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Episode 34: Developing Healthy Children & Understanding Nervous System Stress with Dr. Christie, Pediatric and Neurological Chiropractor

Podcast Drop Date: 4/17/2024

In this episode of the Functional Medicine Foundations podcast, host Amber Warren, PA-C, sits down with Dr. Christie, D.C., to dig deeper into the critical topic of nurturing children's nervous systems. Together, they explore the significance of calming down the nervous system in kids and provide insights on identifying neuroatypical behavior. Dr. Christie shares invaluable strategies for equipping children with the best tools to flourish, empowering parents to support their child's unique journey. Dr. Christie is a health and adventure enthusiast who loves kids and is passionate about making sure every child knows they can do and accomplish anything, and that they are capable of living their best life. Dr. Christie changed her focus from athletes to children after her own child was struggling neurologically. His torment sent her on a mission for answers. She found help from The Pediatric Experience Training Certificate, and has since watched not only her own son, but thousands of children’s lives change! Join the conversation as Amber Warren and Dr. Christie uncover practical approaches to help children shine bright in every aspect of their lives. Dr. Christie says it best: "The world is full of nay-sayers. Kids are too impressionable to allow that in their little minds. Let them be little. Let their imagination run wild, and their body be free and strong!"



Amber Warren, PA-C: Welcome to the Functional Medicine Foundations podcast, where we explore root cause medicine, engage in conversation with functional and integrative medicine experts, and build community with like minded health seekers. I'm your host, Amber Warren. Let's dig deeper. Hi Amber Warren with Functional Medicine Foundations podcast back here this evening with Doctor Christie from Purpose Driven Chiropractic.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Thanks for having me.

Amber Warren, PA-C: We're so excited to have you.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: I know!

Amber Warren, PA-C: I just love all the times that we get to chat, and we're already having some really good conversation offline, so now we're gonna bring it online.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yes!

Amber Warren, PA-C: And have some amazing conversations. But before we get into that, I'm going to go ahead and read her bio. So if you're one of the millions of parents who go to bed at night worried if you have done enough for your child's physical, emotional and neurological health, this podcast episode is for you, Doctor Christie. Hafer. Hafer right?.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Hafer.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Hafer. Sorry Hafer. A mom of a previously neuroatypical child, an owner and an owner and Pediatric Chiropractor at Purpose Driven Chiropractic, understands the millions of children who are needlessly struggling with emotional, mental and or behavioral disorders. She found. This is usually not due to a lack of action or concern from parents, especially parents who are tuned into a podcast like these. It's from a lack of awareness and why, how and what to do about it. Her understanding of basic principles of the nervous system will help. You will help your family unfold the obstacles that are holding you back from seeing your child thrive.

Amber Warren, PA-C: She has seen how shifts and stresses in the nervous system rob our kids of a joyful childhood and your family of the relationships of their relationships with that child and their siblings. After watching her son make a full recovery from a very advanced brain processing disorder, she turned her run of the mill chiropractic office into an advanced pediatric and neurological based chiropractic clinic. Their approach to health is not about adding a new routine diet, supplement, exercise, or therapy, but instead helping a child's nervous system respond differently to its environment. We know most parents are overwhelmed and inundated with information, often despite changes they make in their child's routine. Food, school supplements, therapy, and even medical interventions can plateau. It feels like you're doing everything right, and the accumulation of change wasn't what you were quite hoping for. If your child's environment is great yet their response to the environment isn't likely. Their nervous system is stuck in fight or flight stress mode, and it needs a new reaction. And that's what we're going to discuss and uncover today.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So your chiropractic office is right down the road. We're here at our Eagle Clinic. So you're here in Eagle, Idaho, which we're so thankful to have you and your husband and your team. And I've been there a handful of times and it's amazing.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Oh my gosh. And we love that you guys are here so close to. Yeah. Thank you. So exciting what you guys have done in the Valley.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Thanks I know I love this area. I love getting to serve this community well.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: I moved here so long ago and there wasn't any resources like this. Not only in natural health, natural birthing and then functional medicine.

Amber Warren, PA-C: I know it's growing. And we're getting more and more great functional medicine providers in the Valley. And I'm just and just natural minded practitioners in the Valley. And I'm so thankful because we were for a while, the whole Treasure Valley was really behind the times.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: They were.

Amber Warren, PA-C: As far as just the natural minded approach to things, and they were. We've come a long way.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Well, I think we had the mind for it. We didn't have the resources for it. And then you came. Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Oh that's a good thing.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yeah. It's well, well needed over 16 years. I know the advancements there and people are looking for it as you have. Desperate, desperate.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Desperate for.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: It. Yes.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So tell us a little bit about your journey. I know we read kind of in the intro and bio. You have your middle son. Yeah, that was Neuroatypical. So tell us kind of how you a little more detail on how you got into this world of nervous system balances with the kids?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Absolutely. It's well, of course, it's one of my favorite stories, but all my patients stories end up being my favorite stories because I don't have to see them struggle. And that's the biggest thing that Landon had. So, um, when he was like 3 or 4, I had was really far along with my third child. Um, we, I really started to notice a lot of neuroatypical behaviors, and I was trying not to compare him to his older brother. We know how easy that is.

Amber Warren, PA-C: To do, mom. Yeah, it's really hard. Yeah.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: You're like, okay, well, everything seems so smooth. You're just so proud of yourself as a parent, right? You're like, man, I'm just crushing this parenting thing.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And then the next one comes and yeah, and you're.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Like, oh, this is a little more complicated. I might have to change my approach. Right. And that's really where I started was like his. When I talk about a reaction to environment, it's like what parents start to experience where you're like, oh wow. You know, like changing from like we need to put clothes on to go somewhere is a meltdown. Yeah. And you have to get like these tactics around it. It's how complicated is that? It's so stressful. Overwhelming it is. And if you have a spouse that has a different parenting approach than you do, perhaps it's even more overwhelming because then there's conflict there. Um, so what we had started to notice was transitions weren't easy for Landon, but he also was very, very unorganized in the way his body moved. Oh, and that's a lot of what we evaluate kids for in their nervous system. There's an entire division of the nervous system dedicated to the motor system, and that's the way their brain's developing. So you don't I didn't know at the time as a I'm going to call it a traditional chiropractor. And the tools they give you out of practice to evaluate childhood development in the way that they're moving their body. Understanding what you're looking at is really the way that their brain's processing their world and their movement. So.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So when you say unorganized, how like what were you witnessing?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: So I had a very coordinated older son okay. Super athletic. And my husband and I are two and it's an athletics aren't. Everything. Like I was willing to join chess club, like Pokemon, whatever. We had to.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Play the flute, son. We'll do it.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: I am there, mommy and.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Me flame.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: For you so we can have a connection. Um, so just eye hand coordination was off. You know, you're just kind of clumsy. You tripping over your own feet sort of a deal. Um, you know, hard to tie a shoe. And he was doing the same preschool that or had gone through the same preschool program my son had four years earlier, where they're very intentional about pincer grasp. This is a montessori. So seeing your name, seeing letters, um, and then it started to be other things, like he couldn't fight off an illness as fast as the rest of us could. Okay. Um, behavior was really off. And then we started seeing other unorganized or unorganization in his nervous system. And the way he was moving, like his eyeball would kind of wander. His speech was off, and we kind of thought it was cute, you know, like, you can't say a word and you repeat it. Um, and that wasn't cute, right? Like, like teaching him the wrong word. I remember that teacher being like, so what we're going to want to do is say the word the right way. And I'm like, yeah, that makes sense now. Um, but as soon as it started really affecting his emotional health. Yeah. Where another kid would ask him, like, what's your name? And he couldn't say it. Um, he looked to me to, you know, to say his name. I was like, oh, you know, we're kind of we're kind of. This is something more than that. Um, he stopped sleeping through the night. He was having night terrors. Um, and I'd be like, man, at this time I had my third child. So I'm like, mommy wants to be a good mommy. I'm gonna just need you to.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Fall asleep and stay asleep and just.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: I'm going to put this camping mat under my bed, and we'll pull it out. And you don't have to tell me you're here. I'm just going to keep you safe. You just. Any solution? I took parenting classes. I mean, it was a lot. Yeah. Um, and it was just about a year and a half of that, and. And I started, um, as soon as his preschool teacher told me, like, look, he can't he hasn't learned a thing in three years. Oh, he can't read his name. He doesn't recognize it. He's not writing. He's not holding a pencil like kindergarten. We're setting him up for failure. And that's when I really thought, like, okay, this is like, this is not just him. This is something else going on. And that sent me on the mama bear path of how am I going to help him? You know, my my mom, I was a special ed teacher growing up. So I have like such a close heart for any kid, special needs, anything that's going on. Like, I was going to be absolutely fine if that was him. But I needed to know how he was going to thrive, right? And he definitely wasn't. Our marriage wasn't thriving. You know, my other children weren't thriving. It was really kind of everything was kind of focused on his mood, what we were going to do, you know, does he have to do some sort of therapy? Um, and once again, I was willing to do anything for him. And it really wasn't until my husband was like, look, I've been following this guy on social media. I graduated with him. He's been taking care of kids Neuroatypical kids for about a decade. He's got a training program like, why don't you go check it out? And I just found an entirely different side of chiropractic that I didn't know existed, because you didn't get that in school.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Right? And you start to learn about the brain, the nervous system, the motor system, the autonomic system, and how you can influence that through those neurological focused adjustments. Because land had been adjusted his whole life, I'm sure. Um, and it was very much like subjective of, oh, you know, like you fell down, you weren't feeling well, let's get you adjusted. And we saw some results. But as soon as we were able to measure it and get advanced training in it, and we run these neurological scans, which you see in. I saw his nervous system and it was very unorganized. Wow. Um, which I you know, we can talk about the stages we see in a nervous system. He was already at stage three, which is exhaustion. Okay. Um, and it starts usually with that fight or flight mindset. Then they get confused and then it's neural exhaustion. So he was at stage three and um, which we find a lot of kids come to, I'm sure. And as soon as we put him on a neurological focus care planning, we watched his life like, literally the coordination came online, um, first, then it was his mood. Then he was sleeping through the night. Then his speech changed the motor tics. He was having changed, his eyeballs straightened out, and we didn't need to do all the therapies. And not that I had anything against them, but I was willing to go anywhere. I had him evaluated so many different places, and I had so many options, you know, to to help him with, um, but I had to go to the foundation, which is a nervous system. Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So where where do you think? And Landon and these other kids, where does it start? Uh, the dysregulation I love.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yeah, I love that question. Um, and I would have not known the answer to that until I started investigating mom's histories. And in their case, history, when they come in. And it's really has a lot to do with maternal stress and birth. Um, we just we just don't um.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Examine the birth process. We're so excited to be pregnant, right? We're, like, so jazzed. We're going to have a baby. We're going to bring him into this world.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And we're so young, young and immature and lacking wisdom.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Absolutely. And we just don't realize that that, you know, a doctor might tell you, you know, don't eat mercury or whatever. Um, but they don't tell you, like, calm down. Yeah. You're freaking nervous system being an anxious wreck. Yeah. Is you were actually there's a power cord hooked to that baby.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Don't you wish you could just do it all again?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: This is wild. Where you're like, I was so out of it when I was having Len. And you got another kid. You're starting a business. You're just like we. We came to Idaho sight unseen. We didn't know a soul. Just throw up a shingle and be a chiropractor, you know.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So you could really identify with. Oh, yeah. My my pregnancy with Landon that that it started there.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yeah. Very sick. Obviously my body wasn't healthy. And that's what happens when you're a fight or flight digestion's not online immune system. You know you're not calm. It's just protection. And that's what baby has in utero to about 32 weeks when they're really just developing that sympathetic nervous system because it's survival for them too. So if you're feeding that, it's almost like you set the stage for them to be a little bit more stressed. It's not like you've ruined your kid, you know? I mean, we're resilient. We could. Yeah. They're adaptable.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah. That's a hard thing, right? That mama guilt of going back and being like, I let my kid cry it out that night, or I let. Oh, and we can just beat ourselves up. That's right.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yes. And you know, one of the things that I had, thank God I had Montessori because they were like, look, your kid is your kid. Their choices are their choices. You are here to guide them. But ultimately, their behavior and what they say and do is them. And you're like, oh, thank God. You know, because you put so much of you on your kid and trying to like, oh, man, I'm so responsible for all of this. And while you have like a lot of control of yourself and the direction you decide to go with health or discipline or whatever it is, ultimately it is them. You know, it is them. And and thank God. You know, Jesus raised most of my kids. They believed like, yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Thank God they're not actually ours.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yes. Um, but when you are stressed and you don't feel support when you're pregnant and then you go into a birth feeling unsupported, stressed, uptight, um, you usually birth doesn't go well. Yeah. Mom's not safe. Um, birth doesn't progress as it should.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And that's such a good thing to say. Sorry. Go ahead, Christie. But, like, I think it's that when it comes down to nervous system, it's all about feeling safe. Yeah, right. Do you feel safe? And it's a lot of times. And that's the conversation I'm having with my patients. You know, whether you were abused as a child or in a really toxic relationship, it's like, I know you think you're safe now, but your nervous system doesn't doesn't think you're safe. They still think you're in that surgery or in that labor and delivery room, or in that car where you had the horrific car accident. And that's a whole thing that we have to kind of unwind and teach our patients. Absolutely. So I think I stopped you, but, you know, you're great.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: You're great. Yeah. We talk about stress as a reaction in the body. Yeah. And when you're having that reaction, it's not your mindset. You know sometimes you're like, I just talk myself into feeling better. Well, your body's reacting that way for a reason. Yeah. To protect you. So a lot of those moms need intervention. You know, the birth was either too fast, too long. We need forceps, pitocin, epidurals, you know, whatever. Episiotomy. Pull the baby.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Away and inject them with anything and everything.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Absolutely. Yeah. And thank God, you know, we do have medical intervention when it's needed, you know, a C-section or whatever it is. But nobody tells the mom then like, hey, man, that was that was pretty rough on your kid on their nervous system. We had to pull them out by their head. Yeah. We would never touch an infant like that in a million years. You know, that's the first thing you do is protect your baby. You're holding your baby's head and neck. You don't want that to flop around. Um, but you didn't realize that they were just pulled out by their head or neck.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: In him. It's you.

Amber Warren, PA-C: That's a good point.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Um, and then you're like, I don't know why they can't turn their head or nurse or latch, or the mechanics of their jaw is not working, or, you know, they're screaming and they're arching their back and they're uncomfortable. Well, that's a that's a response to stress in the body. That's their body unable to digest food. That's them crying out for help. Um, and unfortunately, we all say they'll outgrow it, you know, everything's fine. And in turn, it starts growing into something else. You know, it goes into ear infections first and a need for antibiotics. Then we've got a gut issue, and then we've got a toddler doesn't sleep through the night and they're unable to handle any sort of immune response. And their motor system is off. And then they have, you know, their senses are just so out of whack, um, being in that state of fight or flight. And we're we got a sensory kid, you know, and then we're asking him to sit still in school and pay attention and listen, and their body's like, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you know, like, I can't do that. Yeah. Um. And then we just keep, you know, like one of my friends said, we just keep punting the problem down the road. That's true. You know, we've got kids full of ADHD, teenagers full of anxiety and depression, and that's just more advanced neurological stress just looks different in a different phase of life.

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Amber Warren, PA-C: So let's I think there's a lot of parents right now that are probably like, oh my gosh, that's every one of my kids or oh my gosh, that's one of my kids. You know I think so. So how do we in like let's let's maybe just say new moms. How would you identify. And you you honed in on a little bit, but how would you maybe identify an infant, you know, 0 to 3 months old? What are some signs and symptoms that we should have our parents be a little bit aware of in these developing babies, of.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Signs of stress?

Amber Warren, PA-C: Well, and neuroatypical, I love that term. You're honestly the first one that's introduced me to that term. Oh, really? Yeah, because I think would you agree that the sooner we can intervene on these kids, instead of waiting till Landon was 3 or 4, that or until we wait till they're teenagers and having all sorts of depression and mental health issues, the sooner we can intervene, the better with these little babies, because you're just teeny tiny little newborns all the time. I've seen them. They're so precious.

Amber Warren, PA-C: They're like your favorite patients to work with, aren't they? I know.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: And toddlers, the toddlers that just, like, run from you or my jam. Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Um, so what what are what are parents or even grandparents, right? Or aunts and uncles or or even health care providers? We have a lot of health care practitioners that listen to our podcast.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: I am so glad that you do


Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah so how can we kind of spread the word of what they can be looking for in these teeny little babies?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: That is such a great question. And one of the things that we noticed right away is how comfortable the baby is in their body. So they should have what we call like a C spine. They should just be cuddly, they should be floppy, malleable. They shouldn't be stiff, rigid, stiff. They shouldn't be able to hold up their head or rotate it by any means. That's a real sign of fight or flight or stress inside of the system. Okay. Um, they if they're crying relentlessly, you know, colic. Yep. Any sort of signs of of colic if they're unable to nurse and latch and mom's frustrated, you know, like nipples are bleeding. She's like, oh my gosh, I've changed my diet 14 times. It's usually not the diet. It's the system that that food's going through. Okay. So when you first even think about stress or fight or flight, our bodies are uptight. Yeah, right. Like like the heart's racing, blood pressure's up, all the energy's out into our motor system. Because this is survival for us. And what is not needed during a time of stress is your digestion. You're not hungry. It doesn't matter if you eat food. Your body's going to, you know, digest.

Amber Warren, PA-C: You need to be ready to run. Yes. Run from the tiger.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yes. Yeah.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Um. And your immune system. You know, it doesn't matter if a virus is in the air. It's a immune long term. Immune? You need short term. Your body's like. That's not something I need. My hormones are going to shift. So this is such a great, short lived response that God gave us our fight or flight, our sympathetic nervous system. Awesome. But when we live there, we start to see the long terme effects of that. We start to see a digestive system that is not functioning well. We start to see a body immune system that can't ward off illnesses, that is constantly on the runny noses, the ear infections, the lack of drainage. It's all tight muscles and lymphatic, and that motor system is overwhelmed. Um, so when you start to see it go further and I'm talking about punting the problem down the road, when you get to a toddler that now is supposed to be using their motor system, we're asking them to be upright against gravity and make eye contact and listen to what we say and formulate words. Most parents will catch stress then, unfortunately, that's usually when they bring them in because they're like, dude, this toddler is a mess and this terrible twos hadn't ended. But there are some parents that we have been able to catch really early, even pregnancy, to be like, let's get mom to chill out. You get her nervous system chill, and she can really connect with herself and have a nice, peaceful birth. She believes in that innate ability to deliver a baby into the world without medical intervention and without, you know, just so much stress and worry. Those are the little ones that do. Amazing.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Um, yeah. I'm sure. That's incredible. What about do? Do we start to see? And why would we maybe start to see some of these neuroatypical kids that don't present until later? Like I'm talking like adolescence. Do we see that? Will it start to present just all of a sudden like later?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: You know.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Um, I would say I have two thoughts on that. The first one is usually when we start to go through case history, we'll see little signs throughout. We're like, oh yeah, this.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Wasn't as obvious.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Maybe. Yep. You know, maybe like for Landon, how he was later on when I was able to go back, I was like, oh, look, he didn't crawl till he was eight months old. Um, and then he didn't crawl for very long. Then he didn't walk till he was 13 months old. Like there was little signs that his motor system was off. I just wasn't catching on to it.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Um, and so usually it is one of those things where, like, the nervous system has got to the point of now you are asking a child to do whatever it is, sit still in school, listen. And we've had a nervous system that's been overwhelmed for a while. Right. Um, that's usually when parents are like, dude, I've done everything I could on my own. I've changed their diet. I've changed their routine. I've changed their sleep patterns. I've changed their school. I've done all these things, and they're still not where we want them. Usually we're going to find stress in their nervous system. Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Do you think I'm going to play a little bit of a devil's advocate for you? As a mom of boys, I know you have a lot of boys, too. Um, like, I also, you know, we're in this world where it's, like, question everything, right?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And I'm, like, really questioning just just our school system, especially with boys. Like, should they actually sit still and memorize for seven hours a day?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Oh, absolutely not. Right.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Five days a week. And so how do you help parents? Because I mean I'm that parent that's like mm. Should am I maybe ignoring some nervous system dysregulation in my own boys. Or is it just that we're asking them to do a lot in society that little boys, little active boys that are all boy are not intended to do? So how to kind of how do you differentiate? I mean I mean yeah. Or am I asking that. Right. Like how do you differentiate just just a boy that needs to move his body and be in the great outdoors and.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Run do.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Versus like, yeah, there's real true nervous system dysfunction there.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: That is such a great question. Well, especially when parents are like you, you're like, is this a boy or is this a problem, you know? Right, right. What's going on? Um, and especially knowing our bodies learn through movement, that's what it needs.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Um, that's how they develop. That's how their brains develop. Right?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: That is absolutely what they need. So and I exaggerate the fact of people are like, sit still and listen, you know, in school because we're so trained to do traditional school and I don't love it, um, by any means, which is kind of why we started in, in a montessori to like, move around and interact. Um, and unfortunately, a lot of kids end up in that system, and they're just a misunderstood child.

Amber Warren, PA-C: You know.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: They could be completely neurotypical, right? And they need to move their body.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Right.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Um, and unfortunately, you're right. Society says sit still and listen for six hours, and it's not really reasonable.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And then the teachers say, go get him tested for ADHD because he can't sit still, memorize for six hours, and the parents are doing that. That's not put on meds. And it's like, oh gosh.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: That's not his gift.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Right?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Um hum. Another misunderstood child. Absolutely.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah, yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So that's where parents could really rely on a specialty car or neuro chiropractor like you to differentiate. Is this normal? Is this not. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And get the testing done, have the evaluation done and you figure that out.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yes. And really, when our hearts are for every kid to recognize their gift.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Because I feel like there's so much in this world to tell. Some tell you that there's something wrong with your child. And there's. So there's everywhere and everything and there's there's so much of us that are like, oh, man, you know, I did it wrong or something's wrong or we're just, you know, victims of our circumstance, whatever it is that we think we're. Instead, we're like, that child was completely gifted with something entirely different. Is a sound nervous system great for everyone? Absolutely. Well, we see them make better choices and react differently in their environment. Yes. Um, my number one advice for parents is always to for moms to to absolutely trust their gut.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yeah. If they're like this here's my kid. Like he's just a kid and you're telling me he has ADHD or whatever. You know the schools want to to put on that kid or you know, they are being they're misbehaving in school. Um, there's always a reason, you know, there's always a root cause for that.

Amber Warren, PA-C: There's probably a lot of parents listening to this saying, what are things I can do at home to help balance their my kid? Well, yeah, my nervous system, but also my my child's nervous system. Right. Maybe someone doesn't have the means to come see you or they live. We have a lot of listeners out of state. So what are things you recommend that families can start doing at home, like right away to help their kiddos?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: It's such a great question.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: I love this.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yeah, well, especially.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Since we spent so much time in fight or flight, our world puts us in busy mode.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Well, don't you think that like. I mean, my husband and I talk about this all the time, like we come home from a stressful day at work, right? And they feel it like, don't you think your kid's nervous systems feel our.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Nervous system absolutely stuck.

Amber Warren, PA-C: In that sympathetic like I've been running from the tiger all day. Yep. I need to come home and leave that sympathetic nervous system at.

Amber Warren, PA-C: The door out. Yeah. So they.

Amber Warren, PA-C: They feed off.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Of that.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: They do they. Our kids are such like thermostats and also thermometers. Kind of depends on who they are. You know, if they're going to want to measure you or you're they're going to measure, you know, yeah, they're taking the measurement on or they're like, I'm going to test you and see what I can do to raise the temperature in this room for sure.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah. So true.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Um, so when you're looking at the sympathetic nervous system, all the things I already described, and you realize your body's, like, in this state of tension, um, and knowing that our world feeds that distraction, we have an innate capability inside of our body to heal. And that's the other side of the nervous system. So that's that parasympathetic nervous system, the one that says, breathe, relax your muscles. Uh, you know, breathe with your freaking diaphragm is one of the biggest things that we talk about with that, that we don't take enough time to focus on that healing capacity that we have. And I think a lot of people could heal their bodies substantially further than where we can get. If we were just to focus and put as much attention onto our parasympathetic nervous system as we do to our our sympathetic nervous system. And one of the biggest nerves that run that system is our vagus nerve, that brainstem nerve, a cranial nerve ten. And its vagus means wandering. So it leaves the brain, comes down the side of our neck, wanders throughout our all of our organs and glands to innervate and bring that calm side of the system to it. And that usually is undertoned and underutilized because we've activated sympathetic, we can't be in growth and protection at the same time. So if we can get our body into that parasympathetic state, we're just a deep breath with your belly like our chest breathing is just what feeds that fight or flight response. Our vagus nerve will be stimulated by just breathing with our diaphragm. It's going to start moving. I mean, not only physically moving organs and glands, but really help that vagus nerve tone up. Um, there's vagus nerve tapping that we can do to strengthen it that will show our parents and kids humming, gargling water, um, singing, you know, things that will that vibration that will bring that vagus nerve online. Um, we have other tools at our house to like PMF mats. Cool.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Um, awesome.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: So bring your nervous system, um, into I call it more coherence. Yeah. Because we're so dysregulated and that incoherence that happens in your nervous system, everything's happening at wavelengths. There's these patterns and symmetries that is happening in our nervous system, and we get so incoherent and out of balance, we need to bring those waves back to calm. And we bring on tools like that to.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Just what about.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Going outside? Like just grabbing your kids, going outside, take off your socks and shoes and stand on the ground or thing. Right? Yeah. Grounding or thing or whatever you want to call it.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Like dig in the earth, have your hands in the dirt.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Gardening.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yeah, yeah. So anything that's.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Pets typically, I mean, unless you have like a dog on the spectrum, like I felt like we had for.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Years on the spectrum.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Or a dog full of parasites. That's my concern with that.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Too. But everybody loves dogs.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: They do.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yeah. There's a lot of things that we just have our families do just to shut off the busy world and the tech world and yes, be with Earth. That's what God gave us, you know, he gave us plants. He gave us nature. He gave us fresh air, grass to walk.

Amber Warren, PA-C: On. Amen. Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So true. Um, I'm gonna put you on the spot a little. I want to hear one of your favorite recent success stories.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Recent success stories?

Amber Warren, PA-C: Oh, just a mind blowing. I know you have a lot, but what's what's one that just really stands out to you? Oh, that you would want to share?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Well, I have a couple favorite ones. And, um, one of them is a little girl who they actually travel really far from Twin Falls and couldn't find anything for her daughter. She knew that her behavior was not her, but she couldn't communicate. She couldn't talk. She was three and.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Nonverbal, nonverbal. Heartbreaking.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Um, she'd babble. But it's frustrating when when your words are stuck, she could understand what you're saying. She couldn't execute, you know, speaking. Um, and she came in. The family was like, look, this is kind of like a long distance. This is overwhelming. Um, but we're willing to commit to this. And because it can be a lot of commitment three days a week to make sure your nervous system is gotten to a point of coherence before we send you on to more of a lifestyle package where you're just in maintaining, um, she got one adjustment, one adjustment to her second cervical vertebra, which is C2. And that does a lot of the confusion. This is what Landon's problem was, too. Um, and she literally got to her car and said, put out her hand and said purple binky, which was her pa-c that she wanted put it in her mouth and went to sleep. And they're like, first of all, she doesn't talk, she doesn't sleep. She's just so. Wired all the time and slept all the way home to Twin Falls. And I'm like, it's so incredible how quick the nervous system and brain can change.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah, it's amazing.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: They make millions of new neurological connections every single second from birth to three. And it just it just showed God's incredible design in a.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah, ability to heal.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Instant.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yeah. That's one of my favorite stories. The family's like, we'll be back. Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: See you in 48 hours. Yeah.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: We will be back.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Mhm. So cool. Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So remind us where people can find you.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Uh just down the road but yes. Purpose driven chiropractic um in Eagle and we're online social media. We do, you know purpose driven chiro there. And if you are somewhere where you're like, I, I need a neuro based chiropractor, I need to have a nervous system scan done on my kid. I look at their motor system, look at their autonomic system. Um, see what's going on? Is this dysregulation, you know, or what do I need to do for my child? There is an entire directory of doctors that have the same advanced training that we do. You're just not taught this in school.

Amber Warren, PA-C: I was going to say.

Amber Warren, PA-C: How how common are is this specialty training like how many chiropractors nationwide?

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: I think there's 500 of us now.

Amber Warren, PA-C: That's not a lot. No, it's not a lot at all.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: There was about it started with about 50 to 100 of us and then it's expanded. I know his goal is to have 1000, um, by the end of this year, but it's a lot of training to do, I'm.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Sure.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: And a lot of understanding, you know, and then also, um, patients on on like literally patients on the practitioner side because you're gonna have kids hiding under tables, throwing punches, kicks, throwing chairs at you, you know, and you just look at them and you're like, there's a such a beautiful soul trapped inside of this body that needs to be unlocked. Um, but it's the Network, and that's you just go in there and find a practitioner in the directory and look to see if somebody's near you. Great to help your kid.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah.

Amber Warren, PA-C: That's amazing. Yeah. The work that you're doing, you and your team, your husband, and then you've got two other chiropractors. We do right now. Yeah, yeah, they're all amazing. It's so important. Like these, this next generation of kids, they need help. They need they need to calm down. They need to get off their screens. They need to get get away from the toxic foods and the environmental chemicals that they're exposed to. Like, it's really, really concerning what what this generation of young children is being fed.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yeah.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: And when you look at the nervous system to help adapt to this environment is really when will win.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yes, exactly. That's what I'm saying. If we can start, start there. Yeah. I have such a heart. And that's why I prayed for so long to get Doctor Brus and his pediatric team to join us because I'm like, we have to start. We have to start with the kids. If we're looking for really long, long time health. And then it was like, and now we need a women's health team because we have to start with the pregnant mamas.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yes.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And even just how about just the women before preconception, right. Let's get them to calm down before they get pregnant so.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: They can get pregnant.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Even so, they can get pregnant, right? Your body doesn't care to get pregnant or make hormones if it's running from the tiger.

Amber Warren, PA-C: No, it's not worried.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: About that or if it's in exhausted mode where it's like, dude, we on time to keep up. We don't have time to grow a human. Like we're barely growing.

Amber Warren, PA-C: You. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, absolutely.

Amber Warren, PA-C: It's such an important message that we can just shout from the rooftops. Thank you, Doctor Christie.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Yes. Thank you.

Amber Warren, PA-C: An honor to have you here. We're so happy to have you. I'm sure we could think of 4 or 5 more episodes about nervous system and how to calm it down and dysregulation. So thank you so much for your wisdom.

Dr. Christie Hafer, D.C: Thanks for having me. Thanks for being here.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Thank you. Thank you for listening to the Functional Medicine Foundations podcast. For more information on topics covered today. Specialties available at the FMI center for Optimal Health and the highest quality of supplements and more. Go to

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