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Master Controls

By Aimee Bautista, DC

How chiropractic enhances life by removing obstructions to the nervous system’s communication with the body.

Have you ever considered how you were made? Let’s take a moment to expand on this question: Have you considered how innately as a cell you multiplied, and multiplied to first develop a brain, followed by the spinal cord? How once the brain and spinal cord developed, they sent out buds that became a heart, nerves, limbs, arms, legs, fingers, toes, eyes, ears, nose, mouth and lungs? What would happen if the brain and spinal cord had not developed first?

Here’s the deal: The brain and nervous system govern all other systems of the body and bodily functions. This intelligence is our master control system; it runs how we react and adapt to our environment. It determines how the body grows and develops so that every organ, system and tissue can function while the baby is developing inside the womb.

The science of chiropractic is to locate, analyze and adjust areas of subluxation and achieve optimal nerve system function. These spinal subluxations can impair nerve messages, which results in altered joint motion. In a response to lack of motion, the body sends stress signals to our brain via the hypothalamic-pituitary axis, which then releases cortisol and adrenaline via the sympatho-adrenal system. As chiropractors, we understand that by removing subluxations through an adjustment, we allow the body to increase proprioception. Thus, our bodies increase their awareness of where they are in space, and the adjustment helps balance the impact of the stress response.

To illustrate, let me tell you the story of Sophi, one of my clients. After Sophi’s first pregnancy, she heard that chiropractic may have been able to assist her laboring body’s presentation and reduce the struggle she went through. In an effort to reduce her fear of having another baby with a posterior right presentation, she sought chiropractic care. I had been seeing Sophi at her home throughout her third trimester to optimize pelvic function and ease some of her pregnancy-related aches. After her first adjustment, Sophi noticed what a difference it made while she stood up and walked around. She said it was easier to move.

“We had a pretty rough first few nights with this pumpkin—and by rough, I mean she cried the whole night, poor baby! We couldn’t figure out the issue exactly, but my midwife recommended we call my amazing chiropractor (who was so helpful during my pregnancy) and get Melani adjusted. We were skeptical but we decided to give it a try, because clearly something was up. It was a very gentle adjustment— no cracks or twisting, just light pressure here and there. That night Melani slept beautifully (much more like a normal newborn—probably even better!) and has continued to do so thus far. Anyway, I thought I would share because I’m pretty impressed! Here’s a picture of her being adjusted!” —Sophi

Sophi followed her recommended care in the run-up to her labor and delivery of her second child. She had a successful vaginal home birth after hours of labor, with the guidance of her midwife and a doula. A few days later, Sophi invited me back to her home for an evaluation and adjustment. She had been educated throughout her pregnancy of the vital component of chiropractic to facilitate postpartum healing. She instantly felt relief, and was able to breathe and walk with ease.

She also wanted me to check Melani, her 5-day-old baby, for any subluxations, because she had only slept a total of 1 hour over the previous two nights. Her midwife had mentioned that the baby had an anterior right presentation during labor and delivery. Melani endured some pressure on her body during the attempt to move her into an anterior left position. Sure enough, I found a couple of areas that needed to be adjusted. With specific and gentle chiropractic adjustments, Melani’s body allowed the innate intelligence to flow freely. Once her brain was able to communicate down to the rest of her body, she was able to finally rest and get quality sleep.

As we have already learned, our brain and spinal cord is the master control system that helps a baby develop in the womb…but it does not stop there. After a baby is born, her nervous system continues to control and coordinate the function of every cell, tissue, organ and system in her body for the rest of her life.

Mothers are constantly bombarded by an array of information: Do this, don’t do that, that’s not what my doctor told me, etc. It’s no wonder we feel lost in this world with information being spat at us, bathing us in fear of what not to do. As a female chiropractor who focuses on prenatal, postpartum and pediatrics, I empathize with my mommas who feel a sense of loneliness and confusion. It is no surprise that women are seeing a health crisis trend among their friends and family, with added unnecessary interventions. They see the guilt and feel the emotional spiral that women in their community face. Women are seeking healthier choices for their loved ones and for their own well-being. As women, we need to stand up and say: “No more. I am done. I am in control of my life!”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “There is power in unity and there is power in numbers.” When we gather as a community, we are able to serve each other wisdom and power. At Integrated Birth, an association of maternity and childbirth care providers I cofounded, women are able to seek experts’ advice on an array of women’s health issues, such as infertility, prenatal care, lactation, postpartum concerns, loss and much more. The concept of Integrated Birth is to build community and to aid families in making conscientious lifestyle choices for themselves and their loved ones. It is a place where women feel safe to ask for help and guidance. There are several moments in a woman’s life when doubt creeps in, and all women are welcomed to share in such moments. Families have an opportunity to learn, create connections, and make long-lasting relationships among the community. The kids are free to roam around a safe and fun environment while their parents are seeking care, education and tools for their family’s well-being.

Together, doulas, midwives and Webster-certified chiropractors provide key elements that contribute to reaching the ultimate goal of a healthy baby and momma. Mothers at Integrated Birth understand the value of chiropractic and are building ideal birthing teams that honor their bodies’ abilities to bring life into this world.

We continue to see a health paradigm shift in families: a shift from the medicalized world we are forced to abide by into what true health is meant to be. Chiropractic has shown again and again the importance of a balanced, functional nervous system. From the moment of conception to the very last breath, chiropractic plays a pivotal role in maintaining an abundant life.