Saturday, May 19, 2012

Baby Walkers: What's Best for the Infant?

Baby Walkers: What's Best for the Infant?

By Claudia Anrig, DC
If you walk into a baby store or attend a baby shower, you're sure to find baby walkers. Approximately 50 percent of infants make use of these man-made, upright vehicles.1 Parents queried on the utility of baby walkers say they're a godsend.
Ideally, infants in baby walkers are happy being upright, and can travel about and be entertained for a number of hours a week. What could be better?

Study Results
Siegel and Burton2 studied 109 infants between the ages of six and 15 months.2 They compared users of baby walkers versus nonusers, and analyzed their motor and mental development. The data concluded that infants who used walkers sat, crawled and walked later than nonusers, and scored lower on the Bayley scales of mental and motor skills than the nonwalker group.

Crouchman studied 66 infants, divided into three groups, according to length of time spent using baby walkers.3 It appeared that there was no difference between all three groups with the onset of sitting or walking. However, infants in the "higher-user" group revealed a significant delay in the onset of prone locomotion compared to the low or nonuser groups. The study suggested that the excessive use of baby walkers by some infants might alter their ability to engage a pathway of normal locomotor development.

Garrett, et al., studied 190 infants, 107 of which used baby walkers.4 The average usage time period was 26 weeks. The study revealed that crawling, standing and walking unassisted occurred later in the baby walker group. They concluded that for every 24 hours of baby walker use, there was an associated delay of 3.3 days of walking unassisted and 3.7 days of delay in standing unassisted.

Another study of a set of six twins revealed apparent adverse electrophysiological changes of six infants using the baby walkers, compared to their nonuser twins.

Engelbert, et al., presented the cases of two infant patients who used walkers instead of walking.6 These two infants were noted to have developed a disharmonic and delayed motor development, contractures of the calf muscles and motor development mimicking spastic diplegia.

Not all studies support that developmental delay will occur when baby walkers are used on infants. One study analyzed 15 pairs of twins, suggesting that the use of baby walkers did not influence the onset of independent walking.7

When comparing studies, there appears to be more evidence to suggest that baby walkers interfere with the natural process of locomotor skills and may be a cause of developmental delay. There is a definite need for more studies, which should include larger group sizes and randomized controlled trials over previous observational or questionnaire-based studies.

Are Baby Walkers Worth the Risk of Injury?
The evidence regarding injuries to infants using baby walkers is mounting and very common. In 1999, in the United States, 8,800 children under the age of 15 months were treated in emergency rooms from baby walker injuries. The most common cause of injuries resulted from falls down stairs, subsequently injuring the head.8

In another study of emergency hospital visits, injuries of infants under the age of one year were recorded. The report concluded that injuries of 8.9 out of 1,000 infants admitted to the emergency room were attributable to baby walkers, and 1.7 of 1,000 of these injuries were of a serious nature.9 It should be further noted that 97 percent of baby walker accidents result in neck and head injuries.

Most injuries may be minor, and include bruises and swelling on the head, forehead, face and cheeks. However, serious injuries from baby walkers include skull fractures; concussion; intracranial hemorrhages; full-thickness burns, cervical spine fracture and death. From 1977 through 1998, there were 34 infant deaths attributed to baby walkers.

Can Parents Safely Use Baby Walkers?
Considering that the majority of baby walker injuries occur in the presence of adult supervision in the same room,1 it would be difficult to think these injuries could be reduced, considering that mom, dad or the infant's caregiver are already present in the room, but are preoccupied. Perhaps ironically, one of the purposes of the baby walker is to entertain the infant and give the adult time to complete a task or have a moment of rest.

Further, the Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) forwarded several reasons as to why the baby walker should not be recommended.8 Walkers do not help an infant to learn how to walk, and can delay normal motor and mental development. The AAP states that the evidence of major and minor injury and death from baby walkers warrants a recommendation to ban the manufacture and sale of the product altogether. And finally, the committee suggests, parents should choose a walker that meets the voluntary standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM F977-96), which require a width larger than 36 inches (that of a doorway) or a braking mechanism designed to stop the walker if one or more wheels drop off the riding surface.

A Chiropractic Point of View
A majority of chiropractors, whose practices focus on the care for the young, have taken a strong stand against the use of baby walkers. First, it is unnatural to be bipedal and weightbearing prior to learning to sit, crawl and stand. The developmental spine needs to go through each milestone in order. To subvert the natural process may have its effects, not only in term of the form of locomotor and mental development of the infant, but also long-term spinal implications (i.e., asymmetry and muscular imbalance).

Chiropractors should take the time in their practices to educate their parents about the risks of the baby walker and any unseen spinal implications.

To download a free patient-friendly newsletter regarding baby walkers, go to
  1. Smith GA, Bowman MJ, Luria JW, Shields BJ. Baby-walker-related injuries continue despite warning labels and public education. Pediatrics 1997;100:E1.
  2. Siegel AC, Burton RV. Effects of baby walkers on motor and mental development in human infants. J Dev Behav Pediatr Oct 1999;20(5):355-61.
  3. Crouchman M. The effects of baby walkers on early locomotor development. Dev Med Child Neurol Dec 1986;28(6):757-61.
  4. Garrett M, et al. Locomotor milestones and baby walkers: cross-sectional study. BMJ June 2002;324:1494.
  5. Kauffman IB, Ridenour M. Influence of an infant walker on onset and quality of walking pattern of locomotion: an electromyographic investigation. Percept Mot Skills Dec 1977;45(3 Pt 2):1323-9.
  6. Engelbert RH, et al. Influence of infant walkers on motor development: mimicking spastic diplegia? Europ J Paediatr Neurol 1999;3(6):273-5.
  7. Ridenour MV. Infant walkers: developmental tool or inherent danger? Percept Mot Skills Dec 1982;55(3 Pt 2):1201-2.
  8. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention. Injuries associated with infant walkers. Pediatrics Sept 2001;108(3):790-92.

Claudia Anrig,DC
Fresno, California

Why should kids be seeing a Chiropractor!

Why should kids be seeing a Chiropractor!
Dr. Jon Wise's Lecture notes from Claudia Anrig, D.C.'s class on Pediatrics. Dr. Anrig is leading authority on Chiropractic Pediatrics and the co-editor of Pediatric Chiropractic textbook.


Intra-Uterine Constraint is one possible way that a fetus may receive unnecessary extrinsic forces that may lead to bone, cartilage, muscle and ligament deformity.
There are four positions of the fetus that can cause biomechanical forces, which may lead to alterations to the spine. These four positions are breech, face, brow and transverse lie.

Dunn, a medical doctor reviewed 6,000 cases of breech babies and found the following occurrences (3):

  • 42% Developed Postural Scoliosis
  • 20-25% Torticollis, Mandibular Asymmetry
  • 50% Hip Dislocation
The breech presentation places the fetus neck in a compromising hyperextension position. The head then may compromise in further hyperextension or hyperflexion

The Face or Brow Presentation presentation compresses the head and neck into a forced unnatural hyperextended position. This may lead to a possible AS occiput subluxation.

The Transverse lie position occurs when the sidewalls of the uterus causes the hyperflexion or hyperextension of the cervical spine. Either position to the cervical spine of the fetus may cause permanent damage.

Routine and regular Prenatal Chiropractic Care may prevent or decrease the possible occurrence of sacral subluxation, which may contribute to inadequate uterine function, pelvic contraction, and baby mal-presentation potentially resulting in a difficult labor for the mother (i.e., dystocia).

Birth Trauma:

Dr. Gutmann, a medical/manual medicine doctor studied 1,000 infants with birth trauma. His study revealed that birth trauma (long lever technique) often caused upper cervical vertebral subluxation.

The study revealed that infants who were adjusted during the study showed improvement with the following disorders – colic, restlessness, fever of unknown origin, seizures, postural scoliosis, etc.

Dr. Gutmann speculated that abnormal nerve function may lead to a lowered immune system in children and may be a contributor to common childhood sickness as seen in ear infections and tonsillitis.

At birth the newborn’s spine (excluding the sacrum) is approximately 20cm. Within 24 months the spine will grow exponentially to approximately 45cm.

Proper spinal development is imperative the first six years of life and thereafter. During this period of significant amount of spinal growth, children should be monitored for detection and correction of vertebral subluxation.

Three Causes of Stress and Damage to the body:
  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Emotional

Chemical Stressors:
70% of infants are breastfed at birth but only 36% will continue to be breastfed by 6 months and less than 18% at 12 months resulting in many children being formula fed.

Formula fed infants have an increased likelihood of infections and are prone to developing allergies later in life (10,11).

Over 6.7 billion gallons of milk are consumed each year. 40% of that or 3.1 billion gallons are consumed by children (12,13).

Typically 20% of children are eating fast food more than three times a week and approximately $150 billion is spent on fast food each year.

Studies are linking this to obesity, insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes as currently more than 9 million children are obese (14,15).

A can of soda contains up to 55mg of caffeine and energy drinks may contain up to 350mg of caffeine.

13% of the average child’s daily calories come from soft drinks and 140 pounds of sugar are consumed per person per year (16-18).

Children will be given 48 doses of 14 vaccines before the age of 6. In the past 25 years, the number of doses of vaccines given children under 6 has more than doubled and their ingredients include but are not limited to the following (19):

  • Mercury & aluminum
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Formaldehyde
  • Ethylene Glycol
  • Latex
  • MSG

Amalgam, or dental fillings, contain 50% mercury, 30% silver and differing amounts of tin, zinc and copper (20).

Most foods on the grocer’s shelf contain:
  • Nitrates and nitrites (including sodium nitrite)
  • Sulfites (including metabisulfites)
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • Benzoic acid (aka sodium benzoate)
  • BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene)
  • BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole)
  • Coloring
  • Coal tar
  • Propylene glycol
  • MSG (monosodium glutamate)
  • Refined or bleached flour (i.e. whitened using chloride oxide)

Over 20 million children ingest 8 to 15 pesticides each day


1 in 8 children will be diagnosed with high anxiety. This can typically be attributed to fractured families, school/internet bullying and failure to succeed.

1/3 of students are being bullied resulting in 160,000 children missing at least one day of school and most children are afraid to tell an adult out of fear that the problem will escalate. In 2008, more than 656,000 young people ages 10 to 24 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained from violence.

In 2009, a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 19.9% of students surveyed reported being bullied and 11.1% reported being in a physical altercation in the year prior. An additional 5% admitted to missing school due to bullying and 5.6% admitted to carrying a weapon for protection in the 30 days prior to the survey.

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Education reported that about 28% of students ages 12-18 reported being bullied at school during the 2009-2010 school year and 6% of students reported being cyber-bullied.

Violence in schools is a continued problem, during the 2009-2010 school year:
  • 33 school-associated violent deaths occurred
  • 85% of all public schools recorded one or more incidents of violence, theft or other crimes on school grounds
  • An estimated 1.9 million crimes occurred translating to 40 crimes per 1000 students
Hyper-parenting was a term coined by Alvin Rosenfeld, PhD to describe a new dangerous trend in child-rearing that includes the following:
  • Parent’s pursuit of perfection and success
  • Over-scheduled lifestyles
  • Early stress and increasing pressure to perform

Critical self-image is common among pre-teen and teenage girls:
  • 50% of 13 to 15-year-old girls believe they are overweight
  • 80% of 13-year-old girls have dieted

85% of those with Anorexia Nervosa developed the disorder in their teens

In the United States the leading cause of death under the age of 25 is accidents.

The leading cause of accidental deaths from the age of one to twenty-five years is automobile related.

Glauser and Cares, two medical researchers discovered that during a collision, a child in a lap belt will elongate (lengthen), jack-knife, and strike the back of the car seat. This is a known cause for pediatric trauma to the spine and spinal cord.

The younger child is at higher risk in an auto injury. Two factors that place the younger child at risk are improper use or lack of car restraints (car seats and seat belts), … and the ratio of a larger head to a smaller child torso. The pediatric spine is particularly vulnerable to automobile trauma.

A child left without any car restraint will most likely receive the severest injury.

It has been equated that an 8kg or approximately 17 pound child is unrestrained in a 30mph collision will accelerate and create the force of 250kg or approximately 800 pounds.

The National Safety Council conducted a study observing 536 infants their first year of life. The study discovered that 255 (47.5%) had fallen head first from a high place.

Message to our parents
  • Prevent these injuries by never allowing an infant to go unattended while on a high surface
  • Infants should have regular chiropractic evaluation

Injuries and the baby walkers: Is it worth the risk?

In 1999, in the United States alone, nearly 9,000 children under the age of 15 months were treated in emergency rooms from baby walker injuries.

The most common cause of injuries resulted from falls down stairs subsequently injuring the head.

In another study of ER hospital visits, injuries of infants under the age of one were recorded. The report concluded that 8.9/1,000 infants admitted to the ER were attributable to baby walkers,

and 1.7/1,000 of these injuries were of a serious nature. It should be noted that 97% of baby walker accidents result in neck and head injuries.

Most injuries may be minor bruises and swelling of the head, forehead, face and cheeks.

Serious injuries from baby walkers include:
  • Skull fracture
  • Concussion
  • Intracranial Hemorrhage
  • Burns
  • Cervical spine fracture
  • Death

From 1997 through 1998 there were 34 infant deaths attributed to the baby walker.

The Committee on Injury and Poison Prevention of the American Academy of Pediatrics forwarded several reasons why baby walkers should not be recommended.
  • Walkers do not help an infant learn how to walk
  • And may delay normal motor & mental development

Further the American Academy of Pediatrics states that evidence of major and minor injury and death from baby walkers warrant a recommendation ban to the manufacture and sale of the product altogether.

The infant and toddler learning to develop their muscular coordination for standing or walking will encounter numerous falls to the sitting position. Balance unfortunately does not exist for the infant, toddler and pre-adolescent.

The home is the primary site for the adventuresome two and three year olds to receive injuries. Falls with immediate noticeable side effects or symptoms are not uncommon for this age group.

Falls, small and large, unilateral (one sided dominance) sports and activities, as well as repetitive and poor postural habits are considered part of a normal life of a child.

It is these normal life occurrences that can cause the minor injuries or strains to the developing spine by causing vertebral subluxation.

The presence of vertebral subluxation of the lack of normal spine movement may interfere with the development of the spine with symmetry (equal balance).

A child developing asymmetry may lead to one of the primary causes to permanent vertebral subluxation with the adult spine.

Under the age of five most falls and traumas occur at home or at a day care facility.

Over 1 million children under the age of 5 visit hospital emergency rooms each year.

More than 88,000 children a year visit the emergency room and, since 1990, 11 deaths have been attributed to trampoline usage.

From the age of 5 to 18 most accidents occur at the school. Sports, physical education classes and unorganized activities play a role in these injuries.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissioner study revealed that almost 250,000 children under the age of 15 were treated for injuries related to playground equipment. Over 200,000 children are seen in emergency rooms each year.

Fifty percent of these injuries resulted in head and cervical trauma.

The most common equipment for childhood injuries are:
  • Swings 87,000
  • Monkey bars 68,000
  • Slides 49,000
  • Seesaws 11,000
  • Other 22,000

Bicycles are another source of childhood trauma. Over 50,000 children a year are treated for head trauma (not wearing a helmet) and cervical trauma.

Other childhood injuries include:
  • Bicycling 297,852
  • Skateboarding 110,462
  • Roller Skating 29,337
  • Inline Skating or Rollerblading 16,479

3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.

Sports injuries are typically attributed to:
Football 368,229
Basketball 308,627
Soccer 140,410
Baseball 120,543
Swimming 43,112
Wrestling 33,535
Gymnastics 26,542
Horseback Riding 24,803
Hockey 21,490
Track and Field 17,410

Recent statistics have shown that over 6,000 students are injured each year due to backpacks.

Sudden neck snapping in extension, flexion, and compression to the head or buttocks from falls can cause spine and/or spinal cord injury.

Activities that are commonly associated with falls that can cause pediatric spinal trauma are skate boarding, trampoline, roller blades, horseback riding, surfing, water slides, or diving in shallow water.

Infants of physical abuse can also sustain injuries to the spine and spinal cord from violent shaking of the head.

If accidents are the leading cause of death and severe injuries to children in most westernized countries, one can only assume that an epidemic number of children have sustained some level of pediatric spinal injury and trauma.

Science Reference/Research to check out 
Graham JM. Smith’s recognizable patterns of human deformation. 2
nd ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co. 1988.

Dunne KB, Claren SK. The origin of prenatal and postnatal deformities. Pediatric Clin North Am 1986; 33: 1277-1297.

Dunn PM. Congenital postural deformities. Br. Med Bull 1976; 32: 71-76

Leventhal HR. Birth injuries of the spinal cord. J of Pediatrics 1960; 56: 447-453.

Byers RK. Spinal cord injuries during Develop Child Neurology 1975; 42: 110.

Towbin A. Latent spinal cord and brain stem injury in newborn infants. Develop Med Child Neurol 1969; 11: 54-68.

Gutmann G. Blocked Atlantal nerve syndrome in infants and small children. ICA Int’l Review Chiro 1990; July/Aug: 37-42.

Lecture Notes. Congenital and developmental spinal biomechanics. Applied Spinal Biomechanical Engineering 1987 Postgraduate Seminar, Manchester, NH 03104.

Heilig D. Osteopathic pediatric care in prevention of structural abnormalities. J of Osteopathic Assoc 1949; 48: 478-481.

Jacobson, Michael PhD,
Liquid Candy, Center for Science in the Public Interest

"How ‘bout them apples – Pesticides in Children’s Food" report by Environmental Working Group, Washington DC, Feb 1999

Environmental Working Group; Pesticides in Produce, 10.4.06

Healthy Child Healthy World, Checklist: Top Ten Genetically Engineered Food Crops at

Chicken: Arsenic and antibiotics; Consumer Reports
NIH State-of-the-Science Conference on Tobacco Use: Prevention, Cessation and Control,0,5939770.story

Fletcher, A, et al;
Principles and Practice of Pharmaceutical Medicine, 2002; p184

Mental Health American;
Factsheet: Bullying: What to do About It

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. School-associated student homicides-United States, 1992-2006. MMWR 2008; 57(02):33-6.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Youth risk behavioral surveillance-United States, 2009. MMWR 2010;59 (No. SS-5).

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2012).
Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2011 (NCES 2012-002).

Rosenfeld, Alvin PhD, Nicole Wise; The Over-Scheduled Child

Ross, S. and Heath, N. (2002). A study of the frequency of self-mutilation in a community sample of adolescents.
Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32(1):67-78.

Radcliffe, J. (2004, March 28, 2004). Self-destructive "cutters" live their lives on the edge.
Los Angeles Daily News.

Paulson J. Accidental injuries. In: Behrman R, Vaughan VC, Nelson We, eds. Nelson textbook of pediatrics, 13
th ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co., 1987: 211-214.

Glasauer FE, Cares HL. Traumatic paraplegia in infancy. JAMA 1972; 219: 38-41.

Taylor AR. The mechanism of injury to the spinal cord in the neck without damage to the vertebral column. J Bone Join Surg 1951; 33B: 543-547.

Hinwood JA, Hinwood JA. Children and chiropractic: a summary of subluxation and its ramifications. J Aust Chiro Assoc 1981; 11: 18-21.

NEISS Special study, April-December 1988, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Directorate Epidemiology, Division of Hazard Analysis, Wash. D.C.

Educational literature. National Head Injury Foundation. Wash. D.C. 20030

Dr. Keyed S. Khalil,
Backpack Safety for Children, 09/10/08

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Chiropractic Solution to U.S. Healthcare

A Chiropractic Solution to U.S. Healthcare
With the nation’s healthcare and insurance payment system in a state that desperately needs to be renovated and improved, the introduction of more chiropractor provider care could offer positive solutions. According to one recent report, cost savings, care improvements, reduced surgeries and less pharmaceutical drug use could all occur when a chiropractor takes the lead as a primary care physician in an insurance provider network.

Healthcare reform has been bantered about in Washington D.C. for many years. Politicians have voiced concerns and some have tried to do something about it. New administrations entering the White House promise to make changes, yet, over 40 million Americans remain uninsured. COBRA insurance rates for those who lose their jobs but want to continue coverage are astronomical with annual fees of over $4,000 for individuals and $12,000 for families. The cost of surgery and a hospital stay is so enormous that even a short stint in a medical facility could financially wipe out the average individual or family.

The question remains; where lies the solution? The answer might be found in putting chiropractors in charge of a person’s healthcare with programs directed at keeping people well and free from drugs or surgeries.

A recent study showed that when chiropractors are in charge of a person’s healthcare, and where complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) solutions are part of their healthcare network, that not only costs but also the number of clinical visits can be reduced significantly. Consider these results collected over a 7-year period that compared a CAM-oriented primary care physician (PCP) network versus conventional medicine alone.
  • 60.2 percent decrease of in-hospital admissions.
  • 59 percent fewer hospital days.
  • 62 percent fewer outpatient surgeries and procedures.
  • 85 percent fewer pharmaceutical costs.
The clinical and cost utilization information in the report was based on 70,274 member-months in an independent physician association (IPA) network with a chiropractor as the primary care physician. This study compared results with conventional medicine IPA performance for the same health maintenance organization product in the same area and over the same time frame.

Granted, this is only one study performed by one group of researchers. However, what is clearly demonstrated in this quite extensive survey conducted over a significant period of time is this: CAM-oriented programs that use a non-surgical/non-pharmaceutical approach show significant reductions in clinical visits and costs when compared with conventional medicine networks.

With these amounts of savings and improvements in healthcare available, shouldn’t politicians sit up and take notice? More people utilizing CAM services with chiropractors in charge might be just the items needed to put healthcare on the right track in the United States.

Source: Alternative Medicine Integrative Group. “Clinical Utilization and Cost Outcomes Form an Integrative Medicine Independent Physician Association: An Additional 3 Year Update.” May 2007.

How I Got My Wiggle Back: The Miracle of Chiropractic

Dr. Wise's Comments:
Every day we bombard our lifes with physical, chemical and emotional stressors. When these stressors are negative, such as falling down, eating foods laced with chemicals, it having constant negative emotional thoughts/fights, it tends to have a negative effect on our health. When those stressors are positive, such as exercising, stretching, getting adjusted, eating organic fruits and veggies while thinking or having positive emotional thoughts/relationships, those stressors create a positive effect on your life. 

Chiropractic Care takes pressure off the nervous system. It helps to remove those stressors though the adjustment or through lifestyle education. When this happens, the body is now capable of attempting to heal and overcome the stressors that created the negative health outcome... The reason why WE are the 2nd largest health care profession in the world and the first health care profession who's goal is to adress the underlying cause of health issues!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Challenging the theory of Artificial Immunity by Keith Wassung

Sorry guys the formate did not copy paste right. I do not have the time to spend right now, so bare with me... Great read!

Challenging the theory of Artificial Immunity: By Keith Wassung

The practice of vaccination against disease began in 1796 by Edward Jenner, who used the pus of blisters from cowpox to vaccinate people against smallpox.

Despite the fact that vaccination is perhaps viewed as the strongest preventive measure against disease in modern health care, its practice and protocol has been challenged in recent years by a growing number of doctors and scientists, as well as a large number of parents. Recent immunology research and the availability of health information have caused the challenge of the foundational tenets of vaccination.
“The control or even eradication of childhood disease has been heralded as one of medicine’s finest accomplishments, yet there is a growing suspicion that infection intervention may have an adverse effect on the patients. As childhood infections have decreased, chronic afflictions have increased” 1
The Economist
“Lately, there has been a swell of complaints from groups and individuals about vaccine side effects and the lack of long-term scientific studies and safety data on vaccines. And, at a time when there are more than 200 vaccines in the pipeline, concern is mounting that high-profile vaccine advocates and the lobbies they represent, exert an inordinate influence on the setting of government vaccine policy.” 2
ABC News
It may seem incredulous to challenge the practice of vaccination. After all, it has claimed responsibility for the eradication of many diseases in the past 100 years including polio, smallpox, whooping cough and diphtheria. But these claims are largely based on epidemic studies, rather than on clinical evidence of effectiveness. Europe for example, experienced the same rise and decline of polio cases yet never had the polio vaccine. In addition, many diseases that were once thought to be eradicated simply take on different forms and are given different names. For example, spinal meningitis and polio have almost identical symptoms.
We have learned an incredible amount of information in recent years about the complex workings of the immune system, mostly due to advances in cancer, genetics and AIDS research.
This has shed new light on the inner workings of the immune system. One thing we have learned is that simply altering the natural physiology of the body may temporarily give the appearance of resolution of disease, but may actually create more problems in the end. Virtually all studies of effectiveness of vaccines are based on statistical data and the presence or absence of disease. There have never been any medical studies that have been performed that clearly demonstrate that vaccines increase the immune system competence of the human body, nor has there been any medical study on the long-term effects of vaccines.
It must be understood that vaccine studies are economically influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, which has tremendous influence on the outcome of these studies. Vaccine sales represent a huge profit for these companies and a certain amount of economic bias will always be involved.
“The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, (ACIP) a group of individuals hand picked by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), recommends which vaccines are administered to American children. Working mainly in secret, ACIP members frequently have financial links to vaccine manufacturers. Dependent on CDC funding, state vaccination programs follow CDC directives by influencing state legislatures to mandate new vaccines. Federal vaccine funds can be denied to states which do not “vigorously enforce” mandatory vaccination laws. Conversely, the CDC offers financial bounties to state health departments for each “fully vaccinated” child” 3
The Medical Sentinel
The past decade has seen a number of books and articles written which challenge the practice of vaccinations, mostly on the grounds of the potential side effects and long term latent effects of the vaccine.
These topics are certainly a factor in the vaccination debate, but the real issue is whether or not vaccines actually produce lasting immunity that is at least equal or superior to immunity that is obtained via natural exposure.
This article provides the last scientific evidence in answering that particular question
Fundamentals of the Immune System
The Immune System is the name of a collection of molecules, cells, and organs whose complex interactions form an efficient system that is usually able to protect an individual from both outside invaders and its own altered internal cells, which lead to cancer.
The immune system is comprised of the lymphoid tissues and organs of the body. Lymphoid tissues are widely distributed. They are concentrated in bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, liver, thymus, and Peyer’s patch scattered in the linings of the GI tract.
The lymphoid system is encompassed by the system of mononuclear phagocytes (equivalent to the reticuloen-dothelial system or RES) Lymphocytes are the predominant cells, but macrophages and plasma cells are present also.
Lymphocytes are cells, which circulate, alternating between the circulatory blood stream and the lymphatic channels of the body.
The immune system is divided into two components, non-specific, also referred to as innate or non-adaptive immunity and specific which is also known as acquired or adaptive immunity. The breakdown into non-specific and specific is for classification purposes only as there is a constant and complex interaction, coordination and communication between all parts of the immune system. The majority of the immune resistance occurs in the non-specific components.
“In the 1980’s Paola’s team at the Pasteur Institute in Paris showed that 98% of the immune response triggered at the early stages of infection is non-specific.” 5
Nature Medicine
Lines of Defense
1st lines of defense are the physical barriers which include the skin, mucosal membrane, tears, ciliary elevator, and urine. Chemical barriers include sebum sweat, stomach acid and lysozymes.
2nd lines of defense are the macrophage system, complement, fever, interferon and inflammation.

The macrophage system attacks and consumes pathogens by engulfing them, a process known as phagocytosis.
Complement cooperates with macrophages by attaching to foreign cells and initiating the ingestion of the cells by phagocytosis. Interferons are a class of proteins; activated by fever that prevent viral replication in surrounding cells and also inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
“The antiviral action of interferon provides a major host defense against viral infections” 6
Essentials of Medicine
Fever is a powerful part of the immune system, as it interferes with pathogen growth, inactivates many pathogen toxins, and facilitates a more intense immune system response. Many physicians now recommend allowing fevers to run their course.
“Fever is a systematic response to infection. It is generally agreed that moderate elevation of body temperature improves the body’s disease fighting capacity.” 7
Human Physiology
“The non-specific defense system responds immediately to protect the body from all foreign substances, whatever they are. The non-specific system reduces the workload of the specific defense system, by preventing entry and spread of micro-organisms throughout the entire body” 4
When tissue injury occurs, whether caused by bacteria or viruses, etc, substances such as bradykinins, complement, and histamines are released. This process is called inflammation and it strongly activates the macrophage system to remove damaged cell tissue. Inflammation is a vital part of the healing and repair process of the immune system and when it is delayed or inhibited, healing and repair is incomplete.

“Inflammation is one of the most important mechanisms of host defense since it marshals the attack on the injurious agent and leads to repair of the affected tissue.” 8
The Cell Biology of Inflammation
The third lines of defense are the specific systems, also known as acquired or adaptive immunity. The specific system consists of B cells (humoral), and T cells (cell-mediated). These cells have mechanisms for selecting a precisely defined target and for developing memory to the antigen, so that subsequent exposures will result in a more efficient and effective response.
Definition of Immunity
Immunity; 1. Protection against infectious disease by either specific or non-specific mechanisms. 2. Pertaining to the immune system or immune response 9
Dorland’s Medical Dictionary
Every standard definition of immunity involves the overall competence of both the non-specific and specific components of the immune system to recognize, isolate and eliminate foreign pathogens. This competence also involves the ability of the immune system to be able to distinguish between self and non-self. Immunity is the body’s ability to establish and maintain molecular identity. There is a huge difference between true immunity and the absence of symptoms of disease.
Theory and Practice of Vaccines
Vaccines are suspensions of infectious agents used to artificially induce immunity against specific diseases. The aim of vaccination is to mimic the process of naturally occurring infection through artificial means. Theoretically, vaccines produce a mild to moderate episode of infection in the body with only minor side effects. They are said to work by causing the formation of antibodies, which are proteins that defend the body from an invasion by harmful germs.
Vaccines are grouped into three different types:
Attenuated microbes, in which the antigen is diluted or weakened. Attenuated vaccines include those to prevent measles, mumps, rubella, polio and chicken pox.
Killed organisms, fragmented organisms, or antigens produced by recombinant DNA technology. Examples of these include pertussis, Hib, Hepatitis-B, and many of the experimental HIV vaccines.
Toxoids, which are comprised of the toxins of particular infections such as tetanus or diphtheria and have been partially detoxified by heat or chemical treatment.
Vaccines contain chemical preservatives such as mercury, formaldehyde, and aluminum, which prevent contamination. Mercury has been linked to numerous central nervous system and developmental disorders.
“The Center for Disease Control recognizes a “small but statistically significant association between cumulative mercury from vaccines and neurological disorders, such as autism, tics, attention deficit disorder, language and speech disorders, and other neurological development delays” 10
Portals of Entry
The human body is designed to be able to defend itself against foreign invaders, much like a castle or a fortress with outer and inner walls and then interior perimeter barriers. The majority of pathogens that enter the body do so via the mouth and nose.
The upper respiratory area is packed with powerful defense mechanisms designed to combat and filter these foreign invaders.
Every possible portal of entry in the human body is lined with mucous membrane, a defense mechanism loaded with powerful secretory IgA.
“IgA is the key defender against viral infections”11
Essentials of Medicine
Natural immunity happens only after actually recovering from the actual disease. When naturally exposed to pathogens, the organism has to pass through the body’s natural defense systems in the body before it ever reaches the bloodstream. A tremendous amount of biological events are triggered which are essential in developing true immunity long before the pathogen ever comes into contact with the bloodstream.
Vaccination by direct injection into the bloodstream bypasses much of the normal defenses of the immune system, which produces only partial immunity.
There is a greater quantity of biological communication in the human body than all of the man-made communication systems in the world combined. Signaling is essential to the development of immunity.
Cytokines are low-molecular weight proteins that control, coordinate, and regulate various immune or inflammatory responses. The importance of cytokines in the host response to infection cannot be overstated. Full protection against disease requires the involvement of many different systems of the body and it is the cytokines that coordinate them. Vaccines inhibit the normal function of cytokines, and in fact new vaccines specifically target cytokine activity.
“Recently, gene therapy and DNA vaccination has been used to produce memory against a number of cytokines that promote inflammation. Antibodies to the product of each inserted gene were produced. These antibodies were found to prevent the effects of the cytokines” 13
“No one could survive without precise signaling in cells. The body functions properly only because the cells constantly communicate with each other” 12
Vaccine and Antibody Production
The clinical evidence for vaccines is their ability to stimulate antibody production in the recipient, a fact that is not disputed. What is not clear, however, is whether such antibody production produces immunity.
The most predominant forms of life are viruses, bacteria and fungi, each with countless numbers of varieties and strains. When the weight and number of these organisms are multiplied together, they are the greatest biomass in existence on earth.
“Infection with viruses does not always result in disease. In fact, a great majority of virus infections remain asymptomatic. Even before the introduction of poliovirus vaccination, about 98% of infected humans developed only minor flu-like illness or no illness at all. Of 45,000 U.S. military personnel inoculated in 1942 with a yellow fever vaccine inadvertently contaminated Hep-B virus, only about 900 developed clinical hepatitis and only 33 had severe disease.” 14
New York University Medical School
Scientific evidence questioning the role of antibodies in disease protection can be found in research performed by Dr. Alec Burton, published in a study by the British Medical Council. The study investigated the relationship between the incidence of diphtheria and the presence of antibodies. The purpose of the research was to determine the existence or nonexistence of antibodies in people who developed diphtheria and in those who did not. The conclusion was that there was no relation whatsoever between antibody count and incidence of disease. The researchers found people who were highly resistant with extremely low antibody counts, and people who developed the disease who had high antibody counts.
Dr. Burton also discovered that children born with a-gamma globulinemia (inability to produce antibodies) develop and recover from measles and other infectious or contagious disease almost as quickly as other children.15
“Natural Immunity is a complex phenomenon involving many organs and systems. It cannot be duplicated by the artificial stimulation of antibody production” 16
Dispelling Vaccine Myths
There exist a finite number of immune system cells that are able to respond to foreign antigens. Once a specific immune cell responds to a particular antigen it becomes committed to that specific antigen and is unable to respond to any other pathogen. Vaccination results in a greater commitment of specific immune cells that would be utilized in natural exposure, which may actually weaken the repertoire of immune cells.
Cause of Long Term Immunity
Recent research by Dr. Rafi Ahmed and his colleagues has shown that the stable maintenance of total memory cells may be dictated by the principle of homeostasis. Models suggest that the total number of cells in the immune system is constant and the long-term maintenance of cellular immunity may be regulated by competition for space by memory cells. As an individual is exposed to new pathogens, some memory cells may need to make way for new ones. Since the total number of memory cells can be very large, the immune system is normally capable of maintaining immunity to many pathogens at once. The impact of new pathogens could govern the loss of existing memory cells, and might explain the loss of memory to certain viruses. 17
Emory Vaccine Research Center
The ability to remember and respond to invading organisms, even years later, is one of the fundamental features of the immune system. Traditionally, it was thought that memory cells were developed after initial exposures, but new research demonstrates that multiple exposures are required to develop T cell memory
Scientists figure out how immune system remembers
Reuters-media: Scientists have figured out how the immune system “remembers” enemies it has encountered in the past. A report in the journal Science shows that so-called memory T cells are extremely slow learners. Scientists knew that one particular type of T cells, known as CD8 cells, could either become vicious attackers that immediately kill invaders, or could become “memory” cells that help to quickly flag invaders if they ever show up again. Scientists at the University of

Chicago found that the process by which memory cells are made are excruciatingly slow. They found that several generations of the cells must be exposed to the troublemaker before some of them can become memory T cells specific for it. “This finding suggests that the basic approach to vaccines is not likely to produce the desired result” said Phillip Rickhardt, one of the researchers. 18
Lasting Immunity
The notion that vaccines create a life-long immunity that is equal or superior to natural immunity is not even claimed in medical literature. They only claim that vaccines reduce the symptoms of diseases.
“The practice of DPT vaccination has played a major role in markedly reducing the incidence rates of cases from each of those diseases.” 19
Connaught Laboratories
“It is true that natural infection almost always causes better immunity than vaccines. Whereas immunity from disease often follows a single, natural infection, immunity from vaccines occurs only after several doses.” 20
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
“One problem with inactivated influenza vaccines is that the immunity generated is only partial. In the presence of a strong adjuvant, antigens can stimulate B cells and induce a good humoral response, however, there is little cell-mediated immunity generated by a killed product. This means that the difference between disease and protection or at least a more rapid recovery from disease. Also, the immunity provided by a killed product is short lived.” 21
Center for Biologics Laboratory
“The antigens contained in many injectable vaccines will not produce an immune response sufficient enough to confer protection against infection. Of the 23 vaccines currently in routine use, 20 are delivered by injection and stimulate only systemic immunity” 22
Avant Immunotherapeutics
If it cannot be demonstrated that vaccines create lifelong immunity by strengthening the immune system, then they must achieve their objective of reducing case numbers of disease by actually weakening or suppressing the normal function of the immune response.
The idea that vaccines work by subtle immune suppression is receiving rapid support within the scientific and research community
“It is dangerously misleading and indeed the exact opposite of the truth to claim that a vaccine makes us “immune’ or protects us against an acute disease, if in fact it only drives the disease deeper into the interior and causes us to harbor it chronically, with the result that our responses to it become progressively weaker and show less and less tendency to heal or resolve themselves spontaneously” 23
Dr. Richard Moskowitz, Dissent in Medicine
Over time, the term vaccine has evolved to include all preparations used to generate protective immunity to microbial pathogens or their toxins. More recently, the definition of vaccine has been further expanded to include antigenic materials used to tolerate or turn off antigen-specific immune responses to prevent or treat immune mediated diseases. A variety of approaches are being pursued to induce T cell tolerance. These include blocking the activation of T cells by antigen presenting cells focusing on the interactions of the T cell receptor (TCR) with peptides presented by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). Other strategies target costimulatory pathways in T cells, or the interaction of cell surface adhesion molecules and their counter ligands. Some of these experimental therapies are currently being developed as vaccines 24
American Autoimmune Research Association
“The later part of the 20th century has witnessed an unprecedented rise in the number of individuals with impaired immunity. There is considerable experience with most vaccines in those with impaired immunity” 25
Clinical Microbiology Review
Recent vaccine research and development has focused on recombinant DNA vaccines as a way of duplicating natural immunity, but the findings demonstrate that they work by suppressing the immune system as well.
Could DNA Vaccines Undermine Immunity?
DNA vaccines consist of a bit of DNA containing a gene for a marker from the pathogen. The idea is that when the DNA is injected into the muscle tissue, it works it way into cells where it is incorporated into cellular DNA. The body “learns” to recognize the pathogen and mount a strong defense to it in the future. But research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, shows that instead of being immunized to the protein encoded by a DNA vaccine, it actually learns to tolerate it.

In fact, when later injected with the same protein, no antibodies were developed at all. This finding raises the possibility that a DNA vaccine could convert someone who normally would be able to clear a pathogen-albeit they might get sick first, to someone who would be unable to clear it at all. 26
The paradigm shift in health care is gradually moving from a symptom based model, to one in which the function, performance and innate healing potential of the human body is maximized. With this change in understanding comes the concept that not only are many diseases normal and natural, they may actually benefit the body by strengthening the immune system.
“Through the process of developing and then conquering infection, the child gets rid of acquired
toxins and poisons from the body and receives a boost to the immune system”27 Healing Arts Press “Whenever the immune system successfully deals with an infection, it emerges from the experience stronger and better able to confront similar threats in the future. Our immune system develops in combat. If at the first sign of infection, you always jump in with antibiotics, you do not give the immune system a chance to grow stronger” 28

Andrew Weil, MD
Several studies have shown that the incidence of asthma and allergies tend to rise in countries where childhood immunization rates are high. This has prompted researchers to suggest that certain infections may trigger immune changes that protect children from developing asthma and allergies later. Preliminary studies have shown a protective effect of measles and infections with intestinal parasites. 29 Science News With the rise of vaccines and antibiotics, people in developed countries have experienced fewer childhood diseases than ever before and scientists suspect that an immune system with no serious work to do is likely to become a renegade army, attacking whatever it encounters30 Newsweek In a study of 58 children under the age of 16 with insulin dependent diabetes and 172 non-diabetic controls, infection during the 1st year of life was associated with a reduction in diabetic risk. Infection during the first year of life may have a protective effect by modifying the lyphocytic response to subsequent immunological challenges. A link with decreasing early exposure to common infectious disease could account for the increased risk of diabetes over the past thirty years. 31 Archives of Childhood Disease
1. Plagued by Cures, The Economist, Nov 22, 1997 v344 p.95(3)
2. Regush, N. “The Vaccine Machine” ABC News
3. Schafly R. “Official Vaccine policy Flawed” The Medical Sentinel,1999, 4(3) 106-108
4. Marieb, E. Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology, WB Saunders, 2000, Philadelphia
5. Degrave W. “A B-cell mitogen from a pathogenic trypanosome is a novel eukaryotic proline racemase” Nature Medicine, Aug 2000 p.890
6. Andreoli, A. Essentials of Medicine, WB Saunders, 2001 Philadelphia
7. Moffett, D. Human Physiology, Mosby Medical Publishing, 19932nd edition,
8. Weissman, G. The Cell Biology of Inflammation, Biomedical Press 1980, Amsterdam
9. Ingelfinger, F. Dorland’s Medical Dictionary Saunders Press, 1999
10. Delegal J. “Childhood Vaccines” Florida Union Times Nov.8, 2000
11. Andreoli, T. Essentials of Medicine, WB Saunders, 2001, Philadelphia
12. Scott J. “Cell Communication, the inside story” Scientific American, June 2000 p. 73
13. Roitt, Brostoff, Male Immunology, Mosby Publ, 1998 London
14. Wimmers E “Defense Against Viral Infections” NY Med-Uni 1999
15. Null G. Vaccines: A Second Opinion, 2000
16. Philips, A Dispelling Vaccine Myths Feb 5, 1998
17. Korschun H. “Causes of Long Term Immunity” The Emory Report, Mar. 22, 1999 Volume 51, no. 24
18. Reuters News Media, “Scientists figure out how immune system remembers, March 12, 1999
19. Connaught Labs, Vaccine Warning Insert, 2000
20. Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia,
21. Foley P. “Development and use of a highly attenuated vaccine virus”Center for Biologics, 1999
22. Choang K Avant Immunotherapeutics
23. Moskowitz R. Dissent in Medicine Contemporary Books, 1985 p.142
24. Plaut, M. “Vaccines for Immunological Disease”
25. Pirofski L. “Use of licensed vaccines for active immunization of the immunocompromised host” Clinical Microbiology Review Jan 1998
26. “Could DNA Vaccines Undermine Immunity” Science, Dec 20, 1996
27. Hayfield, R. The Family Homeopath Healing Arts Press, 1994
28. Weil, A. Spontaneous Healing Random House, 1995
29. Raloff, J. “Childhood Vaccinations” Science News Jan 25, 1997
30. Underwood, A. “Why Ebonie cant breathe” Newsweek, May 26, 1997
31. Phillips, D. “Early infection and subsequent insulin dependant diabetes” Archive of Childhood Diseases, Nov, 1997 77; 384-385
About the Author:
Keith Wassung is a nationally known author and speaker in the field of health education and research. A former national drug-free weightlifting champion, Keith turned to Chiropractic health care after being diagnosed with a near fatal health condition. His recovery led him to research, write and lecture about the scientific principles of Chiropractic. He is the author of over 100 education and research papers and the author of three books. He is available for speaking engagements and can be reached via e-mail at or at (843) 743-8351
Wise Chiropractic: Holistic Family Wellness
5875 S. Rainbow Blvd Blvd #201
Las Vegas, NV 89118
(702) 248-6292

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Italian court rules MMR vaccine did trigger autism

Italian court rules MMR vaccine did trigger autism

8 May, 2012
Natural Health News — An Italian court has ruled there is a link between the MMR vaccine and autism.

In what may be a ground-breaking decision, the Italian Court of Rimini has ruled that causation between an MMR vaccine and the resulting autism in a young child “has been established.”
The unnamed child received the vaccine in March of 2004 and on returning home immediately developed adverse symptoms. During the next year the child regressed, receiving the autism diagnosis one year later and is now 100% disabled by the disease.

The Italian court ruled that the child “has been damaged by irreversible complications due to vaccination (prophylaxis trivalent MMR)” and ordered the Ministry of Health to compensate the child with a 15 year annuity and to reimburse the parents of their court cost.

The judgement can be found in full here and the original news report in Italian appears here. A rough Google translation appears here.

The case is expected to go to appeal as authorities are concerned it may set a legal precedent.

Not the first judgement against the vaccine
This, however, is the second recent judgement to come to this conclusion. Earlier this year a US court also ruled that the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine can cause autism.

In a ruling that kept very quiet in the press, the US Court of Federal Claims has conceded that the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, which was in vaccines until 2002, caused autism in the case of one child.

The ruling was just one of 4,900 cases currently being considered for compensation payments. Health officials are concerned that it could open the floodgates for even more claims.

The ruling, made by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler, was made last November, and was one of three test cases into the MMR-autism link that was being considered by a three-member panel, which Keisler chaired.

The case involved a child who received nine vaccinations in July 2000, when she was 18 months old. Two of these contained thimerosal. Within days, the girl, who had previously been healthy, began to exhibit loss of language skills, no eye contact, loss of response to verbal direction, insomnia, incessant screaming, and arching.

A diagnosis of autism was confirmed seven months later.

In its defence, the US government claimed the girl had a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder that was aggravated by the vaccine. However in his conclusion, Keisler said that “compensation is appropriate”.

Too much heat, not enough light
Both findings would appear to support the controversial findings of Dr Andrew Wakefield who, in 1998 published an article in the Lancet suggesting a link between the vaccine and autism. Official reaction to the paper was of such force and such outrage that the Lancet withdrew the paper on the grounds that it was scientifically unsound.

Wakefield has been in a battle for his professional reputation ever since and the question of the proposed link between the MMR vaccine and autism has been largely sidelined (though not solved) by bitter and very public professional rows that have done little to bring clarity to concerned parents.
Read more here.

Peer-reviewed papers support original work by Wakefield

Peer Reviewed Papers Support Findings
The following peer-reviewed papers support the findings of the original work by Wakefield and colleagues at the Royal Free Hospital in the UK:

1) Furlano R, Anthony A, Day R, Brown A, Mc Garvey L, Thomson M, et al. Colonic CD8 and T cell filtration with epithelial damage in children with autism. J Pediatr 2001;138:366-72.

2) Torrente F., Machado N., Perez-Machado M., Furlano R., Thomson M., Davies S., Wakefield AJ, Walker-Smith JA, Murch SH. Enteropathy with T cell infiltration and epithelial IgG deposition in autism. Molecular Psychiatry. 2002;7:375-382.

3) Ashwood P, Murch SH, Anthony A, Hayes C, Machado MP, Torrente F, Thomson MA, Heuschkel R, Wakefield AJ., Mucosal and peripheral blood lymphocyte cytokine profiles in children with regressive autism and gastrointestinal symptoms: Mucosal immune activation and reduced counter regulatory interleukin-10. Gastroenterol. 2002;122 (Suppl):A617

4) Ashwood P, Anthony A, Torrente F, Wakefield AJ. Spontaneous mucosal lymphocyte cytokine profiles in children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms: mucosal immune activation and reduced counter regulatory interleukin-10. J Clin Immunol. 2004;24(6):664-73.

5) Wakefield AJ., Puleston J. Montgomery SM., Anthony A., O’Leary J.J., Murch SH Entero-colonic encephalopathy, autism and opioid receptor ligands. Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2002;16:663-674

6) Wakefield AJ. The Gut-Brain Axis in Childhood developmental Disorders. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 2002;34:S14-S17

7) Uhlmann V, Martin CM, Sheils O, Pilkington L, Silva I, Killalea A, Murch SH, Wakefield AJ, O’Leary JJ., Potential viral pathogenic mechanism for new variant inflammatory bowel disease. Molecular Pathology 2002;55:84-90

8) Ashwood P, Anthony A, Pellicer AA, Torrente F, Wakefield AJ. Intestinal lymphocyte populations in children with regressive autism: evidence for extensive mucosal immunopathology. Journal of Clinical Immunology, 2003;23:504-517.

9) Torrente F, Anthony A, Heuschkel RB, Thomson MA, Ashwood P, Murch SH. Focal-enhanced gastritis in regressive autism with features distinct from Crohn's and Helicobacter pylori gastritis. Am J Gastroenterol. 2004;99:598-605

10) Ashwood P, Wakefield AJ. Immune activation of peripheral blood and mucosal CD3+ lymphocyte cytokine profiles in children with autism and gastrointestinal symptoms. J Neuroimmunol. 2006;173(1-2):126-34.

11) Wakefield AJ, Ashwood P, Limb K, Anthony A. The significance of ileo-colonic lymphoid nodular hyperplasia in children with autistic spectrum disorder. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Aug;17(8):827-36.

The following two peer-reviewed papers from the Royal Free Hospital in the UK were withdrawn for political reasons, but the science remains valid and relevant

1) Wakefield AJ, Murch SM, Anthony A et al., Ileal- lymphoid- nodular Hyperplasia, Non- specific Colitis, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder in Children, The Lancet, 1998, 351(9103): 637– 41.

2) Wakefield AJ, Anthony A, Murch SH, Thomson M, Montgomery SM, Davies S, Walker-Smith JA. Enterocolitis in children with developmental disorder. American Journal of Gastroenterology 2000;95:2285-2295.

The following peer-reviewed papers duplicate Dr. Wakefield’s original findings in five additional countries, including the US, Italy, Venezuela, Canada and Poland:

1) Gonzalez, L. et al., Endoscopic and Histological Characteristics of the Digestive Mucosa in Autistic Children with gastro-Intestinal Symptoms. Arch Venez Pueric Pediatr, 2005;69:19-25.
2) Balzola, F., et al., Panenteric IBD-like disease in a patient with regressive autism shown for the first time by wireless capsule enteroscopy: Another piece in the jig-saw of the gut-brain syndrome? American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2005. 100(4): p. 979- 981.

3) Balzola F et al . Autistic enterocolitis: confirmation of a new inflammatory bowel disease in an Italian cohort of patients. Gastroenterology 2005;128(Suppl. 2);A-303.

4) Krigsman A, Boris M, Goldblatt A, Stott C. Clinical Presentation and Histologic Findings at Ileocolonoscopy in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Chronic Gastrointestinal Symptoms. Autism Insights. 2009;1:1–11.

5) Horvath K., Papadimitriou J.C., Rabsztyn A., Drachenberg C., Tildon J.T. 1999. Gastrointestinal abnormalities in children with autism. J. Pediatrics 135: 559-563.

6) Sabra S, Bellanti JA, Colon AR. Ileal lymphoid hyperplasia, non-specific colitis and pervasive developmental disorder in children. The Lancet 1998;352:234-5.

7) Sabra A, Hartman D, Zeligs BJ et al., Linkage of ileal-lymphoid-nodular hyperplasia (ILNH), food allergy and CNS developmental abnormalities: evidence for a non-IgE association, Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol, 1999;82:8

8) Galiatsatos P, Gologan A, Lamoureux E, Autistic enterocolitis: Fact or fiction? Can J Gastroenterol. 2009:23:95-98

9) Jarocka-Cyrta et al. Brief report: eosinophilic esophagitis as a cause of feeding problems in an autistic boy. The first reported case.J. Aut. Dev. Disord. Online July 10, 2010

The following articles support the importance of recognizing and treating gastrointestinal symptoms in autistic children:

1) Buie T, et al. Pediatrics. 2010 Jan;125 Suppl 1:S19-29. Recommendations for evaluation and treatment of common gastrointestinal problems in children with ASDs.

2) Buie T, et al. Pediatrics. 2010 Jan;125 Suppl 1:S1-18. Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: a consensus report.

The following peer-reviewed papers provide further support for gastrointestinal disturbances involving the immune system in autism.

1) Jyonouchi H., Sun S., Lee H. 2001. Proinflammatory and regulatory cytokine production associated with innate and adaptive immune responses in children with autism spectrum disorders and developmental regression. J. Neuroimmunol. 120(1-2):170-9

2) Jyonouchi H, Geng L, Ruby A, Zimmerman-Bier B. Dysregulated Innate Immune Responses in Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Their Relationship to Gastrointestinal Symptoms and Dietary Intervention. Neuropsychobiology. 2005;28:5177-85

3) Jyonouchi H, Geng L, Ruby A, Reddy C, Zimmerman-Bier B. Evaluation of an association between gastrointestinal symptoms and cytokine production against common dietary proteins in children with autism spectrum disorders. J Pediatr.2005;146(5):605-10.

4) Jyonouchi H, Sun S, Itokazu N. Innate immunity associated with inflammatory responses and cytokine production against common dietary proteins in patients with autism spectrum disorder. Neuropsychobiology. 2002;46(2):76-84.

5) Vojdani A, O'Bryan T, Green JA, McCandless J, Woeller KN, Vojdani E, Nourian AA, Cooper EL. Immune response to dietary proteins, gliadin and cerebellar peptides in children with autism. Nutr. Neurosci. 2004;7:151-61.

6) Whiteley P, Haracopos D, Knivsberg AM, Reichelt KL, Parlar S, Jacobsen J, Seim A, Pedersen L, Schondel M, Shattock P. The ScanBrit randomised, controlled, single-blind study of a gluten- and casein-free dietary intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders. Nutr Neurosci. 2010;13(2):87-100.

7) Knivsberg AM, Reichelt KL, Høien T, Nødland M. A randomised, controlled study of dietary intervention in autistic syndromes. Nutr Neurosci. 2002;5(4):251-61.

8) Balzola F, et al. Beneficial behavioural effects of IBD therapy and gluten/casein-free diet in an Italian cohort of patients with autistic enterocolitis followed over one year. Gastroenterology 2008;4:S1364.

9) Valicenti-McDermott M., McVicar K., Rapin I., et al., Frequency of Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Association with Family History of Autoimmune Disease. Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 2006;27:128-136

10) Chen B, Girgis S, El-Matary W. Childhood Autism and Eosinophilic Colitis. Digestion 2010;18:127-129

11) Sandler R, Finegold SM., Bolte ER., et al. Short-term benefit from oral vancomycin treatment of regressive-onset autism. J Child Neurol. 2000;15:429-435

Is your back killing you?

Is Your Back ‘Killing’ You?

If you’ve ever heard of or used the term, “my back is killing me”, you may actually be literally right! You see your back is your spine and inside the bones of the spine is your life line. This is your spinal cord which is an extension of your brain. From the spinal cord are nerves and this whole system; the nervous system is what runs you. It runs all systems and is like an electricity switchboard sending messages from your brain to every cell, tissue and organ in your body. If the bones of the spine are not in alignment; even just the slightest, it causes a distorted message.

Imagine trying to turn on a light with a blown fuse? Imagine trying to drive a car with the chassis out of alignment? The wheels would wear out on one side, right? This is just like what happens to your body. Hippocrates; the Father of medicine said; “In all disease, first look to the spine.” This is quite profound as he recognized the relationship between what runs us and illness.

What changes your spinal alignment are not just physical things like bumps, falls, accidents and even the birthing process itself. But there are emotional and chemical interferences to the nervous system too that causes our bodies to go into what’s called a fight or flight posture, like a boxer. This is our body’s clever way of adapting but it also creates an excess adrenalin and cortisol release which disturbs the body’s natural chemical balance.

Having regular chiropractic care, coupled with a diet of fresh foods that are as close to nature as possible will help to change your posture and in turn change your chemical and emotional status. Chiropractors are the only health professionals in the world, trained to detect and correct vertebral subluxations

Andi Lew

Chiropractic and Pregnancy

Chiropractic and Pregnancy

Pregnant moms, let me share the following very good news with you:

  • Chiropractic care has been shown to significantly reduce labour time for women who had care throughout their pregnancy. In one study, Dr Joan Fallon found that first-time mums averaged a 24% shorter labour, while experienced mothers (those who had given birth before) had a 39% reduction in the average labour time in a substantial percentage of births.

  • In another hospital study that incorporated chiropractic adjustments during the patient’s pregnancy, the results indicated that there was a 50% decrease in the need for painkillers during delivery, attributable to pre-delivery adjustments.

  • A study conducted by Dr Irvin Henderson MD (a member of the American Medical Association Board of Trustees) demonstrated that “Women who received chiropractic adjustments in their third trimester were able to carry and deliver their child with much more comfort.”

Show me any woman who would not be excited about these possibilities! Adjustments help women successfully prepare for labour. In addition, a well functioning nervous system enables a mother to easily combat many of the hurdles of pregnancy. Often women learn to just accept pregnancy discomforts such as nausea, heartburn, constipation, pubic pain, etc, when in fact they don’t need to. A chiropractor will check your spine to assess if it is properly aligned and subluxation-free (free of joint and nerve dysfunction). Regular visits while you are pregnant will help to keep you in great shape in preparation for your birth. Chiropractic care is extremely important—before, during and after pregnancy. Here are some tips for Caring For Your Spine.

Tips for Caring for Your Spine During Pregnancy

Here are some top tips for caring for your spine:

  • Don’t try to sit straight up from a lying position using your abdominal muscles. Instead, bend your knees, turn onto your side and push yourself up with your arm.

  • Remember to unlock your knees when standing.

  • Refrain from wearing high-heels.

  • Avoid standing with your hands on your hips and pushing your tummy forward.

  • Let others lift heavy items for you.

  • Avoid twisting your spine on top of your pelvis; instead try moving your whole body with your feet first. For example, when getting out of the car, turn your whole body towards the open door as you place your feet on the ground.

  • If you have other young children PLEASE avoid carrying them whenever possible. Have them walk (it is good for you to slow down the haste anyway), and sit and cuddle them as much as you can. Many pregnant women injure their abdominal muscles, pelvic floor or their pelvis by carrying other children.

  • Avoid remaining in one position for too long. If you need to stand for an extended period, place one foot on a small box or an equivalent to reduce the load on your back. Swap legs.

  • Keep your pelvic floor strong.

  • Perform regular moderate exercise

  • Breathe deeply into your lower abdomen, especially when stressed.

  • Every day, gently stretch your body..

  • Once a week or as often as you can, schedule a massage.

  • Sleep with a pillow between your knees and place another pillow at your breast level to snuggle, so that you do not roll your upper body forward.

  • Have your spine regularly checked by a chiropractor.

Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani

B.App.Clin.Sci, B.Chiropractic
Author of Well Adjusted Babies

-Fallon, J. DC. The Effect of Chiropractic Treatment on Pregnancy and Labour: A Comprehensive Study. Proceedings of the World Federation of Chiropractic, 1991:24-31. Fallon, J. DC. Chiropractic and Pregnancy; A Partnership of the Future. ICA Review Nov/Dec 1990. (pg. 39-42)

-Frietag, P. Expert testimony of Frietag, P. MD PhD, comparing the results of two neighbouring hospitals, US District Court, Northern Illinois, Eastern Division, No.76C 3777. May 1987.

-Henderson, I. MD. American Medical Association records released in 1987 during trial in U.S. District Court, Northern Illinois, Eastern Division, No. 76C 3777. May 1987.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Core Fitness - What Is It and What Is It Good For?

Core Fitness - What Is It and What Is It Good For?

Chiropractic and the Core
Chiropractic care helps make almost everything better from a physical point of view. The process of chiropractic helps your body become the best it can be, by removing limitations to growth and development.
When you exercise, it's important for your muscles and joints to be freely movable. If you're exercising and you have joints with restricted mobility, particularly in the spine, it's easy to get injured. This is analogous to pressing down on the accelerator with one foot while applying the brake with the other. That would be a pretty bumpy ride. Extending the metaphor, chiropractic care helps open up your spinal highways and byways, smoothing out your biomechanical journey and helping you get the most out of your exercise.
When you're exercising your core it's important for all the parts involved to have their maximum range of motion. Chiropractic care helps you get there.
Core training is a no-longer-new catchphrase on the fitness landscape. The concept of core fitness, by now, has been promoted by every Pilates school, yoga center, and chain of fitness clubs around the world. Many doctors, including chiropractors, physiatrists, orthopedists, and even cardiologists, emphasize the importance of core training with their patients. Practically every physical therapist and personal trainer has learned a variety of core exercises to use with their clients. Core fitness has become an advertising buzzword, helping to sell all kinds of health-related products. The overall result is raised awareness of the importance of core strength and the opportunity to engage in a critically important form of healthy exercise.1,2,3

What exactly is the "core" and what are you training when you train it? Your core muscles are your four abdominal muscle groups - the transversus abdominis, internal obliques, external obliques, and rectus abdominis. Back muscles, too, are included in the core group - specifically the erector spinae, longissimus thoracis, and multifidus. The importance of the core muscles is their ability to provide a "center" or focus for the physical work your body is doing. If your core is not fit other muscles will have to take over, leading to the likelihood of strains, sprains, and other injuries.

Who even knew we had a core? Plenty of people did, long ago, but in those days no one talked about a "core". For many decades football coaches, ballet instructors, and gymnastics coaches trained their athletes in vigorous and strenuous techniques that all focused on core strength. High school gym teachers knew about the core. Remember squat thrusts, jumping jacks, and push-ups? All those ancient exercises (that we used to groan and moan about) train deep core muscles. We were doing core fitness before there was "core fitness".

Why do we need core fitness today? More and more our work involves sitting down. We stare at computer screens for eight hours a day. Instead of doing physical work such as farming or building, we type on a keyboard and talk on a cell phone. The long-term result is that muscles, tendons, and ligaments lost their integrity. Tight neck muscles, tight lower back muscles, and weak abdominal muscles are the result, and these issues lead to more serious problems such as chronic headaches, cardiovascular stress, impaired digestion, and depression. We need fitness activities that start building us back up again, and the right place to start is at the center - by engaging in core fitness.

The best thing about core fitness is that you don't need any equipment. You could get a mat and a physioball, but those items are optional. Take a yoga class. Take a Pilates class. Learn a few core exercises and begin to do them several times a week. You'll soon begin to notice that you feel better, in general. You have more energy. You're sleeping better. Your mood is improving. All due to a few squats, a few planks, and a few push-ups. That's a pretty good deal.

1Kennedy DJ, Noh MY: The role of core stabilization in lumbosacral radicuopathy. Phys Med Rehabil Clin North Am 22(1):91-103, 2011
2Behm DG, et al: The use of instability to train the core musculature. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 35(1):91-108, 2010
3Dunleavy K: Pilates fitness continuum: post-rehabilitation and prevention Pilates fitness programs. Rehab Manag 23(9):12-15, 2010

How Chiropractic Can Help With Your Pregnancy and Birth

How Chiropractic Can Help With Your Pregnancy and Birth

by Birth Without Fear on August 24, 2011
Editor’s Note: This is a Guest Blog Post by Brandon Harshe, D.C

Morning sickness. Vomiting. Nausea. Back pain. Pelvic pain. Shortness of breath. Hormones gone wild. High blood pressure. Swollen ankles.
These symptoms are seen as normal during pregnancy, something you better get used to for the next 38-42 weeks. You wanted a baby, now deal with it. Right?
Wrong. Sure these examples are common among pregnant women, but the intensity or even the presence of these symptoms will greatly diminish if under Chiropractic care.
As we established in previous posts, the nervous system controls all in your body. Under the direction of your body’s Innate Intelligence, the nervous system will adapt to the changes brought on by a growing new life inside of you. This new life you carry has its own Innate Intelligence that will do whatever it must to preserve the health and well being of itself. This will come at your expense, causing a number of deficiencies that your Innate Intelligence will have no choice but to adapt to.
The presence of a vertebral subluxation will interfere with the nervous system’s ability to communicate back and forth with the body. The subluxation will result in three things:
1.) Body Imbalance – a subluxation at your atlas will tilt your head to one side. Your brain has a reflex called the righting reflex which keeps your eyes level with the horizon. This will cause your lower cervical spine to bend the opposite way of your head tilt. To compensate, your thoracic spine will bend the opposite way, then the opposite way in the lumbar spine, resulting in one side of your pelvis being drawn up and causing one leg to appear shorter than the other, as well as an uneven distribution of weight putting undue stress on the joints. An unevenly aligned pelvis during pregnancy can be incredibly painful, as well as problematic for the baby trying to get into a proper birthing position.
chiropractic and pregnancy
2.) Nerve Tension or Pressure – Because of these compensations traveling down your spine, the muscles on one or both sides of your spine will become very tight, and inflammatory effects will take place and escalate in places of spinal misalignment. These changes will add stress to the nerves exiting your spinal column at some level, be it the nerve root or further along the distribution of the nerve. The nerves exiting your spine all lead to various parts of your body, including muscles, organs, glands, and blood vessels. Left alone and, over time, this nerve stress will lead to degeneration in these various body systems.
Chiropractic Pregnancy and Birth
3.) Brain Stem Tension or Pressure – A subluxation of your atlas (C1) vertebra will not only narrow the spinal canal in which the spinal cord travels down, but this narrowed space will result in an increase of pressure within this spinal canal. This added pressure will cause undue stress to the brain stem located just above the atlas.
If you remember Christopher Reeve, he shattered his atlas and nearly severed his spinal cord at the level of his axis (C2) vertebra. The brain stem is the Houston Control of your body, coordinating any and all communication from the brain to the body and vice versa. Because of an injury to this area near the brain stem, Christopher Reeve could not breathe on his own without a respirator and he eventually died of heart failure due to decreased brain stem function.
As you can see, the results of a vertebral subluxation do not equate to healthy changes in your body. Your Innate Intelligence can only do so much when given a limitation of matter. Add in a growing baby using up much of your body’s resources to survive and grow within you, and you can begin to see where a subluxation can wreak havoc on the health of a pregnant woman.
The spinal compensations resulting from the subluxation may result in distorted pelvic positioning, causing the baby to get into an unfavorable position for birth, possibly breech. This unfavorable position could be adding increased pressure to your pelvic veins and vena cava (the large vein on the right side of your body carrying blood from the legs back up to the heart). This pressure could slow down the flow of blood back up to the heart, causing the blood to pool in your legs. This will only add to the swelling you might be experiencing in your ankles, as well as contributing to the increased risk of preeclampsia in your last trimester.
Blood Pressure in PregnancyThe nerve pressure and tension caused by the spinal compensations in the spine may lead to improper signals to be sent to various organs and tissues. Pressure and tension on the nerves in your mid to upper thoracic spine may lead to decreased function of the heart and/or lungs. This may result in an added shortness of breath. Or maybe high blood pressure, adding to that risk of preeclampsia.
Maybe pressure in the lower thoracic, lumbar, and sacral nerves results in decreased blood flow to organs such as your kidney and liver. This could result in decreased organ function, which may cause protein to leak into the urine, another sign of preeclampsia. Nerve tension in these lower spinal areas may result in a tight uterus, making you unable to relax during labor due to the pain you feel with each contraction. This might keep you from dilating properly, only adding to the stress a possible cesarean section can create.
A subluxation of your atlas will cause tension or pressure to the area of your brain stem. This tension or pressure will interfere with the brain stem’s ability to coordinate the messages being sent to the body by the brain. This could interfere with proper distribution of hormones such as estrogen and progesterone. Since the placenta is being developed with the help of estrogen and progesterone, a lessened amount of both these hormones may result in complications with the placenta, and therefore the growing baby inside that placenta.
As you can see, a vertebral subluxation is not a minor thing to ignore. Even the most seemingly insignificant of subluxations will always run some kind of interference to the brain-body communication. This is never a good thing, and especially not when you are pregnant and your body needs the most help and the least interference.
You deserve to have the best chance at a successful pregnancy and childbirth, and you can only do that with a nervous system that is running free and clear of interference.