Why is my child sick all the time?

As the days get shorter, darker, colder we all know what else comes with these changes… More illness! More days off school, more time away from work, more antibiotics, and way more stress!

What if I told you this winter could be different? What if you could be confident your child wouldn’t get sick so often and even if they did, that they would bounce back much faster than you thought possible?

This isn’t a joke either. One of the most common benefits while under consistent care is that their children get sick less often and recover faster. But how? Let’s dive in.

The Immune System & The Central Nervous System

As you may be aware, the central nervous system is what controls and coordinates all other systems in the body. This includes our hormonal system, our digestive system and even our immune system too. This is our neuro-immune axis. When our body senses there are foreign invaders (viruses, bacteria etc.) it signals the brain that something is intruding. The brain then signals various other parts of the body involved in immune function to kick the immune system into gear in the form of white blood cells, inflammation, cytokines, fever, mucous and so much more to isolate and eliminate the foreign substances. When the job is done, the body signals back to the brain and the brain stops signalling the immune system to engage.

It’s such a beautifully designed and refined system that most of the time we don’t even realize it’s constantly working to keep the outside world away from our internal environment. That is, unless something breaches our front lines of defense, and we must use our heavier artillery to get the job done i.e., fever and mucous etc.

It seems today that those front-line defences aren’t enough anymore and both kids and adults are getting sick more frequently and being knocked back for longer periods. Is it due to more bugs? New bugs? Or is there something else at play?

The Effect of Stress on the Immune System

One of the biggest factors in whether we get sick or not and how quickly we recover isn’t the bugs or our immunes system itself. It’s actually our central nervous system. More specifically, how balanced our central nervous system is.

Our central nervous system is broken down into two parts. The Sympathetic branch – think fight or flight, stress, survival, and protection. We call this the Gas pedal. And the Parasympathetic branch – Rest & digest, calm, relax, restore. We call this the Brake pedal, and this is where the majority of immune function is controlled.

During normal operations we have a good balance between these two modes. At times we need that activated, high intensity gas pedal activity that the Sympathetic nervous system gives, say when we exercise for example. And at times we need to rest and recover e.g., when we want to go to sleep. The problem arises when this system becomes imbalanced. This is what we as Pediatric Chiropractors call Subluxation. Most often what happens is the Sympathetic nervous system becomes overactive due to a lack of Parasympathetic activity to balance it out.

The thing about our nervous system is we can’t be in this protective, survival mode and our growth and repair mode at the same time. So, with an overactive Gas pedal we’re left with an underactive Brake pedal. The result? Suppression of our immune system… and with that, more frequent illness, and longer recovery times and all the other stresses that come along with it.

We’ve probably all experienced this in our lives. Times get very stressful, and we get run down and sick. Makes sense. But currently the amount of stress both adults and children experience is more than ever before, and more importantly that stress is happening earlier than ever before in the form of maternal stress which causes ‘pre-wiring’ of the nervous system into fight or flight and birth trauma which causes injury to the Vagus nerve (the brake pedal nerve). This causes a child’s central nervous system to hardwire and develop in a state of stress.

Kids with a stressed nervous system often experience:

  • Frequent & recurring colds/coughs.
  • Recurring & chronic ear infections.
  • Recurring croup/RSV.
  • Sores that won’t heal.
  • Chronic snotty noses.
  • Low energy & fatigue.

The good news is there is hope! There is a natural and drug-free way to support your child’s nervous system which results in a stronger, more resilient immune system! This is where neurologically focused chiropractic care comes in.

Chiropractic adjustments work by restoring balance to the central nervous system. Often, we see an increase in activity of the Vagus nerve (Brake pedal) and we can even measure this using Heart-Rate Variability (HRV)! A well-researched objective metric for evaluating Vagus nerve strength and overall Parasympathetic activity.

Kase’s story:

When Kase first came to The Wellness Collective he was getting croup ALL. THE. TIME. About every 3 weeks, like clockwork he would get sick with croup again. But this wasn’t the first issue he had with his immune system. Growing up he was having frequent ear infection and recurring sinus infections too. On top of that he’d also had challenges with sensory overwhelm, anxiety and emotional regulation. All tell-tale signs of a central nervous system stuck in fight or flight.

When we measured his nervous system using our Insight scanning technology, we could clearly see his brain was locked in stress and not performing the way it should do. We can see this on his EMG scan (below) where all the red bars indicate abnormal function and a system locked into stress. For him, it was particularly evident in the upper thoracic region which is linked with systems such as the respiratory system and drainage of the ears and sinuses, which makes sense as to why he was struggling so much with these areas.

Following his customised and tailored care plan he’s doing much better! Within just a few weeks of care his parents noticed that he’d broken the cycle of getting croup every 3 weeks and each time he showed some signs of getting unwell he would quickly bounce back and be at his best again! He also has less anxiety, emotional outbursts, sensory overload, sleeps better and has better resilience to stress!

If this sounds like your child and you’re tired of the constant sickness, time off work and school, and multiple rounds of antibiotics just to end up at the same place again, we’d love to help!

To learn more register for our next workshop by clicking HERE. Or to skip the queue simply click HERE to request a consult and our team will be in touch!

See you soon!

Dr Ben Edwards

Pediatric Chiropractor & Hope Dealer

B.Chiro, DippAppSci.

The Wellness Collective