Occasionally when kiddos facing challenges like autism, ADHD, anxiety, and more undergo neurologically-focused chiropractic care, they may encounter a “regression before progression” phase. 📉 As our Doctors like to put it, “Sometimes we have to slow down to speed up.” This article takes a deep dive ⤵️ into the science of the neurological 🧠 and physiological changes that are noticed by parents, as well as what is happening deep within the body during a neuro-detox.
Upon starting chiropractic adjustments, issues such as seizures, anxiety, emotional outbursts, and more can intensify 🔥 for a brief period of time. Typically, this lasts a few days for young children and up to a few weeks for older ones. If this amplification of symptoms does occur, it is primarily during the initial “Unwinding” 🌀 phase early in the Care Plan.
Another analogy we often use is “cleaning out the closet.” 🚪 We can all envision a horribly messy and disorganized closet. And as we go to clean this closet out we first must UNPACK everything in the closet that’s causing the mess. So now we’re left with a room that looks messier than it was to start with! But the organization comes to fruition as we start to piece the closet contents back together in a much more organized and effective way. This is what is occurring in the body as adjustments begin to release stuck stress (subluxation) and create a more organized nervous system.
Many children starting care have chronic, deeply embedded imbalances in their nervous and immune systems. This is linked to Neuro-Immune System function, and when initial adjustments activate the Vagus Nerve and Parasympathetic System, a “cleaning house”🧹 effect may take place.
We classify symptoms as either “Subjective” (what parents can see and hear + the child’s history and lifestyle) or “Objective” (health metrics measured by our one-of-a-kind Insight Nervous System Scans). The latter is what truly sets Neurologically-focused Chiropractic care apart from the rest. 🙌🏼 These scans literally give us a glimpse “under the hood” and help track the nervous system function 📊 and healing process even when the “Subjective Findings” aren’t quite there yet.
Even though it seems counterintuitive to see an intensification of symptoms while receiving care in this early phase, these changes are a sign that the body is entering a healing process. ✨ An overstressed nervous, immune, and/or digestive system in these kiddos is often deeply rooted, and this increase in symptoms is a sign that the body is attempting to release that long-held stress, tension, and toxicity. ❌
Think of this response as similar to a nutritional detox program where negative symptoms (like headaches, bloating, nausea, etc) are seen as positive responses to the body’s cleansing process. In neuro-detox cases, a child’s symptoms such as anxiety, 😖 hyperactivity, 🤪 and gut issues 💩 often surface as healing begins and that stuck stress (subluxation) begins to release. While symptoms might be unpleasant, they are often short-lived and are the body’s natural response to stress and toxicity. 👍🏼 The changes on the other side of this “storm” are worth it!
Here’s the deal: “Regression before progression” and “cleaning out the closet” is best reframed as a necessary healing process. 🔄 This phase is crucial to get to eventual wellness. As chiropractors, we appreciate the significance of these changes and understand the necessity of the healing journey even if it involves increased symptoms in the short-term. Parents, if your child goes through this healing process, we can assure you our entire team, as well as other families who have been through these neuro-detoxes, can offer support, guidance, and communication 🗣️ throughout. 🌅 Our network of highly trained docs have seen this thousands of times! We are with YOU each and every step of the way!