(Health Secrets) Few things are worse than the crying in the night that signals ear infections. Misery, missed school and a trip to the doctor for antibiotics have been standard procedure for decades. But now with the threat of consequences from overuse of antibiotic drugs, many parents are looking for alternative healing methods. Chiropractic offers an effective natural alternative to the medical establishment’s standard of care.
Why do we need an alternative to antibiotics? The primary reason is that antibiotic use leads to resistant bacteria. Antibiotics are never able to kill all the bacteria involved in ear infections, instead reducing them to a number that is hopefully manageable by the child’s immune system. Bacteria evolve quickly, and random mutations may cause one or two of those that remain to have a gene that protects against an antibiotic. The descendants of these mutated bacteria will have developed antibiotic resistance and will be resistant or even immune to that particular antibiotic drug.
Superbugs are bacteria that have become resistant to multiple antibiotics. They are extremely difficult to kill because antibiotics are useless against them. Once again bacterial infections are becoming a constant danger to human life, just as they were before the invention of antibiotics. As a result, it is paramount that we look to other healing methods that work.
Another reason to avoid antibiotics is the damage they do to the friendly bacteria that normally populate the body, particularly those that inhabit the digestive tract. Whenever antibiotics are used, friendly bacteria are killed off along with the invaders, leaving the intestinal tract wide open to be repopulated with candida, yeast and unfriendly bacteria.
Chiropractic can stop repeated ear infections
When we think of alternative medicine, chiropractors may not leap to mind, but chiropractic is actually the most utilized field of alternative medicine. Chiropractors work with infants and young children as well as adults to correct misalignments in the spine or other joints that negatively impact the nervous system, the master controller of all the processes in the body, including the immune system. When the immune system is at its peak, disease cannot get started, and when any negative drag upon the immune system is eliminated, good health quickly returns.
Subluxation is any displacement that creates an impediment to proper functioning of the nervous system. When a subluxation is present in the cervical (neck) area of the spine, proper drainage of lymph fluid from the ears is often affected. Lymph is the fluid of the immune system, and is found between the cells of the human body. Lymph fluid carries lymphocytes to and from the lymph nodes and helps to collect foreign microbes, including disease causing bacteria and viruses. In the lymph nodes, these foreign microbes are destroyed. When the lymph system is not flowing as it should, drainage from the ears and head becomes backed up, leading to ear infections.
Chiropractic care operates on the basic principal underlying alternative medicine: give the body what it needs and it will heal itself. Chiropractic adjustment can release slowed lymph drainage and restore proper immune system functioning, enabling the body to prevent infection and heal any infection that is present.
Chiropractic adjustment is done with exact but gentle manipulation, accompanied by a light lymphatic massage. In addition, many chiropractors now provide nutritional counseling and recommendations for herbs and essential oils that can speed healing and help maintain wellness.
Dr. Joe Esposito, founder of AlignLife, takes the management of childhood earaches very seriously because the long term health implications from the treatments chosen can last a lifetime. He recommends parents play a proactive role in managing their children’s ear infections, especially during the first year of life.
This can be accomplished by planning on natural childbirth whenever possible, followed by breast feeding for at least the first six months of life, and the delaying of cow’s milk until the child is at least twelve months of age. He also cautions mothers to keep their diet as healthy as possible during pregnancy and breast feeding.
Dr. Esposito points out that introducing antibiotics increases the risk of asthma significantly during the first year of life. According to him, “One round of antibiotics can raise the risk of asthma by 12%, and three rounds of antibiotics can increase the risk by a shocking 30%. The asthma risk continues after year one, and antibiotic therapy also increases the risk of all autoimmune diseases such as allergies, rheumatoid disorders, digestive concerns, and more.”
When antibiotics are given at numerous times during the first year of life, damage occurs to the permeability of the child’s gut lining, allowing undigested foods to prematurely transfer from the gut to the blood which causes the body’s immune system to attack the undigested food as if it were an infection. This immune reaction creates a massive cascade, shifting the child’s innate healthy immune system into a paranoid hyper-responsive immune system. This shift is not just for the time of antibiotic treatment – it is often for life.
When Dr. Esposito completes a digestive analysis on children that have had multiple episodes of antibiotic therapy, he usually sees that their gut is covered in millions of yeast and other fungal infections, and harmful bacteria. Since the stool analysis is rarely a part of a conventional medicine evaluation, these children go through life with faulty digestion, a weakened immune system, chronic gut infections, and overall reduced health.
As they grow up, they are candidates for chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, and numerous other conditions conventionally managed with a drug cocktail of antidepressants, sleeping pills, digestive aids, caffeine, and excessive sugar consumption.
In addition to proactive prevention of childhood ear infections, chiropractic management of the condition has also been very successful, says Dr. Esposito. “If there is neurological stress in the upper neck of the child, which could stem from the birth process itself, the child will continue to suffer from episodes of earaches until the integrity of the nerve is repaired.”
He asks parents to read the book titled How To Raise A Child In Spite Of Your Doctor. “If there was one book I would make all parents read, this would be that book”, he says.
Other healing recommendations
One of the essential oils frequently recommended for ear infection is eucalyptus. A few drops of eucalyptus oil can be added to a humidifier to help break up ear congestion as well as sinus congestion. Two drops of tea tree oil can be mixed with twenty drops of olive oil to create an effective oil with which to massage the outer ears. Apply the oil in a light stroking pattern going diagonally from behind the ears down to the collarbone.
Garlic and a few drops of mullein oil, warmed and dropped into the infected ear works well to decrease pain and inflammation. This can be covered with a cotton ball. However, nothing should be put directly into the ear if there is a discharge.
These are the recommendations for ear infection from James Balch, MD and Phyllis Balch, CNC in Prescription for Nutritional Healing:
- Make a paste of onion powder or clay from a health food store and apply it to the outside of the ear to relieve pain.
- Use olive leaf extract to help the body fight off infection.
- Place 1/2 dropper full of alcohol-free goldenseal extract in the mouth and swish is around for a few minutes before swallowing. Do this every three hours for three days. Alternating echinacea with goldenseal is highly effective.
- For an infant, put the goldenseal extract in formula or expressed breast milk, or in yogurt.
- Avoid allergenic foods such as wheat, dairy products, corn, oranges, peanut butter, and all simple carbohydrates, including sugar, fruits, and fruits juices, as these encourage the growth and multiplication of bacteria.
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