I cannot tell this story enough. For us, chiropractic has been the answer to a serious problem.
We were experiencing severe tantrums with Z., one of our two-and-a-half-year-old twins. The pediatrician said he was normal but at the “extreme end of the behavior scale.” As his mother, I wasn’t satisfied with this answer. I felt Z. was uncomfortable in some way or in some kind of pain, and I was desperately searching for answers.
Z.’s tantrums would last up to an hour. They included sobbing, nonsense babbling, throwing and breaking things, and often hurting himself, whether biting himself, pulling his hair, or hitting his own head. He’d throw himself down anywhere, once down a concrete staircase onto a concrete patio, often in the middle of the street, and just lose control. Sometimes he would repeat, “help me, help me, help me.” Almost anything could spark the tantrums, sometimes just a noise or sound he might not like. There could be as many as 5-6 hour-long tantrums a day.
The behavior started when Z. was just over a year old and seemed to be getting progressively worse. His communication skills, which had developed early, were also regressing. Instead of exchanging information in a typical toddler conversation, he often simply repeated the question asked or words said to him. He usually preferred to sit alone rather than have someone sit next to him.
We put him on a special diet that excluded sugar, wheat, dairy and more. We eliminated many cleaning chemicals and perfumes from our home fearing chemical sensitivity. There was some improvement, but not enough to make life with twin two-and-a-half-year-olds and a six-year-old manageable.
The destructive behavior was taking its toll on the entire family.
Fearing that one of us would soon need to be medicated, my husband relented and allowed me to take Z. to the chiropractor. (Although I’ve been under chiropractic care regularly since I was 15, my husband was initially opposed to treatment for children.) My goal was to relieve whatever it was that was causing Z. pain or discomfort so that the tantrums would become more manageable for all of us.
Under steady chiropractic care, we immediately saw improvement in the degree of the tantrums. They initially continued to occur almost as often, but were not as severe. After five weeks of regular visits, the results are nothing short of miraculous.
The tantrums are much more sporadic and last just 5-10 minutes. Z.’s grandparents have commented that you can see that he sometimes makes a conscious effort for control, and often wins the battle. We can often reason him out of a tantrum, and can work with him to “stay calm.” But there’s more.
His communications skills are back to normal for his age. He initiates conversations again, comments reasonably on things, and asks and responds to questions. But perhaps my favorite improvement is the emotional one. He sits with me all the time and will give me all the kisses and hugs I ask for. He says, “I love you, Mommy,” whenever the feeling strikes him. I couldn’t be happier.
Although some people are skeptical that chiropractic was the answer, they say Z. simply outgrew the behavior pattern. I might agree, except that the improvement has been sudden and threefold. His behavior, communication and emotional responses have all improved drastically, and the improvements coincide perfectly with his visits to our chiropractor. I must admit myself the improvements are more than I expected, but all I could have hoped for.
Susan B., freelance writer, wife, mother and chiropractic advocate.
Editor's note: The names that originally appeared in this article have been redacted out of respect for the family's privacy.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #06.