Chiropractic care. I’m not sure how you feel when you hear that. Are you thinking, “Yes! Chiro is life!”? Are you cringing and thinking you could never go? Have you had amazing experiences? Some not so good experiences? Have you heard success stories? Or stories that make you cross out chiro as an option forever and a day? I started visiting a Chiropractor after I was having some chronic pain brought on by a car accident. I went to someone highly recommended, and it was a wonderful experience. With all my moving, I’ve had the opportunity to meet many wonderful Chiropractors in different cities/countries, and thankfully have only ever had one negative experience. But, I can fully understand how those negative experiences can turn people off, because our bodies are important. With that being said, when you have a caring Chiropractor that has a great method, it can change your whole body, which can in turn change your whole mindset, and your whole life! So, let’s talk Chiro Care!
Dr. Shea Kramer! Thank you so much for agreeing to chat today. I am so grateful that I was recommended to you by my Chiro from New York, once I moved to Seattle. I credit your help so much with my ability to conceive, feel great in my body while pregnant, and so much more, including how great you make my little toddler feel (shout out to you for working with her in whatever position she decides to be in that day)! Can you start by telling everyone a little bit about you, both personally and professionally?
Lauren, thank you so much for having me! It has been such a pleasure taking care of you and Collins and we are so excited to meet baby later this year. Well, my name is Dr. Shea Kramer and I am a prenatal + pediatric-focused chiropractor in Seattle, WA. I graduated 12 years ago from Life University in Atlanta where I really focused my studies on helping the prenatal and pediatric populations. I chose Chiropractic as a profession at a young age, because I saw the major improvements it made in my younger brother’s health. He was a candidate for surgery to put tubes in his ears due to chronic ear infections and was able to avoid it and avoid future ear infections through chiropractic care. Seeing that happen made me realize how much I want more families to have access to this non-invasive, well-being supportive healthcare.
Wow! That’s proof that chiropractic care can heal so many different parts of the body! I always call what you do “Nervous System Chiro,” but how do you classify your work? And what makes it different from other maybe “standard” Chiropractic work?
That’s a great question and one that we get often! There are 3 main approaches to chiropractic care; 1) focusing on segmental motion, or improving movement in “stuck” joints, 2) postural; focusing on addressing posture imbalance with adjustments and exercises, and 3) nervous system based AKA tonal. This approach evaluates and adjusts according to how the nervous system is functioning, based off of neurological assessments and analysis.
Okay, so interesting! I have tried all three approaches without realizing they were segmented. I am definitely a major fan of the success that comes with the very gentle approach of method 3! If people aren’t in Seattle to be able to see you, how can they find a Chiro that practices in this way?
Luckily there is a directory now created by Dr. Courtney Kahla that can be found on her website, Chiropractor Directory | Dr. Courtney Kahla. Another great option is to visit the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association directory found on www.ICPA4kids.com.
What are the top things people should be looking for in a Chiropractor? I have to admit, I had one very negative experience with a Chiropractor before, and when it comes to your body, it’s just not something you want to mess around with. So, I’m very thankful for recommendations, but I also understand people’s hesitancy in where to start, and how to “try them out.”
Totally! I think the most important part is to figure out your intentions for care and find a chiropractor that aligns with that. We offer complimentary consultations in our office, so that we can start with a conversation to see if we are a good fit! When I refer to other chiropractors, I like to know that they do thorough assessments on patients and align with a vitalistic philosophy. That means they focus on providing care that supports the body’s innate ability to heal. Teaching our patients about health and healing is a very important part of what we do and I believe it should be a component of all chiropractic experiences! Another thing I want to mention is that for prenatal care, it’s very important to find someone who is certified in Webster Technique. Providers with this certification can be found on the ICPA directory.
I know the answer is “everything!” but, what are some of the things Nervous System Chiro can help with? I think a lot of people think Chiro, and they instantly think popping and cracking to help a traumatic injury, but it’s so much more than that!
I love this question! My big picture answer is that it can help with achieving optimal health. A properly functioning nervous system is one that is resilient to stress. We can’t always control external factors that will impact our body, but we can always do things to support our response system to stress! Things I recommend paying attention to in your body: Does your body often feel overwhelmed? Are you often achey or in pain? Do you get sick often? Is it hard for you to recover from things? Does your sleep, digestion, and energy feel good to you? If not, it might be time to implement consistent chiropractic care. 🙂
Can chiropractic care somewhat permanently improve body functions, such as digestion, gut health, and immunity?
Chiropractic care addresses imbalances in the nervous system, which physiologically impacts how digestion, gut health, and immunity function. I like to remind people that everything is connected in our body! Chiropractic care can be a great “bio hack” to support healthy function.
What are some ways Chiro can help women in pregnancy?
You know this is our jam in my office! I am certified in Webster Technique, which is designed to support pelvic balance. This supports how mom feels during her pregnancy and reduces aches and pains, optimizes pelvic alignment so that baby can maneuver into an ideal position, and has positive effects on labor outcomes and postpartum recoveries. It’s a win-win if you ask me! I do want to add that the earlier you start care, the better. I always tell my prenatal patients that pregnancy and labor are like the Boston marathon or Super Bowl of physical activity in our lives and elite athletes do a lot to prepare their body for their main event! The prep work starts early. I try to yell this from the mountaintops, because my heart aches for people who start care after 30 weeks and are super uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to be that way!
Amen! I’ll scream it from the mountaintops with you. I know you see baby’s as young as a few days old. Can you share what you’re helping babies and kids with when they come to see you?
The youngest baby I’ve adjusted was hours old! Babies work so hard to descend through the birth canal, twisting and turning to make their grand entrance. Sometimes provider intervention happens and they tug on the head and neck to help baby get out. Between being snug in one position for months in the womb, transcending through the birth canal, and being born into a bright world that’s much colder than the womb, their nervous system can be very overwhelmed! Early intervention is key and adjustments for infants looks very different than for adults. We use adjustment approaches with very light sustained contact on the vertebrae needing adjustment – no more pressure than checking the firmness of a piece of fruit! Infant chiropractic care can help with colic, Torticollis, head tilt, latching issues, digestive problems, sleep difficulty, and more.
Can people request no adjustments? I’m assuming when people are saying that, they are meaning, they don’t want to be cracked.
If people are uncomfortable with “cracking”, there are still many techniques that can help! We utilize Torque Release Technique, which is instrument-based, and in our opinion, the best! Other gentle techniques include Activator, MC2, Network, and more. People definitely don’t need to let that be a barrier to care.
How often do you generally suggest people visit once they are at a place of maintenance/prevention?
Maintenance looks a little different for everyone! Personally I get adjusted once a week, because I like how it supports my nervous system and allows me to continue a very active lifestyle. Many of our families also choose to get checked and adjusted if needed weekly, but some are getting checked every other week or every few weeks as well! In our office we can do neurological assessments periodically to see how your nervous system is responding to less frequent adjustments.
How can we be top-notch clients for the Chiropractors that we love?
Oh geez, I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten this question, but I love it! Initially I think it’s important to tell us everything about your health. So many people will just share their pain-related conditions during their health history, but we can help with so much more than that! I can speak on behalf of most chiropractors and say that we genuinely want to see your health thrive. Then I would say to stick to the recommendations. If we recommend coming in more frequent than your expectations, there is a reason for that! It won’t be forever, but we need to create new patterns in your spine and nervous system that your body has been holding onto for a long time. Also, know that healing takes time and repetition. We really live in a quick fix society and that is not the path to true optimal health.
Is there anything else you wanted to mention today?
That I’m so grateful you invited me to interview with you! My goal is always to connect with more people to help them understand how chiropractic care can support their well-being. I truly believe we are designed to experience great health, and chiropractic care may be the missing puzzle piece for so many. Here’s to optimal health!
Here’s to optimal health! Thank you so much for taking the time to teach and help so many!!