There is no greater heartache for a parent than the suffering of a broken child. Receive your broken child with a grateful heart because God’s promises are true. He reveals, restores, and heals. When we put our trust in Him first, and then in the experts, the restorative answers for your child can be found.
My youngest son, who is 22 years old today, is my digital native. He cannot imagine a world without WWW connectivity. Throughout his childhood, he had experienced chronic ear infections and periodic bouts of panic, which we discovered two years ago, was the result of a twisted atlas.
Yes. That is what I said. Atlas.
It was a twisted atlas bone (that holds the skull in alignment with the spine) which in his teen years became more severely twisted with sports such that by the time he turned 20 years old, had caused anxiety and insomnia. A twisted atlas crimps the blood supply to the brain, and stymies other neurotransmitter flows between the brain and the body, resulting in various mental health issues, including:
- Migraine headaches
- Panic attacks
- Symptoms of multiple sclerosis*
The stress on his brain, back muscles, and endocrine system was not recognized by traditional western medicine.
This condition had become a stronghold defining his life, robbing him of the joy I knew he had in his heart as a young child. Something wasn’t right, and I knew that there had to be an answer. I knew who my child was, and I also knew who my God is…God gave me a magnificent son, and He would be the one to reveal to me what the problem was so he could be restored and heal.
Casting all your care upon on him, for he careth for you.
1 Peter 5:7
Faith: What you believe matters
My faith informs me that God’s promises are true, that parenting is a divine appointment and that He never gives us more than we can handle. God doesn’t make mistakes. Whatever was happening with my son I knew would be used to the good.
So in my mind, I heaped the mountains of fear and anxiety crowding my heart aching for my son’s suffering into a wheel barrow and walked it to the foot of the Cross. I thanked God for my son in all of his suffering, I prayed for revelation about what was wrong and what could be done to restore his health. I declared God’s grace over his entire situation.
And then my son’s heart opened to hear God’s promises from me. And it was revealed to me that the root of my son’s condition was an alignment issue.
Yes. Alignment. What a powerful, healing concept.
Revelation: Understanding the problem leads to healing
For Banana Moments research, I had interviewed and written about an upper cervical specialist in Auburn, Dr. Dennis Harding, who had successfully treated children and adolescents with mental health issues especially where the medication and other treatments including counseling were not working. His practice is based around a treatment called Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic which uses a magnetic pulse to gently tap the atlas back into alignment.
So I contacted Dr. Harding about my son’s condition. This diagnosis of a twisted atlas (my words) was a divine intervention. Once it was explained how the atlas alignment, which in my son’s case happened at birth, had been the source of disturbing his peace from the time he was an infant, his entire life made sense. A feeling of peace overtook me like I had never felt peace before, and then joy.
Twenty minutes after his first treatment, my son said “I feel different.” His voice was firm, calm, and resolute. The next day he told me: “I think I can feel my own happiness starting to come back.” His hope was affirmed. Two days later he actually slept for the first time in many, many months. He was so grateful, hugging me and thanking me over and over. I held him tight, so grateful to God. And then I told him to thank God for my faith that guided us to the right answers for him.
Wow. How God delivers.
And today my son is more at peace than I ever knew him to be since infancy. He still has some issues to work through, but they more have to do with seeking an abundant life as we all do. The healing and restoration is an answer to prayer. It is a constant reminder to me that God gives us everything we need to restore and heal if we trust Him first, and then seek help from the experts.
Modern life and children’s mental health: How heavy is your child’s “backpack”?
Upon our first visit to Dr. Harding two years ago, he shared that he was seeing more adolescents and young adults with similar issues as my son. Presuming that atlases have been out of alignment since the time of Adam and Eve, I asked Dr. Harding why the atlas alignment is wreaking such havoc on young people today.
“The emotional backpacks our children carry today are a lot heavier than those of generations past,” he said. “The endocrine systems (which regulate emotion and sleep), are taxed by extreme sports, pressure to get top grades at any cost, and constant divided attention with texting and social media.”
According to Harding, the atlas can be knocked out of alignment by severe stress, trauma, or persistent feelings of adversity and insecurity. It can be physical, emotional and spiritual. “So a break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend, for example, can be a spiritual trauma, depending upon the individual and the situation,” Harding said. “So can the divorce of parents and being in an automobile accident.”
The strain of modern life is greater than we realize because we have not grown up in this cyber-powered world. Below are some of the ways the atlas bone can fall out of alignment and then be exacerbated:
- Birth – the atlas can twisted in the birth process
- Extreme sports – pressure to achieve professional level performance in sports that stress the body, and other extra curricular activities.
- Academic pressure to achieve perfect scores for college entrance exams/grades
- Constant connectivity to mobile devices – no down time
- In general schedules that do not permit enough sleep and relaxation – kids are up late with social media, homework, and up early to start school and with extra curricular activities (zero periods)
- Being cyberbullied (can redefine your world, inspires extreme insecurity and hopelessness)
- Feelings of hopelessness in response to the network pressure to “achieve” and never measuring up
To learn more about Dr. Dennis Harding and Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic, go to: The Atlas Doctor
For more about helping your child be secure in a cyber-powered world that can stimulate fear and anxiety, go to The Authority In Me.
My next book (working title): A Google World in the Garden of Eden: Five Family-Safe Strategies for Texting and Social Media is coming out in the fall of 2013.
Email Joanna (email@example.com) to sign up to receive Banana Moments updates on ways to stay current and confident in responding to youth, cyber technology trends and other issues of modern life impacting the parent-child relationship and families.
* Note – Dr. Harding recently shared research indicating a diagnostic breakthrough for Multiple Sclerosis, related to a relationship between the leakage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic instruments to gently tap vertebrae into alignment.
Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM, Tuesdays.