How should you explain chiropractic to children?
Explaining chiropractic to children is much easier than you’d expect. You just have to know the right questions to ask and the right terminology to use. Don’t let your knowledge of what you think chiropractic is, get in the way of explaining it to your kids.
- Always tell the truth.
- You don’t need to tell your kids that the chiropractor is a doctor. Just call them the chiropractor. Kids associate needles, injections, bad tastes, medication, gagging on tongue depressors, cold stethoscopes, and a bunch of other things that medical doctors do, with “going to the doctor”. Chiropractors do none of these things. In fact, the chiropractic exam with a pediatric chiropractic specialist is often fun and feels good.
- Don’t talk to kids about scoliosis. The idea of “curves in the spine” may conjure up images of The Hunchback of Notre Dame or an otherwise scary looking person. 8 times out of ten, even parents don’t fully understand scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis and other spinal curves.
- ASK THIS: Do you know what controls your entire body? The brain controls your body. Can you wiggle your toes and take a deep breath? What controls that? That’s right, your brain. Do you know how messages get from your brain (in your head) to your toes? Through nerves, that’s how. Nerves come out of your back and go to your toes and all other places in your body. The chiropractor is going to check to see if there is anything out of place that will cause the nerves to not talk with your stomach, heart, lungs, legs, hands and toes properly.
- The Chiropractor doesn’t check to see if the child is sick. They are checking to see if the child is functioning at their most “powerful” or optimized level.
- Like a tower of legos, the properly stacked legos are the strongest and least likely to topple. The chiropractor is checking to see if the child is “stacked properly” and as strong as they can be.
- Generally speaking “Less is more”. Don’t complicate the conversation with each one of these details, give them one and tell them that:
- It will be fun
- It will not hurt
- It will be a pretty short visit
- It will help them run faster, play longer, and make them healthier than they are now. It’s not to fix “sick” it’s to make healthy, healthier.
It’s important to know who you are taking your child to see, so that you can prepare them accordingly. Like pediatricians or dentists, not all Pediatric Chiropractic Specialists are created equal. Do you homework. If all else fails, when in the pediatric chiropractic office, have the chiropractor explain chiropractic to children.
Dr. Lou Jacobs is a pediatric and perinatal chiropractic specialist in Portland, Maine. He is board certified by the American Academy of Chiropractic Family Practice and The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.