My second son, Nick, was born a happy, healthy baby. He nursed without issue and if I pumped, he took a bottle without any problems. At 6 months old, we tried to start him on baby food. Nick would clamp his mouth shut, shake his head and refuse. We tried a few more times and he wasn’t having it.
At our 1 year old check-up, we explained this to his pediatrician. He said, “he will eventually get hungry enough and start eating,” and seemed unconcerned. I switched Nick over to formula out of a bottle at this time, as I stopped nursing. At 2 years old, Nick was still not eating at all and we put him in feeding and speech therapy, which he went to 2x per month. While feeding therapy is very helpful for some kids, after 2 ½ years the only improvement Nick made was to be able to lick a lollipop.
Around this time, I was on the phone with my friend Josh and I brought up Nick’s feeding issue. Josh’s dad, Dr. Jonathan Howat, is chiropractor practicing in Oxford, England and Josh shared that he specialized in sensory issues in children, that he was coming to the States in the next month and that they would drive to Naperville to see Nick.
When he came, he checked Nick out for a little bit and then put a glove on and put his finger in Nick’s mouth for no longer than 10 seconds. He took the glove off and he said, “Ok, he should “unravel” in about a month.” To be honest, we kind of laughed off the treatment (which I feel terrible about now), as it seems like nothing. I am not sure what we were expecting to happen, it just wasn’t this.
The next day, I took Nick to feeding therapy and ran to make a deposit at the bank. I didn’t tell them about the adjustment, as I didn’t think there was much to tell. My phone rang and it was Nick’s therapist and we had this conversation.
Me: What’s wrong?
Therapist: What did you do to Nick?
Me: What do you mean, why are you crying?
Therapist: Because Nick is eating everything on the table. Everything we have had hear for the past 2 years, he is picking up, taking a bite of and swallowing!
Therapist: Yes, everything!
Me: Well, this chiropractor for England came and did this thing in his mouth……
Me: I know!
That very moment changed both Nick’s life and mine.
Nick is now an almost 16, almost 6’ 3” teenager. That day “unlocked” him. That being said, Nick is still a very picky eater, but after that day he was able to put food in his mouth, chew and swallow, something he had never been able to do.
As for me, I have trained with Dr. Jon when he has come back to the United States and now specialize in his cranial work and have trained Dr. Claire in it as well. We see babies with nursing issues and kids with feeding issues, along with many other issues that this adjustment helps with for kids and adults! It has revolutionized my practice and changed our lives.
How does it work?
As complicated as the human body and nervous system are, the explanation of this cranial adjustment is relatively easy to explain. Many babies are born with a rotation of the sphenoid bone (a butterfly shaped bone that goes through the center of the head). This bone sits under the brain and the 12 cranial nerves that exit the brain all go through little openings in or around this bone. When the bone is rotated, it puts pressure on these nerves and if the pressure is great enough, the nerve doesn’t work the way it is supposed to. The cranial adjustment (done inside the mouth on the upper palate because that is the very best way to get to the sphenoid) helps to balance the bone out, takes pressure off of the nerves and allows them to do what they were meant to do.
For Nick, he had enough rotation of this bone to cause pressure on the 9th and 10th cranial nerve, the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerve which control the gag refux and the strength of the swallowing muscles. Even at 6 months old, his body knew that he wasn’t able to swallow safely, so he wouldn’t put food in his mouth as his body’s protection mechanism. Dr. Jon’s adjustment took enough pressure off and the next day his nerves were working well enough for Nick to safely take his first bites of food.
By the way, how cool is that? The human body is unbelievable.