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The Healthy Child
by Michael Tereo, D.C.


Brown and agile child, The sun which forms the fruit
And ripens the grain and twists the seaweed
Has made your happy body and your luminous eyes
And given your mouth the smile of water.


They are young, supple and said to be born innocent.
Our children, with their entire lives before them, and our
hopes and dreams to guide them should be given every
chance for a full life.
From birth onward, children are naturally playful and
active. As they become involved with sports, dance, and
athletics, their bodies are subjected to many insults and
injuries which range from bruises to broken bones.
Within this range of injuries, the forces involved can upset
the delicate balance of spinal alignment.
Over the years there has been much controversy over the
best way to treat childhood illnesses and injuries. As
research progresses, an impressive body of work has
evolved which supports alternative treatments. As a
father of four I am continually searching for ways to
ensure optimum health for my children.
One of the problems many parents encounter when
raising an infant is that of earaches, also known as Otitis
Media. As a child I thought they were called ear rakes.
According to published statistics, up to on third of the
childhood population will have six or more episodes of this
disorder before entering school and some Otitis prone
children may have between six and twelve episodes in
one year.
Infection of the middle ear is called Acute Otitis Media. It
is the most common cause of fever in the early years of
life. This condition may be very painful, and after several
bouts of reoccurring infections, permanent damage may
result.
Research shows that the upper respiratory infections,
including Otitis Media, may be caused by improper
drainage of the lymph nodes in the neck. This reduced or
blocked drainage causes the Eustachian tubes (a narrow
passage between the inner ear and throat) to close up
causing a build up of fluid in the inner ear.
The popular method of treatment is prescription of oral
antibiotics, usually amoxicillin. According to research
printed in the December 1991 Journal of the American
Medical Association, amoxicillin is not an effective
treatment for Otitis Media. In fact, after use, occurance of
fluid in the ear was 2 to 6 times greater in the amoxicillin
treated children than those treated with a placebo. Many
parents with children who suffer recurring ear infections
have experienced this research first hand.
By now, you may be asking yourself, "How does the
Eustachian tube become blocked? Under normal
circumstances, the lymph nodes drain the head and neck
by traveling under one of the neck muscles called the
sternocleidomastoid. Regular muscle contraction and
relaxation allow a pumping action which aids this
drainage. Muscle spasm is often the cause of the loss of
drainage.
Now you may be asking yourself, "What causes the
muscles to spasm?" The nervous system controls all
functions of the body and is protected by the skull and
spinal column. The spinal column is comprised of 24
bones called vertebrae. These specialized bones
function as a protective conduit for the spinal cord while
allowing freedom of movement for the body. It is this
purpose of the spinal column that can lead to
misalignment of any of these 24 segments with
consequential nerve root irritation.
When a segment of the spine loses its normal position,
nerve root irritation may occur leading to reflex muscle
spasm. This mechanism can lead to the rigid muscles
seen in a poorly draining lymph node of those infants with
earaches. In other words, spinal misalignment, called a
subluxation, can lead to nerve irritation which can lead to
muscle spasm which decreases the normal pumping
rhythms in the neck, causing improper drainage of the
lymph nodes and Eustachian tubes with subsequent
Acute Otitis Media.
From the birth of a child to daily events, there are many
chances for the vertebrae to become misaligned. Many
birth injuries go un-detected and are evaluated years
later. During the pushing stage of labor, the spine,
particularly the cervical spine, may be injured as the fetus
is compressed and pushed down the birth canal. Infants
delivered with forceps may sustain damage to the skull
and the spine. Brewer and Presser report that the
vertebrae are easily pulled out of alignment by excessive
and forceful extension of the infant's head with forceps.
Coupled with the many falls associated with learning to
walk, potential injuries are all around.
The chiropractic approach to health care is natural, in that
it does not try to stimulate or inhibit normal body function.
Instead, the chiropractor realizes the importance of the
nervous system in relation to disease.
If you have any questions about this article or any other
health issue, please feel free to contact Dr. Tereo at 6287
Jarvis Avenue, Newark, CA 94560, by phone at 510-795-
2700, or by FAX at 795-2845
Harrison DL, Harrison DD: Chiropractic Biophysics. Vol 1 Chiropractic:
Spinal Mechanics and Human Biophysics. 1981.
Peet JB: Chiropractic Pediatric and Reference Manual. 1992.
Burke DC: Spinal Cord Trauma in Children. Paraplegia 8:1-1970
Abraham, Towbin: Latent spinal cord brain stem injury in newborn
infants. 1969.