Written by Dr. Adam Coats
Our nervous systems control every function of our bodies, even while we’re sleeping. Every sensation we’ve ever felt, every movement we’ve ever made and every thought we’ve ever had have all been controlled by our nervous systems. The same is true for your child.
These nerve messages traveling through the nervous system can be interrupted or affected due to the stress in our lives; physical stress like falls and concussions, chemical stress from the foods, drugs, and toxins we put in our bodies, and emotional stress from the thoughts we think and our relationships. This results in our bodies not working properly and impaired health and the ability to heal follow. These nervous system interferences directly affect our brains and how the brains of our children develop throughout their childhood and into their adult years.
“Early experiences affect the development of brain architecture, which provides the foundation for all future learning, behavior, and health… adverse experiences early in life can impair brain architecture, with negative effects lasting into adulthood.”2
It’s estimated that 47.9% of children land on their head in their first year of life. A child before the age of three will likely have three major falls, and a child before the age of seven will fall about 2,500 times.1 That’s a lot of physical trauma and stress on the body in a young child. One study found that 15.5% of children had nervous system interferences in the neck region and another 40% had interferences in the pelvic region.1 These physical stressors, along with the emotional and chemical stressors that a child experiences, cause interferences in the nervous system and directly affect how the brain develops. These issues, if left unresolved, can have lasting effects into their adult years. “Toxic stress weakens the architecture of the developing brain, which can lead to lifelong problems in learning, behavior, and physical and mental health.”2
Our brains are plastic, meaning the circuits and connections they make can change. The younger a child is, the easier it is for his or her brain to change in response to the child’s experiences. This is because in the first few years of life, over 1 million new neural connections form every second. After this stage of rapid formation, connections are reduced allowing for brain circuits to become more efficient. This results in an increased amount of effort for our brains to change in response to our experiences.2
With the adjustments we provide in our office, we’re restoring proper motion of the joints of the spine which allows for proper function of the nervous system. We know that 90% of stimulation and nutrition to the brain comes from proper motion of the joints of the spine.3 In a newborn baby or a child, this allows their brain to adapt and change more easily to the stress and experiences in their childhood, which leads to healthy and normal development of the brain.
With the statistics of physical stress mentioned above, let alone chemical and emotional stress, chances are your child likely has some of these underlying nervous system interferences. With regular chiropractic checkups, we can make sure that your child’s brain is functioning and developing optimally, setting them up for the highest chances of success during their childhood and into adulthood.
- Barham-Floreani, J. (2009). Well Adjusted Babies: A chiropractic guide for wholistic parenting from pregnancy through to early childhood. Melbourne, Vic.: Vitality Productions.
- Brain Architecture. https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/brain-architecture/
- Sperry, Roger. Nobel Laureate. 1981