The Breath of Life

A little girl was born in a hospital in metro Atlanta. She had developed normally in the womb and all the ultrasounds and prenatal tests provided showed the uninhibited development of a normal baby girl. Her family and her siblings were excited to add to their growing family. The parents and the children were all chiropractic patients. Everything seemed just fine leading up to the moment when the little girl was finally born but one major complication existed. She was unable to take her first breath.

Immediately she was hooked up to a ventilator and ushered off to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). All the latest and greatest technologies were applied but no answers could be found. She was seen by specialists, clergy, and her family was in constant prayer. Why couldn’t this little girl breath?

A month passed by and the hospital bills continued to pile up all while the family’s hope was dwindling. Late one night the mother contacted their family chiropractor. She was sobbing while trying to explain their circumstances. She continued to cry as she told him how the delivery seemed normal but that her daughter was blue when she came out due to a lack of oxygen and she had failed to ever take her very first breath. After some coaxing by the NICU pediatrician, they had reached a decision as a family that if she was still unable to breathe on her own by the next morning that they were going to give permission to unhook the ventilator and allow her to pass away. As a last-ditch effort the mom wanted her chiropractor to examine her daughter before this occurred.

The chiropractor explained that he could not simply walk into a NICU and adjust a baby hooked up to a ventilator. If someone from the hospital saw him doing this he could get into trouble and possibly even lose his license but after hearing the critical tone of the mother and her pleading, he reluctantly agreed.

It was a little after 3 in the morning when he finally reached the NICU. As he reached down and felt the little girl’s neck he knew right away something wasn’t right. In his own words, “anyone with even a basic level of understanding of anatomy should have been able to tell this girl’s atlas (top vertebra) was way out of place.” With the family huddled around to block the view of the nurses he gently adjusted her atlas back into alignment. Before he could even remove his hands from her tiny neck the little girl let out the most beautiful cry the family or he had ever heard. Breath at last!

My first son had a similar experience, albeit of lesser severity. When he was born, he had engaged down in the pelvis with both hands up by his face which was unknown to us, the midwives and even the doctors. One progression lead to another and in the end an emergency C-section was performed. Breathing was difficult for him at first. Amniotic fluid is typically expelled from the lungs while being compressed through the birthing canal. He didn’t have that luxury so his little body was tasked with absorbing it through the lungs.

We were living in Atlanta at the time and I hadn’t even taken my first chiropractic class when he was born. I felt helpless. I stayed with him day and night only to leave when I was kicked out of the NICU every morning from 4 to 4:15 while the nurses switched shifts and received their daily briefing. A feeding tube was placed into his nose and every day I watched him yank it out. As a new dad, I was excited to see his unwillingness to submit and eventually the nurse gave up. Hawk 1, NICU nurse, 0.

I gave specific instructions to the pediatrician to clear all tests with me prior to any being performed. One time after the 15 minutes that I was made to leave the room, I came back in to see a Band-Aid on his tiny little heal. A rather loud and intimate conversation was then had between the pediatrician and myself. No tests and no procedures were to be done WITHOUT MY CONSENT. I think he took the warning.

It took almost 3 days after his birth for his papaw to finally make it south from Ohio to see his first grandchild. Being a seasoned chiropractor, I was glad he could finally get his hands on my son to see if any subluxations were present. Within two hours the monitors that displayed his respiration began normalizing and he was dismissed from NICU.

How can the misalignment of the top vertebra effect breathing to such a great extent?  

The answer lies in the brainstem. The medulla and the pons, a portion of the brainstem house the control centers for breathing. Space is already at a premium in the neck so if anything is out of order, things can get a little cramped. Throw in the fact that there is coupled motion of the skull, C1, and C2 and it becomes obvious how a slight correction properly made to C1 can save an infant’s life or allow my son to go home from the NICU.

I recently started taking care of a child in our office who has asthma. This is not the exact same mechanism as described above but the results have been no less profound. After dealing with asthma attacks 3x per week, he has only had one attack since starting care, which occurred two nights after his first adjustment. He has been asthma free ever since. He is hardly an isolated case. Our office and many other chiropractic clinics across this huge globe see people of all ages recover from asthma among other respiratory issues on a routine basis.

I am one person. Just one individual out of 6.5 billion people who call Earth home. If I know this many people who have had such wonderful success after being adjusted, how many infants out there have been allowed to pass away without a chiropractic examination? How many were written off as deeply flawed or unable to survive and simply unplugged?

The number is likely far less than those kids who grow up with all types of health issues. You know the ones. The kids who have coughs that last for 6 months. The ones who every time you turn around they are sick. The ones getting tubes put in their ears. The kids who deal with autoimmune issues and are constantly being pumped full of antibiotics while never actually being cured. The kids who start getting body parts removed because they are told they are malfunctioning. Who needs tonsils and adenoids anyways? (Side note: These are not just for show. They protect you from infections!) These are usually the kids who have had a traumatic birthing experience or have had other types of injuries along the way. If your child fits this bill then they should be under chiropractic care. You’ll be astounded by the progress they make in terms of their overall health and well-being!

-In Health,

Dr. Andrew R. Burns



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