Monday, April 21, 2008

Owen and Dr. Tom

Owen was born extremely pigeon-toed and bow-legged. He was a toe walker and his favourite sitting position was in the W-position. When I was pregnant with the twins, I would always envision little Owen all crunched up in an uncomfortable, squashed ball, while Will did somersaults and cartwheels, oblvious and uncaring to the fact that his brother had no room to move. There were even times when I couldn't feel Owen move at all, but Will would kick the heck out of me... very indicative of the personalities they would have and DO have - today. I often believed that Owen's ortho challenges were due in large part to his nine months in utero. It makes sense to me. When he was younger back in Ontario, he saw several orthopaedic specialists, who all recommended that we wait it out and let nature and his natural growth, correct itself.

So here we are in his 5th year and Owen still has difficulty. His feet and legs have definitely straightened themselves out, but his gross motor skills suffer so much. It's a combination of many things: decreased muscle tone (brain is not providing adequate feedback to the muscles unless he is consciously thinking about activating), poor motor planning, etc. Owen received a year's worth of physical therapy and we noticed a significant improvement. For one reason or another, the p/t stalled and Owen's gross motor skills were suffering. At Halloween when we were trick or treating, Jonathan was very upset because it became glaringly obvious that Owen's walk was seriously impaired. He literally tripped over his own feet every three or four steps.

Jonathan decided to take matters into his own hands and brought Owen in for an assessment at his chiropractor's. I've always been a skeptic. Probably because when I was in a car accident 20 years ago and suffered a neck injury, I always remember our physio-therapist saying "stay away from chiropractors". This time I thought that Jonathan wouldn't be taking O if he didn't trust it on himself (which he does), so I thought it was worth a shot. I would at least humour him. Owen's first visit was last November, I believe. Fast forward to April and to me-- the difference is amazing. The improvement in Owen's walk has been subtle, but progressively better. When I say better, I mean that he is not tripping at all. As I say, we could not go for walks with Owen, without having him ride in the wagon, because he would fall soooo often. Just last week when Stephanie was here for a visit, we went for a long walk in the provincial park and Owen ran, skipped and walked alongside me without ever tripping once. I won't deny that his body is maturing and there could be some other factors at play as well, but neither can I deny that all good things have come since Owen's initial visit.

An incredible side effect to Owen's visits, is that the chiropractor's office is the ONE place that Owen goes to outside of school, without any fuss at all. No behaviours, no making strange, just complete ease and trust. He loves it there. Absolutely loves it. Dr. Tom has his dog, Griz running about the office and Owen is a huge fan. He giggles and beams when he sees him and all it takes is for us to say "Owen- let's go see Griz!" and he is at the front door of the house, with his shoes on, waiting to go. In the beginning of his visits, Jonathan tells me that Owen was apprehensive and had a very difficult time with the process of being on the table and getting adjusted. Jonathan would have to hold him and lay down with him while Dr. Tom uses a very gentle (and very quiet) activator technique (no manual adjustments). A couple of months ago, Owen impressed us all by getting on to the table all by himself and sitting through the session without making any fuss. He has never needed any help since. Just watch for yourself:

Dr. Tom & Griz

Check him out for yourself! It's so nice to find a place that is not only beneficial to your health, but is also so kid and pet-friendly.

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