Chiropractic care has been one of the best practices in my holistic toolkit for as long as I can remember since childhood! I have been going consistently this second pregnancy and even take our sweet, little daughter often—the benefits are quickly visible not just physically but also emotionally and mentally!
I wanted to invite the experts and friends I have grown to respect, Dr Tom Williams and his darling wife Lauren, to share what exactly chiropractic care is and why you may benefit!
You are about to learn SO much and be encouraged!
The Benefits of Consistent Chiropractic Care
Q // Briefly introduce yourselves, as the dynamic duo!
We are Lauren and Dr. Tom Williams, owners of Roots Family Chiropractic in Chicago, fellow parents and advocates. We have two little ones, Oliver (3.5) and Evie (4 months) which makes running a family-business even that much more bright. In fact, we actually brought Oliver to work with us when he was a newborn and were featured in national news for baby-wearing him while providing care!
Our mission at Roots, and as a family, is to inspire families to view health differently. We full-heartedly believe that children are resilient rock stars who deserve to live healthy, happy lives and that women should feel empowered throughout pregnancy and the birth they desire. Our practice is 50% pediatrics and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We run an office that is sometimes messy, loud and occasionally we even bring our kids—it’s real and it’s relatable.
We are a family that loves the outdoors, geocaching, a good coffee shop (order: cold brew for Tom and vanilla latte for Lauren), taco nights and sharing about our life openly as holistic parenting!
Q // What are some of the benefits of consistent chiropractic care?
You may have gone to the chiropractor because of a specific chief complaint, but then realized other things were changing. People are often surprised to experience side benefits associated with chiropractic care. Some of these benefits may include better sleep, improved digestion, more regular bowel movements, greater concentration and even sustained energy throughout the day.
That isn’t a fluke. When your nervous system is able to clearly communicate and be truly connected with the rest of your body, amazing things can happen over time!
Q // How is chiropractic care a holistic, preventative care approach to health?
Now more than ever we are becoming aware of the importance for preventative health strategies. Taking steps towards health BEFORE issues arise is so incredibly important. We have all heard emphasis placed on eating well, supplementation, exercising regularly and prioritizing self-care. These are all great wellness tools, but we would argue that chiropractic care should also be on the forefront of that list.
Studies have shown that individuals under consistent chiropractic care have improved health outcomes, less bouts of sickness with quicker recovery and greater vitality overall. Research from a 7-year study also showed that chiropractic care can be linked to 60% less hospital admissions, 59% less days in the hospital, 62% less outpatient surgeries and 85% less pharmaceutical costs. That’s pretty incredible!
Q // Chiropractic care truly addresses the central nervous system and in turn our stress response. Why is this so important and how can a patient insure their provider is focusing on this aspect?
Unfortunately many of us are living with nervous systems that are unable to adapt as efficiently as we would like resulting in ailments, anxiety, poor focus, pain and other conditions. In an optimal situation, our brain sends communication down our spinal cord and out through our nerves to every cell, organ and tissue in our body. But somewhere along the line this communication can get blocked, rerouted and slowed.
Interference to your nervous system, or what we call subluxations, can occur from three different stressors that we often experience on a daily basis – physical stress (traumas), chemical stress (toxins), and emotional stress (thoughts).
Most people don’t realize that not all chiropractors follow a musculoskeletal model. Instead, many chiropractors practice much differently and focus on detecting and correcting stress which positively impacts nervous system function.
When your body is able to function optimally, structure often falls into place and healing occurs more efficiently and effectively. But healing takes time and resolution of chief complaints usually doesn’t happen overnight. And we don’t expect them to. In our office we use the analogy of peeling back an onion. There are layers to your healing, and we can’t expect an “Amazon Prime” result if we wish for true, lasting healing to take place.
Q // Weekly adjustments have helped me SO much during my second pregnancy! How specifically can consistent chiropractic care help during pregnancy?
Just like training for a marathon, preparation for birth takes time, preparation and a supportive team. Most women don’t think to see a chiropractor until the very end of pregnancy; however here are some examples of why seeing a chiropractor consistently throughout your entire pregnancy is beneficial:
- Reduced pain and tension
- More balanced hormones leading to decreased nausea, mood swings, etc
- Less perceived stress (greater tendency towards a parasympathetic state – rest mode)
- Greater energy levels, less fatigue
- Improved immune function
- Decreased constipation, reduced bouts of reflux
- Increased confidence towards birth
- Shorter labor times
- Less need for intervention during birth
- Improved postpartum recovery and milk production
It is important to note that when searching for a prenatal chiropractor, Webster Technique certification is important. This means that the chiropractor is trained in a specific technique used to help facilitate optimal pelvic and sacral alignment for the expectant mother. This allows for decreased tension on the uterus, and provides a greater likelihood for optimal fetal positioning for the baby. This is why many expectant mothers seek out Webster certified chiropractors when experiencing breech positioning.
Q // How can adjustments be helpful for newborn babies and children too? How is chiropractic care a gentle approach for their little bodies?
Just like adults, kiddos also experience stress through chemical, physical, and emotional means. However, they may express it in different ways. For example, anxiety might be expressed through potty issues or belly aches, reaction to chemical stressors may be expressed through headaches, trouble concentrating or rashes, etc.
The first time a child experiences stress is often in utero due to improper positioning and again through the birth process. According to a well-known research study completed by Viola Frymann, DO, 9 out of 10 infants suffer from some sort of birth trauma that includes strain in the neck and cranial areas. This is why it is so important to see a chiropractor after birth!
Both of our babies were adjusted within 20 minutes after birth, and we had unmedicated home births. But since we know the value of ensuring that their nervous systems are functioning at 100%, it wasn’t a question of if they were getting adjusted… but when. Babies encounter a great deal of physical stress as they pass through the birth canal to enter the world. (More information on chiropractic care post birth can be found here.)
A few additional reasons why parents bring their kiddos (of all ages) to a pediatric-focused chiropractor are:
- To strengthen immune function: reduce incidences of colds, ear infections and other frequent ailments
- To help with colic
- To help asthma and allergies
- To improve posture
- To improve concentration
- Assist with behavioral challenges
- To reduce potty issues (constipation, bedwetting, delayed potty training, etc)
- To assist with sleep issues
In our office we also see many children with sensory processing disorders and varying levels of autism. Parents of these children have often heard that their child has an “overactive” nervous system from other professionals. Chiropractic care is extremely beneficial for “pumping the brakes” and allowing a sense of calm to be communicated throughout the body—leading to less stimming, improved concentration, better sleep and fewer sensory aversions.
Q // I love that you all give back to your community through your work and with your time. What does this look like in your Chicago based business?
Giving back to our community has been a priority of ours from the start. It’s not enough to simply serve families in our office because that is just one piece of our mission. In order to help build a community focused on healthy, happy families, we must also work towards serving the community at large. One way we do this is through hosting an annual drive to support a local, family-focused organization. The organizations we chose are specific to serving and providing resources to expecting mothers and children in our community. There is something so life-giving about watching our practice members pour into our community through their generosity! We always make it a point to actually bring the donations to the organization ourselves. This allows us to meet the individuals face to face that are leading such wonderful resources.
Q // If someone does not have the resources or access to a chiropractor what are some simple practices you can do at home to help your body?
Although chiropractic care cannot (and should not) be replicated at home, there are many ways to begin reducing stress on your nervous system at home. Some simple practices include reducing toxin exposure through using safer options for cleaners, self-care products materials (sheets, mattresses), water quality, etc. Work towards ensuring your family prioritizes healthy food choices by consuming adequate water intakes, reducing excess sugar, processed foods and cutting out any intolerances you may have. Lastly, we always encourage getting outdoors despite the elements. Being outside has so many benefits for your health including increasing immune function, boosting positive mood and improving sleep quality.
Q // What are a few rituals you all do daily in your home as two working parents to small children that encourage a sense of health and calm?
One ritual we focus on as a family is to prioritize outdoor time each day. Whether this be for 15 minutes or many hours, being outside brings our family so much joy and promotes a great sense of relaxation. Since we live in a big city without our own private outdoor space, some days we drive to a nearby forest preserve to really feel in tune with nature and breathe fresh air.
Thank you SO much for sharing your expertise, passions and brilliance Roots Family Chiropractic!