by Dr. Doug Lukinuk, DC
It was only 3 months into my chiropractic career that young Victoria (Tory) came to my office.
Tory was 6 months old and her mother brought her to see me because Tory had not slept for more than an hour at a time without crying inconsolably since she was born.
Mom sat in my office and filled me in on the situation, all the while little Tory was crying her lungs out so loudly she was gasping between breaths. If you are a parent you immediately know the difference between a cry that says “I want your attention”, and one that is true pain. Unfortunately this was the latter.
Sleepless days, sleepless nights
I remember clearly and most noticeably that poor Mom had deep dark bags under her eyes from lack of sleep. It was obvious that she was under constant stress as tears poured out when we talked about Tory crying hour after hour, day after day, never sleeping more than an hour at a time.
When Tory’s Mom went to her medical doctor the only “solution” was to give mom antidepressants. Now to me that borders on malpractice, as that has nothing to do with the root cause of the problem, and just numbs mom up at best.
Mom handed me Tory and she immediately arched her back and squirmed which is often a tell tale sign of something misaligned in the thoracic part of the spine. Unable to communicate the problem, the poor child cried and wailed inconsolably.
A leap of faith?
After the exam I confirmed a vertebral subluxation–a misaligned vertebra–in little Tory’s spine and I believed adjusting her might help. I told her that I had pediatric training in school and that although I had not adjusted a lot of children yet, it was very safe to adjust her daughter.
So I put little Tory on my table while she was squirming and arching and crying and gave her a thoracic adjustment, which is a precise, quick, but gentle pulse into her mid back.
I heard a loud “pop” which is common in adults, but a lot less common in babies and young children. The sound was so loud and sudden it startled me! Remember, this was in the very early days of my career, and I hadn’t adjusted many children yet.
Within a second from the “pop” Tory stopped moving completely! A look of grave concern fell upon my face as this vulnerable and suffering little infant who was crying and writhing in distress just a moment earlier, was now completely still. I could also see that Mom was now very concerned too, especially since she could see my face, and I looked worried!
I said a quick prayer and cautiously placed my hand on the motionless childs back to find that she was breathing perfectly normally. I sighed with relief and realized little Tory had fallen instantly asleep! Within a second of releasing the pressure on her spine, the nerve flow was restored, and she relaxed into a much needed rest. I told Mom to take her home and that the adjustment had worked much better than I could have expected.
Dad is amazed
A few days later Dad came back with Mom to see for himself, since Tory slept for 4 hours in a row for the first time since she was born! This time Tory was not crying or writhing, just wiggling and a bit fussy and I adjusted her again. No “Pop” this time, just a slight “click” sound and then a big smile. They went home and Tory slept 6 hours for the first time ever! Mom was incredibly relieved, and Dad was completely amazed.
The power of chiropractic
After a few more adjustments with no more crying, normal sleep, and perhaps most importantly no more antidepressants for Mom, and all was well. This was an exceptional response that I can vividly recall in an extreme case of colic in an infant that was resolved by an appropriate chiropractic adjustment. I have since helped many children like Tory and have witnessed many terrific outcomes. For Tory and her Mom however, her chiropractic adjustments made all the difference in the world.
When I think back upon my many memories over the past 20 years, I feel a deep sense of gratitude and privilege to share the healing power of chiropractic; safely giving natural relief from the pain and suffering for so many that have been left without answers from the typical medical approach.