I was recently on a Mom forum where a distraught mother complained about her two-year-old’s chronic ear infections. She was tortured over the notion of giving her daughter yet another antibiotic which seemed to do nothing but guarantee a return of the ear infection. This Mom’s concerns weren’t unfounded. For decades, the evidence-based research about antibiotics has shown that not only are they ineffective at treating ear infections, but they will actually lead to repeated ear infections in the future. In 2004 the American Academy of Pediatrics began its “watch and wait” approach to treating ear infections with antibiotics. I was thrilled to read in the comments, under this mother’s post, that many other mothers were suggesting chiropractic care citing their positive experiences. One Mom reported “My children used to be on antibiotics more than they were off them due to ear infections, sinus infections, strep throat etc. Once we began chiropractic care we said goodbye to all that drama.” Chiropractors will tell you that they don’t treat ear infections. So how is it that so many parents report that their children under chiropractic care no longer suffer from ear infections? Among many pediatricians who seek safer options for children, well renowned Dr. Sears recently said that he encourages chiropractic care to avoid the onset of ear infections. Why? Because misalignment of the spinal bones can cause undue pulling on the child’s neck muscles creating tension to their eustachian tubes. The subsequent dysfunction of these tubes to drain lymphatic fluid causes an increased risk of infection. The chiropractic adjustment aims to reduce the tension of misalignments all throughout the body--restoring normal physiology. In an article in Pathways to Family Wellness Magazine, “Chiropractic and Ear Infections: What We Offer Makes a Difference, the author explains, “The purpose of chiropractic care is not the treatment of conditions or diseases; rather, it is the restoration of normal body function. Chiropractors work with the nervous system via gentle spinal adjustments to reduce stress related interferences to the nervous system thereby enhancing overall body function. All systems of the body— muscular, glandular, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, eliminatory, hormonal and immunological—depend on the optimal functioning of the nervous system. With chiropractic, we focus on improving the nervous system to enhance all the body’s systems.” Chiropractic adjustments do not treat the symptom or infection. They do not suppress or mask the symptom, but instead they allow the body to regain its natural state of function and health. Infections indicate an overloaded immune system. The best course of action is to support the body in regaining its balanced immune system. Treating the ear infection with antibiotics causes an additional overload to the immune system and can actually create greater havoc, leading to the susceptibility of repeated infections. The science of physiology has made clear that the body is an intricate ecosystem. A vigorous disruption to any of the body’s systems cannot support long-lasting health, nor does it honor the balance of health within. Chiropractic care is all about the restoration of normal physiological balance. With this balance a child’s immune system will function more efficiently. While you follow the evidence based recommendations to “watch and wait” follow the scientific recommendations set by normal physiology and support your child’s immunity with safe, gentle and effective chiropractic adjustments.
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