Can Chiropractic Lower My Blood Pressure?

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High blood pressure in an extremely common problem in America today, so much so that about 1 in 3 people (around 70 million) report suffering from hypertension.  Of these 70 million, only about 50 percent have control over their high blood pressure issue.  This is concerning because high blood pressure comes with many serious health implications, such as risk of heart attacks or strokes that can lead to death.  Knowing all of this, it comes as no surprise that one of the leading health problems in the United States is heart disease.  No exact cause is known although some people attribute hypertension to a poor diet or a lack of exercise.  No matter what the underlying cause, it has become apparent that something should be done to lower blood pressure and reduce related health concerns.

Methods for Managing Hypertension

Common treatment options for high blood pressure include medications and blood thinners that may or may not work.  Even if medications do lower blood pressure, they can be expensive and come with a risk of unpleasant side effects.  Because of such a low success rate of medication that attempts to manage high blood pressure, many are looking into other options such as chiropractic care from Bentonville chiropractors.

Removing Misalignments Can Reduce Hypertension

Studies conducted to explore how chiropractic can lower blood pressure have shown a strong correlation between high blood pressure and the atlas vertebra, located at the top of the spinal cord near the brainstem.  This vertebra is solely responsible for the communication pathways that control the function of the cardiovascular system.  Misalignments of the spine can cause arteries to contract, causing blood flow around the base of the skull to push against their walls forcefully, causing high blood pressure.  Dr. Tom Niemela, a Bentonville chiropractor, will gently adjust the spine, removing misalignments and restoring proper blood flow, thus effectively reducing blood pressure.

Clinical Studies Support Chiropractic for Lowering Blood Pressure

Several case studies have been done to show the correlation between chiropractic and lowering blood pressure.  In fact, a case study conducted in 2007 at the University of Chicago followed 50 people with hypertension over a period of 8 weeks.  Some people received real chiropractic adjustments while others received fake adjustments.  The results of this study showed that those who received spinal adjustments were able to lower their blood pressure by an average of 17 points!  This is such a dramatic drop that doctors say it would require taking two blood pressure medications to see this kind of drop without chiropractic care.

Next Steps

Just because you aren’t in pain doesn’t mean your spine doesn’t have a misalignment.  Pain is usually the last symptom to manifest itself.  A gentle adjustment can not only lower blood pressure but also improve overall health and wellness.  Before your blood pressure get worse or you begin to experience pain due to a misalignment, contact Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela of Arbor Vitae Chiropractic to set up a consultations to discuss chiropractic care for hypertension.



Bakris, G.L., Dickholtz, M., Meyer, P., Kravitz, G., Avery, E., Miller, M. Brown, J. Woodfield, C., Bell, B.M. “Atlas Vertebra Realignment and Achievement of Arterial Pressure Goal in Hypertensive Patients: A Pilot Study.” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 2007 Oct: 1-9.

Kessinger, R.C., Mow, C. “Improvement in Chronic Hypertension Following a Single Upper Cervical Adjustment: A Case Report.” Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, 2015 Jan: 1-5. 


Chiropractic Care for Headaches

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Headaches are a regular occurrence among many people today, and headaches and back pain are the most common reasons people schedule a chiropractic visit.  These headache pains can range from sharp, severe pain that runs from your neck through your head, such as a cluster headache or migraine, to a dull, aching pain due to tension or stress.  While headaches are not often a major concern, although sometimes frequent headaches can be caused by a larger health issues in less than 5% of recurring headache cases, they can be annoying and frustrating.  For relief from persistent headache pain, turn to chiropractic care from a Bentonville chiropractor like Dr. Tom Niemela.

What Causes Frequent Headaches

Almost all cases of headaches can be narrowed down to one source: a subluxation of the spine.  These subluxations, or misalignments of the spine, interrupt nerve communication between the brain and the rest of the body systems that can lead to dysfunction and pain, such as regularly occurring headaches.  Tension in the upper neck that leads to headaches is also usually due to a misalignment.  Sinus headaches are often caused by a buildup of pressure in the sinus cavities due to nerve interference can also be from a misalignment somewhere in the spine.  While over-the-counter medications will help for a short time, they wear off, leaving you right where you started, with headache pain once again.

In fact, many case studies have been done to explore the benefits of chiropractic care over medication.  In one study, 100 people were offered either chiropractic care or pain medication to manage headaches.  Initially, both groups responded well and saw results.  However, after stopping treatment, the medication group noticed that their headaches returned, while those who received chiropractic care still found relief from headache pain, even without continuing care. Chiropractic care is not only a long-term solution for your headaches, but it is also a safe and natural method for managing short-term headache pain that treats the source of the headache pain so you can experience true correction and relief that will last.

Chiropractic Adjustments Can Relieve All Types of Headaches

Because misalignments of the spine are the initial cause of headaches, chiropractic adjustments can remove these misalignments and bring about relief.  Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela will examine your spine for subluxations and gently adjust any problem areas so that your body can function as intended and your headache issue can be resolved. Most headaches are caused by slight misalignments in the spine, but severely twisted or turned vertebrae can cause extremely painful headaches such as migraines.  With chiropractic care, the vertebrae can be once again aligned properly to reduce or eradicate severe migraine pain.  In a case study done on the efficiency of chiropractic for treating migraine pain, one woman who suffered from intense migraines for over 40 years sought chiropractic care for her headaches.  She suffered from migraines that would last up to 15 hours and cause nausea, vomiting, and visual disturbances. After receiving consistent chiropractic adjustments for 6 months, she reported not having a single migraine or any symptoms associated with a migraine. 

If headaches have been a common part of your life and you are ready for a change, contact Dr. Tom Niemela of Arbor Vitae Chiropractic in Bentonville, AR today to schedule an appointment.



Boline, P.D., Kassak, K., Bronfort, G., Nelson, C., Anderson, A.V. “Spinal Manipulation vs. Amitriptyline for the Treatment of Chronic Tension-Type Headaches: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1995 Mar-Apr; 18(3): 148-154.

Chaibi, A., Tuchin, P.J. “Chiropractic Spinal Manipulative Treatment of Migraine Headache of 40-Year Duration Using Gonstead Method: A Case Study.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2011 Sep; 10(3): 189-193.

Chiropractic for Building a Strong Immune System

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Building the immune system begins even before birth. We begin to build immunity against sickness and disease when we are still in utero.  A strong immune system means that we have a greater ability to fight off sickness and stay healthy.  The central nervous system, composed of the brain and spinal cord, is responsible for immune system function and helps the body heal from injuries or fight off viruses and bacteria.  For this reason, chiropractic care has been shown to be an effective way to strengthen the immune system in both children and adults.

Nerve Communication Is Necessary for Immune System Function

The spinal cord is a vital part of the central nervous system, which is imperative for nerve communication to all the body’s systems.  The central nervous system sends messages to the body to alert the immune system when to act.  These messages let the immune system know when it is necessary to increase white blood cell production or even release antibodies to fight off illnesses.  Any interference can impact these messages and keep them from being delivered, which can lower the effectiveness of the immune system, making you more susceptible to sickness. 

Chiropractic Increases Immune System Function

No one enjoys spending endless days in bed recovering from a cold or other illness. Spinal adjustments from Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela will aid in improving immune system strength, increasing your ability to fight off viruses and bacteria so that you can stay healthy.  Misalignments that cause nerve interference are removed through gentle chiropractic adjustments for subluxations of the spine.  Another benefit of chiropractic care is that studies have shown a correlation between chiropractic and an increased level of antibody production that will aid in battling sickness.  The correlation is so promising that case studies have been conducted to show the benefits of chiropractic care on increased immune system health.  In one such study, 650 children suffering from chronic illness and a decrease of immune system function found that their health significantly improved after 3 months of consistent chiropractic care.

The Many Benefits of Chiropractic for All Ages

Those who have sought to strengthen the immune system through chiropractic have found that they have experienced added benefits as well.  Not only does chiropractic keep you from getting sick as often, but it also helps you heal faster in the rare instances that you do get sick.  Sickness can be draining both physically and emotionally.  Staying healthy improves your mindset.  Once you realize that a proactive approach to health care is much more effective than a reactive approach, you will work to improve your overall health and wellness, thus increasing the immune system and reducing instances of sickness.  Children and adults alike can experience the benefits of proactive chiropractic care.  In a case study of chiropractic and the immune system, individuals found that their immune system function was significantly improved after just 3 months of care.  Another study was conducted of two young boys with HIV.  They presented with a weakened immune system, persistent vomiting, and inability to walk.  After seeking chiropractic care, these boys were able to eat without vomiting and walk on their own strength.  They also saw a decrease in their viral load. 

If you find yourself faced with sickness after sickness and are looking for natural and safe methods to increase your immunity and stay healthy, then schedule a visit today with Dr. Tom Niemela of Arbor Vitae Chiropractic in Bentonville, AR.



Alcorn, S. “Chiropractic treatment and antibody levels.” Journal of the Australian Chiropractic Association, 1977.

Boone, W.R., Oswald, P., Holt, K., Beck, R., Singh, K., Ashton, A. “Long Term Assessment of Blood Indices and Immune Panel Profiling of Subjects Receiving Chiropractic Care: A Pilot Study.” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 2006 June: 1-11. Boone Indices Pagemaker Draft2.pdf. 

Ressel, O. Rudy, R. “Vertebral Subluxation Correlated with Somatic, Visceral and Immune Complaints: An Analysis of 650 Children Under Chiropractic Care.” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 2004 Oct: 1-23. 1022_Ressel_Pelvic Distortion-Master-20041017-FINAL3.pmd.pdf. 

Fallon. “Chronic hyperemesis in two siblings with AIDS.” Journal of International Chiropractic Association Review, 2002.

Chronic Back Pain Sufferers Can Find Relief With Chiropractic

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A chief complaint among Americans today is back pain.  Over 31 million people each year report suffering from some kind of back pain.  This includes various types of back pain, such as a stabbing sensation, a dull, persistent ache, a severe, chronic pain that prevents you from performing daily functions, or even back pain from moving a specific way.  Don’t continue to suffer from back pain.  It doesn’t have to become a normal part of your life.  A visit to a Bentonville chiropractor can help back pain sufferers find relief so that they can begin living life again.

Back Pain Could Be a Sign of More Serious Health Concerns

A spinal subluxation, or misalignment of the spine, is a primary cause of back pain.  When the spine is out of alignment, muscles are out of balance, causing some muscles to overcompensate.  This is what leads to the stiffness and soreness of the back.  A simple, gentle chiropractic adjustment can alleviate spinal misalignments and offer relief for back pain sufferers. Don’t feel like you have to just get used to the back pain and deal with the discomfort. Seek out chiropractic care in Bentonville, AR and get your spine taken care of. 

Left untreated, spinal subluxations can lead to many minor and serious health concerns.  Our central nervous system is one of the most important systems in our body because it is what controls the functions of all other bodily systems.  Because the spinal cord is part of the central nervous system, a misalignment of the spine can interfere with nerves within the spinal cord, affecting other nerves throughout the body and causing other body systems to be dysfunctional, resulting in a lack of optimal health, pain, and other health concerns.  Chiropractic care is a safe and natural way to manage back pain, but know that pain is often the last sign to manifest itself when something else is going on in the body.  For this reason, it is imperative that you visit a Bentonville chiropractor at the first sign of back pain, not just to alleviate the pain, but also to ensure overall health and wellness.

Chiropractic Can Manage Back Pain

Back pain is the number one reason people seek out Bentonville chiropractic care.  Chiropractors spend years studying the spine and how it relates to the whole body, so it is only logical that we trust our back pain to a Bentonville chiropractor like Dr. Tom Niemela.  Your first instinct might be to resort to medication to treat back pain, but medications come with potential side effects that could be harmful.  Additionally, they also only mask the pain for a while, and pain generally returns after medication has worn off.  Chiropractic gets to the root cause of the pain and improves overall function of the body, including removing pain in most cases.  The benefits of chiropractic far outweigh turning to prescription medication or even surgery to correct back pain.  Knowing that your Bentonville chiropractor will get to the root cause of pain without any side effects, while also increasing your quality of life, makes choosing chiropractic care an easy choice.

Chiropractic Has Worked For Others

Case studies done on back pain sufferers show that chiropractic is a great solution for pain as it has worked well for others.  In one case study, a 10-year-old boy suffered a fall that severely injured his back and caused significant pain.  After just 6 visits to a chiropractor, the boy reported no longer feeling any back pain from the fall.  Another study of a 35-year-old woman who was 7 months pregnant showed that chiropractic helped back pain significantly.  Her severe pain that affected her ability to walk or sit was much improved after just 6 weeks of receiving chiropractic adjustments for back pain. 

For a permanent solution to back pain, schedule a consultation with Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela of Arbor Vitae Chiropractic and live a better life free from back pain.



Cofano, G.P., Anderson, B.C., Stumpff, E.R. “Chiropractic Care of Acute Low Back Pain and Incidental Spina Bifida Occulta: A Case Report.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2014 Jun; 13(4): 273-277.

Bernard, M., Tuchin, P. “Chiropractic Management of Pregnancy-Related Lumbopelvic Pain: A Case Study.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 2016 Jun; 15(2): 129-133.

Fedorchuk, C., Campbell, C. “Improvement in a Soldier with Urinary Urgency and Low Back Pain Undergoing Chiropractic Care: A Case Study and Selective Review of the Literature.” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 2010 April: 1-5. Improvement in a Soldier with Urinary Urgency and Low Back Pain Undergoing Chiropractic Care (1).pdf. 

What Is The Difference Between Feeling and Function?

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We are often shocked when someone we know who has seemingly perfect health suddenly gets diagnosed with a serious illness.  Simply focusing on how we feel as opposed to actually being healthy can lead to problems that we are unaware of until it’s too late and we’re in the midst of fighting a reactive healthcare battle.  Warning signs such as headaches, tiredness, or digestions problems could be an indication of stress on your nervous system. At the same time, you might not have any signs of problems, but your nervous system still may not be working at optimal levels. Confusing how we feel physically with our overall health and wellness will most assuredly be detrimental to your health in the future.  So, what really is the difference between how you feel versus how your body is functioning? And why does that even matter?

Simply “Feeling Good” Doesn’t Mean Everything Is Okay

Our feelings about the health of our body are not an indication that our body is functioning well.  As with emotional feelings, we can’t always count on physical feelings to be accurate.  Sensory nerves in the body only make up a small part of the central nervous system.  Thus, you are only able to actually feel a very small percentage of what is going on in the body.  Many people have different thresholds of pain or reactions to illnesses, so it’s just not reasonable to assume we can base our health on how we feel at any given time.  In fact, pain is often the last symptom to occur when something is wrong.  Overall body function is the best indication that our bodies are healthy.  A visit to a Bentonville chiropractor can aid in improving body function to ensure bodily systems are functioning at optimal levels.

Don’t Focus on the Feelings

When our main priority becomes focusing on how we feel, our methods for dealing with illness can be way off base.  A usual first line of defense when we don’t feel well is to turn to medication.  While medication will usually alleviate the feelings of pain, it won’t treat the underlying cause of the pain you are experiencing.  Covering up the feelings of discomfort won’t fix the problem, but may actually exacerbate it even further.  It is important that we focus on our body’s function first and foremost to get to the root of the health issue.

Body Function Should Be Our Main Focus

Function is the key to determining our level of health.  How our body is working tells us more about our health than any feeling ever could.  Neurologically-based chiropractic care from a Bentonville chiropractor focuses on the whole body to ensure proper function.  The main goal of chiropractic care is to get to the root of a physical ailment or the sources of the pain to eradicate symptoms, not just mask them for the time being. Don’t be tricked into feeling like everything is fine. The central nervous system, made up of the brain and spinal cord, dictates how our body functions, so it is important to seek chiropractic care to protect your spine and spinal cord.  Focusing on the spine through chiropractic adjustments ensures that you don’t just get sick care, but rather get actual health care, freeing you from illnesses and pain, allowing your body to function properly, and helping you feel great.

If you’re ready to take a step towards health and learn about how your body is actually functioning, give Dr. Tom Niemala a call at Arbor Vitae Chiropractic in Bentonville, AR.



Fernández-Carnero J, Fernández-de-las-Peñas C, Cleland JA. “Immediate hypoalgesic and motor effects after a single cervical spine manipulation in subjects with lateral epicondylalgia.” J Manipulative & Physiological Therapies, 2008 Nov-Dec; 31(9): 675-81.

Williams, R., Herrup, K. “The control of neuron number.” The Annual Review of Neuroscience, 1988; 11: 423–453. Last revised Sept 28, 2001.

Combat Addictions with Chiropractic

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While people can experience addictions to many things, such as sugar or caffeine, some experience more severe addictions, such as alcohol or drug addictions.  Addiction is a leading cause of crime and one of the top causes of death, affecting many families across the nation.  If you or someone you know suffers from an addiction, it is always a good idea to seek the counsel of an addiction specialist before beginning treatment or seeking additional help for addiction.  In addition to consulting a knowledgeable counselor, chiropractic care has also been shown to aid in combating addictions.

Spinal Health Is Important to Coping with Addiction

The central nervous system is a vital part of the body in that it ultimately controls how all the other systems function.  If the central nervous system is functioning properly, then the rest of the body can usually function at optimal health.  The central nervous system is composed of the spinal cord and brain.  Spinal health is essential in ensuring that all nerves in the body can communicate properly across each system as the spinal cord acts as the lines of communication, allowing neurotransmitters to travel to the rest of the body.  When these neurotransmitters are released from the brain and travel throughout the body in the way they were intended, then a sense of calm is released that can give you the ability to fight addictions.  Without a feeling of calm, negative emotions such as anxiety and depression can arise and impact one’s ability to fight off addictions.

Reward Deficiency Syndrome

Reward Deficiency Syndrome, or RDS, causes a lack of feeling rewarded from everyday activities.  This syndrome can be attributed to the fact that some people are born without the A1 allele of the D2 dopamine effect.  Without this effect, people are unable to feel hope or a sense of well-being in life, so they often turn to addictions such as smoking or alcohol to cope.  A Bentonville chiropractor will focus on spinal health in order to encourage your body to naturally release neurotransmitters that can create more positive emotional feelings instead of negative ones.

Chiropractic for Addiction

Chiropractic alone is not a complete fix for addiction, but it can greatly reduce spinal stress and increase overall health and wellness, significantly benefitting those recovering from addictions.  To ensure that neurotransmitters are released properly and arrive at the correct location, spinal misalignments must first be removed to improve nerve communication throughout the body.  A Bentonville chiropractor can adjust the spine, thus removing these misalignments that block nerve transmission.  Research has shown how chiropractic care can enhance a sense of well-being that aids in fighting off addictions.  In one study, 100% of those who received regular chiropractic adjustments during an addiction recovery program completed their respective program.  They also reported feeling a decrease in emotional stress as well as reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

If you or someone you know suffers from addiction, contact Dr. Tom Niemela of Arbor Vitae Chiropractic to find out more about how spinal health can help in overcoming addictions.



Blum, K., Cull, J., Holder, J. Breakthrough Brain Research Links Chiropractic Treatment to Addictive Behaviors.

Chiropractic Care May Aid Addiction Recovery. 2010 Aug 24.

Holder, J. “Addiction: A Unique Chiropractor’s Pursuit of the Source.” The American Chiropractor, 2010 Dec: 22-28.


Does Chiropractic Help Those With ADHD?

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ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is becoming more prevalent across the nation as 6 million children show symptoms of ADHD.  For this reason, it is the most common pediatric disorder.  However, this disorder is often over-diagnosed and children are quickly becoming over-medicated since medication is the popular solution to an ADHD diagnosis.  While seeking a solution and a change in a child’s behavior, parents quickly turn to medication to fix the problem.  However, medication for ADHD does not address the root of the problem and comes with potentially harmful side effects, like loss of appetite or change in moods.  Another problem with prescription medication is that children who are over=medicated when they’re young turn into adults who are also over-medicated. This leads to not only unhealthy, medicine-dependent adults, but can also lead to potentially dangerous addiction issues.  Chiropractic has been shown to significantly improve quality of life and symptoms in children and adults with ADHD.  Consider this natural, safe option for managing ADHD symptoms.

What Is ADHD?

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a compulsive disorder usually due to imbalances of neurotransmitters.  These neurotransmitters send messages between the neurons in the brain.  ADHD affects children, usually carries over into adulthood, and seems to affect males more often than females.  This mental health condition causes children to struggle to sit still, affects their ability to concentrate, and reduces their ability to control impulses.  When ADHD carries into adulthood, it can lead to depression, substance abuse, anxiety, and other health issues in addition to ADHD.  Medication such as Ritalin can help, but it comes with side effects such as fatigue, nausea, trouble sleeping, headaches, constipation, OCD tendencies, a zombie-like emotional state, and a myriad of other problems.  Instead of turning to medication and risking the side effects, first seek care from a Bentonville chiropractor for a natural way to improve your child’s life.

How Can Chiropractic Alleviate ADHD Symptoms?

The central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord, controls all the body’s systems.  Chiropractic adjustments from a Bentonville chiropractor can alleviate subluxations (spinal misalignments) that interfere with nerve communication.  Because ADHD is caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters, removing spinal misalignments will allow the neurotransmitters to once again properly send messages between the neurons.  Correcting misalignments with gentle adjustments and restoring nerve communication ensures optimal function of all the body’s systems, which in turn allows for better concentration and an ability to control impulses leading to a decrease in ADHD symptoms.  In a case study done on 4 children with ADHD, each received consisted chiropractic adjustments over a period of several months and saw significant improvements in ADHD behaviors.  Another study of an 8-year-old boy with ADHD showed a decrease in ADHD symptoms as well as improvements in learning and social interactions following chiropractic care.  Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela wants to help your child achieve an overall healthier body and a better quality of life through alleviating symptoms of ADHD.

What Are the Next Steps?

Knowing that chiropractic adjustments are a natural and beneficial way to manage ADHD symptoms, what should your next step be?  Seek chiropractic care from Arbor Vitae Chiropractic and schedule an appointment to receive gentle, specific adjustments to restore nerve communication.  Whether you are an adult with ADHD or have a child with ADHD symptoms, Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Niemela can help you find success.  Contact us today for more information about how Arbor Vitae Chiropractic can help.




Hodgson, N., Vaden, C. “Improvement in Signs and Symptoms of ADHD and Functional Outcomes in Four Children Receiving Torque Release Chiropractic: A Case Series.” Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 2014 April: 55-79.

Zielinski, E., BA, DC, MPH, BA, & Mankal, K., DC. (September 15, 2014). “An Epidemiological Approach to the Effects of Subluxation-Based Chiropractic Care on the Management of ADHD, Depression and Learning Disabilities in an 8-Year Old: A Case Study.” Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 153-160.

Dysautonomia & the Stress Response


Our bodies are made up of various systems that all work in conjunction to make them work properly. The central nervous system is the most important system because it controls all the other systems. The central nervous system is made up of the brain and the spinal cord, while the peripheral nervous system is made up of all the nerves in the body.

The autonomic nervous system is a subset of these systems, and it controls all of the involuntary actions that our body simply does without any action on our part. The autonomic nervous system can be further broken down into two systems, the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous systems. The parasympathetic system keeps the body in a phase of “rest and digest,” which includes our normal, every day body functions that help maintain long-term health and allow the body to repair and refresh itself. The sympathetic nervous system is known as the “fight or flight” nervous system, or the stress response. When your body senses a threat of any kind, whether it’s emotional, physical, or mental, it shifts into the fight or flight response. The body shuts off the normal, everyday functions and turns on the stress responses, like elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, increased sweating, and more.

Both of these systems, the sympathetic and parasympathetic, are very important to our wellbeing, but there has to be a balance between the two. When one is working in overdrive, the other is subdued, and this is a problem.

What Is Dysautonomia?

Dysautonomia is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system, particularly in that the parasympathetic response is diminished and the sympathetic response works on overdrive. Dysautonomia is usually not diagnosed as an illness by itself, but it’s usually associated with other diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, or chronic fatigue syndrome. It occasionally exists without other diseases, but either way, dysautonomia is incredibly difficult to live with and can cause a myriad of serious problems. Essentially, all the functions that are needed for long-term health are suppressed, so the body isn’t able to digest food properly, maintain a regular heart rate or healthy blood pressure, repair itself during sleep, and more.

The main symptoms of dysautonomia include frequent dizziness, fainting, extreme spikes in heart rate, extreme fatigue, brain fog, heart palpitations, abdominal discomfort, migraines, and anxiety and panic attacks. When a person has dysautonomia, their body is essentially in a sympathetic state constantly. The stress response is constantly firing and the body is unable to return to and maintain the rest and digest response.

How Can Chiropractic Help with Dysautonomia?

Chiropractic deals directly with the central nervous system (primarily the spinal cord which is housed in the spine, which is a chiropractor’s specialty), which directly affects the nerves that are part of the peripheral nervous system. Since the autonomic nervous system is part of that, the dysfunction involved in dysautonomia can be directly impacted by a Bentonville chiropractor.

Dr. Tom Niemela of Arbor Vitae Chiropractic corrects misalignments of the spine with gentle, specific chiropractic adjustments. These misalignments lead to nerve interference and dysfunction of all the body’s systems, including the sympathetic and parasympathetic responses and all of the problems that come from dysautonomia. When the misalignments are corrected with a chiropractic adjustment, brain-body communication is restored and all of the systems of the body are able to function properly and optimally.

If you have been diagnosed with dysautonomia or suspect that you have some level of dysfunction within your autonomic nervous system, get in touch with Bentonville chiropractor Dr. Tom Niemela. He and his team at Arbor Vitae Chiropractic would love the opportunity to improve your health and your overall quality of life.



Harcourt, A., Campbell, M., Mullin Elkins, L. “Dysautonomia and Migraine Managed with Chiropractic Functional Neurology Treatments.” Frontiers in Neurology Conference, 2016 Sep.

Russell, D.G. “Improved Spinal Range of Motion, Quality of Life, Dysponesis & Dysautonomia in a 75-year-old male Following Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique for the Correction of Vertebral Subluxation: A Case Report.” Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 2016 Sep: 92-96.

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.