Laying Fertile Soil With Dr. Lauren Collins
My weekly visits to the chiropractor have quickly become one of my most favorite things. They are someone you need on your preconception team, and this isn’t my first time interviewing one.
If you read my previous post then you probably read that I was on the hunt to find a chiropractor in my home city of Houston and it just so happened that Instagram, sent me the perfect one.
I'd like to introduce you to my Chiropractor and friend, Dr. Lauren Collins.
Lauren, please tell me more about you and your practice.
I'm born and raised in Houston and have been a dancer for most of my life, which is what got me into studying movement and the body once I started undergrad. My first experience with chiropractic was actually following the recommendation of one of my dance instructors at the university of Texas to try getting adjusted to help out with some issues I was having at the time. That really sparked my interest and eventually snowballed into me going to chiropractic school immediately following undergrad. When I decided to go it felt like a calling so I went for it, but it wasn't until after I started that I really fell in love with it once I learned about the philosophy which really resonated with me. Chiropractic recognizes that the body has an innate wisdom, and has so much potential to heal and function at a high level.
When I came in for my first visit you did a screening that showed me areas in my body where there was stress. Would you please explain this screening to me and how it can benefit fertility?
Sure. I use a technology called the Insight. Basically what it does is measure the way your nervous system is functioning in order to help us identify where there are patterns of chronic stress and disorganization in the system. I don't use it as a diagnostic tool as much as a way to get a look into how your body is adapting to your lifestyle and life experiences. From there I'm able to tailor a course of care that will address those needs and get results that aren't dependent on symptoms.
This information could be helpful for those struggling with infertility because it gives us a measurement that indicates whether or not the body is stuck in a "fight or flight" state, which is basically a chronic stress response. Our modern lifestyles have made us more prone to chronic stress for various reasons, and being in that state is damaging to our health and makes us more prone to chronic illnesses. A good way to sum it up and tie it into fertility is this quote I love from Dr. Bruce Lipton, PhD, "You can't be in growth and protection at the same time". The "fight or flight" response is a protective state, and it draws the body's energy away from healing, restoration, and growth. That considered you could imagine how our fertility which is so much about growth, nourishment, and regeneration can be hindered under those circumstances.
Your technique is very different from those that I’ve experienced before. In the past, I’ve had adjustments done and it seemed very routine, it felt very mechanical. Your technique is very different, its very gentle. The first few times I visited I wondered what you were doing. It seemed as if you were doing lots of tapping and then touching certain parts of my body. Please explain how your technique differs.
It's really important to me to connect with and honor the people I'm laying my hands on, so I try and reflect that in my practice. That's also something I strive to continue working on as my art as a chiropractor evolves. Also, every person is so unique and is constantly adapting to their own life experiences, so I try to listen as much as possible so people's bodies in the present moment versus falling into a routine or making assumptions about what they need that day. I actually kind of mix and match different techniques, so I would say my technique is not as different from others so much as my approach. With you, I was probably doing some muscle testing which is just another way to kind of ask the body what it will put it into more of a state of ease.
I feel so relaxed after you have adjusted my tailbone, why is that? And could this be helpful for those who are trying to conceive?
That part of your spine is very connected to your parasympathetic system, which is basically the opposite of that "fight or flight" response. Having a more responsive parasympathetic system and pumping the brakes on the sympathetic aka "fight or flight" system helps the whole body adapt and function better, which is definitely something you want while trying to conceive. That said the tailbone isn't like a "magic button" for that, that's what happened to show up that day as an area your body needed the "release and reset" the adjustment provides. Part of my analysis is identifying those areas in that moment for that person, kind of like we talked a little bit about already.
There’s almost always a beautiful pregnant mother or adorable baby in your office. Please explain how routine adjustments are beneficial for both mamas and babies.
Drawing back to that same idea about growth and protection, there is no better time than pregnancy to support the body in a way that will promote staying in "growth mode" as much as possible.
Also your body is changing literally everyday so regular adjustments help you adapt to those changes more gracefully. A common misconception is that prenatal care is reserved to those that are experiencing pain, which is so far from true. Again it's all about adaption, balance, and function. When those are in order both mom and baby benefit in so many ways. The same goes for babies. Their brains are developing rapidly, so the less stress in their system while they are growing and making all of those neurological connections the better. Many parents notice changes in things like their babies immune strength (less illness), digestion, moods, sleep and more after getting their babies adjusted.
We’re joining forces for Fertile Soil. Can you tell me what having fertile soil means to you?
To me, it's all about having a solid healthy foundation. This is so important because when we nourish ourselves, those benefits are also reaped by our children. There are so many health challenges we're experiencing as women that generations ago were not nearly as common. By starting with nourishing, caring for and loving ourselves I think we can make a huge impact in changing the trajectory of the health and well being of not just ourselves, but really our world and generations to come.
Lauren and I are teaming up and bringing you FERTILE SOIL, a webinar and workshop. To learn more on laying a nourishing foundation for conception and pregnancy, join us for our first webinar on 2.28.17 and Houston workshop in March.
Dr. Lauren Collins is a Houston native and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Kinesiology. She received her Doctorate in Chiropractic at Parker University College of Chiropractic in Dallas, TX. Dr. Lauren loves caring for families and has a special passion for the care of pregnant women and children. She has received extensive training through the International Pediatric Chiropractic Association, EPIC Pediatrics, and Doulas of North America to expand her knowledge and expertise in Prenatal and Pediatric care. Dr. Lauren’s is passionate about helping people live their best lives by reaching their full potential for health and vitality. Her hobbies include exercising, spending time outdoors, cooking, and spending time with her husband Jonathan.