We recently celebrated an important milestone at our house: our 13 month old daughter took her first steps! We’ve been waiting for her to finally get the confidence to do this, after months of being able to pull herself up on the couches and then standing all on her own for the past two weeks. And then, finally, she figured out she could shuffle one leg forward, and then another, and she’s walking!!
For any parent who has had this experience, it’s a joyous event. And, like with most things, I saw an awesome opportunity to talk about Chiropractic!
Her first steps weren’t really steps. She simply figured out that if she shifted her weight enough to one side, she could quickly kick the other leg forward, mostly using the hip flexors. As she gets used to this motion, those muscles will learn this action and she’ll then be able to incorporate other muscles to do other actions, like lifting and bending the knee, and finally using the calf muscles and the ankle and foot.
The act of walking really is a complicated activity, but most of us have been doing it for so long that we don’t even think about it. It’s become a habit for us, something we can do without a lot of conscious control.
It’s like learning to play a song on the piano. You may stumble through it at first, but after enough practice, it becomes much easier to the point where you can quickly play it without any effort. You’re fingers know where to go! It wasn’t that your fingers lacked the strength to do this, just as our daughter’s legs are strong enough to help her walk, but they just didn’t have this coordination yet.
This coordination and control is centered is a very specific part of your brain, called the Cerebellum. It’s responsible for these sorts of “learned movements”. And once it learns something, it’s hard to un-learn it.
If you have been a patient of mine, you’ve no doubt heard me talk about how when there is a subluxation, and if it sticks around in the body for a long enough time, you’re body will develop a new habit based on that improper structure and diminished nervous system activity. Your body will slowly and surely adapt to the “new normal” and this subluxation eventually gains a certain amount of permanency.
Lastly, I have to finish with another parenting story to wrap this all up. We’ve learned, thanks to our 4 year old son, that when your child is doing something they shouldn’t be doing, it simply doesn’t work to say, “Stop doing that”. Instead, you have to say, “Go do something else”. The same is true for your body. We need to restore proper function and motion and get the body to do something better! We need to restore the “old normal”. And, to do this the best way, it takes consistent and regular effort to replace these bad habits with something better.
This is why with most chiropractors you’re going to find that they’ll want to see you fairly frequently at the start and then gradually reduce the number of visits until you’re in Wellness Care, at which time you are basically coming in as infrequently as possible to maintain the work that has been done and keep new subluxations from becoming permanent. This is my approach and the best success stories that I have are those who are committed to letting me help. Timing really is everything!
What time is it?
Is it time for you to get you and your kids checked? Have you been putting it off and letting the car repairs and dental cleanings take precedence over your health and function? Stop it!! Give us a call today or contact us and we’ll schedule a time to get you and your family the care they deserve.
-Dr. David Kolowski DC