Healing Hands Chiropractic Named NH’s Family Favorite


Healing Hands Chiropractic Family Wellness Center is named local Family Favorite.

Londondery, NH (Sept. 17, 2012)   Healing Hands Chiropractic Family Wellness Center has been selected by the readers of Parenting New Hampshire as a “Family Favorite” award recipient for Best Chiropractor.

The Family Favorite awards are a new award program that recognizes family-friendly businesses, services and places in over 60 categories- as chosen by the readers of Parenting NH Magazine.

“The Family Favorites’ award program recognizes those places, people and things that make New Hampshire a great place to raise a family,” said Melanie Hitchcock, editor of Parenting NH.  The voting took place online from June 1 through July 31, 2012 and received almost 1,600 votes.

Healing Hands Chiropractic’s mission is to promote and support the overall health, well-being and highest quality of life of all individuals and families in our community through natural chiropractic care and education.  The wellness center specializes in pregnancy, postpartum, pediatrics and family wellness.  Co-owner Dr. Jessica Caruso is a Prenatal & Family Chiropractor, Reiki Master Teacher and Childbirth Educator and is certified in the Webster pregnancy technique used with expectant mothers.

The clinic can be reached at 603-434-3456 or online at www.HealingHandsNH.com.  Convenient online scheduling is available for established patients and the office has a large play room for the kids to play in after their adjustments.

Taking Care of Yourself

By Guest Blogger, Krista Maltais PCD(DONA), CLC, B.S. Family Studies.

“In the day-to-day grind of it all, it’s easy to get stuck thinking, “the day is too short, the to-do list is too long, and gosh darn it, people need me!”. This is especially true for parents. But, in order to take care of others, you have to first take care of yourself. “


I begin this blog while at an airport returning from the first vacation I have had in years. As I sit here waiting for the plane to depart, I can’t help but reflect on the necessity of taking care of one self.

In the day-to-day grind of it all, it’s easy to get stuck thinking, “the day is too short, the to-do list is too long, and gosh darn it, people need me!”. This is especially true for parents. But I have learned, and this vacation has re-inforced, that in order to take care of others, you have to first take care of yourself.

As a postpartum doula and lactation counselor, I see how burned out new parents, especially new mothers, can get when they go-go-go and try to take everything on themselves. There is only so long that level of intensity (and the adrenaline that fuels the intensity) can sustain itself before stress, fatigue, or full-on exhaustion, shows itself. It may reveal itself in emotional outbursts, illness, accidents, or physical pain.

Amongst the daily tasks of parenting, it can be difficult to remember to eat and shower let alone remember how crucial it is to recharge. However, taking care of one’s self doesn’t have to mean a full week’s vacation (although, I highly recommend it!). Self-care can, and should, be found in a daily routine. Here are some ideas to try and incorporate into your life:

  • Take deep breaths. Breathing deeply helps move your body out of fight-or-flight mode and into the relaxation response and has been proven to help combat fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
  • Eat nutritious small meals and snacks throughout the day and drink to thirst. Set up snack bags and water bottlesin the places you spend the most time (in the living room, next to your nursing chair, in the car, etc). A hungry parent cannot fully function, may become short tempered, and is less likely to deal with parenting tasks/challenges calmly.
  • Exercise and socialize. Moving your body helps reduce stress and has numerous health benefits as does socializing with family and friends. It’s easy to combine the two by going for a walk with your spouse or signing up for a new exercise group with friends. As a bonus, there are many parent-baby exercise classes available in our area which may make this easier to accomplish.
  • Go for regular body work. Parenting is emotionally and physically demanding. It may seem difficult to schedule an appointment amongst the busyness of the day, but having proper physical care through chiropractic and/or massage will make it easier to sustain the tasks of parenting.
  • Ask for help. This is especially important for spouses to remember! Communicate as openly and honestly as possible about how you are feeling and what you want/need. People are usually willing to offer a helping hand and may feel more comfortable taking an active role if told specifics. Don’t have family or friends close by or don’t feel comfortable asking? See the next suggestion…
  • Hire professional support. Certified postpartum doulas are trained to know what new parents want/need. Do you just want a long, hot shower, and a nap? No problem! However, postpartum doulas can also offer education about newborn care techniques, mother care, partner and sibling adjustment, early childhood development, postpartum mood disorders, breast and bottle feeding as well as coping skills. Want something warm to eat that you didn’t have to prepare? Sure! Postpartum doulas can also assist with your family’s daily needs such as organizing the home, running errands and providing additional local resources. Are you breastfeeding? A certified lactation counselor can provide personalized breastfeeding assessment and support to ensure pain-free and successful nursing experiences in the privacy of your home.  There are all kinds of professionals out there to help you – house cleaners, dog walkers, landscapers, etc! Just ask!

The airplane’s safety announcement has just come on. The flight attendant has checked our safety belts and is telling us that in the event of an emergency, air masks may drop and that you must always put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others. How true. It’s not easy and sometimes it can feel selfish to take care of yourself, but the earlier and more regularly you incorporate self-care measures into your life, the easier and healthier your life will be.

About the Author:

Koru Care Postpartum Doula Services
Krista Maltais, PCD(DONA), CLC, B.S. Family Studies
Koru Care Postpartum Doula Services provides in-home postpartum doula and breastfeeding support to families in Southern Maine, Southeast New Hampshire, and Northern Massachusetts. Krista’s mission is to provide the highest quality of care and education to your entire family so that you may achieve the confidence, skills, and resources needed to build a strong and successful family foundation.

About Healing Hands Chiropractic:

Healing Hands Chiropractic is a full-service family wellness center specializing in Webster certified prenatal & family chiropractic care, acupuncture, cognitive-behavioral therapy, reiki & aromatherapy, massage therapy, pregnancy & birth classes and breastfeeding support.

Backpacks: Function vs. Fashion

Download (PDF, 45KB)

Chiropractors, pediatricians and orthopedic surgeons
alike agree that backpacks are a problem for your child’s
spine. While alone they may not cause major problems,
overloading and improper carrying of a backpack can
lead to headaches, neck, shoulder, and lower back pain.

Chiropractors, pediatricians and orthopedic surgeonsalike agree that backpacks are a problem for your child’sspine. While alone they may not cause major problems,overloading and improper carrying of a backpack canlead to headaches, neck, shoulder, and lower back pain.

Three Steps To An Easier Labor

by Guest Blogger, Amy Peterson, CD-DONA, CLC of Hound Hill Doula

Every labor is different. While there is no way to know in advance if yours will be easy or more difficult, or if you will require interventions or not; there are many things you can do to increase your chances of a simple, uncomplicated, “easy” labor.

Often when labors are more difficult, longer, or require interventions like cesarean; it is due to what doctors would call a “ malposition of the fetus”. This simply means that your baby is having a hard time fitting through your pelvis. Just like trying to put a square peg in a round hole, a baby who is not aligned in a way that easily slips through the opening of your pelvis is going to have a tougher time. While most babies find their way through the pelvis, turning as they descend, some (about 13%) do not, and result in either a longer more difficult delivery, or require interventions like cesarean.

‘Optimal Fetal Positioning’ (OFP) is a theory developed by a midwife, Jean Sutton, and Pauline Scott, an antenatal teacher, who found that the mother’s position and movement could influence the way her baby lay in the womb in the final weeks of pregnancy.

Optimal Fetal Position is based on three factors. Balance, Gravity and Movement. The goal is to have a baby with a tucked chin, presenting the smallest part of the head toward the front and facing the mothers back for delivery.


is achieved through relaxation and release of the pelvic muscles and ligaments so that they are symmetrical. Discomfort is a sign of imbalance, and is very common in women who carry a heavy purse or a toddler on one hip, or perhaps have an old athletic injury that they compensate for. The best way to maintain uterine balance is to get regular chiropractic care. Yoga and belly dancing also offer an opportunity to release chronic tension and tone imbalances. Take a moment first thing each morning to asses your body and relax any muscle spasms or support loose muscles.


is affecting your baby’s position at all times. Be conscious of how your postureis affecting the way gravity acts on your baby. Your baby’s head is the heaviest part ofits body and the upper back (shoulder blades) are the second. With that in mind, youshould avoid slouching or semi-reclining too often. Standing, sitting straight and tall (justlike your mother told you to) or slightly forward, or hands and knees are all positions thatenable gravity to move or keep your baby in a good position. This is not to say that youshould never lie down or slouch, just keep active and don’t be a couch potato!


is vital to keep your four pelvic joints flexible for labor. Movement also helps gravity work. (ever thrust a bottle of ketchup to get the last bit?) Keep active in postures that encourage optimal fetal positioning. Swimming (belly down!), yoga, dance, walking and doing circles or figure eights while sitting on a birth ball are all great ways to keep moving and flexible while in a good posture. Try to get on your hands and knees at least once a day and do “cat/cow” or pelvic rocking. Imagine your baby in the hammock of your belly as you rock it to sleep.

Doing these things is no guarantee of an easy labor, but they certainly can’t hurt! And if you do find yourself facing a long or difficult labor – keep these same three factors in mind….

1. Find balance- release tension

2. Use gravity to your advantage – get off you back! Try hands and knees, squatting, or sitting on a birth ball.

3. Move! Walk, slow dance, rock in a rocking chair, get on hands and knees, change position often.

Remember, your body was made to birth!  Trust the design of your body and do what comes naturally. Your baby’s birthday will be one of the very best days of your life.

About the Author:

To learn more about Amy and Hound Hill Doula please visit her site by clicking here.

About Healing Hands Chiropractic:

Healing Hands is a family wellness center that offers family chiropractic care, acupuncture, cognitive-behavioral therapy, reiki & aromatherapy, massage therapy, La Leche League breastfeeding groups and pregnancy & birth classes. To learn more about Dr. Jessica Caruso andHealing Hands Chiropracticplease visit www.HealingHandsNH.com or call (603)434-3456.

Who Needs a Postpartum Doula?

By Guest Blogger, Sandra Eisenberg- Postpartum Doula

The simple answer to this question is: EVERYONE needs a post-partum doula.  To further explain let me first say that while the event of birth is not, as it is so often treated, an emergency, it is an “emergent” situation in every sense of the word.  And while everyone is aware that babies “emerge” with many needs; not everyone is aware of or remembers that the WHOLE FAMILY (whoever that includes) emerges from this event with different needs. These include many that they may not have anticipated and may even feel blind-sided by.  This can easily get to a point of being unsettling and disturbing.

Mom must incorporate this gigantic experience she has had into her realm, while she functions with a newborn.  Regardless of what the birth was like, this must happen.  Physical healing must happen and be supported.  Siblings must be attended to.  Fathers/significant others have to adjust to a shift of enormous magnitude in their lives.  Unexpected and/or unforeseen emotions and circumstances frequently come into play.  The world is altered.  Parents may be elated, anxious, overjoyed, overwhelmed, uncertain, ambivalent, intoxicated [with the baby], vulnerable, fluctuating between and amongst emotions.  This will all vary from person to person, but one thing is common to all: people are getting less sleep and are tired, fatigued or exhausted.

The impact of this lack of sleep plays a very serious and central role in how things proceed for the family.  Help must be available.  Practical help with baby care, laundry, food-provision, other children, household organization must be in place.

Support for breastfeeding must be available where needed.  Someone to calm and validate fears and worries of new parents is especially critical.  A listener to the new mother/father/significant other/siblings as they give voice to how they are feeling is key; the story of the birth may need to be repeated many times as it is now such a momentous part of peoples’ lives.  The impact of an appropriate support person cannot be underestimated, but is often unforeseen.

This is where the post-partum doula comes in.  Throughout history the special care needed by a new baby and mother has been given by the family and community.  So many cultures throughout the world still have in place the kind of protective situation that is required when a baby is born.  Our current society, however, does not.  This is why so many people run into trouble.

The post-partum doula gently guides and supports in whatever ways necessary without taking over or making decisions.  She may listen, cook, change diapers, soothe both baby and parents, give attention to siblings, do laundry, provide nursing snacks, linen-changes, or perform any number of other relieving behaviors and tasks.  Each situation will require different services from the post-partum doula, and she will adapt to each situation as necessary.  The beginning days and weeks are the prime time for the post-partum doula.  Initiating breastfeeding and adjusting to the fragile new life are just some of the reasons for this.  She will nurture the family while they become accustomed to THEIR new nurturing roles.

Personally, I like to be sure, among other things, to pay attention to the nutrition of the mother and family.   As previously stated, sleep is at a premium and this is of paramount importance.  Sleep deprivation may be unavoidable for a while, but attempts must be made to avoid its effects gaining momentum.  The mother’s body has healing to do, on whatever scale.  Emotions are tending to run high.  Everyone is in a state of flux.  People being properly nourished with healing foods can aid greatly with all of this.  Another fundamental piece is that nourishment and hydration needs to happen at steady intervals.  The role of maintaining balanced blood sugar levels and being adequately hydrated too frequently goes unnoticed.  Attention to these can considerably improve stressful situations.

To all who are awaiting the arrival of new family member(s):CONGRATULATIONS!!  Nothing could be more exciting.  I hope this provides some “food for thought” as you make your preparations.


Sandra Eisenberg

Post-partum doula-DONA trained



About Healing Hands Chiropractic:

Healing Hands is a family wellness center that offers family chiropractic care, acupuncture, cognitive-behavioral therapy, reiki & aromatherapy, massage therapy, La Leche League breastfeeding groups and pregnancy & birth classes. To learn more about Dr. Jessica Caruso and Healing Hands Chiropracticplease visit www.HealingHandsNH.com or call (603)434-3456.

Choosing to Breastfeed

by Guest Blogger, Darcy Sauers

Certified Postpartum Doula & Lactation Counselor

Despite what friends and family may have told you, breastfeeding can be easy and painless.  The key to success is to ask for help and support early and often.  And, women in New Hampshire today are very fortunate to have a number of great breastfeeding resources available.  There is a large network of qualified lactation professionals who are committed to helping moms have a positive, painless breastfeeding experience.

Breastfeeding Benefits for Mom:

There are many proven health benefits for women who choose to breastfeed!  Women who do not breastfeed are at a greater risk of breast cancer.   Your breast cancer risk is reduced by 7% for each birth and at an additional rate of 4.3% per month that you continue breastfeeding.[i]

Research has also found that women who do not breastfeed are at a greater risk for developing ovarian cancer and Type 2 Diabetes.  Breastfeeding for 18 months or more was associated with a significant decrease in ovarian cancer risk (compared to not breastfeeding).  For each month of breastfeeding the relative risk was decreased by 2%.[1]

Increasing the duration of breastfeeding is also associated with a decreased risk of Type 2 Diabetes.  For each additional year of lactation, women had a decrease in the risk of Type 2 Diabetes of 14-15%.[2]

If you are pregnant and want to breastfeed, set yourself up for success.  Ask yourself:

  1. Does my birth place encourage Skin to Skin for one hour immediately after delivery for a non-medicated birth and Skin to Skin for two hours after a medicated birth?
  2. Does my birth place have Lactation Counselors on staff?
  3. Does the pediatrician I have chosen have Lactation Counselors on staff?
  4. Which of my friends who have breastfed successfully would be able to offer me non-judgemental support?
  5. What breastfeeding support groups are available in my area?
  6. Who are the private Certified Lactation Counselors in my area?
  7. Who are the certified Postpartum Doulas in my area?

Keep this list of answers handy for when your baby arrives.  And, do not hesitate to reach out with all questions and for any help you may need.

One of the most important things you can do to establish a successful breastfeeding relationship is to have continuous Skin to Skin contact with your baby immediately after birth.  Skin to Skin should last for one hour if you’ve had a natural, un-medicated birth.  If you had any medications during labor, Skin to Skin should be for a continuous two hour period to give the baby a little more time.   When babies are allowed to have this quiet time on their moms, they are able to latch successfully and start breastfeeding at their own pace.

And remember, if it hurts, ask for help!  Take advantage of the many available resources around you.

Darcy Sauers is a certified postpartum doula¸ lactation counselor and the owner of Dover Doula (www.doverdoula.com) in the Seacoast area.  She is passionately committed to helping new moms find the support, resources and information that they need. Darcy is very happy that moms in Southern NH are lucky to have such a wonderful prenatal and postpartum resource in Dr. Jess and Healing Hands Chiropractic. Please do not hesitate to contact Darcy with any questions at darcy@doverdoula.com or 603-988-5945.  For more information on breastfeeding, the postpartum period and local resources and events for new moms, follow her on Facebook

1                     Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer   PubMed

2                     Danforth et al.  PubMed

3                     Schwarz et al.  University of Pittsburgh

[i] Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer