Dr. Sepic has focused on infant and peds care since before she graduated from chiropractic school, and finds it some of the most rewarding parts of her ‘job’.
Parents will often bring babies in with complaints such as Colic, reflux challenges, breastfeeding issues, torticollis, and sometimes even obvious structural distortion, or visible twisting in the child’s body. Many of our referrals come from Naturopaths, Midwives, Lactation Consultants, and even Doulas. Breastfeeding issues can often be related (especially when coming from an LC) to cranial, TMJ or neck problems. These can hinder babies’ ability to turn their heads to engage the nipple, or to latch effectively (hard palate imbalances, or TMJ subluxation or imbalance). These are most often very easy and quick fixes, though sometimes severe cases of torticollis may take several sessions to resolve completely. The treatments are extremely gentle, and often (if not always at some point) involve the babe being in close contact with a parent. Dr. Sepic uses effective, more subtle techniques to adjust the wee ones; there is no aggressive cracking of babies’ necks, rest assured. Though infants are extremely happy and helpful during treatments (see below) if they are awake, if asleep, (almost all newborns) they will sleep through adjustments entirely.
This tends to be a loaded topic for many people, and a source of uncertainty for parents (both those who’ve received traditional chiropractic, and those who’ve not) when looking at options for health care for their children.
This is understandable, as most of us naturally have images of aggressive ‘cracking’ adult adjustments pop into our heads and folk are often horrified at the thought of anyone doing that to their infant or toddler. Ironically, -particularly in this office- that image couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Infants, unless extremely uncomfortable (which is often why they come in) most often sleep through their entire treatments in our office. Even so, we still have much fun showing parents how we can check them for range-of-motion restrictions, without waking or bothering them. Post-treatment, we repeat the ranges of motion and they can see the changes in both the infant’s whole-body tone, and -even more clearly- in their facial expressions, while asleep. It is a blast. As well as being very peaceful. Dr. Sepic always explains what she is going to do before she touches anyone; ensuring parents are feeling involved and well-educated. She welcomes any questions, and we don’t begin treatment until everyone is feeling at ease and ready. That first visit is always essential. The history is fairly in depth, and there is much discussion about the symptoms (if any) We offer a complimentary post-partum baby-check for all babies who’s mothers were seen in-office while pregnant, and while most families take advantage of this service, there is never any pressure.
Often parents just want the child checked for structural birth-trauma, even a small degree, because they understand the long-term benefits (cost and health) of correcting those early. Insurance companies don’t cover this type of preventative care, so these parents pay our very reasonable fee out of pocket, as an investment in their child’s health. We keep the fees low, because we believe very strongly in cost-effective, non-invasive, holistic health care for our kids; we want to keep it accessible to all vermonters, if that is what resonates with them.
Often families will bring their kids in when a) there was a fall or injury, and we do gentle structural corrections, or b) their child is suffering from an immune system onslaught, and they need a boost. Currently, the (considerable) immune-boosting effects of chiropractic treatments are not viewed as reimbursable services, so this is again out-of pocket, but always reasonable. The first case, (structural injury) is usually covered, when the mechanism of injury is reported, symptoms and signs present, and structural distortions apparent to the doctor. This is incredibly effective care, and is very cheap for families AND insurance companies. Usually one, sometimes two, rarely three sessions and a significant injury is completely resolved, and doesn’t go on to become anything chronic.
This symptom pattern is how Dr. Sepic got into specializing in prenatal and pediatric care in the first place. She began to notice the common theme of childhood injuries, in adult patients who presented with chronic complaints, mainly low back pain, headaches, or neck pain. Even if the symptoms didn’t show up until closer to their teens, (or even later, for some occult sacral impact injuries ) the history that linked the exam findings with the cause of the distortion were most often linked to that (or those) childhood injuries. She became so frustrated with the more expensive, time-intensive treatment that was necessary to illicit necessary changes in the adults, that she became educated in how to eliminate those distortions (and thus nervous system stresses) in the very young. In this way, it proves much faster and easier, as their bodies are so much more supple, in-tune and responsive than later in life.
Even MORE fun to work with.
If you have any other questions about pediatric care, please don’t hesitate to call our office, and we’ll be happy to answer them.
The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association is the world’s leading authority on this treatment, so please feel free to peruse their extensive website.
Dr. Sepic has completed all the coursework (years ago) for her diplomate degree through the ICPA (three years of post-doc study), and is working towards completing her research study.