Lately, I have been noticing that an awful lot of my patients are taking anti-anxiety medications. It’s typical for me to review with my patient all aspects of their health history including any medications they are taking before focusing on the ache, pain or injury that brought them to my door. What has been a big eye opener for me, is that many of these patients taking anti-anxiety meds are children. Did you know that 46% of all Americans (adults and children) rate themselves as highly stressed?
This concerns me greatly, because without healthy children, it is impossible to have a healthy society. As a product of the world we live in today, children now are exposed to more stress than ever before and it is negatively affecting their health. In fact, recently Psychology Today published an article which stated that the average high-school student now has stress levels similar to that of an adult institutionalized psychiatric patient in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
I can only imagine the struggle that many parents go through, in trying to help their children who are exposed to such high levels of stress. In the traditional model, these children are often given a cocktail of powerful medications. This worries me greatly, because the brain continues to myelinate (a crucial part of brain development) heavily until about the age of 26. We simply do not know what future effects will occur as a result of giving these powerful medications to the developing brain and nervous system…not to mention the known side effects of some of these drugs, such as, aggression, deeper depression and suicidal tendencies.
Here is a direct excerpt from a Scientific American article titled ‘Prescriptions on the Rise’:
“Between 2002 and 2009 pediatric prescriptions for atypical antipsychotics increased by 65 percent, from 2.9 million to about 4.8 million. A staggering 90 percent of those prescriptions are off-label, according to a 2012 study published in JAMA Psychiatry, with ADHD and disruptive behavior disorders accounting for about 38 percent of all antipsychotic use in children and teens. The increase may be partly caused by a “lack of alternative resources,” Rubin says, because many doctors consider antipsychotic medication a stopgap or Band-Aid when therapy and other interventions are unavailable.”
The parents I talk to are at a loss – they simply do not know what to do to help their children, except to follow their MD’s recommendation for medication. As a chiropractor, my primary job is to assist the innate wisdom and healing of the human body by correcting misaligned vertebrae that are obstructing the proper flow of communication in the body.
When you do have vertebrae that are misaligned, the body is put into a state of stress and increased anxiety. The care we give to these children is specific, scientific, and extremely gentle. Children are given specific corrections with very light pressure. The goal of the care is not to relieve individual symptoms (though that does happen as a predictable side effect), but to assist the inner wisdom of the body, and restore the entire person to a greater state of ease. Think of clearing or correcting subluxations with a spinal adjustment as a way of turning down the noise and chaos within the body so that the brain and nervous system can focus better.
As a health coach and a practitioner who practices functional medicine, my job is to make sense of the symptoms that my patients exhibit and to work with them to improve hormonal and glucose balance, digestion and detoxification through a healthy diet and specific nutritional support. You see, food can be both life giving and fortifying to the body, or it can be poison, slowly upsetting homeostasis until symptoms occur. Healthy food and lifestyle choices are absolutely necessary to good physical, as well as, mental health. It seems so simple, but when you’re stressed out, it can be hard to make good choices. Having someone to coach you along, hold your hand, and encourage you to make the right choices is in and of itself stress reducing.
Chiropractors as a rule, are especially interested in getting their patients from illness to wellness, and not just to the point of resolving one particular ache or pain. We care about the quality of your life and we are clinically trained to help you attain the level of health and wellness you desire.
If you and your children haven’t been checked by a chiropractor for subluxations, and if you haven’t had a qualified practitioner assess your overall health (beyond a height, weight & blood pressure readings), don’t you think it’s finally time you did? Call today to schedule your consultation (239) 243-8735.