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I’ve been meaning to post a status update for quite a while now. The many inquiries have motivated me to do so!

I have been working with many skilled professionals in support of my own healthcare, and have worked together with them to achieve the care initially started with Dr Zoranovich. Most consistently for the last several years, I had the profound benefit of working with Dr William Haffenreffer – a chiropractor with a background in rolfing who brought his decades of healing experience to the table, and dovetailed it seamlessly with my own guidance about what has worked for me in the past. He also suggested what has turned out to be a perfect term for the time it takes my nervous system to integrate an adjustment: my refractory period. Years ago, it could take 20-30 minutes for my system to calm down after a single adjustment before another level could be adjusted. It would sometimes take a few hours for a single office visit! At this point, my refractory period (nervous system reactivity) is much much less – anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute or two. I also received excellent craniosacral therapy from Dr Emily Miller, a naturopath with pediatric focus in Dover, NH.

Functionally and symptomatically, I have continued to improve dramatically over the last several years. In fact, when I go back and read about all the symptoms I used to have, I realize I’ve forgotten even feeling that terrible! The one thing I still have a bit of is hypersensitivity – especially to loud sounds. That is, when I go to a concert if I wear earplugs then I’m fine but if I forget them then I will get a headache after a few minutes. I used to have a headache 24 hours a day for 5-6 years (before diagnosis) that was about 6-8/10 pain level. In contrast, I now get headaches maybe every few weeks and usually in the range of 1-5/10 level. So much better! When I do have a headache, my nervous system becomes more reactive to all sensory input, and I have a tendency towards nausea.

I’ve lost count now of the many times I’ve “leveled up” – that is, gotten to feeling and functioning MUCH better than before. I even gained 1/2″ in height last year after finally getting release of a very old holding pattern in my lower neck which allowed me to hold my head up straighter than I can remember.

I still get frustrated when I get tired on a hike that my friends perform with ease, or when I can’t stay at a party because I forgot my earplugs. But I continue to remind myself how far I’ve come: there was a time when I couldn’t run more than 5 feet without collapsing with muscle weakness. Last winter, I went cross-country skiing for 2 hours! I’ve taken up barre (the conditioning classes required for ballet – quite challenging for anyone) and in it found a practice where I can exercise and become stronger than ever before.

The key has been knowing and honoring my limits; resting when I need rest, and maintaining regular care with my team. Having just moved to a new city (Portland, Oregon), I’m still piecing together that team. Currently it includes chiropractic, craniosacral therapy, and gentle neurologically-focused rolfing. My daily yoga practice helps tremendously as well.

I look forward to continuing to “level up”. Dr Haffenreffer described healing to me in a way I find quite insightful: as we live, we are spiraling upwards; we will come around and see the same point again, but each time we are a bit higher up. This has been most helpful to me when I get frustrated over feeling an exacerbation of symptoms in response to some stressor; I remember that they are less severe, and I recover more quickly.

This journey has challenged me to grow in so many ways. Because I have experienced and worked through this – quite common yet underdiagnosed – health challenge within the construct of being a doctor myself, I have had the privilege of working with many others with the same condition. Some people have come to me knowing they had CTE, and others I have diagnosed myself. Every one of them has seen incredible improvements in their lives because of the care I was able to provide based on my experiences. I have started teaching seminars to chiropractors so more of us are equipped with the gentle, finessed, specific techniques to care for individuals living with CTE. This approach is the safest, most effective way I know of to improve function and overall quality of life.

If you have any questions, I am always happy to answer them via email at

Yours in health,
Satya Sardonicus, DC, CACCP


I got the strangest phone call today…a father called the office looking to get his kids vaccinated for school, as well as school physicals for an after-school athletic program. My understandably baffled receptionist handed me the phone, not knowing where to begin with this person! I got clarification that he was told his children couldn’t start school on Monday without getting vaccinated, so he was urgently seeking vaccination today. And he somehow called our office…?

I informed him that we do not offer vaccinations, and he asked if I could refer him to an office that does. I explained that I had no particular referral to offer, and that most of the parents in our practice actually do not vaccinate their children. I told him that if he wanted any more information that we could direct him to the National Vaccine Information Center. He then went off on an extended detailing of his experience with being vaccinated as part of his military service, and the negative reactions he experienced, and his strong inclination to never vaccinate his children on philosophical grounds against that chemical approach. He also expressed that he never knew it was even an option to decline vaccination. I assured him that it is within his legal rights to decline vaccines, and his children can still attend public school, and directed him to inquire at the school for details on exemption procedures. He was extremely grateful, and moved on to the subject of school physicals.

I told him I would be happy to conduct a physical exam, and extended the option to actually do a full new patient examination in the possible case that he wanted us to care for his children’s health beyond a simple physical exam. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to discuss a more holistic, supportive approach to his children’s healthcare and excitedly explained his aversion to pharmaceutical interventions as a first approach. I used fever as an example of something that is frequently over-medicated, when it is in fact part of a normal immune response. He enthusiastically said “Yes, exactly!” and went on to explain that he rarely visits the doctor himself. I explained that I agree that medical interventions are appropriate only after less invasive approaches are exhausted, and that it is still important to have a doctor monitoring one’s health to make sure it is functioning at 100%. I explained that we honor the body’s innate capacity for self-healing and self-regulation…when it has everything is needs and nothing getting in the way. I explained that in our office, we support parents in ensuring that their child’s body is balanced and able to function optimally.

He said “Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me! You sound like exactly the kind of doctor I want to take care of my children.”

He enthusiastically scheduled new patient exams for his children this afternoon.

From the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health comes a case study published on March 12, 2012 documenting the resolution of infertility in a woman previously diagnosed with a case of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition in which there is an imbalance of a woman’s female sex hormones. This imbalance can lead to infertility and affects approximately 6.6% of reproductive-aged women.

The authors of the study start by reporting that infertility is a wide-spread problem that affects one in five couples. Of these it is estimated that 60% are due to a female health problem. As a result 9.3 million women seek infertility treatment at some point during their lives. Most of the care sought is medical care.

In this case a 29 year old woman previously diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and infertility sought chiropractic care. The study reports that she had been unable to become pregnant for six months. She had been to a medical practitioner one week earlier but had heard that chiropractic care could be helpful and therefore sought chiropractic care.

A chiropractic examination was performed including a spinal and nerve system analysis. It was determined that subluxations were present in multiple areas of the woman’s spine resulting in nerve system malfunction. A series of specific spinal adjustments were initiated to correct the subluxations.

The study reports that after two months of care the patient was told by her medical doctor that she was pregnant. It was estimated that the woman became pregnant between the second and fifth chiropractic visit. The study reports that the pregnancy was normal and that the woman delivered a healthy 6 pound 7 ounce baby girl after an all natural labor.

In their discussion and conclusion the authors discussed how subluxations could cause infertility by stating, “A subluxation is characterized by a dysfunction of the nervous system that results in widespread physiological changes and altered health status.” The authors continued to discuss the additional benefits in this case by noting, “Following initiation of chiropractic care, the patient not only became pregnant, but also reported improvement in many facets of her life, including improved sleep, better dietary choices, increased water consumption, and an improvement in her ability to exercise.”

Thanks to NYK for this article!

So I’ve had lots of response to the original article I wrote on my experience with CTE, and it’s about time I gave an update! Since last writing, I underwent several months of intensive care with Dr Samuel Zoranovich developing our protocol (the Sardonicus-Zoranovich Method) of treating CTE. For those of you new to the game, CTE stands for Cerebellar Tonsilar Ectopia, also referred to as a Chiari Malformation – it’s a herniation of the lower brain through the bottom of the skull. In silly terms, my brain won’t stay inside my head. But really, symptoms can be debilitating: intractable headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations and severe neck pain – among others. The Sardonicus-Zoranovich Method (hereinafter referred to as SZM) draws upon a base of infant-style chiropractic adjustments, CranioSacral Technique, SacroOccipital Technique and long-axis neuromobilization.

Under Dr Zoranovich’s care, I experienced a tremendous improvement: fewer and less intense headaches, decrease of all symptoms, and more importantly – I experienced an increase in vitality and life force. I was able to return to my daily running practice. I consistently “leveled up” – that is, every few weeks I found myself saying “wow, I never imagined I could feel this good / functional again!” … and a few weeks later, it would happen again. I continued care with my godfather Dr William Haffenreffer, a chiropractor near my home in New Hampshire (where I now practice, having left Dr Z in California). I taught him the protocol, and he now maintains my care (much less intensively than initially required). I still get checked 2-4 times a month: more frequently than someone without this condition, but I don’t mind as it keeps me going strong! Not only don’t I mind, but I credit this work as having saved my quality of life entirely. I am indebted with gratitude to the healers who have helped me on this journey.

Since I was diagnosed with CTE in 2010, and subsequently developed the SZM, I have diagnosed several cases and treated many more. Individuals with CTE have come to my office from near and far, sometimes for periods of intensive care when travelling from other states, to seek respite from this frustrating and debilitating condition.

With these individuals we have found varying levels of success. It very much depends on the individual situation: the extent and severity of the injury, as well as other factors affecting healing. Sometimes in addition to the SZM, emotional traumas embedded in body memory are processed and help to facilitate healing. I do believe I can say this about every single person who has come to me for help with CTE: we have made significant improvements in their quality of life.

I believe that we are all faced with individual challenges based on what life has for us to learn. Learning that I have CTE has been part of a tremendous journey for me, as has the subsequent development of the SZM with Dr Z. I chose not to follow traditional medical protocol for this condition (brain surgery with moderate to poor outcomes, and/or drugs that do next to nothing in the way of palliation). I am grateful for the opportunity this has provided me to learn and grow, and honored to participate in the healing journey of others who wish to learn from my experiences.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with CTE, I am happy to schedule a phone consultation to discuss your options. Visit my office website at

from the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association, by Jeanne Ohm DC

After a recent ICPA E-Newsletter went out discussing the Webster technique, I received an e-mail from Ann Sommers, a midwife in Southern California. Her comments were supportive and enthusiastic about her experiences with Doctors of Chiropractic in her 11 years as a midwife and doula. She always has and continues to recommend chiropractic care as part of her clients’ prenatal care.

About the Technique, she had this to say: “I have never known the Webster Technique not to work in supporting a breech baby to turn except for one case where there was placenta previa. I have, however, known of the external version not to work!”

I have been recommending the Webster Technique for close to 11 years. During that time I have encountered many breeches and have only experienced 3 breech deliveries. One woman did not choose to do the Webster Technique and had her baby by c-section. Another was a last minute client whose doctor said her baby was vertex (not) and refused to do an ultrasound to confirm it. She delivered breech in a hospital. Another client of mine had a baby that was vertex until the last week— her baby did a surprise turn.

In following up with a phone conversation, Ann and I were able to discuss the numerous reasons why chiropractic care in pregnancy allows for safer and easier deliveries for both the mother and baby. Her referrals over the years to Doctors of Chiropractic always left her midwifery clients feeling well taken care of and appreciative of her recommendations.

The Doctors of Chiropractic further supported the midwifery philosophy for natural birthing. Those mutual clients approached their births with a greater sense of confidence and trust in their body’s ability to function normally. This on-going support from both practitioners is an incredible asset to the pregnant mother throughout pregnancy and in birth.

Find practitioners who support the natural process of birth. Make regular chiropractic care a part of your prenatal choices as well. Birth is an amazing experience and how you prepare throughout pregnancy along with who you work with will in fact lead to a more fulfilling birth experience.

Anne Sommers, L.M. has been directly involved in midwifery since 1986, when she began her apprenticeship. In 1996 she completed Seattle Midwifery School’s Challenge Process, and the NARM exam (supervised by the California Medical Board) qualifying her for midwifery licensure. She is the mother of two children, born at home, with the attendance of midwives.

Anne’s philosophy is one of non-interference and informed choice with the natural process of birth. She spends time at her prenatal visits addressing questions and educating her clients on all aspects of birth, and believes that the mother is in control. She can be visited at:

I originally wrote this article for Lifelines, the school paper at Life Chiropractic College West. The original audience was, therefore, my classmates – future chiropractors. I realize that many of you reading this blog are not chiropractors, but I still think the information is valuable for any individual to recognize the possibility of this condition in themselves or a friend. This information is not intended to diagnose or treat anyone, and you should always seek the attention of a licensed healthcare professional – preferably (if this clinical picture sounds relevant to you) a chiropractor who has experience with this condition. Further, I am happy to answer any questions by email at                        – Satya Sardonicus, DC

As chiropractors, our patients will often come in to the office with neck pain and a history of motor vehicle accident with associated whiplash – recent or past. In most cases, management of these individuals will be fairly simple. But there is an increasingly recognized condition that may occur following whiplash injury of which we should be aware. Cerebellar tonsilar ectopia, also known as a Type I Arnold Chiari malformation (when the ectopia is 5mm or more), is a herniation of the cerebellar tonsils through the foramen magnum. It can be congenital or acquired (commonly post-traumatic). The congenital form may be asymptomatic but become symptomatic following trauma – even minor trauma. Onset of symptoms usually occurs between age 25-454. Cerebellar tonsilar ectopia is found in about 5% of the population with no history of trauma, and almost 25% of people who’ve gotten whiplash1.

The white line drawn in signifies the foramen magnum - the inferior border of the skull; the cerebellar tonsil should sit several milimeters above this line.

I share this information with you all as I have recently been diagnosed with a 6 mm cerebellar tonsilar ectopia. I started having symptoms of muscle weakness and headache about 10 years ago, with increasing frequency and severity (as well as more symptoms) since then. It has been particularly difficult in the past several years, and several other diagnoses have been considered before we recognized the etiology of my clinical presentation. So I want to share with all of you a bit about the condition such that you might recognize and diagnose earlier your own patient who may have the same situation.

Symptoms of cerebellar tonsilar ectopia have to do with cerebellar and brainstem compression, compromise of cerebrospinal fluid flow and increased intracranial pressure. They include persistent headache, neck pain, paresthesia, muscle weakness, ataxia, downbeat nystagmus, short term memory loss, dizziness, breathing difficulty, cardiac irregularities, dysphagia, tinnitus and other inner ear conditions, progressive spasticity including fibrillations and fasciculations. The headache is similar to a tension headache, may be described as circumferential compression and/or suboccipital deep tension. I have also experienced stabbing headaches all around my head (most often periorbitally) which feel like a fork being twisted in my skull, with increasing frequency and severity over time. Photopsia (the presence of perceived flashes of light) may also be present and should not be confused with the prodrome of classic migraine headaches. Absence of the gag reflex is the most common physical indicator of lower cranial nerve involvement. Extreme fatigue may be present and related to sleep apnea associated with this condition4. Cerebellar tonsilar ectopia can present with a wide range of symptoms, and should be included in differential diagnosis with fibromyalgia, migraine headache, lyme disease, multiple sclerosis and other similar conditions.

Treatment published in the literature is largely neurosurgical, where the most common surgeries are 1) remove part of the back of the occiput and laminectomy of C1, C2 and maybe C3, or 2) cut of the part of the brain which is herniated. The purpose is to restore CSF flow and decompress the area, preventing the development of a syrinx in the spinal cord. Non-surgical treatment is largely pharmacological and prescribed to alleviate the neuropathic pain (allodynia and hyperalgesia); drugs may include anticonvulsants and opiates, and there is little evidence for their efficacy with this type of pain4. Fernandez et al report some improvement with cerebellar re-education therapies, speech therapy, physical therapies for musculoskeletal function, and even osteopathic craniosacral therapy. They report craniosacral therapy to improve CSF flow and lower intracranial pressure. Personally I have been getting craniosacral therapy almost daily, as well as very light force upper cervical adjustments (similar to adjustment of an infant). It has been about 4 weeks, and it helps some…in the beginning I felt better for an hour or so and now adjustments are holding about 24 hours. I have been advised to give it 6 months of intensive work to see maximal change. As someone who has never had so much as a Tylenol in her life, I am extremely hesitant to undergo neurosurgery. I urge you to work with anyone with this condition conservatively first, with baby adjustments and craniosacral therapy. And write up case studies! The literature is sparse on any treatment other than surgery for this condition, and as chiropractors we may be able to help. I certainly look forward to the coming months, where I hope to find resolution to this condition through chiropractic care.

I want to urge you all to keep this condition in mind when you have a complicated patient, particularly if they are not improving significantly under your care. I have been under chiropractic care since birth, and so I knew there was something affecting my health other than subluxation. If your patients do not respond as you expect, this may be something to consider.

Freeman et al point out that these chronic symptoms “may not be ascribable to psychosocial factors…but rather to organic neurological injury1.” With incidence rates of 25% in whiplash injury cases, we need to pay attention to the possibility of cerebellar tonsilar ectopia in our patients. Further, these symptoms can look like fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, lyme disease and other chronic illnesses. Upright MRI has been shown to be 2.5 times more sensitive for detecting cerebellar tonsilar ectopia, so refer your patients for upright MRI whenever you suspect this condition.

*Author’s note: I have been doing dramatically better since getting the treatment – it’s a new protocol that I and a colleague have been developing (Sam Zoranovich has background in both chiropractic and craniosacral therapy); this is a combination of craniosacral and light force upper cervical adjustments, as well as some therapy for gently releasing adhesions between the spinal cord and it’s protective layer to allow for unencumbered movement of the cord. In the beginning I needed treatment almost daily, but after a month I was down to every other day and after two months, every three days. It has now been 4 months and my headaches are significantly reduced in frequency and intensity, muscle weakness has improved so much that I have taken up running again (which I was unable to do for several months before I was diagnosed and began this treatment 4 months ago), and all of my symptoms in general have improved or disappeared completely. I am much less dizzy, my vision is better, my temperature regulation is much better, I get motion sickness much less often, I have more energy, and it goes on… I am so glad to finally have figured out what was going on and to now be getting better! It is a blessing to see the potential to be completely free of the countless symptoms – seeing the light at the end of the tunnel is a miracle in and of itself. I feel healthier than I have in years! This protocol has literally changed my life.

1 Freeman et al. A case-control study of cerebellar tonsilar ectopia (Chiari) and head/neck trauma (whiplash). Brain Injury July 2010; 24(7-8): 988-994.
2 Reiser MF. Magnetic Resonance Tomography. Springer-Verlag, Berlin Heidelberg. 2008. p 212.
3 Sperling NM et al. Otologic manifestations of Chiari-I malformation. Otology Neurotol 2001; 22:678-681.
4 Fernandez et al. Malformations of the craniocervical junction (chiari type I and syringomyelia: classification, diagnosis and treatment). BMC Musculoskel Dis 17 Dec 2009; 10(Suppl 1): S1.


This is an excellent article that just came out in the ICPA’s publication Pathways – a must read for parents and anyone who supports them 🙂

S. Rosenberg, ICPA

What we cannot see are the millions of different hormonal changes and chemical reactions occurring both in the mother and the developing baby, all of which are controlled and coordinated through the nervous system. Now more than ever, during pregnancy you need a nervous system that responds immediately and accurately to changing requirements in all parts of your body, and therefore you need a healthy spine!

Chiropractic care prior to conception promotes a more regular menstrual cycle and optimal uterine function. It prepares the body to be strong, supple, and as balanced as possible to carry the pregnancy. Restoring proper nerve supply to reproductive organs has helped many couples who thought they were infertile. And adjusting women throughout pregnancy is one of the most rewarding parts of our work, because a healthier pregnancy means an easier labour and delivery, and a better transition for the baby into this life.

A person’s spine is made of 24 moveable bones called vertebrae, plus the sacrum (tailbone), pelvis, and skull. From the brain, nerve impulses travel down the spinal cord, branch out into nerves, and exit between the vertebrae. When the vertebrae become misaligned or unable to move properly a condition called vertebral subluxation, it irritates and interferes with the nerves. The message from the brain is slowed down and the life-energy carried by the nerve is unable to reach the organs and tissues at full potential. A doctor of chiropractic aligns the vertebrae and pelvis through gentle adjustments to the spine, relieving the pressure on the nerves and allowing the full nerve energy to reach the tissues it serves.

As you gain weight, especially in the abdomen, this exerts a downward, forward pull on the lower spine. This extra weight combined with changes in your gait and centre of gravity can set the stage for backache and neck pain. Additionally, as labour approaches, your body secretes a hormone called relaxin, which loosens ligaments. This may exaggerate the effects of an existing spinal or pelvis problem. The positioning of the baby and its movement as well as expansion of the lower part of the ribcage to accommodate your growing baby can also cause discomfort in the ribs and upper portion of the lower back. Additionally, your increasing breast size in preparation for lactation can create upper back subluxations.

According to recent studies, chiropractic care may result in easier pregnancy including increased comfort during the third trimester and delivery and reduced need for analgesics (pain medication). In one study, women receiving chiropractic care through their first pregnancy had 24% reduction in labour times and subjects giving birth for the second or third time reported 39% reduction in shorter labour times. In another study, the need for analgesics was reduced by 50% in the patients who received adjustments. In addition, 84% of women report relief of back pain during pregnancy with chiropractic care. When women receive chiropractic care throughout pregnancy, the sacroiliac joints of the pelvis function better. As a result, there is significantly less likelihood of back labour (contractions and sharp pain felt in the lower back during labour). Chiropractic care has helped new mothers become more comfortable breastfeeding (posture-wise) as well as to produce more milk. Chiropractic care has also been shown to reduce the likelihood of postpartum depression.

As your pregnancy advances, some chiropractic techniques will need to be modified for your comfort. Your chiropractor is aware of this and will make the necessary changes. In particular, special pregnancy pillows and tables with dropaway pelvic pieces are used to accommodate your growing belly. A chiropractor trained in the techniques that address uterine constraint or mal-presentations will check for misalignment of the pelvic bones, misalignment of the sacrum and vertebrae, and spasm of the ligaments that support the uterus and help hold the pelvis together.

Body position during delivery is also critical. Any late second stage labour position that denies postural sacral rotation denies the mother and the baby critical pelvic outlet diameter and moves the tip of the sacrum up to four centimetres into the pelvic outlet. In other words, the popular semi-recumbent position that places the labouring woman on her back onto the apex of the sacrum closes off the vital space needed for the baby to get through the pelvic outlet. This delivery position is the main reason why so many births are traumatic, labour is stalled, the mom becomes fatigued and overwhelmed by pain, so the utilization of epidurals, forceps, episiotomies, vacuum extraction, and caesarean increases. This is why squatting is the preferred position—gravity works to help and the pelvic outlet can open to a greater degree. Squatting during delivery results in decreased use of forceps and a shorter second stage of labour than the semi-recumbent position! Moreover, research has shown that coached pushing in the second stage of labour does not improve the short-term outcome for mothers or babies, except when the baby needs to be keep “baby blues” at bay, regain their energy and lose the weight they gained during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Exercise Tips

Don’t exercise for longer than 30 minutes at a time.

Always include a 10-minute warm-up and a 10-minute cool-down period (in addition to the 30 minutes of exercise).

Pregnant women should not exercise to exhaustion—but being fatigued is okay.

Avoid forced, passive stretches, such as reaching for your toes. Pregnancy hormones make your joints looser, so overstretching—which can cause a muscle injury—is a greater risk during pregnancy. Also, avoid sudden jerking or bouncing movements or quick changes in position.

Limit aerobic activity to the low-impact variety, especially if you weren’t exercising regularly before getting pregnant. Brisk walking, swimming, and riding a stationary bicycle are good choices. Keep it moderate (30 minutes per day), particularly if you weren’t exercising before pregnancy. Ensure weight training is done under proper guidance.

Measure your heart rate at peak activity to be sure you are not exceeding 140 beats per minute.

Avoid overheating: drink plenty of water, and don’t exercise in hot, humid conditions.

Avoid activities that put you at high risk for injury, such as horseback riding or downhill skiing.

Avoid sports in which you could get hit in the abdomen (e.g. softball).

Especially after the third month, avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on your back for an extended period of time since this can reduce your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, cause dizziness, and may reduce blood flow to baby.

Never scuba dive because it can cause dangerous gas bubbles in the baby’s circulatory system.

Before starting any new exercise routine, always check with your health care provider.

Stop exercising immediately and consult your midwife or doctor if any of the following symptoms occur during or after exercise: bleeding, cramping, faintness and/or dizziness, elevated blood pressure, or severe joint pain.

Here’s an easy pelvic tilt exercise to get you started. It will strengthen stomach and back muscles and reduce stress from the growth of your uterus. You may want to make sure you haven’t eaten for an hour or so before doing this exercise for comfort.

  1. Lie flat on your back with your knees bent (this can also be done standing if you are uncomfortable on your back).
  2. If needed, place a small pillow under your neck and/or lower back for support. Make sure you maintain a small curve in your neck to reduce the likelihood of strain.
  3. Pull in abdominal and buttock muscles (this should flatten the lower back). Imagine you are peeling your buttocks and spine up off the floor. Slowly, vertebra-by-vertebra, rise to approximately bra-strap level (as long as there is no pain or tension felt in your neck).
  4. Hold, breathe out, and count to five.
  5. Relax. Inhale. Roll down slowly, and with control, vertebraby- vertebra.
  6. Repeat five times.

Additional Hints to Help Prevent Pregnancy Backache

Stand erect; do not allow your belly to sag.

Change positions often to ease lower back strain.

When lifting, bend your knees and keep your back straight.

Consult your chiropractor for exercises to reduce lower back strain (an easy one to start with is the pelvic tilt shown above).

Your mattress should be supportive and comfortable.

Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees.

Adequate rest is essential.

Keep daily chores manageable. Seek those who can most help you make this experience meaningful. Whether it’s a friend to walk with to the pool, a doula to help with your labour plan, or your mother offering to watch the kids or help clean the kitchen, take advantage of the help around you.

Know your limits. If you are working throughout your pregnancy and/or have other children to care for, try not to overdo it.

Practice good postural habits.

Plan and do regular exercise.

Kegel exercises are a great way to prepare and tone the pelvic floor muscles for delivery and can be done anytime. To do Kegels, contract the muscles around your urethra and vagina— imagine you are trying to prevent yourself from urinating. Hold for several seconds, then release. Repeat sets of ten, several times each day.

Have regular spinal check-ups; they are an important part of preventative health care.

Other Factors to Consider in Maintaining a Healthy Pregnancy

Proper nutrition is essential to maintaining a healthy pregnancy. This includes adequate intake of folic acid, good sources of protein and iron, calcium-rich foods, and lots of fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of pure water to keep well hydrated. Avoid eating too much sugar and sweets including fruit drinks as they can cause you (and the baby) to gain excessive weight.

Research has found that a pregnant woman can help protect the health of her child by avoiding smoking and second-hand smoke alcohol, excessive caffeine (e.g. tea, coffee and cola), unnecessary exposure to x-rays (especially in the first trimester), unnecessary medication (including over-the-counter remedies), and foods with chemical additives, artificial sweeteners, and artificial ingredients.

Regular exercise, good nutrition, and periodic spinal adjustments can make pregnancy the pleasant, exciting experience you want it to be! Pregnancy should be an opportunity to reflect on your family’s plans and dreams— not a time to struggle with pain. Preparing for a new baby is a daunting challenge for even the most organized mothers-to-be. So, during this meaningful time, be proactive: work to prevent backache before it affects your peace of mind or distracts you from focusing on your family’s well being. Chiropractic care is safe and natural, simply removing interference to your body’s own controlling and healing ability.

Pathways Issue 20 CoverThis article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #20.

Have you even thought or spoken those words? Have you ever heard anyone use this as a reason why they would not want to have a chiropractic evaluation? If so, then I would have to say that you are not alone. I have heard this sentiment numerous times. When I hear these words spoken, I have to ask myself, “What is it that they don’t ‘believe’ in?”

Do you ‘believe’ in chiropractic? Well let’s find out. Do you ‘believe’ that your brain’s responsibility is to control and coordinate all of your bodily functions? If you do, then you are in agreement with every physiology text book that has been published. Do you ‘believe’ that your brain sends out information, in the way of brain waves or messages, over the nerve system to control and coordinate every physiological function you perform? Again, if you do then you are in agreement with every medical text book ever written on the subject. Do you ‘believe’ that a disruption of the information flow over the nerve system causes a state of imbalance and threatens your health? If so, you are in agreement with anyone who has ever studied the Central Nervous System. Do you ‘believe’ that removing any obstruction to nerve flow would improve your health and your brain’s ability to control and coordinate all of your bodily functions? If you do then you agree with all the published research on the topic.

So then, what is it that you do not ‘believe’ about chiropractic? See when you really understand the concept behind how chiropractic works, then you realize that you do ‘believe’ in chiropractic. So then why do so many people use the “I don’t believe in chiropractic” excuse? Good question. I can only surmise that people don’t understand what chiropractors do so they just default to the “I don’t believe” stance. In the end, this is quite sad because they do believe in what chiropractors do, they just don’t realize it. This means they may never experience the benefits that chiropractic has to offer because of a misunderstanding. All too many people will continue to use drugs and resort to surgery when that may not even be necessary. It doesn’t have to be that way!

You owe it to yourself to have a chiropractic evaluation and find out whether you are a chiropractic candidate or not. It’s not hard to do, just pick up the phone and call the office. We’ll sit down with you and hear out your concerns. We’ll walk you through the entire process and then we will discuss the results of your tests so that you can understand them. At that point if you are a chiropractic patient you can make an informed decision about whether you receive chiropractic care or not. You owe it to yourself. Your health is too important not to check out chiropractic. Don’t delay one more minute, make an appointment today.

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