Now that a lot of my friends and I are mothers, I hear a lot about kids coming down with ear infections. When children are young, their bodies are still developing. A lot of the time when a child gets an ear infection it is because the fluid in their ears are not draining properly. One way to help the ears drain properly is to get your child checked by a chiropractor to see if they have an upper cervical (neck) restriction. When there is an upper cervical (neck) restriction, the fluid in the ears can not drain properly, so the fluid pools. Now every day we are constantly fighting off bacterial and viruses that we didn’t even know about because our bodies are amazing at naturally fighting off infection. If that fluid in the ear can not drain, it is basically a pool of fluid filled with bacteria. (think of what your kid picks up on a daily basis, and how often his or her hands are touching around their face and ears). Another way is to make sure you keep their immune system working at its prime. Make sure your child is getting plenty of fruits and vegetables throughout the day. Limit their sugar and processed food intake. Make sure your child is taking a multivitamin and probiotic supplement (70% of your immune system is in your gut….we will get to that on another post). Lastly, make sure they are drinking plenty of water (that doesn’t include juice) and getting at least 8 hours of sleep at night!
If you child does develop an ear infection there are many natural ways to treat them. One way is by using garlic and mullein drops, which have natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The brand we use is Wise Women Herbals. Of course, we always recommend to have your child checked by a chiropractor to make sure her spine and body are working at its best to fight off infection. Additionally, you can use WARM (not hot) compresses against the child’s ear for 10 minutes. You can also raise their mattress so that it promotes better drainage. Lastly, if you are breastfeeding, breast milk is the ultimate cure all, and although it sounds strange put a few drops in the ear to help naturally combat the infection!
A promising study published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics indicates that there is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of ear infections. 332 children with chronic ear infections participated in the study. Each child, ranging in age from 27 days to 5 years, was given a series of chiropractic adjustments. The results show that close to 80% of the children did not experience another ear infection within the six-month period following their initial visits. The six-month period included maintenance treatments every four to six weeks. Joan M. Fallon, D.C., the author of the study and the chiropractor who treated the children in the study, states that this pilot study can serve as a starting point from which the chiropractic profession can begin to examine its role in the treatment of children with chronic ear infections. She asserts that large-scale clinical trials need to be undertaken in the field.