Archive for September, 2008

Monday For Moms: A natural Approach to Ear Infections in Infants & Children

I have some great news for parents looking for a natural approach to treating ear infections (otitis media) in infants and children.  First I would like to explain why young children are more prone to ear infections.  In a child, due to the shape of the young skull, the eustation tubes are horizontal allowing fluid to lay stagnant and become infected more easily.  As the child grows the tubes point downward allowing them to drain properly.  Also, the development of their young immune systems is still a work in progress.  However there is another contributing factor, the upper cervical subluxation, a fixation or misalignment of the first vertebra of the spine.


So where does the upper cervical subluxation come from and how does chiropractic fit in the picture?  It is hypothesized that there is a significant link between the birthing process and recurrent ear infections especially if the ear infections occur in the first year of life. 


Ear infections are most common in pre-school age children however it is unusual for an infant to have an ear infection in the first year of life.  If we look back to the birth process, we can easily see how the upper cervical subluxation may have occurred.  Birth is a traumatic event for babies and mothers alike, but especially for babies.  Many births involve some pulling or twisting on the baby’s head and neck, even in a natural birth this exists to some extent.  It is very prevalent if the birth involved forceps, a vacuum or cesarean section.  Lately surgeons try to cut the smallest opening possible during a c-section.  They then have to yank and pull very hard on the baby’s neck to compress him/her through the small opening.  This trauma can cause a misalignment and neurological disruption to the cervical spine, especially where the skull meets the first few vertebrae in the neck.  This misalignment can restrict lymphatic drainage mainly on the side of the earache and lead to fluid build-up in the middle ear. 


All young children are exposed to viral and bacterial infections but they don’t all get ear infections frequently or at an early age.  It is the body’s response to the pathogen which determines which children encounter early and recurrent ear infections.  When you child’s body is functioning properly it should recognize the “bug”, attack, and dispose of it.  However when the lymphatics are not able to drain the disposal cannot take place.  This is when the infection and often chronic infections occur.  Another indication that the cause of recurrent ear infections is related to the spine is when the infection always occurs in the same ear. 


Read more about research on chiropractic benefiting ear infections.


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Weekend Update: New Albany Equestrain Event & The Olympic Chiropractor

My First Equestrian Show

My First Equestrian Show

Today I attended my first equestrian event with Greg and Jack, The New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix and Family Day.  It is held on Les Wexner’s personal horse farm.  When we first arrived I didn’t realize what a large event it was.  The day opened in the morning with many fun activities for children, which ran all day long, such as blow-up slides, trampolines, a rock climbing wall, carnival rides, face painting, petting zoo, games, food and more!  We didn’t arrive until later, just as the show jumping was about to begin.  With Jack in the Baby Bjorn we trekked across the large parking area, past all of the activities to the grand stands and found a place to sit.  I was amazed at how close we felt to the field the way the stands were set up.  It was a great view of the event.  The show field was beautifully manicured.  The jumps/fences on the course had exquisite design with gorgeous flowers.   There were 28 horses competing.  The program outlined a little bit about the sport and the rules which was helpful.  I really enjoyed watching the horses and riders.  I can remember watching horse jumping on TV as a child and I remember being fascinated by it.  It was even better in person, although it was a bit warmer than I expected and dressed for.   



Great attire

Great attire

When Jack’s attention span wore out we got up and walked around the grounds for a bit since we didn’t have an opportunity to check everything out due to arriving late.  We scoped out all of the fun activities that Jack might be able to enjoy when he is older next year.  I checked out the age and weight limits for the bunji trampoline and rock climbing wall, which I would meet.  I would like to try those out next year.  That’s the kid in me coming out!  We also decided our niece, Clareese might enjoy going next year too.  We’ll have to tell her all about it. 


This weekend was a busy one for me.  Prior to the New Albany Classic, on Saturday I began my first post graduate degree program.  You would think that after spending the first 27 years of my life as a student that I would have had enough of studying, tests and torture, but no.  You see, I have had this goal since before I started Chiropractic College to some day be the U.S. Olympic Team Chiropractor.  My first step was to get my Doctor of Chiropractic degree.  Next comes the CCSP (Certified Chiropractic Sports physician) which is what I started on Saturday.  It is approximately a 6 month process involving 5 live weekends and 5 online classes and a testing day in San Diego, CA.  I wasn’t planning on doing this certification so soon after graduating but it just happened to be offered in my backyard, Columbus, Ohio so I decided to take advantage of that.  Upon completing the CCSP degree program, I will go on to get a DACBSP (Diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Sports Physician), followed by fulfilling a 2 week internship at the Olympic training center in Colorado, and then, if the athletes and staff like me and think I did a good job, I might, some day be considered for the position of US Olympic Chiropractor! 

I know in my heart, I will be there, some day! 

 “If you want something bad enough and work hard enough, ANYTHING is possible”

        Heather Prenger, D.C.


More photos from The New Albany Classic…



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Greener Future Fridays: Homemade Eco-friendly Cleaner

Would you like to make your own safe, chemical and toxin free household cleaner?  It’s super easy and low cost too!  Only 3 ingredients! 


            1 part White distilled vinegar

            4 parts Water

Add a few drops (10-14) of lemongrass essential oil for its nice smell and anti-bacterial properties or try tee tree oil for disinfectant and anti-viral.  If you’re feeling creative mix them together!


Mix these into a spray bottle and that’s it!

Happy cleaning!

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What to do with 2 Sick Parents and A Baby… Call in the Troops!

Last weekend Greg and I both came down with food poisoning.  It hit me first at 4am on Saturday.  Still feeling alright, Greg took my Saturday morning shift at our chiropractic office in New Albany, but came home feeling not so good.  As the day went on we both felt worse… fevers, headaches and digestive issues.  Let me tell you how easy it is to watch a 7 month old who just started crawling when mom AND dad feel like they’ve been hit by a ton of bricks at the same time!  We took turns napping while one of us kept a groggy eye on Jack, which was about all we could do.  We’re lucky he was such a trooper playing well by himself… at least for a while.  After a while we both tried to convince the other that we were the sicker, more tired, more pathetic one…

“You get him.” 

“I can’t, you get him.”

“No really, I can’t, you get him.”

“It was a pathetic scene!” 

That’s when we decided to call in the troops!  We both got on the phone and called our parents and some siblings who were in town, 6 different cell phones in total we called and every single one was turned off!!  It was such a disappointment, although we knew they had several obligations this weekend, but we were desperate!  Luckily, later Greg’s mom and dad called back and said they would come!  Relief!  We were so grateful that they came Saturday night so we could get some rest and hopefully feel better by morning!  This was especially important because Sunday morning we were participating in the New Albany Walking Classic 10K.  An event we have been planning for several months.  Our office, Ohio Family & Sports Chiropractic, had a group of 28 family, friends, and patients who signed up to participate in the walk and wear a shirt with our office name.


We woke Sunday morning, after a good night sleep thanks to Greg’s wonderful parents, with our fever’s gone, stomachs settled, and feeling much better.  Maybe not 100%, a little dehydrated and weak but better, and good enough for the race!  That morning I thanked Doris for coming over at such last minute notice and she said “You guys sounded so pathetic on the phone, I just thought “who’s going to look after that baby?!”.  I laughed!


Thanks Clem and Doris

We completed the race on Sunday and enjoyed the company of the others who supported us and Ohio Family & Sports Chiropractic.

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A Milestone Week

Milestone #1

Last week (7.5 months) was full of milestones for Jack.  Greg and I were excited to watch him propel himself forward on all fours Thursday morning.  Jack’s officially crawling… and not just backwards now!  Everyone always says “everything changes when the get mobile”.  He doesn’t get very far yet but I’m waiting to see what will happen and how life will change now that he is moving! 


Milestone #2

Friday at our office Jack pulled himself up to standing all by himself!  I didn’t think he would do this already because we don’t have coffee tables and other low furniture around or home for him to practice on.  Although, he has been trying for a few weeks now to stand in his crib or to climb on Greg and I, but hadn’t pulled himself all the way up without assistance.  He was playing with a large wooden cube with games on each side and curly wires on top with beads.  While I stabilized the box with my foot he yanked on the curly wire until he was all the way up!


Milestone #3

Jack’s talking!  He has been making some daaa sounds for a few weeks but on Friday he said a very emphatic DAD!  And once he realized his new trick he’s been showing it off and practicing a lot.  I don’t think he realizes that Greg is dad yet but I’m sure it won’t be long. 


Great week Jack!

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Baby Unplugged

Sunday, we had quite a wind storm in central Ohio, New Albany, and Westerville included!  Remnants of hurricane Ike combined with a cold front to bring us 75 MPH winds, in Ohio, if you can believe that!  The closest we’ll ever be to hurricane weather in the buckeye state!  Greg and I lived in Florida for 3.5 years and through several tropical storms and hurricanes and surprisingly, never experienced wind as strong and sustained as we did Sunday!  The most unusual part about the whole experience was there was no rain, no lightning, no thunder or dark clouds, just wind (and that was enough)!


We lost our power around 4pm Sunday.  Greg was at our Chiropractic office in New Albany working on some paperwork.  At first I was glad to get a call from him saying the power was out because that meant he was coming home!  He was tired and a bit frustrated with some unexpected, unfinished, paperwork and I knew he needed a mental break, and Jack and I missed daddy.  After all, weekends are for family time!  Shortly after he made it back, we lost power at our home in Westerville.  The wind was blowing fiercely, trees bending to extreme, and leaves and branches blowing down the street like tumbleweed.  A lot of people were walking out their doors to check out the wind.  Kids were out “playing” in the wind, seeing if it would knock them over… and it did!  We noticed neighbors gathering near the street.  Then I heard sirens and looked out the window and a giant tree had fallen, crushing a parked car and blocking our street!  About an hour later a similar scene appeared with another huge, old tree lying across our street.  I’m glad no one was hurt!  We later stepped outside, it was still blowing quite a bit, but like the other curious onlookers we wanted to see what it felt like to stand in such wind.  We carried Jack outside with us and he loved the wind blowing his hair.  We didn’t stay out too long because I was worried small debris could strike us in the eye. 


As the storm died down and daylight was running out we gathered up flashlights and candles, and a battery powered radio.  We kept the windows open since it was cool and breezy outside.  We dug up some macaroni and cheese from the cupboard, and used our stove is gas powered, for dinner.  We added some caned tuna to make it a little more healthy.   Then I realized our biggest problem!  I have been saving up breast milk for next month when I will spend a weekend in Las Vegas for my sister’s bachelorette party.  It will be my first trip away from Greg and Jack since his birth and because I plan on nursing him for at least 12 months, I need a good supply for Greg to feed him when I’m gone.  I have been staying up late to pump and store up this milk for months now, it’s like gold to me!  So I sent Greg out for some Ice to pack the freezer and for one more flashlight.  We packed the Ice in tight when he got back and planned to take our milk of gold to a friends or his parent’s house if our power wasn’t back on by Monday evening.  We decided to forgo Jack’s planned bath tonight and rocked him to sleep in candlelight.  It was quite peaceful! Greg and I pulled out some pleasure reading books and with our flashlight and some candles enjoyed a relaxing evening before we headed to bed.  As new parents and new business owners (which has been soo much more draining mentally and physically than expected) I think the power outage was almost a blessing in disguise.   Forced relaxation that was much needed for both of us, no TV, music, lights or internet, just quiet!


On the business side of things the power outage stinks!  We went in Monday morning and found the major road from our home to the office was closed due to down power lines.  This was not a good sign!  As expected, when we arrived at the office it was dark as night.  We hoped the lights would be on by the afternoon but it didn’t look promising.  This was a real bummer!  We had a great momentum going into this week with last week our best week so far for our office and Monday looked like it would be record day for us too.  I hope we can pick up the momentum right where we left off when the power is back. 


After hading back home and giving Jack his overdue bath, we left to run some errands, and picked up some lunch so we didn’t have to heat up our home with the gas stove again.  We stopped by the grocery, which we thought might have power.  As soon as I walked in the door there was a wretched smell of spoiled milk and meat!  It was awful!  We left and tried the grocery across the road and luckily it did have power.  We went home and I rested for a bit, while Jack and daddy played.  I was up last night with Jack more than usual so I was very grateful for the rest!  The evening was approaching and I was making plans for my milk of gold!  My friend Julie in Dublin had power so she agreed to store it at her place, and would call when she got off work.  We then decided to kill some time and go for a walk.  As we turned back toward our apartment we noticed the lights in the neighborhood turned on!  We picked up speed hoping our place across the street would also have power.  And it did!!!  Yeah for lights!  I was relieved I didn’t have to worry any more about my milk supply and we could have a normal night again.  Although, Greg and I almost enjoyed the lack of power, except for the fridge/freezer.  So we decided we’d try to have one day a week where we will use minimal power and hopefully will have a few more quite, relaxing, restful days!

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Greener Future Fridays: Bright Lights





One great way to get started living green is to switch out some of your standard light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFL’s).  It’s easy and simple and something you can do yourself right now to make a big difference!  According to Energy Star, CFL’s use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs!  CFL’s may be slightly more expensive in the store but it will save you money in the long run on your electricity bill.  They are also available in many shapes and sizes.  If you switch just one bulb it will reduce greenhouse emissions by 450 pounds.  If every US household replaced their 5 most used light bulbs this would be like taking 8 million cars of the road.  So do your part, change a light! 

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