This was also published as ADD/ADHD & Learning Disorders in Children and Adults
I recently talked with an ob/gyn nurse who stated that many times when they pull an infant out they hear a pop or crack in the baby’s neck. I was horrified. I asked, case “Can’t the mother be in a seated or squatting position?” and she replied that almost all are drugged or have an epidural. She said that babies are regularly pulled out with forceps or by suctioning.
There is only one position worse than being on your back to give birth, and that is hanging upside down. Think about it: Gravity is your friend. A third person in this conversation asked the nurse, “What about c-sections?” The nurse replied that they are just as bad. The surgeons don’t want to leave a large scar and so will squeeze the infant out a tiny hole, pulling and twisting from the head and neck.
Well, you may think that kids heal from this injury, but this is not always so. The upper neck is a delicate and important area. The atlas bone, which supports your head at the top of your spine, does not have bony locks like the rest of the spinal bones and is susceptible to being torqued out of alignment. A misalignment of the atlas affects the postural muscles as well as the communication between the spinal cord and the brain. This, in turn, can interfere with the maturing of the nervous system.
One of the most important ways our nervous systems mature is through the crawling process. Crawling integrates the right and left sides of the brain, while it also integrates the body with the brain. When we don’t crawl, or don’t crawl enough, or don’t crawl properly, the tonic neck reflexes in the nervous system will stay immature our entire lives. An immature nervous system in a growing child or an adult shows itself in several ways. One is a lack of coordination, as in being clumsy or having bad handwriting. It can also be seen in poor posture (especially when sitting), difficulty with athletics, spacing out during classes, and the tendency to become hyper focused on things. A nervous system that has not had a chance to properly mature can also lead to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), which can play havoc with a kid growing up. Difficulty learning and concentrating can cause kids to wonder, “What is wrong with me?” This can lead to poor self worth.
I never crawled as a child. I hated sports and had horrible handwriting. I was never diagnosed with learning disabilities or ADHD, because I got decent grades. However, I was not a normal student. I found that when I took notes, if I looked down to make sure that what I was writing was readable, I lost focus on what was being taught. So I would stare at the teacher and scribble on the notepad without looking to see if I was even in the lines. After I was done, I couldn’t read any of it.
Are we destined to have these challenges all of our lives? What can we do about them?
I have helped kids who were getting C’s and D’s have their grades come up to B’s and A’s by getting the atlas off the spinal cord and then following a program of proper crawling to mature the nervous system. I have helped adults become calmer, clearer, able to multi task and enjoy physical activity more by using the same approach with them.
If you are pregnant, get a midwife, or a doula. Research natural childbirth. Make a birth plan and stick to it.
If you recently had a baby, and you suspect that there was an injury, have your infant checked to see if there is an atlas misalignment.
If you child is having trouble with school, call to get their atlas checked to see if he or she is out of alignment.
If you are an adult with concentration problems, give a call for a free consultation.
Dr. Michael Polsinelli, DC, practices a gentle procedure developed by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA). Not only has he helped children and adults with ADHD, but also people with back and neck pain, headaches and more. He can be reached at 440-943-6411.