors have found staph infections spread from a shaved-person with a boil to the shaved-partner’s skin without ever developing a boil. This is known as cellulitis. It can also be believed that freshly shaved pubic hair follicles are left as tiny open wounds, which leaves them more susceptible to herpes and other sexually transmitted infections.

    There is one other reason to let pubic hair be, and that is simply because it is a friction barrier. When skin rubs together, or against certain fibers, it can cause burning, inflammation, and pain. The hair presents a cushion and breaks the friction, keeping the area soothed and happy.

    After digging up everything I could find on this topic, I am here to tell you that your pubic hair does indeed have several purposes, and that by removing it, you are not cleaner or healthier. If anything, you are putting yourself at risk of infection and inflammation.

     

    References:
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0946672X00800358
    https://search.proquest.com/openview/751058e8fe4931f067ffcf52fb670b51/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=33400
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8618032
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20425841
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24432990
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25394526

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  • Magnesium: Signs of Deficiency

    2 January 2018
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    Magnesium is a mineral that is vital for more than 300 enzymatic processes in the body. It plays a role in everything from muscle movements to hormone production. It is essential for the body to perform at peak level.

    Magnesium:
    • Gives rigidity and flexibility to your bones
    • Increases bioavailability of calcium
    • Regulates and normalizes blood pressure
    • Prevents and reverses kidney stone formation
    • Promotes restful sleep
    • Helps prevent congestive heart failure
    • Eases muscle cramps and spasms
    • Lowers serum cholesterol levels and triglycerides
    • Decreases insulin resistance
    • Can prevent artherosclerosis and stroke
    • End cluster and migraine headaches
    • Enhances circulation
    • Relieves fibromyalgia and chronic pain
    • Treats asthma and emphysema
    • Helps make proteins
    • Encourages proper elimination
    • Prevents osteoporosis

    Magnesium is consumed, used, and excreted by the kidneys through the urine every day. The mineral is responsible for keeping the body relaxed, meaning mentally and physically. Without the correct amount of magnesium, chronic issues begin to arise. Less than 20-30% of Americans consume the recommended amounts of magnesium on a daily basis, which could be the link to so many suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, headaches, and other common ailments. Many in my field believe magnesium deficiency is the single largest health problem within our society.

    A major concern is that most Americans experience the side effects of magnesium deficiency as part of their daily life without questioning them. Most people just assume that these issues are due to other avenues of their lives and lifestyle choices, but the truth is that it’s a simple solution that no one seems to know about. This is why magnesium deficiency goes untreated so often.

    Hypomagnesemia, the term used for magnesium deficiency, causes the following:

    • Cardiovascular disease
    • Kidney or liver damage
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Glaucoma
    • Alzheimer’s disease
    • Muscle cramps (Charlie horse is the perfect example)
    • Muscle spasms
    • Improper and poor digestion
    • Impotence
    • Constipation
    • Mood swings
    • Increased PMS symptoms
    • Cavities
    • Migraines
    • Headaches
    • preeclampsia
    • Hyperactivity or constant fatigue
    • Insomnia
    • Trouble sleeping
    • High blood pressure
    • Low immune function
    • Heartburn and Acid Reflux
    • Heart palpatations

    Why are we not consuming enough magnesium?

    Our soil is not exactly nutrient dense anymore. This alone causes our foods to contain less magnesium. Chemicals such as fluoride and chlorine in our drinking water bind to magnesium, preventing our bodies from absorbing it. Supplementing and consuming excess calcium without a 1:1 ratio of magnesium also causes the body’s magnesium storage to be depleted. Even stress triggers the body to deplete itself of magnesium.

    Then there is the overuse of prescription medications and antibiotics. This alone destroys our guts and causes the body to fail at nutrient absorption.

    The following also play a huge role in the over-depletion of magnesium on a daily basis:

    Caffeine (Coffee, tea, soda)
    Sugar (processed foods and beverages)
    Alcohol
    Diuretics

    While the amount of magnesium we need to comparison to other nutrients is small, our bodies deplete it continuously, and it is required for normal body function. It needs to be replenished throughout the day, every day. Healthy food choices are a great start, but supplementation should also be considered.

    Not all magnesium supplements are created equal.

    Read more about supplements in my series HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE

    Magnesium can be found in many forms, both orally and topically. Topically, the magnesium moves directly into the blood and tissues, replenishing the body’s needed magnesium stores more quickly and bypassing the kidneys. So, I often encourage clients to invest in a magnesium rub, take Epsom baths, and use magnesium oils. There are many powders and capsule forms of supplementation as well, with magnesium in citrate, chelate and chloride forms believed to be absorbed better than magnesium supplements in oxide and magnesium sulfate form.

    These are the current RDAs for magnesium depending on your age and gender — intakes vary on different individual factors — according to the NIH:

    • Infants–6 months: 30 milligrams
    • 7–12 months: 75 milligrams
    • 1–3 years: 80 milligrams
    • 4–8 years: 130 milligrams
    • 9–13 years: 240 milligrams
    • 14–18 years: 410 milligrams for men; 360 milligrams for women
    • 19–30 years: 400 milligrams for men; 310 milligrams for women
    • Adults 31 years and older: 420 milligrams for men; 320 milligrams for women
    • Pregnant women: 350–360 milligrams
    • Women who are breastfeeding: 310–320 milligrams

     

    References:
    https://bodyecology.com/articles/magnesium_deficiency.php
    http://www.ctds.info/magnesium.html
    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/133/9/2879.long
    https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/
    https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/
    https://academic.oup.com/ajh/article/15/8/691/143851
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703169/

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  • Doulas and Their Impact on Birth

    31 January 2017
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    doula1

     

    When pregnant mothers frequent my office, we often discuss their birth plan along with their pregnancy experience. Typically, women committed to chiropractic care are of the more natural mindset and plan for unmedicated births whenever possible. One of the biggest pieces of advice that I offer is to hire a doula. Not just any doula, but a doula who you feel connected with.

    You will read about how a doula will support a birthing mother and help educate couples about birth; some are even known as postpartum doulas and help after the baby is born. But what you will not read is about the emotional support, the true in-the-moment help that a doula provides. There is an unselfish act of giving herself – her entire being – to ensure that a mother brings her child into the world safely, and as peacefully as possible. A doula does not push her believes or choices on families, but instead, she accepts and fights for what a mother wants. She will spend hours, even days, foregoing her own needs to support the birthing mother. These are the events that the research cannot tell you.These are the stories you must hear from mothers who have given birth with a doula present.

    There is also a science behind childbirth and doulas. Actually, there is quite a bit of science. Researchers have studied how doulas impact birth, and the results are nothing less than I would expect. Labors involving doulas are significantly shorter with greater progress (dilation) made before entering a hospital or place of birth – and far more progress before the accepting of medical interventions (epidural). Research also shows the having a doula lowers the risk of an unplanned cesarean section and increases APGAR scores at both 1 and 5-minutes post-birth.

    to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Perinatal Education, “Doula-assisted mothers (are) four times less likely to have a low birth weight (LBW) baby, two times less likely to experience a birth complication involving themselves or their baby, and significantly more likely to initiate breastfeeding. Communication with and encouragement from a doula throughout the pregnancy may increase the mother’s self-efficacy regarding her ability to impact her own pregnancy outcomes.”

    It is more than just emotional, physical, and educational support that a doula gives to a birthing woman. She is her advocate. Her voice helps account for the reduced need for interventions during birth, less complications, and an overall happier experience during and after birth.
    Research shows that doulas create a:

    • 12% increased chance of spontaneous vaginal birth
    • 28% decreased chance of c-section
    • 31% decreased chance of accepting an epidural
    • 34% decreased chance of being unhappy with the birthing experience as a whole

    It is important to note that doulas can be utilized for any birth situation. A planned c-section still needs support and advocating – just as much as an unmedicated vaginal birth.

    I feel as though many couples are afraid of having “another body” in the room with them, but to these couples, I encourage you to reach out and interview doulas in your area. The right doula will never feel like a body taking up space, but as a partner in your birthing team. Hospital nurses have been reduced and their time is spread thin. The days when a nurse was by a woman’s bedside throughout her labor as a supportive figure are gone. This paired with our society’s need to intervene with the birthing process, leaves many couples feeling defeated. A feeling that belongs nowhere near pregnancy, labor, or birth.

    One of the largest take aways from the research is this: There is absolutely zero harm that has been proven in having a doula present for birth.

     

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1552-6909.2006.00067.x/full

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3647727/

    https://www.dona.org/what-is-a-doula/benefits-of-a-doula/

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD003766.pub4/abstract

    http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/10631824

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/114/Supplement_6/1488.full

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  • The Importance of Chiropractic Care After a C-Section

    23 January 2017
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    ch

    The rate of surgical births (c-sections) has declined from 32.2% to now 32.0% (as of 2015); a statistic that means close to 1 in 3 pregnant women will still be in the operating room to bring their baby into the world. While there are numerous ways to help prevent this from happening to you, the top of the list includes being educated. Understanding pregnancy, labor, birth, and the natural abilities of the body can lower the risk of delivering via c-section. However, the odds are against so many mothers, and unfortunately many of the mothers and infants in my practice began seeking my care after experiencing a surgical birth.

    One of the first questions that I am asked by these mothers is, “Can I see a chiropractor after having a c-section?” The answer is an overwhelming, “Yes.”

    There are several reasons for a c-section to take place, but even when completely necessary, the mother and newborn may have negative side effects. Chiropractic care can be life-changing for these families suffering from daily pain and problems with their baby.

    During a C-Section:

    · An epidural is given. This can cause issues within itself for both mother and baby in relation to chronic pain after delivery.

    · The baby is pulled from the womb through a small incision, which means that the neck and head are forced into an unnatural angle, the plates of the skull do not experience the pressure they need for proper placement and development, and the lungs are not compressed through contractions as the baby passes through the birth canal. All of these issues are linked to weakening the immune system, as well as evoking stress hormones to be released.

    You can imagine the impact this has on the infant’s alignment.

    Babies born via c-section are at an increased risk of experiencing:

    · Chronic Pain. Stress hormones are released and can cause mental and physical discomfort.

    · Chronic Illness: Obesity, allergies, asthma, and diabetes top the list.

    · Subluxations (neurostructural dysfunction) due to delivery method and position in the womb.

    · Improper Microbiome Balance due to not passing through the birth canal and avoiding the absorbing of the mother’s bacteria meant to create the foundation of proper gut health in the baby.

    Studies show that infants are affected for at least the first two year of life after being born by c-section. The research points to these problems continuing throughout childhood and into adulthood as well, but more time is needed to continue the studies.

    Chiropractic care can eliminate the subluxations that cause the above-mentioned problems. Most women who choose chiropractic care do so because it is not invasive, there are no medications needed, and it is a safe and effective option for healing both mother and her baby. A highly-qualified family chiropractor can work wonders.

    References:

    https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/delivery.htm

    http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h2410

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1046/j.1523-536X.2001.00101.x/full

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-7610.2008.01963.x/full

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.0730-7659.2004.0270.x/full

    http://www.earlyhumandevelopment.com/article/S0378-3782(10)00006-X/abstract

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199810083391502#t=article

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  • Managing Gestational Diabetes Naturally

    8 October 2016
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    Once you have learned that you have gestational diabetes, it is up to you to handle your blood sugar levels.  The American Diabetes Association states that there is no known cure for gestational diabetes, but that treating the condition is done in two ways: Diet and Exercise.

    Even if you are required to monitor your glucose levels daily and administer insulin shots, you will still be asked to change your diet and increase your exercise level. (Always ask to alter your lifestyle and retest before accepting insulin shots.)

    As a chiropractor, I have had the opportunity to discuss this topic in length with many clients. I’m going to break down my gestational diabetes diet and exercise recommendations into easy to manage ideas that you can incorporate into your daily life without feeling deprived, and at the same time lower your chances of having a c-section. Remember to consult your midwife or doctor before altering your lifestyle drastically.

     

    Diet

    The Standard American Diet (SAD) does not meet our nutritional needs.  6-11 servings of breads and grains per day? Are you kidding? That’s a diabetic’s nightmare.  It’s easy to see just why so many people are experiencing conditions such as gestational diabetes.  We are addicted to sugar and other foods that break down into sugar.  We cannot let go of dairy or pesticide-sprayed gluten and wheat.  We can’t put down the GMO-filled, processed products.  But we are suffering.  Not only are we suffering, but our children are too – even in utero.

    You do not have to wait until the diagnosis has been handed to you before you change your diet.  Ideally, you should alter and follow a healthier diet and lifestyle before you are pregnant, or at least once pregnancy is confirmed.  But, if you are now wondering how to help manage your condition, then it is definitely time to reevaluate your diet:

    DROP ALL PROCESSED FOODS.   If it comes in a box or bag, drop it.

    Stay away from sugar.

    Eat every 2-3 hours – including a midnight snack. It is recommended to eat small meals every 2-3 hours so your body becomes used to regularly processing and absorbing nutrients, which helps to prevent the highs and lows of blood sugar levels that characterize diabetes.

    Keep carbohydrates to a minimum and eat them in the middle of the day. Complex carbohydrates break down to more valuable forms of sugar that are harder to digest and have less of an impact on the insulin fluctuations in your body. Eliminating simple carbohydrates could help prevent or treat gestational diabetes.

    Increase your protein.  One of the important functions of protein is to help break down carbohydrates. Eating at least 85-120g of protein a day is essential for optimal pregnancy health and fetal development. If you are eating whole-food carbohydrate, pair it with protein. This will ease the digestive process and regulate your metabolism to only release or utilize the necessary amounts of insulin.

     

    Follow the Brewer’s Pregnancy Diet or other high protein, low carbohydrate/sugar diet.  This will give you a great way to track your food and influence your decisions.

     

    Increase your fiber. Fiber can stimulate the activity of insulin receptors and can also inhibit the release of excess insulin into the bloodstream, helping to balance the levels of insulin and prevent the onset of diabetes.

    Foods to include:

    • Flaxseed (fiber)
    • Brewer’s Yeast (natural chromium)
    • Eggs (Free range, organic if possible – 1-2 each day): Eggs are high in choline, which helps promote baby’s growth and brain development.
    • Whole Fat Yogurt (or greek yogurt): avoid added fruits and sugars
    • Grass Fed Meat (local or organic if possible)
    • Grass Fed Butter
    • Avocados
    • Wild Caught Fish (salmon especially): high in omega-3’s
    • Tomatoes: The main antioxidant in tomatoes is Lycopene, which has been linked to the reduction of preeclampsia.
    • Sweet Potatoes: Full of antioxidants, vitamins A, C and B6, folate and fiber
    • Dark, Leafy Greens: Full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Spinach is also a great source of non-dairy calcium and fiber.
    • Beans: Full of fiber, protein, folate, iron, calcium and zinc.
    • Nuts
    • Berries
    • Apples (Pair with a protein like peanut butter)
    • Citrus Fruits
    • Pears
    • Broccoli
    • Cabbage
    • Mushrooms
    • Peppers
    • Onions
    • Green Beans
    • Olives
    • Lentils
    • Oats
    • Quinoa
    • Okra
    • Carrots
    • Chia Seeds
    • Fats/Oils: animal fats, coconut oil, olive oil, olives, avocados, fish oils, etc. should be high quality.

     

    Note that some fruit and vegetables effect blood sugar levels more than others.  For example, the following should be eaten with protein:

    • Ripe Bananas
    • Melon
    • Pineapple

    Foods to Avoid:

    • White Foods –  White potatoes, white rice, white bread, white pasta.
    • Candy, Cookies, Cakes – Sweets in general.
    • Processed Products: Processed, packaged, and most restaurant food quality is impossible to predict.

     

    Supplements to Consider: (Again, talk to your doctor before adding or altering your diet or supplements.)

    • Vitamin D
    • Vitamin C
    • Chromium – it is used up whenever sugar or flour is digested.  It naturally runs low in the third trimester, but an unhealthy diet completely depletes it.  (Some people have seen drastic results in their glucose numbers with two weeks of supplementing with chromium.)
    • Inositol- studies show improved insulin sensitivity and decreased glucose levels with the use of inositol while pregnant.
    • Dandelion Herb
    • Alfalfa
    • Kelp
    • Astragalus – Research shows that astragalus (along with traditional treatments for gestational diabetes) is linked to significantly better blood sugar control and milder symptoms of gestational diabetes.

     

    Exercise

    One hour of exercise each day, even broken into two 30 minute sessions is enough to help raise the heartrate for the body to manage weight gain, prevent or manage gestational diabetes, and help maintain a healthy pregnancy overall.  While walking technically is exercise, you need to make sure that it is more than a leisurely stroll.  The body doesn’t truly recognize your normal walking pace as needing an increased heartrate.

    Great ways to exercise while pregnant:

    • Continue your normal exercise routine, if you have been active.
    • Enroll in prenatal classes, such as bootcamps, yoga, aerobics, or basic prenatal fitness.
    • Walk farther and quicker than your leisurely pace, trying to break a small sweat.
    • Swimming
    • Biking
    • Hiking
    • Elliptical or other stationary equipment
    • Strength Training with or without weights

    It is also worth northing that Berberine has been shown to regulate glucose and lipid metabolism in vitro.

     

    Resources
    http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/gestational/how-to-treat-gestational.html

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2410097/

    http://gestationaldiabetesrecipes.com/eating-well/

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/05/27/insanity–babies-given-antiobesity-drugs-in-the-womb.aspx

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/11/02/top-pregnancy-foods.aspx

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27281802

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25332324

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21610860

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  • Studies Prove 70% improvement of Asthma with chiropractic alignments!! So, why aren’t more children under chiropractic care?

    26 March 2015
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    By Dr. Brenda Fairchild

    I hear all the time in the office from parents that their doctor has told them that there is not much that he or she can do about their child’s asthma.  Conventional pediatricians suggest that the child may outgrow it, and in the meantime prescribe steroid treatments and/or inhalers for acute symptoms.  Parents often feel like they have tried everything.  Inhalers, steroids, and all different types of medications and nothing has helped. They are sick and tired of hearing their child struggle to breathe.  They are sick and tired of missing work and for their kids missing school … according to the American Lung Association, “Asthma is one of the leading causes of school absenteeism; in 2008, asthma accounted for an estimated 14.4 million lost school days in children with an asthma attack in the previous year.”  How much school as your child missed?? http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/asthma/resources/facts-and-figures/asthma-children-fact-sheet.html

    Parents come to me, Dr. Brenda Fairchild, because they are frustrated, feel helpless watching their child gasping for air, and feel like they are failing as a parent.  They are tired of their child being one of the 7.1 million children chronically suffering from asthma.  When I first meet a parent and child(ren), I always ask why they are in my office.  Did they hear that chiropractic can help with their child’s condition?  Were they referred by a pediatrician (highly doubtful…but you never know)?  Most parents aren’t always sure why or how they ended up at Pea and the Pod, but they know they need to make a change in their family’s health and NOW!  So, what can a pediatric chiropractor do to help their family?  I am going to give you a best kept secret to help your child’s asthma.  You will be amazed how much better they will feel!

    First and foremost, any child with Asthma, difficulty breathing, or other health condition, will be physically adjusted. This is not an option in care at my office.  And here is why: the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery conducted a study of 3,013 patients with bronchial asthma  published  in 2004 found they were able to “alleviate bronchial asthma and allergies by improvement of neurology causes by chronically narrowed intervertebral foraminae from the 2nd to 4th and 8th  to the 10th thoracic vertebrae…Asthma patients improved by 70%.”  This is jus11016309_10203917234346625_100385389_nt a complex way of saying that professional adjustment of the spine in the right place can alleviate breathing difficulties by 70%.  That’s right!!  A 70% improvement!!!  I don’t think any medicine can claim that much of an improvement.  What this means to YOU and YOUR child, is that misalignments of the spine in the mid-back of your child can be exasperating the asthma.  This is why chiropractic care is SO important for the health of your child!   This is why I will not see children whose parents do not what their children adjusted.  I cannot ignore a 70% improvement of asthma and you should not either.   https://ispub.com/IJOS/2/1/8061

    Another random clinical trial of 36 children with chronic asthma were studied over 3 months with chiropractic care along with medical care. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11514813 Those with chiropractic care had greatly improved quality of life  and decreased asthma severity, while those children under standard medical pulmonary treatments, showed little to no statistical improvement. Please read that sentence again.  Chiropractic care along with medical care improved symptoms, while medical care alone did not!

    Another study by the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research of 81 asthmatic children reported an improvement in 90.1% after being under chiropractic care for 60 days, ages ranged from 1-17 years of age. The number of asthma “attacks” decreased by an average of 44.9%, and 30.9% decreased their medication by 66.5%. The authors concluded that “Chiropractic care, for correction of vertebral subluxation, is a safe, non-pharmaceutical health care approach which may also be associated with significant decreases in asthma related impairment as well as a decreased incidence of asthmatic `attacks.’”

    http://vertebralsubluxation.sharepoint.com/Pages/1497_0042_impairment.aspx

    This is why, before you change anything, your child should be being seen by a pediatric chiropractor ASAP.  But it just doesn’t stop at chiropractic care, you have to look at diet and make changes, and possibly add supplements.  In my office, I generally order blood work on my clients as it can help to reveal the big picture.  Is your child also allergic to milk or gluten?  I like to start with removing dairy from the diet first, as it is the a more common intolerance, and easier to remove from the diet than gluten.  In addition, dairy products are implicated in excess mucus formation.  How much added sugar is your child consuming?  Is your child vitamin D deficient??  Many children are, especially in the winter months, and supplementation can help breathing (and overall health and immunity) improve significantly.  Are there pets in your house?  How often do you clean your house?  What kind of cleaners are you using?  What other medications or supplements are your children taking?  These are all questions you should be asking yourself.  Taking control of your child’s health is important and I know from the conversations in my office that many doctors are not addressing these questions.  At Pea and the Pod Chiropractic we will help guide you and your family, and help you figure out the best way to heal your child.  There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for children.  Individuals need individual care and we will be your partner in health!

    Call Pea and the Pod Chiropractic today to make the change! 302.368.0800 And don’t forget, Dr. Brenda is specialized in Pediatric Chiropractic Care!

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