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Natural Awakenings Jacksonville-St. Augustine

Good Health Starts with a Healthy Nervous System

Dec 30, 2020 09:31AM ● By Dr. Kristy Harvell
At Health by Design, we often get the questions from inquisitive parents, “Why would an infant need chiropractic care?” In order to answer this question, it is important to understand that chiropractic care is much more than a treatment for neck pain, back pain and headaches, like so many still believe.

Chiropractic care is the care of the nervous system through the spinal column. Yes, it is great at treating pain, but the benefits don’t end there. The widespread benefits of receiving chiropractic care are explained by the effect of a spinal adjustment on the nervous system.

Your nervous system controls every other system in your body. Think of the spinal cord as a highway transmitting signals from your brain to every organ and every cell at the speed of 275 mph. Your body then sends feedback to the brain to let the brain know what adjustments to make in your heart and breathing rate, if you need to digest something, if more energy needs to be produced or hormones need to fluctuate. This is all happening automatically without you even knowing it or needing to know.

Your body is miraculously and intelligently designed. From conception, the nervous system is the first system to start to develop after just seven hours. The rest of the systems can’t develop without the brain and spinal cord.

Dr. Ted Koren, the most widely read chiropractor today, once said, “The journey through the birthing canal is considered one of the most dangerous journeys we will ever take.” What Koren was describing refers to the process of what happens to the infant’s cranial bones and spinal canal in order to be delivered. Did you ever wonder why an infant’s cranial bones are soft? This is part of the divine design. The cranial bones are flexible in order to allow the bones to move and overlap to allow the passage of the skull through the birthing canal. Additionally, the baby’s head and spine make a drastic turn during delivery. This can cause injury and misalignment of the cranial bones and spinal column, as well as the nerve bundle called the brachial plexus in up to 80 percent of infants.

Here are a few signs that your infant should be assessed by a chiropractor:





~Nursing on only one side

~Inability to latch onto breast or painful latching


~Unequal arm mobility or use

Chiropractic adjustments frequently result in immediate quieting, cessation of crying, muscular relaxation and sleepiness. In fact in our office, it is common for babies to fall asleep and have a good bowel movement directly after an adjustment—sometimes before they even get out of the door!

Additional benefits of infant adjusting include higher Apgar scores, increased alertness, successful breastfeeding and latch on both sides, and sleep for longer duration.

Here are some additional times that all children should be assessed:

~After the birth process

~When baby starts to hold head up

~When baby sits up

~When baby starts to crawl

~When baby starts to stand

~When baby starts to walk

What we know is that taking care of the spine and nervous system from birth can be protective against what commonly later become the chronic diseases and health challenges in pediatrics, teens and even adulthood.

Beyond infancy, the ongoing care of your nervous system is equally important. Children that regularly see chiropractors for care are less likely to experience reflux, ear infections, food allergies, issues with digestion or regular infections. They reportedly have less sick care visits to their medical doctors, consume fewer prescription and over-the-counter medications, and have overall improved growth and development scores.

Here are some benefits of pediatric adjusting:

~Better immune system/less infections

~Less bedwetting

~Fewer food allergies

~Less asthma

~Better moods/less discipline or behavioral problems

~Less anxiety

~Higher than average grades and IQ (intelligence quotient)

~Fewer learning disorders, including dyslexia, and less inability to concentrate

~Decreased likelihood of ADD/ADHD (attention-deficit disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder)

~Decreased incidence of autism

~Improved endurance and reaction time in sports

~Fewer antibiotics and other medications

The list goes on and on because taking care of your nervous system takes care of every other system!

Dr. Kristy Harvell is the owner of Health by Design, located at 2002 Southside Service Rd., in Jacksonville. For more information or to make an appointment, call 904-363-3374 or visit