Believe in Breastfeeding

Posted by: Jenny Everett King, CYT

The cover of a well-known magazine this week featured a well-known actress performing a well-known activity: breastfeeding her child. Now, just like when another magazine’s cover portrayed a breastfeeding mother and baby in 2006, people have complained. There are, apparently, many adults and teenagers who are uncomfortable with images of nursing mothers.

Breastfeeding is one of the few practices left in our culture that is inherently natural. It also happens to be healthy for both mother and baby (physically and emotionally), convenient, and economical. (Stressed about the expense of having a baby in the current economy? Breastfeed, and you could save thousands of dollars a year!) Most of us know, intellectually, that breastfeeding is the ideal means of infant nutrition. Yet many still don’t like to see it in action.

Consequently, many breastfeeding mothers feel uncomfortable nursing their babies in public. Numerous women have commented, “I just don’t want to make anyone else feel awkward.” A mother may not mind being seen nursing her baby, but still mind the disapproving looks she gets for doing so. The majority of restaurants, shopping malls, and airports do not offer an area that is comfortable, clean, private, and otherwise appropriate for breastfeeding. Many women feel that they are left with a choice between hygiene and privacy . (Public restrooms are very often not an option. )

If we as a culture truly believe in the benefits of breastfeeding for all babies, then we must show our support for nursing mothers. We should encourage them to feed their babies in the area where they are most comfortable, physically and emotionally. We certainly should never make them feel awkward or embarrased.

At Healing Hands, we offer a comfortable and private sitting area where we invite women to breastfeed. However, mothers are welcome to feed their babies wherever they prefer in our office. We believe that both mother and baby benefit immeasurably from the act of breastfeeding, and we are committed to encouraging this aspect of natural health and well-being.

Is the Economy Taking its Toll on Your Health?

Posted by: Dr. Jessica L. Caruso

In times of economic struggle, why is it that our health care is the first thing we put on the back burner? Many of us in this society grew up thinking that preventative and maintenance care was frivolous, unnecessary…when things get really bad we can have it removed or take a pill for it. This type of thinking is exactly why our “healthcare” system is in the state it’s in.  Think about the cost of all those tests to determine which pill to prescribe, or which organ to remove!!! And then how much does surgery cost? How much does a hospital stay cost? How much time out of work do you need for recovery? Who is going to watch the kids during this time? Does your husband or wife need to take time off work too? And so the downward spiral begins…

Maybe it’s these ideas of “sickcare ” (not healthcare) that are the reason our health insurance premiums are through the roof?! Too many people in our country cannot even afford health insurance. It’s time for change: It’s time  we all take responsibility for our health and listen to the signals our bodies are sending us, and not mask these signals with over-the-counter medications, prescription pain killers, or statins. Instead, let us all focus on prevention-true health care — not symptomatic care. It truly is a more cost effective approach to your health. And it may even lower the costs of health insurance…hmmm…wouldn’t that be something.  Don’t let current economic issues create more health issues for you in the future. The decisions we make today about our health determine our health tomorrow.

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Please visit to learn about how we can help you maintain your health naturally. In light of the economic struggles we are all facing, Healing Hands Chiropractic is offering web-only discounts on all our services. Please visit our website today and print your coupon right at home. Healing Hands is there for you, for your health and for your future.

A Holistic Approach to your Prenatal Care

Posted by: Dr. Jessica L. Caruso

Many of my patients ask “Is it safe for me to continue chiropractic care during my pregnancy?The answer is an astounding “YES!” In fact, not only is it safe; but chiropractic care can help with lower back pain, sciatica, and many more of the common symptoms associated with pregnancy. If you are pregnant one of the best things you can do is receive chiropractic care: a flexible, balanced spine, hips and pelvis; and internal organs free from postural and nervous system stress are essential for a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Another reason to be under chiropractic care during pregnancy is…it’s drugless! Over the counter medications for relief of the common symptoms associated with new postural strains can be decreased — even avoided. There is no such thing as a safe drug.

I am a chiropractor who is Webster Technique Certified. This chiropractic technique helps to correct sacral misalignment, and balance pelvic muscles and ligaments, which in turn removes torsion to the woman’s uterus, its resulting constraint to the baby, and allows the baby to get into the best possible position for birth.(

Healing Hands Chiropractic not only has specialized pregnancy chiropractic care…but we also have prenatal and postnatal yoga classes with our highly trained yoga teacher and childbirth educator, Jenny Everett King. We also offer massage and reiki, both of which have been shown to provide great relief of symptoms related to pregnancy, like sciatica.

We are happy to announce the addition of Empowered Birth:
Natural Childbirth Classes to our prenatal program. Classes start this October.

Expecting a baby is, for many parents, a time of great excitement, anticipation, and pride. It can also be filled with anxiety, questions, and even a little fear. The mission of Healing Hands Chiropractic’s Empowered Birth classes is to ease your fears and anxieties about birth, help you find answers to your questions, and give you the opportunity to have a confident, empowering, fulfilling birth experience.
Our classes are based on a philosophy called “woman-centered birth,” in which the needs and desires of the laboring mother are the foundation of her perinatal care. Our class material is based on the ALACE childbirth education curriculum, which emphasizes informed decision-making and a holistic approach to childbearing.
Empowered Birth classes are designed for parents desiring to learn more about natural childbirth. We will include unbiased information on medical alternatives such as induction, anesthesia (epidurals), and cesarean birth. The bulk of the material, however, focuses on helping parents achieve a natural birth, whether in a hospital, a birth center, or at home.
Classes meet in two formats: Weekly classes are two hours each, and run for six weeks. The seventh week is a casual question and answer time, where students have the opportunity to speak with new parents as well as holistic health professionals who specialize in prenatal care and/or pediatrics. Weekend sessions, an alternative for those who can’t attend during the week, meet two Saturday afternoons for five hours each time. Please click
here for additional information about upcoming classes.

Pregnancy and birth are special times in a woman’s life that she should enjoy and treasure, not something to just “get through.” We are comitted to helping you have the best possible childbearing experience through holistic prenatal care.

Birth, Naturally

Posted by: Jenny Everett King


Natural childbirth” is a term that is frequently tossed about without the speaker clarifying his/her meaning. One person may use “natural” in reference to vaginal birth, rather than birth by cesarean. Another may use natural in place of “medication free.” Still others think of the spontaneous onset of labor, homebirth, or hospital birth with a nurse midwife rather than an OB. In reality, proponents of true natural childbirth encourage a birth experience that not only is drug-free, but one that incorporates a variety of positions and coping methods for all stages of labor. Above all else, the birthing mother is encouraged to trust, rather than question, her own body.


Natural childbirth is not for everyone, and should not be presented as such. No matter what our personal philosophies, no one has the right to tell another woman how to birth her baby. With that said, many women do not consider birthing naturally, or are skeptical about their ability to do so, simply because they have never been offered the proper tools. Every woman deserves to be educated about the option of natural childbirth, and the vast majority of women should be offered the opportunity to birth in this way.


An epidural-free labor that does not incorporate tools for coping with pain is nearly impossible. “Natural” childbirth does not equal un-medicated childbirth. Rather, natural childbirth offers an alternative philosophy of the birthing process and, in doing so, incorporates an alternative set of coping tools. I have spoken with so many women who tell me, “I wanted to have a natural birth, but it was just too painful.” As the conversation continues, I usually hear that she spent the most difficult parts of labor in bed, hooked up to machines, often surrounded by nurses who were strangers to her, or a doctor / midwife she met once before. What woman has a pain threshold high enough to withstand the intense contractions of transition in this environment?


Birthing naturally does not just mean the absence of an epidural. It requires freedom of movement, emotional and sometimes physical support from the birth partner and from care providers, and confidence in birth itself. Most women who have had positive experiences with natural birth also credit mental preparation and relaxation techniques. Partners often mention the benefits of close communication with the laboring mother, and the ability to understand her needs and desires. These are important skills that come with training and practice – they don’t simply manifest in an instant in the labor and delivery room! All pregnant women and their partners who desire natural childbirth should be encouraged to communicate openly with one another, to educate themselves about the birth process, to practice relaxation exercises, and to strive for a naturally healthy and fit pregnancy. These four principles are the basis of Healing Hands’ new Empowered Birth series. We believe that you deserve to know the power and beauty of natural birth!

Backpack Safety Tips

Posted by: Dr. Jessica L. Caruso

Think carrying a backpack is “no big deal”? Think again. The average child’s backpack weighs 12 pounds and gets lifted 10 times a day. That equals 120 pounds lifted each day. That works out to be about 21, 600 pounds lifted in a 180-day school year!!!

How exactly does carrying a backpack affect the spine? Common sense tells us that a heavy load distributed unevenly day after day causes stress to a growing spinal column. More than 50% of youths experience at least one low back pain episode by the end of their teen years. Repetitive activities such as hauling a heavy backpack over one shoulder each and every day can lead to serious postural misalignments and imbalances, creating subluxations of the spinal column. These subluxations may cause nerve interference, which can lead to a variety of symptoms and decrease a child’s immune response.

Carrying a heavy backpack in which weight is improperly distributed can result in poor posture; spinal column distortion; muscle strain; headaches; back, neck and arm pain; and nerve damage.

Proper lifting techniques are extremely important. The following is proper backpack lifting technique and should be demonstrated to your child:

Face the backpack before you lift it

Bend at the knees

Using both hands, check the weight of the pack

Lift with legs, NOT your back

Carefully slip on one shoulder strap at a time

NEVER sling the pack on one shoulder

Packing your child’s backpack properly can decrease strain on the spinal column:

Pack the heaviest objects close to the body

Place bumpy objects on the outside, away from the back

Having your child checked regularly by a chiropractor to remove subluxations and insure proper posture during the growing years is very important. Remember, “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.”

Undo the Damage

Posted by: Jenny Everett King


My two-year-old likes to fold in half, place the top of her head on the floor, and say, “Look, Mom, I’m doing yoga!” If she has an audience (other than her proud yoga teacher mama), her performance usually leads to a discussion of “Wouldn’t you love to have that kind of flexibility!” At that point, I usually point out that most of us could have something approaching that level of flexibility, if only we would work to develop it.

Granted, most of us will never be able to put our heads on the floor when practicing a forward bend. The abilities of small children have as much to do with their proportions as they do with flexibility. But our lack of flexibility as adults has more to do with a lifetime of bad, tension-inducing habits than it does with aging.

Years of teaching have shown me that close relationship between daily activities and physical tension. Most runners have tight hamstrings and pain in the lower back, while many weight-lifters have tight chests and difficulty taking a deep, full breath. I usually see tight calves and toes (and the resulting lower back pain) among professional women who frequently wear high heels; I see wrist pain and tight hips among the computer set. Breastfeeding mothers often have tight upper backs and rounded shoulders. The list goes on. To make matters worse, most of compensate for our tight areas by over-using other muscles and joints, which in turn leads to more tension – a vicious cycle.

So, can we help our bodies out of this mess?

The first and obvious solution is to change our habits. No, I am not suggesting you change your exercise routine or quit your job, and I certainly would never tell a woman to stop breastfeeding her baby. But we can change the way we do certain things. Consider a change in footwear, for running or for work. At the computer and while nursing, be conscious of using good posture and changing position frequently.

The second part of maintaining and eventually increasing flexibility is simple: Use it or lose it. In yoga classes, we focus on undoing the damage from daily life as well as promoting general flexibility. I often have runners and avid hikers focus on their hamstrings, while a nursing mom may concentrate on opening her shoulders and chest in the same pose. Likewise, a high-heel-wearing executive might focus on her calves in Downward-Facing Dog, while someone on a computer all day might concentrate on opening his hands to take pressure off the wrists. That’s the beauty of yoga: Each pose works so many areas, that people with very different lifestyles can practice together and reap the benefits.

Turn Up the Health

Posted by: Dr. Jessica L. Caruso


When I first graduated from chiropractic college, I moved to New Hampshire to take on an associate position. While working under this other doctor, I learned a lot about how to explain the power of chiropractic and the miracle of the human body to both patients and prospective patients alike.

One particular analogy always stuck with me when explaining the difference between health and sickness. I would be in a room full of people with the door shut. I would tell the people that on the other side of the door all the lights were out in the hallway and the hallway was left in pitch darkness. I would then ask the group what would happen if I opened the door- would the light from the room we were in seep into the dark hallway and make the hallway brighter, or would the darkness from the hallway seep into the lit room and make it dimmer? Every time I would ask this question, the answer was always, “Of course the hallway would become brighter.” So I would ask “Why?” I would get all kinds of answers about the speed of light and so forth. But never once did I get the answer I was looking for. I would wonder if never getting the right answer was due to our societal mindset of “healthcare.” I would then go on to explain that darkness does not exist but is merely the absence of light…just like sickness does not exist but is merely the absence of health. In order to make the hallway brighter we need to turn up the lights, not go into the dark room and pick out the “dark spots”! So why aren’t we turning up the light in our bodies? Turning up the health is the answer, not taking out the dark spots; taking out the gallbladder, tonsils, female reproductive organs, whatever the surgery du jour or surgery trend of the decade is.

Too many people are ignoring the signs their bodies are sending them! We are all born with an innate intelligence. Our bodies all have the ability to heal. However, we need to provide the environment for that to occur optimally. If someone breaks their arm, and decides not visit the ER to get the bone set and cast, their arm will heal. However, it will not heal optimally. This may be a drastic example. Most people cannot ignore the fact that their arm is broken, so why are we ignoring all the other signs. Headaches…not a deficiency of Excedrine like the commercials want you to believe. Getting a headache is your body’s way of telling you there is something wrong, something’s out of balance and in a state of dis-ease. If your oil light in the car came on and you decided to take the fuse out so the light turned off, does that mean the problem is fixed? Or does it make more sense to check the oil?!! We need to start treating our bodies at least as well as we treat our vehicles.

Chiropractic, yoga, reiki, massage and a regular meditation practice are all ways of enhancing the ability to listen to your body and make the appropriate adjustments your body needs. Stop turning off the lights and start turning up the health.

Give It All You’ve Got

Posted by: Jenny Everett King


There is a commercial for a popular children’s product that ends with the line, “Motherhood means always giving one hundred percent.”

If that’s the case, then most of us are in trouble.

If motherhood meant always giving 100%, my child would never watch TV. She would never go to bed without a story. I would never forget to give her a vitamin supplement – no, even better, she wouldn’t need a vitamin supplement because her meals would be perfectly balanced to include the appropriate RDA of each and every vitamin, mineral, and herb for optimum two-year-old health. And it all would be totally organic, of course.

Well, in a perfect world, maybe.

Many of us take the sentiment of that commercial – that doing something at all means doing it perfectly – and apply it to other aspects of our lives, like diet and exercise. When it comes to our health, it’s easy to have an “all or nothing” mentality. Have you ever given up on buying some organic produce, since you can’t afford to buy all organic, all the time? Have you ever thought there’s no point in eating well for the rest of the day, just because you ate pancakes with loads of butter and maple syrup for breakfast? Or skipped exercise for the rest of the week, since you didn’t make it to the gym on Monday and Tuesday?

I have to confess that I have been guilty of all those examples at one point or another in my life.

But fortunately, health does not work that way. Wellness is not an “all or nothing” concept; in fact, it’s just the opposite: Every little bit counts. A chiropractic adjustment only once every two or three weeks is better than no chiropractic care at all. One yoga class a week is still good, even if you don’t have space to practice at home every day. Five minutes of meditation is beneficial, if your day won’t allow for a full half-hour. (Chances are, if your day is too busy to squeeze in a half-hour session, you’re really going to need those five precious minutes to yourself!)

In perfect world, I believe we should all practice yoga daily and have consistent adjustments according to our chiropractor’s recommendations. We should eat very little sugar and very many organic vegetables and whole grains. These are the sorts of recommendations patients and students often hear from us in the office, because we want to present you with an ideal. Sometimes, that ideal is daunting.

Make no mistake: You don’t have to be perfect in order to be healthy. Wellness, like motherhood, does not have to mean always giving 100%. Give your health the best that you are able to give it in this moment, and let that be enough.



Chiropractic Care is Important for Children

Posted by: Dr. Jessica Caruso

Many people know that chiropractic care is beneficial for adults, but so many do not know how crucial it is for children.Most people are SO surprised when I tell them that my youngest patient to date was 18 hours old when she received her first chiropractic adjustment. Chiropractic care is for all ages, and absolutely safe for children.Chiropractors use very gentle and specific techniques for children. This is what is so awesome about chiropractic…it can be tailored for the individual patient!

Children are very susceptible to trauma in their spines. Childhood is such a physical timeof life– learning to walk, riding a bike, climbing trees, playing sports, and so much more.Spines grow at a rapid rate during the first five years of life. Checking for abnormalities during this time especially is critical for proper structural and nervous system development.

Many parents understand the importance of regular dental check-ups, but a spinal check-up can be one of the most important check-ups a parent can bring their child to.

The spine protects billions of nerve fibers, where signals travel from the brain to the body and back again.If there is any interference along these nerve pathways from misalignments in the spine, also known as SUBLUXATIONS, then a state of dis-ease can develop. If this state of dis-ease is ignored, then pain, sickness and disease can occur over time.

Subluxations can occur as early as in utero from abnormal positions in the womb.Injuries can occur to a baby’s spine at birth due to delivery in these abnormal presentations. Also, C-section, vacuum or forceps extraction, and even induction can all create subluxations.This is why it is so important to have your children’s spines checked sooner rather than later.

Health problems in childhood or even adulthood have been traced back to spinal damage at birth.Many parents bring their children in to a chiropractor for such things as frequent colds, asthma, colic, reflux, ADHD, and ear infections. However, they quickly discover that chiropractic care for their children is so much more than symptomatic care, but rather quite vital to their overall wellness and proper growth and development.

We all know that if one person in the household is sick, everyone is affected.This is why at Healing Hands Chiropractic we encourage everyone in the family to get their spine checked. We believe that Happy Families Are Healthy Families!


Your Body is Your Ally

Posted by: Jenny Everett King


There is a common, if obvious, theme among the many modalities we offer at Healing Hands: All are meant to promote health and overall well-being. But the commonalities run deeper than that. All the modalities we offer, as well as other practices that we often recommend, have a very specific goal in common: All are meant to improve your health from within your own body.

Much of conventional medicine teaches us to work against our bodies’ natural responses to stimuli. Numb the pain. Lower the fever. Kill the disease. Above all else, be in control.

But we cannot “control” our health entirely. Recent news on MRSA and antibiotics, childhood vaccination questions, and the side effects of prescription medications has indicated that our cultural control mindset can have disastrous results as well as miraculous ones.

The distinction between alternative and conventional medicine is about more than methodology; it’s about mentality. Alternative healing views the body as a friend to work with, rather than an enemy to fight against.

Easier said than done.

It runs counter to our culture to view the body as an ally. Women, in part, tend to have a difficult time even tolerating their bodies, let alone befriending or loving them! In my yoga classes I encourage my students (both men and women) to appreciate their bodies as they are in that moment, rather than focusing on trying to change them. Yes, positive physical changes will happen with time and effort. But we must first accept ourselves – mind and body – in order to help those changes happen in the healthiest way possible.

Similarly, women planning unmedicated childbirth often find that in order to have a fulfilling experience, they must first surrender to their bodies’ innate knowledge. The underlying concept here is even more foreign than befriending the body: In these instances, one has to actually surrender the mind and let the body take control. That’s a pretty daunting task for most of us. (Especially we Type “A” personalities. . .)

The commitment to natural health requires strength in areas where we as modern Americans are often lacking: Self-discipline. Patience. Perhaps most importantly, trust in ourselves. We tend to perceive the absence of control as an indication of weakness. But the ability to align our minds with our bodies, to approach our health, in fact, “holistically,” demands strength on a much deeper level.