The Ginger Gent
The Gift of Self-Care
“So why are you taking him to the chiropractor, what’s wrong with him?” This was the inquiry that I was being asked as a parent. This was a question I needed to respond to as a holistic practitioner, but at the moment I didn’t. It is hard work being a parent and it is easy to become defensive about the choices you make on their behalf, particularly when they are in support of your most fundamental beliefs and values.
As a parent I know there are things I can do to help my child. I understand how large quantities of sugar, salt and chemicals in processed food can affect them. I have personally experienced how too much screen time with televisions and iPads can make them downright belligerent. We try to counter these elements with routine, proper amounts of sleep, exercise and a healthy diet. These are things that my son needs to learn to live a healthy life. I take The Ginger Menace to the doctor, I take him to the dentist, so why can’t I consider alternative health modalities as a valid addition to this list? It is my opinion that Western and Eastern medicine work best together, particularly where chronic illness is a factor.
Often people treat healthcare as something you seek out when you are sick, but I am an advocate for preventative medicine. Holistic medicine helps you understand your body and the things it might be trying to tell you. It gives you alternative ways to look at your body as a whole as well as the sum of its parts. I am modelling healthy behaviours like meditation, yoga, stress management and bodywork, not just so he sees the validity in them, but so he can acquire tools for healing.They are not just a gift to his present state of well-being, but an investment in his future.
I have gone to different chiropractors for a number of years as well as massage therapists, acupuncturists, reflexologists and energy workers. Chiropractory is the practice of realigning the spine. Each vertebrae corresponds with different areas of the body, and adjusting them into the right position can improve the effects of illness or injury that occur. If an individual is overstimulated/stressed or depressed and lethargic, resetting the spine and nervous system brings them back into homeostasisn and they experience a neurological calmness.
I also agree that working on the spine helps us understand the sensations and emotions experienced with different health issues. I too believe that everything that happens to you leaves an imprint in the body whether it is mental, emotional or physical. Chiropractory and acupuncture are just two ways our body can take the opportunity to heal and release these imprints and emotions.
I always told my clients it is worth it to experiment and try many different types of modalities to find the one that they like best. In speaking to my chiropractor Dr. Farah Hirani of the Body & Spine Chiropractic Wellness Clinic (Winner of the 2015 Patients Choice Award), and the value she has seen in treating her own children, I became interested for mine. We were battling some digestive upset and horrendous allergies all summer. She suggested taking us off dairy, as it creates mucus in the sinus cavities and issues with the digestive tract. Within a week our sinuses improved, and the dark circles around his eyes were alleviated. And yes when you suddenly have a little sour cream on your tacos you feel the difference!
The Menace was wide eyed during his first adjustment watching the doctor doing my treatment. After I was finished he climbed on the table and utterly enjoyed the back massage. The areas of the spine in which I had restricted movement or were out of alignment indicated that there were some digestive issues (T-7 to T-9) and ear, eye, nose and throat issues (C-1 to C-2). Originally I wanted to bring him to a doctor I’d come to know and trust, to tell me if there were any mis-alignments. What I didn’t expect was my son to get so into it! To enjoy it, ask to go back and even to help during my treatments.
After working for a couple of months with treatments every 3 to 4 weeks, she reported that his spine definitely felt nicely fluid and mobile with little to no restrictions. So I guess the answer is, no there was not any major illnesses or injuries present, but he is certainly better for these treatments. Plus he has had a positive first-hand experience with alternative health, and a connection with a doctor that he could go to should a more serious issue arise. So if you are interested in bringing your little person to this queer and child friendly clinic, go on in, get a treatment and see if this modality and practitioner is right for you! And tell her The Ginger Menace sent you!
About the Author
Kelly Wilk is a freelance writer and single mom to a six-year-old, red-headed, Irish, Aries boy who is growing up way too fast. Follow them on PinkPlayMags' parenting blog "The Ginger Gent" (www.pinkplaymags.com). Also, find Kelly on her own website and blog, Brave. Creative. Me at www.kellywilk.ca.