Exercise and Autism

One of the natural treatment options for autism is exercise.  Exercise is important for children and adults with or without a disability and helps promotes a healthy lifestyle. Incorporating physical activity daily can help reduce target behaviors that may arise with change.

Physical activity also helps reduce the chance of being overweight, causing more physical health problems such as cardiovascular diseases or even diabetes.  Being part of a team or working out with others improves their social interaction skills with others and works on improving their attention span.

Individuals with autism may lack flexibility, coordination and/or balance which can make it harder for one to exercise. Lacking any of those abilities makes exercising more important to emphasize on. There is no correct answer to what program an individual with autism should engage in, but it should be surrounded by what they like to do. If they like the water, incorporate opportunities during the week to go to the local gym or community center to swim.

The main goal is to maintain a healthy lifestyle by keeping their body moving and staying physically active to avoid diseases that come with being overweight. For a more specialized exercise program, contact Rachel at Minser Chiropractic Clinic.

Advertisements

Chiropractic and Autism

April is Stress Awareness Month, IBS Awareness Month, Community Service Month and Women’s Health Month.   It is also Autism Awareness Month.  While stress, IBS, women’s health issues are all very important and topics we encounter every day, Autism pulls at my heart.  As any parent who has a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder well tell you, it is very challenging.   Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex set of developmental disabilities.  Every child may experience autism very differently and that is what makes it a “spectrum” disorder.

It is considered a neurobehavioral disorder that includes issues with social interaction, language development and lack of communication skill.  Most have issues with sensitivity to sensory input.  It could be touch, taste hearing or smell.  These individuals may response differently to people or may want to harm themselves.  They may have a motion they like to do repetitively such as rocking or pacing.  They have learning and comprehension issues.  Autism is more common in boys than girls. One in 42 boys is diagnosed with autism according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.   Autism appears to present itself between the ages of 2-3 but can be as early as 18 months.

Possible signs of Autism:  avoids eye contact and wants to be alone, struggles with understanding other’s feelings, nonverbal or language delays, repeats words over and over, gets upset by change, has interests that are very restricted and almost obsessive, has often intense reactions to sound, lights, smell, taste, or textures.

As mentioned earlier, it is considers a neurobehavioral disorder.  The “neuro” part is what chiropractic strives to help in an autistic individual. Preliminary studies indicate that the chiropractic adjustment may influence sensorimotor integration.  We, of course, encourage further research in the influence chiropractic has on their developing nervous systems.  Given the ineffectiveness of a majority of pharmaceutical agents, parents need to know there is help in regards to autism.

Chiropractic looks to the body to identify areas of the nervous system that may not be functioning optimally.  Are the cranials, vertebra, pelvis, sacrum, atlas all moving properly?  Are altered biomechanics of the spine causing more stress on the nervous system than the brain can process?    Majority of autistic children have other complaints such as sleeping issues, GI complaints, allergies and lack of motor control.  These are all issues that should be address. Do they have lingering primitive reflexes?  Do they have posture issues? Do they have a head forward posturing?   Do they have flat feet?  Do they lack nutrition because they will only eat certain foods?  Are these food nutrient packed or processed?   These questions are just the tip of the iceberg when treating an Autistic child/teen or adult.  At Minser Chiropractic Clinic, we strive to make any child’s life easier and embrace each child’s individual needs and gifts.  Isn’t time your child lives up to his or her potential?  Yours for better health….naturally!

 

Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Kids!

Why do millions of parents bring their children to Doctors of Chiropractic every year?  Is it only for when your child is hurting or for highly dramatic health conditions?

Not at all!  More parents are bringing their children to chiropractors for day-to-day health concerns such as colds, sore throats, ear infections, fevers, colic, asthma, tonsillitis, allergies, bed-wetting, infections, pains, falls, stomach-aches, and the hundred and one little and big things children go through as they grow up.

An increase in childhood diseases and illnesses is another reason that families are searching for natural healthcare options, such as chiropractic care, for their children.

Chiropractic care is an effective treatment for children’s health issues that are associated with the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.  Gentle chiropractic care helps to provide a drug-free treatment option to those young individuals to help resolve and prevent a wide range of health problems.too old or young

Recent research by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) found spinal manipulative therapy safe and successful in treating children of all ages.  Chiropractic adjusting procedures are modified to fit a child’s size, weight, and unique spinal condition.  They are both gentle and specific to the child’s developing spinal structures.

Why chiropractic care?

Just look at a life under 18 years of age.  There are acute injuries and traumas that can cause spinal damage.  Are your children involved in sports?  Do these activities cause trauma or repetitive motions that may affect proper biomechanics and cause the body to function less than optimally?  Is birth trauma involved or perhaps a family history of a disease process you would like to prevent?

Parents surveyed by the ICPA reported behavioral improvement for kids who saw a chiropractor, as well as improved sleep and stronger immune systems.  Encouraging good lifelong health habits is one of chiropractic’s best benefits for kids.

Spinal manipulation for children as young as newborn babies is an alternative treatment for discomfort of colic and other digestive disorders as well.  And the list of benefits goes on and on…my children have been treated since minutes after their births and how fortunate they have been to receive the long lasting benefits of chiropractic care.

If it has been over 6 months since your child has been checked, now is the time to ensure their health! Give your chiropractor a call to get them adjusted today!

 

What to do with Scoliosis?

Scoliosis comes from a Greek word that means crookedness. When you have scoliosis, your spine’s straight position begins to curve sideways. It can curve in one spot (C-shaped) or as a double curve (S-shaped). The most common area that scoliosis can develop is in the mid back and lower back.

In most cases, the vertebrae are also rotated. In more than 80% of cases, the cause of scoliotic curvatures is unknown; we call this condition idiopathic scoliosis. In other cases, trauma, neurological disease, tumors, and the like are responsible. Functional scoliosis is often caused by some postural problem, muscle spasm, or leg-length inequality, which can often be addressed. Structural scoliosis does not reduce with postural maneuvers. Either type can be idiopathic or have an underlying cause.

 

picture1What can you do about scoliosis?

There are generally 3 treatment options for scoliosis— careful observation, bracing, and surgery. Careful observation is the most common “treatment,” as most mild scolioses do not progress and cause few, if any, physical problems. This is where chiropractic care can come into play.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation, therapeutic exercise, and electrical muscle stimulation have been advocated in the treatment of scoliosis. Though it may not completely “fix” the scoliosis or correct it, chiropractic care and rehabilitation exercises can help prevent the curvature from getting worse. There are some cases where chiropractic has been able to reduce scoliosis, but no large studies have been conducted. For patients with back pain associated with scoliosis, chiropractic adjustments can help reduce the pain.

A second treatment option is bracing. Bracing is generally reserved for children who have not reached skeletal maturity (the time when the skeleton stops growing), and who have curves between 25 and 45 degrees. Again, chiropractic care can help prevent further development of the curvature and reduce any pain.

The third treatment option is surgery. Surgery is generally used in the few cases where the curves are greater than 45 degrees and progressive, and/or when the scoliosis may affect the function of the heart, lungs, or other vital organs.

If you know of someone suffering from scoliosis, tell them to try chiropractic!

 

Common Questions (and Answers!) about Acupuncture

Let’s start at the origins. Acupuncture has been practiced for hundreds of years, though not all in the same form. During the Stone Age, people used knifes and other sharp objects to relieve pain and disease. Warriors that were hit by arrows during battle noticed areas of relief in different parts of the body.funny_acupuncture

Monks noticed energy moving in specific areas of the body while they were meditating and eventually started recording these findings. Over time, the practice became modified and was researched in depth to bring the modern acupuncture we know and use today.

What does the treatment consist of?

A doctor will go over your health history (if they do not already know it) and assess what your health complaint is and where it’s located. From there, they choose the acupuncture points that will be beneficial for your care (they might ask you to change into shorts or a gown depending on the location). The doctor will use an alcohol pad to disinfect the area and tap the needle in the point.

Wait! Needles!? Yes needles, but acupuncture needles are TINY! They are only .25

 

mm thick, where the average sewing needle is 1 mm thick. There is very little to no pain at all when the doctor taps the needle into the point.acupuncture-needle-size-comparison
So how does acupuncture work? Let’s use a common condition that many people suffer from as an example. Headaches. There are many ways to get rid of a headache, including acupuncture! For example, here are three points that are used when treating headaches:

 

GB 20, Li 4, and Si 13. The letters stand for Gall Bladder, Large Intestine, and Small Intestine channels.

Where the numbers stand for certain points along that channel. Now these channels are used for specific reasons. Gall bladder and small intestine are used because of their location on the body. The large intestine channel is used because Li 4 is the strongest point for a condition that involves the upper body. Depending on the type of headache, other points may be used. If the headache is considered a “pounding headache” then the liver channel might be used because that channel helps control blood flow.

Treatment by acupuncture

Can pregnant women use acupuncture? YES! Acupuncture is a great natural treatment method for pregnancy pain and is safe for both mother and baby. Acupuncture can be used to help with pain and nausea associated with pregnancy. It can also be used to help with infertility issues.

 

What about children? There isn’t a specific age that is “too young” for acupuncture. If a child can sit still for 15-20 minutes then a doctor can perform acupuncture on them. Acupuncture is a helpful treatment for anxiety, depression, headaches, stomach pain or reflux, ADHD/ADD, and more.

Acupuncture is used for many different conditions like sinus allergies, depression, infertility, constipation, pain management, musculoskeletal disorders and more! It is a safe and natural way of treating health issues and goes hand in hand with chiropractic care!

Want to learn more about Acupuncture? Head to our website or read more in our blog!

9 Ways to Get Your Kid to Eat Veggies

tomatoes-and-carrots-picjumbo-comSome children devour vegetables like it’s candy, but what can you do if your kids refuse to eat the green stuff on their plate?

Rather than forcing your kids to eat veggies, try preparing them in a way where they’ll enjoy vegetables, or not know it! We (along with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) have some tips to try to get your kids to enjoy eating veggies.

  1. Grow a vegetable garden! Growing a garden gives your kids a connection with their food. It also allows you and them to spend some family time outside.
  2. Mince or puree them up in a food processor. Puree veggies to give to babies or hide veggies in pizza, pasta sauce, soup, or even mac and cheese!
  3. Bake them! Make zucchini or broccoli cheese muffins for breakfast.
  4. Hide them in meat! Mix pureed or minced veggies with the meat, (like turkey!) then mold them into burgers or meatloaf.
  5. Put them into smoothies! When making their favorite strawberry banana smoothie, add a little spinach or kale to the mix.
  6. Let them help make meals and snacks. Show them the fun of cooking and preparing meals. Let them pick out what veggies to eat at dinner tonight.
  7. mom-child-cookingExperiment with dips! If kids don’t like plain veggies, offer something to go with it. Hummus, veggie dip, ranch dressing, and salsa work great with all kinds of veggies!
  8. Cut back on the junk food! If there are less chips and cookies around to snack on, kids will be forced to choose alternatives like fruits and veggies!
  9. Try new recipes! Preparing veggies in a new dish is a great way to spice up foods and try new things! Or even make the veggies the dish, like a bowl perhaps.

These are only a few ideas on how to get your kids to eat veggies. It can be difficult at times, but know that vegetables are an important part of a child’s (and adults) diet! Comment if you have any ideas that we missed!

 

 

The Young Athlete

In today’s age of health and fitness, more and more kids are involved in sporting activities. Although being part of a football, soccer, dance, or Little league team is an important rite of passage for many children, parents and their children could be overlooking the importance of proper nutrition and body-conditioning for preventing injuries on and off the playing field.

Young athletes today often think they are invincible. The following tips can help ensure your child does not miss a step when it comes to proper fitness, stretching, training, and rest that the body needs to engage in sporting activities.

Encourage your child to:

  • Wear the proper equipment. Certain contact sports, such as football and hockey, can be dangerous if the equipment is not properly fitted. Make sure all equipment, including helmets, pads, and shoes fit your child or adolescent.
  • Eat healthy meals. Make sure your young athlete is eating a well-balanced diet and does not skip meals. Avoid high fat foods, such as candy bars and fast food. At home, provide fruit rather than cookies and vegetables rather than potato chips.  Make sure meals are high in protein to help with muscle breakdown.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Certain sports, such as gymnastics, wrestling, and figure skating may require your athlete to follow strict dietary rules. Be sure your child does not feel pressured into being too thin and that he/she understands that proper nutrition and caloric intake is needed for optimal performance and endurance.
  • Drink water. Hydration is a key element to optimal fitness. Teenage athletes should drink at least eight 8-oz glasses of water a day.
  • Avoid sugar-loaded, caffeinated, and carbonated drinks. Sports drinks are a good source of replenishment for those kids engaged in long duration sports, such as track and field.Teenagers_playing_Sports
  • Follow a warm-up routine. Be sure your child or his/her coach includes a warm-up and stretching session before every practice, game, or meet.  I’m always amazed at how many athletes we treat that tell me they never warm up!  A slow jog, jumping rope, and/or lifting small weights reduces the risk of torn or ripped muscles. Flexibility is key when pushing to score that extra goal or make that critical play.
  • Take vitamins daily. A multivitamin and magnesium are good choices for the young athlete. Young athletes use their bodies in an incredible way and if nutrients aren’t properly replenished you can be prone to muscle injuries.
  • Avoid trendy supplements. Kids under the age of 18 should avoid the use of performance-enhancing supplements, such as creatine. Instead, they should ask their coach or trainer to include weekly weight training and body-conditioning sessions in their workout.
  • Get plenty of rest. Eight hours of sleep is ideal for the young athlete. Lack of sleep and rest can decrease performance. Sluggishness, irritability, and loss of interest could indicate that your child is fatigued.

Chiropractic Care Can Help

Doctors of chiropractic are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system and can provide advice on sports training, nutrition, and injury prevention to young athletes.  When an athlete sustains an injury, a doctor of chiropractic can help speed recovery and instruct the young athlete on how to avoid a repeat injury.

Doctors of chiropractic are also certified to perform school spots physicals.  If you have questions about your young athlete and how to help them perform better or stay injury free, talk to one of the doctors at Minser Chiropractic today!