Childhood Growth & Development

Podcast Interview:

Hello everyone. This is Liz Harvey coming to you from our studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the U.S. In today’s episode, we are speaking with chiropractor, Dr. Dennis James, a performance chiropractic clinic located in Keller, Texas. Dr. James is a nationally recognized chiropractor and a member of both the American and Texas Chiropractic Association. He is also highly trained in acupuncture and a Fellow of the Acupuncture Society of America. Dr. James specializes in family chiropractic care, treating infants to seniors.

Today we’re going to talk about a very important topic:

Childhood Growth and Development

RC: Hi, Dr. James. How are you today?

Dr. Dennis James: Doing very good, thank you, Liz.

RC: Great, well, thanks for joining me.

What is the fundamental concept of chiropractic care that is important for parents to know?

Dr. Dennis James: That would be that the nervous system is the master system. See, the nervous system controls and coordinates all the organs and all the functions of the body, and it also adapts the individual to his or her environment, whatever that might be. So what most people don’t know is that the neural streak is actually formed in the womb, even before the heart and the other organs, and because of that, that is actually what controls everything that functions on its own, and allows the body to be a basically internal healer that continues to heal itself on a regular basis, whether it’s the endocrine system, eliminative system, digestive system, whatever it might be.

The best way to explain it is, is knowing that there’s an afferent efferent communication that comes out of that brain center down in the tissue cells. It occurs a lot like when you just touch a hot stove. The minute you touch it, nerve impulses send up a communication to that brain that immediately says that that’s a stress that you don’t want to stay on, and so immediately the brain signals “pull back” and have your arm pull back, that keeps yourself protected and keeps it going in the right direction. But any time those neural impulses are not working properly, whether it’s to certain systems, whatever it might be, your body’s not going to adapt to those stresses as quickly and it makes you vulnerable to different problems.

Why would an infant need to be examined by a chiropractor?

Dr. Dennis James: In order to enhance the function of the nervous system, and to most importantly remove any spinal nerve stress. And Liz, I think the most important question I get with that is, how would an infant have spinal nerve stress? I take a look, most importantly, at the birth process. Yes, it’s a natural process, and yes, it’s a beautiful process. But the truth is, there can be complications. An example of that can be if you’re in the birth canal for too long, you need some vacuum extraction or something of that nature. Or if you’ve ever seen somebody go through a c-section, you know that that’s a pretty brutal process as well, and it’s not nearly as natural. It’s very common to get some spinal nerve stress at that point. The other issue is that as they grow, there’s a lot of issues that show up from that standpoint. There’s going to be childhood falls. There’s going to be accidents. And there’s also emotional stresses, sports injuries, and of course, dietary stresses that can cause some problems as well.

Besides the spine, what other areas of the body are examined to make sure children are growing and developing properly?

Dr. Dennis James: We have to take a global approach. We assess it physically, mentally, and emotionally, because it can impact every facet of the development of life. We look at it from crawling, to walking, hand eye coordination, sports activities, how they’re communicating. Because we want to see the child develop at the highest level in every facet. So, it’s really something that not only are we going to take a look at this spine, but again, we’re going to look past the spine to that nervous system. Along with that, once we look past the nervous system, we’re going to look at those 12 meridians associated with acupuncture, just to make sure that every facet of the body is coming back to its full optimum potential.

What are some childhood conditions that can benefit from chiropractic care?

Dr. Dennis James: I’m really glad you asked that question because this is really confusing to a lot of people. Because chiropractic is a unique profession and you can go to a lot of different offices and you can get a lot of different answers on that. Because some people choose not to treat kids because it’s not their specialty. There’s three different facets of chiropractic, when you look at the art of what chiropractic is. Some people focus a lot on the musculoskeletal conditions. Some people focus a lot on just the muscles and ligaments themselves. Other people focus on the neurological component of it.

We’re ones that focus on the neurological component of it. So, when we look at it from that area, we can get down to the root of a lot of different things that are going on. So, once we do that, we know that there’s a lot of things that improve once we get the nervous system functioning back to normal, because that nervous system does control glands, it does control eliminative organs, it does control digestive organs. So, it is common to see colic, constipation, asthma, allergies, ear infections all get better. It’s also common to see growing pains, people don’t think it’s abnormal. It’s not normal to have growing pains. It can also help attention and focus issues, and also digestive issues.

Can chiropractic care improve a child’s sports performance and overall body function?

Dr. Dennis James: Oh absolutely. Yeah, if you look at any professional athlete, for example, they know at this point there’s been so much stress on their body that you have to use chiropractic almost, just because it’s going to restore the function from the extra wear and tear that’s going on. And it’s going to help maximize performance. So, any time you’re going to take on something such as sports and you want to be good at it, you’re going to be putting extra wear and tear on your body, that you’ve got to build up to be able to keep you going for a longer period of time and to keep you in the game. But we also know from a neurological standpoint, any time you can save milliseconds anymore with how competitive it’s getting, the more advantage you have to actually win and be successful at the sport.

So being able to keep yourself at the optimum level of performance, being able to have the muscles and ligaments as relaxed and loose as possible whilst still having strength, will allow for the best contractions, the best strength, and overall your best performance as well. When we take a look at sports, it can be any single one of them. You know, we treat a lot of people with baseball, especially pitchers, things of that nature. You have soccer, basketball, and football itself, we’re treating a lot more concussions because neurologically we can restore some of that component. Then of course, swimming, diving, and gymnastics. It’s just all stuff that requires a lot more effort to be able to keep the person healthy, due to the extra stressors on the spine.

RC: Okay, well, thank you, Dr. James. We know you’re extremely busy, so I just want to thank you for your time and help today.

Dr. Dennis James: Thank you, Liz. I appreciate you having me on.

RC: For our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with the doctor, please visit, or call 817-337-3636 to schedule an appointment. On behalf of our team we want to thank you for listening, and we look forward to bringing you more top-quality content from our country’s leading experts.


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