The response to our previous post on Prenatal Chiropractic care has been wonderful. In this post we hope to introduce one of the wonderful providers we work with here at Happy Mommy Happy Baby. As a patient of Dr Nathan Wall, I am so excited to introduce him to our readers. Anyone walking in to Dr. Nathan’s (as his young patients affectionately call him) office can tell he has a passion for working with children and Pregnant women. From the huge play area for his younger patients, to the separate nursing area for his Postpartum mothers, it’s clear that Dr Nathan is dedicated to providing excellent care to those he serves. Always eager to share his knowledge, he was happy to sit down with me and answer a few questions.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Gladly! I’m Dr. Nathan Wall. I’m a Pediatric and Prenatal Chiropractor. I own and operate Thriving Families Chiropractic in Draper, Utah. I have been practicing full family Chiropractic for almost 7 years now. I ran my first practice in Washington state for 4 years and in 2017 opened our new practice here in Utah. I have the absolute most amazing wife who is my partner in all things life. We have 3 kiddos Seamus, Vivianna and Briggs. I’m a total family man both in and out of the practice. My passion in life without a doubt is helping families find health and maintain it….true health, from proper function.
How did you first get involved in chiropractic care?
To be honest how I got involved in Chiropractic is kind of a boring story. I would rather tell you how I found my calling of working with children and moms. I was about halfway through my graduate Chiropractic program and from the start I was going to be the best “Sports Chiropractor” there ever was! But I found myself feeling very unfulfilled in that specialty. I had this random chance to attend a presentation by who is now the top Pediatric Chiropractor in the nation Dr. Tony Ebel. I can remember sitting in his presentation and him drawing me in with the science and neurology and the amazing intricacies of working with such an intelligent system we call the nervous system. He shared stories of pediatric work and stories of helping mothers have VBAC’s and drastically shorter labor time (which in turn helps baby in so many ways). It was about ¾ of the way through the presentation that I had this…what I would call a very spiritual experience that overwhelmed me, and I knew beyond anything else that this is what I wanted to do and that this is what I was supposed to do. I grabbed my wife’s hand and said, “this is it, this is what I’m here to do”. And from that moment on I have never looked back. I have dedicated each day to providing top quality and cutting-edge care to the families of my community.
What are the three biggest benefits of chiropractic care for pregnant women?
Wow, where do I begin…? Absolutely #1 is proper function of the main master control system over the body and all its functions and that is the nervous system. See you must understand a high 90% of pregnant moms seek care for some sort of pain or discomfort they are feeling. And please don’t get me wrong I don’t want any of my mom’s in pain, but I want them to understand that often that pain is just a symptom of something not functioning well, an alarm if you will. One thing we know is if we lose proper motion or bio-mechanics of the spine it can dramatically influence the nervous system. And for a pregnant mom this can have crucial consequences. Take for instance the neurology down low in the lumbar spine (also a very common area to be affected by pregnancy). This area has such large ramifications over the endocrine or hormones being released both during pregnancy and during labor. I want mom to have an outstanding labor with great contractions..rhythmic if you will and I want oxytocin to be released appropriately and often times if the lumbar spine has inappropriate function it can affect the parasympathetic response and the sacral plexus of nerves and labor won’t go as planned and more interventions (pitocin, forceps, vacuum and c-section) will be used.
Second I would say in my practice I pay close attention to moms ability to appropriately handle her stress or not. Now many people when I say this wonder why this would matter in the first place and then think of “emotional stress” and that is part of it, but just one third. I want to know and even more importantly measure how well mom is adapting to her physical, chemical and emotional stress response. You see, all three of those add up to the high potential of causing more neurological stress response on mom and that will inhibit her ability to adapt, function and be healthy. Take this for instance, when I bring a pregnant mom in I put her through 3 different neurological tests to discover and gain more insight into how she is functioning. One of those tests is a HRV test or Heart Rate Variability exam that measures her adaptability to her stress through heart rate, skin temperature and skin conductance. If a mom comes in and she is already not adapting well to her neurological stress response and she is let’s say 25 weeks along what is the likelihood she will somehow dramatically turn this around by herself in the next 15 weeks and be ready for the ultimate stress response we call labor? I will put it to you this way, if moms “stress glass” is already half way full and she is going to keep adding more neurological stress and then go into labor and think that it won’t push her over the edge and cause heart rate issues in both her and baby and contraction issues and physiological stress responses literally shutting down the proper labor responses, well…that’s just not true. It will have a major effect on her and the labor process and in turn the child. So, I want mom to know my job is way more than to get rid of the low back pain, my job is to make sure we give your body all of the function it needs to have an outstanding pregnancy and labor.
And third is the most common thought of thing when we talk about Chiropractic and pregnancy and that is making sure mom’s pelvis is sitting relaxed and aligned well so baby can take an optimal fetal position and that we lower the chance of dystocia or baby “getting stuck”. Both issues can often end up in C-sections and if you know my pediatric side of the practice you will know why I don’t want to see that happen. Not to mention having the pelvis aligned well will bring about less pain, probable shorter labor times and overall a better pregnancy and birth for baby and mom.
4. What is the #1 questions asked by your patients?
This one always makes me chuckle a bit. The number one thing I get asked is…How long will this take and how much will it cost? And my answer is always the same thing…”I don’t know…until we perform an exam.” There is no way for me over the phone to know the level of function or dysfunction of your bio-mechanics and stress response on your nervous system just by hearing that you are 28 weeks with low back pain. If you are seeking care and the provider’s office is giving specific quotes as to length of care and cost of care I would say in my professional opinion that is impossible and especially during pregnancy. I must first find the issues and see how your body is adapting to it for me to know what it will take and in turn what it will cost not to mention at the least sit down with you and hear your health goals. Chiropractic is not like massage therapy. In fact, it only shares one common thing and that is that practitioner is putting their hands on you, but that is where it ends. We can’t give out a time frame and cost like a massage therapist would because our work is not near the same. And personally, I think it would be irresponsible and not the highest quality of care given to our patients.
If you had a list of ‘best-kept secrets’ [websites, books, coaches] you’d recommend, which would you include and why?
This is tough to say, moms are so well informed nowadays. I would say “Spinning babies” is great. Although not a website or book I would say find a practitioner that fits you when looking for a midwife or OB. Also I would say interview many doulas with your husband so you both are comfortable with the choice and cost and need.
What tips can you recommend that you’d only share with a close friend (and everyone reading this blog)?
I don’t think there is anything as for tips that I wouldn’t share with everyone. But I will say this. Find a doctor of Chiropractic that has dedicated themselves and practice to the care you are seeking. If you want a Chiropractor that not only has the training and education with working with pregnant moms, then make sure their practice shows that. If you walk in and you are the only pregnant mom in there repeatedly…take notice of that. Moms talk, and moms go where the best care is at. In my opinion a prenatal and pediatric practice should be obvious. Experience is massive when it comes to this work. As well as ask questions to the doctor...”how many pregnant moms or kids do you see each day?” “What is your experience with______?”
What are some common misconceptions about chiropractic care?
How much time do I have?? This list could go on forever. The biggest ones I want people to know are that one, Chiropractic in its core and what it is designed to do is actually not pain malmanagement it is actually about function malmanagement and those two are very different from each other. Chiropractic is also not based off faith. What I mean by that is when people say “I don’t believe in Chiropractic” it’s implying that it is faith based. There is no belief system in my practice…Chiropractic whether you “believe” in it or not works!
Oh, and one last one, the “Webster Technique” certification has nothing to do with pediatric work. It is a single technique used predominately with pregnant moms with great outcomes with helping the pelvis and sacrum stay in proper motion.
What are three things that keep you going in this business?
1) Empowering families with their own health!
2) Living each day loving what I do!
3) Smiles and hugs from kids in the practice!