Dr. Kolleen Gregory specializes in infants, children and pregnancy at Focus Chiropractic, the family practice she founded with her husband Dr. Richard Gregory.
I met Dr. Kolleen and Dr. Richard during my second pregnancy, when I visited their practice due to pregnancy related discomfort. After experiencing sciatica and symphysis pubis dysfunction during my first pregnancy, I wanted to take preventative steps to avoid that happening again. Chiropractic care helped me stay pain free and active, so I could care for my young son, while pregnant with my daughter.
Many people do not associate body work or chiropractic care with infants. However, an initial assessment can benefit all newborns to make certain they aren’t restricted or misaligned. It’s more common than we tend to think. During my years working as a Doula, I have seen newborns with feeding issues, gassy tummies and reflux symptoms that improved after receiving gentle body adjustments. Often babies who have had difficult births, or who are twins, can benefit from this type of body work. Babies who feel comfortable in their bodies, are relaxed, and they transition into life outside the womb with more ease.
What type of education does a chiropractor have and what kind of special training do they receive to treat infants?
Most chiropractic colleges take about four years to complete, depending on whether they are on a semester or trimesters schedule. A Bachelor of Science is required before enrolling into a program. General chiropractic adjusting education covers how to treat patients from newborn to 100 year olds.
I trained under and have a fellowship with The International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). This is a postgraduate course, which we take in addition to our regular professional training. The course covers newborn to adolescent adjusting, as well as therapeutic techniques such as cranio-sacral therapy and the sacral occipital technique. In addition, we learn how to provide pregnancy and postpartum care, including the Webster technique.
We continue to train with the ICPA annually. Last year we traveled to Chicago, to train with one of the prominent pediatric specialists in Chiropractic, Dr. Martin Rosen, who specializes in cranial work with newborns. It is very exciting to continue to learn from the best in the field and this allows us to provide families with the very best care possible. Doctors of Chiropractic who are members of the ICPA have taken postgraduate classes on specific techniques for pregnant mothers, infants and children to enhance their knowledge and skills in this field.
What is a common misconception about chiropractic care you often find yourself educating people about?
The most common misconception about chiropractic care is that babies are adjusted the same way adults are. It’s just not true, nor is it true in any other health field. Children, especially infants, are physically and structurally different than adults. Adults have 206 bones, while infants are born with 300 bones! Adults have dense skeletal bones; children have malleable “softer” bones. These differences go on and on. Chiropractors who specialize in pediatric care use very gentle and effective techniques designed specifically for infants.