Chiropractic Care Is a Natural Way to Manage Anxiety

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Anxiety is something that many people suffer from, and it is characterized by feelings of constant worry, fear or confusion, inability to relax, upset stomach, poor concentration, physical weakness, muscle tension, and more.  More than 18 percent of people today suffer from anxiety disorders, including adults and children alike.  Anxiety disorders are widespread, yet often not discussed.  If left untreated, anxiety, depression, or panic attacks could lead to dangerous situations, but some people choose to not take medication because of possible side effects.  Medications for anxiety can cause insomnia, dry mouth, dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, weight gain, fatigue, and so on.  With such a list of side effects, it’s no wonder some people don’t want medication for anxiety.  But no one should have to suffer through feelings of anxiety.  Chiropractic care is a natural way to manage anxiety without harmful prescription medication.

A Mind and Body Connection

To really understand how a Bentonville chiropractor can help ease anxiety, you must first understand the mind-body connection.  Our brain directly controls how our body acts and responds to certain situations.  For example, emotional exhaustion can lead to physical sickness or stressful situations can make us physically ill.  There is a direct connection between our emotional well-being and our physical health.  Reducing pain and discomfort in our body while boosting the central nervous system can significantly reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.

Spinal Misalignments Contribute To Anxiety

A primary function of the central nervous system is to regulate and control hormones in the body.  Hormonal imbalances can affect our sleep patterns, moods, weight, and so much more.  Imbalances also contribute to the stress, anxiety, and depression people feel.  Because the spine is a major part of the central nervous system, misalignments of the spine can interrupt hormone balance.  Regular adjustments from a Bentonville chiropractor will allow proper hormone function and cause a reduction of anxiety and stress.

Chiropractic Care Has Been Proven To Help

Chiropractic care has been shown to significantly reduce both anxiety and high blood pressure, which is often linked to anxiety.  Studies have shown the effectiveness of this natural way to manage anxiety.  One such study of a 52-year-old woman suffering from frequent panic attacks was on anxiety medication and tranquilizers. After an examination, it was discovered she had several vertebrae that were out of alignment and stuck. She received frequent adjustments and saw a decrease in panic attacks.  She was also able to reduce her anxiety medication by half the previous dosage.  After two months of chiropractic care, she was completely free of panic attacks.  Another study of 21 people with high blood pressure showed significant decreases in blood pressure rates following chiropractic care.

If you know someone suffering from anxiety or you personally suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, or high blood pressure, seek care from Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela of Arbor Vitae Chiropractic.



Potthoff, S., Penwell, B., Wolf, J. “Panic Attacks and the Chiropractic Adjustment: A Case Report.” American Chiropractic Academy Journal of Chiropractic, 1993 Dec; 30: 26-28.

Yates, R.G., Lamping, D.L., Abram, N.L., Wright, C. “Effects of Chiropractic Treatment on Blood Pressure and Anxiety: A Randomized, Controlled Trial.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1988 Dec; 11(6): 484-488.

Pediatric Chiropractic Is a Solution for Ear Infections

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Ear infections in children ages six and under might seem like a common and normal occurrence, but it doesn’t have to be, as ear infections are largely preventable.  Antibiotics are prescribed to treat ear infections, but they come with side effects and risks.  Every year, roughly 500,000 children undergo surgery to have tubes put in due to multiple ear infections, but even that doesn’t always correct the problem.  Pediatric chiropractic is another solution for ear infections without side effects or risks that can speed up the healing process or alleviate chronic ear problems altogether.

Why Do Children Get Ear Infections?

The Eustachian tubes in children are what cause ear infection problems.  As adults, our tubes are tilted back slightly to allow for proper drainage, but this is not the case for children.  Kids’ Eustachian tubes are almost parallel to the ground, which doesn’t allow fluid to drain as well.  As they age, the tubes will tilt, but the lack of tilting as a child may lead to blockage of the tubes, inflammation, and eventually, ear infections. 

To further add to the problem, the atlas bone at the top of a child’s vertebrae could be out of alignment, causing more fluid to back up and block the Eustachian tubes.  The stagnant fluid that sits in these tubes will eventually lead to a bacterial or viral ear infection.  Antibiotics treat the symptoms of bacterial ear infections, but they don’t treat the root cause and they don’t prevent infections from returning. Viral ear infections, however, cannot be treated by antibiotics as most viruses just need time to work their way out of your system. Bentonville chiropractor, Dr. Tom Neimela, will treat the root cause, fluid build-up, with pediatric chiropractic care to speed up the healing process and reduce the risk of recurring ear infections. 

Alleviate Ear Infections with Pediatric Chiropractic

Chiropractic adjustments for children are just as beneficial as they are for adults, especially when it comes to preventing ear infections.  Subluxations of the upper vertebrae are what initially cause fluid to build up, but pediatric adjustments will alleviate the misalignment that is causing an obstruction and blocking Eustachian tubes.  Dr. Tom gently feels the spinal area for possible misalignments and carefully realigns the spine, allowing fluid to drain properly.  Many children have seen a significant reduction of ear infections after consistent chiropractic care. 

A 9-month-old boy with recurrent ear infections was evaluated by a chiropractor, and after five weeks of consistent adjustments, he had no new ear infections and his ears were clear of all fluid.  After considering tubes, it was decided by his ENT that he no longer needed surgery for ear tubes.  Multiple other case studies support chiropractic care as a method for reducing ear infections without the risk of unnecessary side effects. 

Pediatric chiropractic is a safe solution for relief from ear infections.  For more information, contact Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela of Arbor Vitae Chiropractic.



Black, P., Boutilier, A. &. Stone-McCoy, P. “Resolution of Otitis Media in a Nine-Month Old Undergoing Chiropractic Care: A Case Study and Selective Review of the Literature.” J. Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, June 2010: 99-106.

Butt, A. & Marino, F.M. “Chiropractic Care of a Pediatric Patient Suffering from Recurrent Otitis Media and Respiratory Syncytial Virus: a Retrospective Case Report.” J. Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, December 2010: (183-186).

Korn, C. & Stone-McCoy, P. “Resolution of Otitis Media & Avoidance of Tympanostomy Tubes in a 16-Month Old with Birth Trauma Following Subluxation Based Care: A Case Study and Selective Review of Literature.” J. Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, May 2013: (39-46).

Pohlman, K. A., & Holton-Brown, M. S. (2012). “Otitis media and spinal manipulative therapy: a literature review.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 11(3): 160–169.


Pediatric Chiropractic Is Great for Infants and Kids

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Chiropractic care is not just for adults.  Infants and children can benefit a great deal from pediatric chiropractic care.  In fact, pediatric chiropractic can reduce both sleep problems and behavior problems, and it contributes to whole health from an early age, helping children grow up in the healthiest way possible.  It is absolutely safe for children, and the benefits of pediatric chiropractic care make it a great way to be proactive about your children’s health.

Adjustments for Children

Spinal misalignments in children are just as common as in adults and should be corrected.  Many parents often express concern for their children and worry that chiropractic care may not be safe. But nothing is further from the truth! Studies have shown that children are not harmed during chiropractic adjustments, but instead benefit from an overall healthier lifestyle.  Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom performs gentle adjustments on all his pediatric practice members, some of which are even as light as a finger touch, especially when it comes to adjusting infants and small children.  Pediatric chiropractors also have specialized training when working with young children to provide the best possible care and to help alleviate common childhood ailments, such as ear infections, colic, and more.

Health Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Children

Children need a good night’s rest so that they can grow and develop properly, yet some children struggle to go to sleep and stay asleep at night. This can be stressful for both the child and the parent, since no one can sleep if the child isn’t sleeping. Chiropractic can aid in better sleep habits for children.  Subluxations (or misalignments in the spine) may be disrupting nerve signals from the spine to the brain.  Adjustments will correct the misalignments and allow for proper nerve function and better sleep at night, benefiting both the child and the parents.  Also, pediatric chiropractic adjustments have been known to help with ear, nose, and throat problems, GI issues, and body pains or tightness in the upper backs and necks of young children. 

Behavior problems can also be a big struggle for parents and their children.  Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela, wants to help.  ADHD has become a routine diagnosis for children with behavior issues, and it often leads to medication for the child without correcting the root of the problem. Over-medicating can be a concern as medications come with scary side-effects and associated risks, and some medications can even change the personality of your child.  Before resorting to medication, try Bentonville chiropractic care.  Because the attention center is in the brain and the brain and spine work together to make up the central nervous system, focusing on the spine will improve nerve function and communication within the body, improving that attention center for your child.  Pediatric chiropractic care will balance the body and brain to allow for proper growth and development, leading to overall improved behavior in children.

Pediatric Chiropractic Works!

Many case studies have been done to show the correlation between pediatric chiropractic care and better sleep patterns and behavior in children.  In one such study, a 7-year-old girl suffered from Prader-Willi Syndrome and sleep disorders.  Within 6 months of chiropractic care, she saw several health benefits and also slept more soundly and had more energy. Several other case studies have shown that chiropractic can help students with ADHD.  One such high school student displayed low morale and was failing three subjects in school.  After consistently seeing a chiropractor, the student had increased motivation and was passing all subjects in school.

If your child is suffering from sleep deprivation or behavior issues, contact Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela at Arbor Vitae Chiropractic for more information about how pediatric chiropractic care can help.



Alcantara, J., Ohm, J., Kunz, D. “The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network.” Explore (NY), 2009 Sep-Oct; 5(5): 290–295.

Schetchikova, N.V. “Children with ADHD Medical vs. Chiropractic Perspective and Theory; Part 1.” Journal of the American Chiropractic Association, 2002 Jul; Reprint.

Vallone, S.A., Miller, J., Larsdotter, A., & Barham-Floreani, J. (2010). "Chiropractic approach to the management of children." Chiropractic & Osteopathy, 18: 16.

Walton, E.V. “The Effects of Chiropractic Treatment on Students with Learning and Behavioral Impairments Due to Neurological Dysfunction.” International Review of Chiropractic, 1975; 29: 4-5, 24-26.

Chiropractic Care Can Alleviate Colic

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All babies cry sometimes, such as when they are tired, hungry, or have a dirty diaper, but some babies cry for long periods of time without stopping. Babies who cry inconsolably for long amounts of time throughout the day may be suffering from colic. Colicky babies will often flex their legs, tense their abs, and clench their fists while they cry long, piercing cries that no amount of comforting or rocking can help.  While most cases of colic seem to begin at around three weeks of age and end around three months of age, some cases can last longer.  If you suspect your baby suffers from colic, it may be time to seek care from a Bentonville chiropractor.

Why Choose Chiropractic Care for a Colicky Baby?

Colic has no known cause, so it can be difficult to treat.  Most doctors will recommend medications, different positions for holding baby, or trying to cut certain foods out of your diet and the baby’s diet.  However, you may also want to consider chiropractic care for your infant.  Pediatric chiropractic adjustments have been shown to significantly decrease colic symptoms in babies. A study on colicky babies split the babies into two groups.  One group was treated with pediatric chiropractic adjustments while the other group was not.  Colicky babies who received gentle chiropractic adjustments on a consistent basis were twice as likely to sleep better at night and cry less during the day as those who did not receive chiropractic adjustments.  This pattern also carried over into the toddler stage as many parents of those who did not receive chiropractic care reported tantrums and interrupted sleep patterns while those who did receive chiropractic adjustments did not report as many instances of tantrums or sleep problems.

Chiropractic Care for Babies

Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemala is gentle and conservative in his approach to chiropractic care for babies. While many are concerned that adjustments on babies can be harmful or damaging, nothing could be further from the truth.  Pediatric chiropractors take care to apply gentle pressure and light impulses to the baby’s spine.  Light adjustments restore motion to stiff or locked-up joints, resulting in better overall body function and improved comfort for babies.

Dr. Tom Niemala at Arbor Vitae Chiropractic will carefully perform an adjustment on your baby to remove nerve interference. Nerve interference has been known to cause stomach pain or disturbances to the abdominal organs and intestines. The spine and central nervous system work together to improve overall body health.  Restoring function to baby’s central nervous system and spine will reduce or dissolve the symptoms of colic. Often times, mothers have reported immediate relief as their baby will lie peaceful and content in mom’s arms after an adjustment.  Another study reported that out of 104 colicky babies, those receiving consistent chiropractic care saw a drastic decrease in the amount of time spent crying each day.  If you suspect your baby has colic, call Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemala to discuss a care plan for pediatric chiropractic at Arbor Vitae Chiropractic.



Miller, J.E., Phillips, H.L. “Long-term Effects of Infant Colic: A Survey Comparison of Chiropractic Treatment and Nontreatment Groups.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2009 Oct; 32(8): 635-8.

Miller, J.E., Newell, D., Bolton, J.E. “Efficacy of Chiropractic Manual Therapy on Infant Colic: A Pragmatic Single-Blind, Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2012 Oct; 35(8): 600-607.

Chiropractic and Your Baby’s Head Shape

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No two babies are alike, and that includes head shape.  Head shapes of babies may vary depending on how a baby is born and the positions they are in during their first few months of life.  Babies delivered by C-Section often come out with perfectly round little heads while babies delivered vaginally tend to have a more egg-shaped head from passing through the birth canal.  Babies’ skulls are softer at birth so that they can shift and move through the birthing process as needed, and most babies’ heads will return to a round shape shortly after birth, despite how they were born.  Different skull shapes are nothing to worry about as a newborn. 

As babies get older, they may begin to develop a flat spot on the back or side of the head.  Because young babies can’t move around or sit up yet, laying in one position at all times can create this flat spot on the skull.  Plagiocephaly, or Flat Head Syndrome, has seen an increase in recent years.  Any sign of a flat spot on a baby’s skull should be examined by a doctor because it could be a sign of other problems such as ear infections, visual or hearing disabilities, or delayed development in motor, movement, or language skills. Consulting a Bentonville chiropractor at Arbor Vitae Chiropractic can also help reshape your baby’s head.  Here are some ways to address and correct a developing flat spot on a baby’s skull.

Be Aware of Head Positioning

Laying your baby down the same way every time is sure to cause a flat spot on the skull. This means that if they always look at the fan in their room that is to their left, they will likely develop a flat spot on the left side of their head. Because a baby’s skull doesn’t begin to harden until around 3 months old, it is important to always be aware of how you lay your baby down.  Try laying them different ways each time.  You might lay them on their back with their head to the right for their nap and then lay them on their back with their head to the left for bed.  You can also rock them to sleep in one arm one night and then switch to the next another night so that they get used to sleeping in different positions and on different sides of the head. Being conscious of not laying your baby down the same way all the time will allow the head shape to develop evenly all around.

Make Time for Tummy Time

Newborn babies are not usually big fans of tummy time in the beginning. However, it is very beneficial for them to have tummy time, even if it’s just for a few minutes every couple of hours.  Tummy time allows them to strengthen their neck muscles and practice their motor skills.  Much like positioning their head, tummy time can get them used to a new position so that they aren’t always laying in the same spot, leaving them at risk of developing a flat spot.

Consult a Pediatric Chiropractor

Pediatric Chiropractors can gently adjust a baby’s spine to release spinal pressure from the womb and delivery.  Releasing this pressure in the spine can assist in proper cranial bone formation.  Furthermore, Dr. Tom Niemela, a chiropractor in Bentonville, can work on newborns with plagiocephaly to help them regain normal head shape.  In one case study, and 8-month-old with plagiocephaly had significant milestone delays and pain from pressure in the head due to the plagiocephaly.  After seeking chiropractic care, the baby met all developmental milestones and had improved head shape.  If you are concerned about your baby’s head shape, call Dr. Tom Niemala at Arbor Vitae Chiropractic today to talk with him about how chiropractic can help.



Hash, J. “Deformational Plagiocephaly and Chiropractic Care: A Narrative Review and Case Report.” Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, 2014 Mar; 14(2): 1131-1138.

Quezada, D. “Chiropractic Care of an Infant with Plagiocephaly.” Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, 2004; 6(1): 342-8.





The Effect of Childbirth on Mom's and Baby’s Spines

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Birth is a beautiful thing. It definitely has its not-so-pretty moments, many of which involve bodily fluids of various kinds, but it is undoubtedly miraculous and incredible. A new life is beginning and a family is growing, and that is beautiful.

Most moms and moms-to-be know that healing after childbirth takes time, but they may not realize the full extent of the healing that needs to occur. They expect soreness and a squishy tummy, and they expect a bit of a learning curve when it comes to breastfeeding, learning to carry their babies comfortably, and balancing the duties of motherhood. But most moms don’t know that the spine and the surrounding tendons, ligaments, and muscles also need to heal and get used to a new post-baby body.

Additionally, many don’t know how traumatic the process can be on their sweet little babies. Even if you have the most peaceful labor and delivery with minimal intervention and your little one had an easy transition into the world, birth trauma occurred in some way, shape, or form, and if not dealt with appropriately, it can lead to future issues, both short-term and long-term.  


Over the course of nine months, a mom’s body changes a great deal in order to carry a growing baby and prepare for birth. To account for her growing uterus and consistently increasing weight, the rest of her body shifts accordingly, leading to loosened ligaments and more flexibility within the musculoskeletal system. In fact, her lumbar spine allows for increased lordosis (or inward curvature of the spine) to balance the weight of her growing belly. After the baby is born, Mom’s body has to regain its non-child-carrying body, including normal spinal curvature and more stable ligaments.


Today’s medical model of delivering babies is widely accepted in the US, but it is not without concern and possible harm to babies. Most babies can be born vaginally with no interventions and with no resulting problems. However, many parents-to-be and doctors like the process to go faster than Mom’s body dictates, and interventions are often utilized unnecessarily. These interventions include using hormones to start or speed up labor, delivery by forceps or vacuum extraction, and Caesarean section deliveries. Not only have these interventions been linked to both short- and long-term health concerns in infants and children, but they increase the likelihood of spinal trauma caused by the labor and delivery process.

Babies may experience spinal cord damage, brain stem injury, or spinal subluxations (misalignments) from the birthing process, and these conditions become more likely to occur when interventions are employed. These problems stem from the extreme traction that occurs when they’re being delivered, likely due to rotational stresses or hyperextension of the spine and spinal cord. Regardless of if baby is born naturally, vaginally with an intervention or painkiller, or by Caesarian section, newborns almost always have some sort of spinal misalignment due to the journey through the birth canal or their hasty removal from the uterus via C-section.

Chiropractic Care for New Moms and Newborns

Since both Mom and baby’s bodies and spines need to heal and recover from childbirth, it is incredibly important for both individuals to seek out chiropractic care immediately following birth. A Bentonville chiropractor, like Dr. Tom at Arbor Vitae Chiropractic, can help women recover from childbirth and newborns have the best possible start in life. For more information about pregnancy and post-partum chiropractic or pediatric chiropractic, get in touch with Dr. Tom and his team at Arbor Vitae Chiropractic.



Spear, D., & Alcantara, J.  “Resolution of Birth Trauma Sequelae Following Adjustment of Vertebral Subluxations in an Infant.” Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health, 2016: 28-31.

Choahan, N. “Birth Interventions ‘Negatively Impact Child’s Long-Term Health.’” The Sydney Morning Herald, 2018 Mar.