Georgia’s story:

When Georgia first came to see us at The Wellness Collective her parents had probably never heard of Dysautonomia. She was mainly struggling with chronic constipation which then led to leakage and bowel accidents. This also led to her bowels becoming backlogged causing a lot of tension and bloating in her tummy. On top of that she was also having some anxiety and emotional regulation challenges.

One of the most important factors to look for when addressing health challenges in children is to go beyond their symptoms and look deep into their history and understand what threw them off track. In Georgia’s case a lot of this stemmed from being born early, and particularly having a very fast birth with no major contractions. Something we know can have a significant negative impact on the neuro-spinal system and cause challenges further down the track. These challenges are the result of a condition called Dysautonomia.

Before we dive any deeper, what is Dysautonomia?

Dysautonomia put simply is when there is an imbalance within the Autonomic nervous system.

The brain and central nervous system are our master controllers of every single function in the body from digestion, to sleep, immune function, emotional regulation and so much more. All the automatic processes are controlled by what is called the Autonomic nervous system. Simply – Air traffic control.

This automatic system is broken into two modes. Sympathetic (Gas Pedal i.e., stress, survival, fight or flight, anxiety & fear) & Parasympathetic (Brake Pedal i.e., calm, rest, digest, relax, growth & development).

For our body to function normally we need these two modes to shift gears at different times. Sometimes we need our gas pedal activated – playing sports, running late etc. and at other times we need our brake pedal activated – to sleep, digest food, fight off infection, focus in class, calm anxiety and so on.

The problems begin when this system gets stuck… Stuck in stress mode. This is what we call Subluxation. Simply stated, we can’t be in growth & protection at the same time. So, if our gas pedal is activated our brake pedal is shut down and so too all the functions controlled by it. The digestive system slows, the immune system is suppressed, anxiety increases, sleep is disrupted and much more.

When this happens early is life it often looks like colic, reflux, constipation, difficulty latching, frequent infections & developmental delays.

Do kids grow out of it?

No, they don’t. Despite what you may have been told or heard from your pediatrician or other professional, the nervous system learns and reinforces things through repetition. If this imbalance sets up shop early – either due to stress during pregnancy or a traumatic birth process it gets sticky and more deeply locked in.

This results in kids who don’t grow out of colic, constipation & reflux but INTO anxiety, sensory processing disorders and other neuro-developmental disorders such as ADHD, Autism spectrum & so on.

Some of the most common signs of Dysautonomia are:

  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Constipation & Digestive Challenges
  • Frequent/Recurring Ear or Respiratory Infections
  • Auto-Immune Conditions (Asthma, Allergies, Eczema etc.)
  • Anxiety
  • Emotional Outbursts/Meltdowns
  • Social Challenges

How to care for Dysautonomia:

When talking to your pediatrician or traditional medical professional they may have heard of dysautonomia and have a surface level understanding of what it is and the effects it can have. However, they are completely oblivious to how to care for and reverse dysautonomia…

They simply don’t have the skillset to do so. This is where neurologically focused, pediatric chiropractic care comes into the picture. When we are caring for a child with any of the most common challenges we see in the clinic, dysautonomia is often at the root of it.

To start with we accurately measure what’s going on within the central and autonomic nervous system using our Insight Scanning Technology. You could think about this like we’re checking the fuse board to see where the blown fuses are that are causing your child’s challenges. You can see on Georgia’s scans below by looking at the colored bars where her nervous system is stuck, and that fuse is blown.

Thermal scan showing dysautonomia

With all that information gathered we can build the perfect, customized care plan to not only address the surface level symptoms – in her case: constipation, anxiety & emotional regulation challenges – but to deal with the underlying cause. The imbalance within her autonomic nervous system! We can clearly see this on the progress scans too!

Progress scan showing reduced dysautonomia.

Not only do her scans look amazing, but she’s thriving now too. Her digestion is more frequent and comfortable, she’s calmer & less anxious, she has fewer emotional outbursts, she sleeps better and gets sick less often!

What now?

If this sounds like your child and they’re struggling with anything we discussed above know that there is help and a path forward. If you’d like to get your child’s nervous system assessed to see what may be causing their struggles and get a plan in place to get them back on track and thriving, then we’d love to help!

You can get scheduled by clicking here or simply reaching out to us via any of our social media channels, emailing the practice at hello@thewellnesscollective.org.nz or phoning on 07 307 0757

We look forward to meeting you and helping your family thrive!

Dr Ben Edwards

Pediatric Chiropractor & Hope Dealer

B.Chiro, DippAppSci.