The Female Body, Fertility, & The Importance of Holistic Chiropractic Care
Today’s episode is all about fertility, struggles conceiving, prenatal care, and the impact chiropractic care can have on the birthing process. Our guest, Dr. Courtney Kahla, shares her story about infertility, birth, and tips that helped both her and her patients on their journey. Listen & learn about all the things that could be impacting your fertility! (Yes, even that root canal could be making a difference.)
Dr. Kahla specializes in fertility, preconception, prenatal, pediatric, women’s health and whole family wellness with additional training and certifications from ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association). She was featured in Well Being Journal, received the Parker University Chiropractic Philosophy Awad for friendship, love of mankind, and the compassion to serve in April 2018, is the owner and founder of Our Well House in Frisco, TX.
2:57 Dr. Kahla’s Take on Chiropractic Care for the Female Body (jump to section)
8:23 The Truths Behind Fertility Medicine (jump to section)
10:00 Fertility Struggles & Stress for Women (jump to section)
13:08 Dr. Kahla’s Struggle with Infertility (jump to section)
14:24 Preconception Health (jump to section)
16:00 Acupuncture for Fertility (jump to section)
17:35 Fertility Naturopathy (jump to section)
21:00 Root Canals & The Effect on the Body (jump to section)
22:52 Thermography (jump to section)
26:05 Men’s Preconception Health (jump to section)
29:08 Dr. Kahla’s Experience with the Birthing Process (jump to section)
38:30 Chiropractic Care for Birthing Trauma or Strain (jump to section)
44:20 Things to Look for When Searching for a Chiropractor (jump to section)
Kat Eckles: What’s up, Be Organic listeners? Thank you so much for joining us today. This is Kat Eckles, one of the hosts of Be Organic, and I’m so excited to have you all.
As always, my husband Landon and I are so grateful for your support of Clean Juice and this podcast. Thank you for joining us. Today, we have a very exciting topic and a very exciting guest.
This is one that I followed personally on Instagram for a long time, and just someone that I look up to and I respect a lot of things that she says. I’m just really excited to have her on and share more of her background, insight, and just brilliance that she has going on.
I am excited today to introduce Dr. Courtney Kahla. From the time Dr. Kahla was a child, she had a firm belief that the body was self-healing and self-regulating. She played collegiate volleyball on a full ride scholarship and attended Abilene Christian University, where she graduated with a bachelor of science and exercise science. She attended chiropractic school at Parker University and became passionate about serving families.
She specializes in fertility, preconception, prenatal, pediatric women’s health, and whole family wellness, with additional training and certifications from ICPA, which is the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. She was featured in Wellbeing Journal, received the Parker University Chiropractic Philosophy Award for Friendship, Love of Mankind, and the Compassion to Serve in April of 2018, and she’s the owner and founder of Our Well House in Frisco, Texas. And now we have the utmost pleasure of having her on with us today.
Dr. Kahla, thank you so much for joining.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Thank you so much for having me. I drink Clean Juice all the time, so this is such a treat.
Kat Eckles: Aw, that means so much. It’s really cool when I hear people that I just really respect and also respect their lifestyles, I know they’re doing the right thing when they say they drink our products. It’s a little joy to my heart. I really appreciate hearing that from you.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Absolutely, and not even just drinking the juices, but all the products that y’all offer. Big fan of it. When I opened my new office, everyone that came to visit, asked if there is was a Clean Juice nearby.
I always said yes, five minutes down the road.
Dr. Kahla’s Take on Chiropractic Care for the Female Body
Kat Eckles: I love that. So good. Well, awesome. I talk to a lot of different chiropractors. I believe in chiropractic care. It’s funny actually, after I finish recording this, I’m headed there with my kids. One thing I love about what you focus on is family and children and the women’s body in fertility.
Obviously I’m a woman. I have five children, so I’ve been through the birthing thing and women are so strong and powerful. I would like to understand how you went down that path and what you think chiropractic care really does for the female body, and all that we can do..
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Oh, absolutely. I didn’t know you had five kids. That’s amazing. I’m the oldest of five, and so that was my life growing up.
Kat Eckles: Aww.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: As a parent, you see the growth and development that occurs in your kids, right? You remember the day where you had your baby just on the floor and they were just looking at what was within a one foot radius in front of them, and then all of a sudden, one day, they can track you as you’re walking across the room and you say, “oh my gosh, my baby sees me.”
You didn’t have to teach your child that, right? They just started doing it. It’s their brain making their own connections with their own body. I think just being a witness to the development and the intelligence that is God-given and within us really has just fostered. I wanted to serve that community really well. So much is happening within our brains and bodies at such a young age and that just continues through the years. I wanted to be able to steward health within this community of growing their families.
Kat Eckles: I love that. That’s so good. I can look back at some experiences I’ve had as a mom with those type of things where you watch children and they’re so instinctual. It really brings me back to even what Jesus says in the Bible. He says, “the ones who come to me are little children. That’s who enters the kingdom of God.”
And I really believe so much of that is about following your instincts. It’s about following the Holy Spirit inside of you, and it’s about listening to your body and the way, you know, Jesus communicates with us to take care of ourselves.
So I can really appreciate that and, and, you know, think back on moments I had with my kids where it’s that resounds, you know, it really, it really sets in when you, I think probably more so when you become a parent and you can watch these little kids 24/7 that are really living by their instincts and living by their emotions, and really knowing what they need for themselves to take care of themselves. It’s really miraculous.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Oh, for sure. As a parent, you get a front row seat because you are with them 24/7. The little things where, if someone just sees your kid one time a week, they just see that, for example, Sally’s walking this week, which seems great.
But you saw every time that they tried to stand up and maybe their foot wasn’t completely flat on the ground. You saw every little bit of their brain just building and making those connections with their bodies. Parenting is really refining. I’ve learned so much more about normal h an physiology just by watching my little one develop.
Kat Eckles: That’s so true. Fertility is something that you really focus on and I’d love to hear about some of the ways that you think chiropractic care really helps with that. We can maybe get more into the things you can do outside of chiropractic care. But what are some of the things you’ve seen specifically as it relates to fertility in your practice?
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Fertility struggles are near and dear to my heart because that was our journey. We struggled for almost two years to conceive our daughter, who’s now one and a half years old. So I firmly believe that couples on this journey just deserve careful detectives to work, to uncover what’s really going on, and to reveal how best to address it. I want the couples that I serve to have wise guides to help them navigate their choices- all of their choices- until that primary need is fulfilled.
I have to disclaim, first and foremost, that as a chiropractor, I do not treat anything. The purpose of chiropractic care is not for the treatment of conditions or disease, but rather the restoration of normal body function.
That totally applies to preconception infertility, but it also applies to digestion, sleep, scan, et cetera, because every function in the body depends on the optimal function of the nervous system. When your body has a decreased ability to adapt physical, chemical, or emotional stressors, what that does is it creates a roadblock between your brain and your body.
Your brain is trying to send messages to every cell, organ, and tissue, telling it what to do, but that message either can’t get there or has to sit in traffic or take a detour. It might get there, but it’s probably pretty late and frustrated. As a chiropractor, I’m able to remove those roadblocks, restore that proper communication, whether that communication is to the uterus, the ovaries, or the glands in the brain that produce the hormones that tell those organs what to do.
We remove that to allow the body to function the way that God created it to.
Kat Eckles: That’s amazing. What are some things that might affect fertility even outside of chiropractic care that some people are doing that really can have an impact on that, hether it’s products they use or foods they’re eating?
Sometimes people don’t even realize that they’re doing things that can really be impacting their fertility, whether it’s fragrances or candles, or even birth control pills. I’d love to talk about a couple of those things.
The Truths Behind Fertility Medicine
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Heck, yeah, all of the above, girl. But I can’t talk about fertility without diving into some of the truths of the fertility industry.
Just to backtrack a little bit.
Kat Eckles: Yeah.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: To me, it’s unacceptable that 80% of patients don’t actually know what their diagnosis is and neither do their doctors when it comes to why they’re not getting pregnant. That’s just the unfortunate reality of fertility medicine. There are plenty of talented, well-intentioned practitioners out there, of course, but they are usually the rare ones.
What’s more common is just this general attitude of, “Why figure out why she’s not getting pregnant if we’re not going to give her drugs anyway?” Or, “I don’t need to know if he’s making healthy sperm because we’re just going to get enough to combine with eggs for IVF.”
I always want to communicate that I stand for informed choices and making empowered decisions. That’s why I can’t talk about fertility without talking about how too often in this culture of modern fertility, medicine harms more than it helps because it’s more common for doctors to steer women immediately toward drastic medical interventions, which is just wild to me because the odds are that it won’t work.
The chances of having a healthy full term baby after one IVF hovers around 30% to 40%, and that actually even varies between 10% and 50%. In fact, one of the best IVF programs in the country, for example, sends 47% of patients under the age of 35 home with a baby in any given IVF cycle.
It’s the best program with the most likely to succeed patients, and the patients still get what they came for less than half the time.
Kat Eckles: Wow.
Fertility Struggles & Stress for Women
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Yeah. For me, as someone who studies normal human physiology with an emphasis on women’s health and reproduction, I think that those struggling with fertility, more often than not, don’t need the physical strain of extreme hormone doses and repeated invasive procedures.
They don’t need long-term increased health risks to mother and baby, and they don’t need the emotional strains the IVF rollercoaster puts couples on. In psychological testing measuring stress levels, infertility patients actually scored higher than cancer patients.
Kat Eckles: Hmm.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Yeah. I also think that they don’t always need the tremendous expense. In the DFW area, it’s an average of $15,000 per IVF cycle, and insurance doesn’t even touch financial support, usually, in those areas.
Kat Eckles: Right. Well, you know what’s so funny? You say that about the stress and you hear these stories all the time about couples who were trying and going through IVF and did all these things, and then maybe they had a baby, or maybe they went the route of adoption and then they get pregnant completely, naturally about a year later.
It’s almost the body, that stress, whether it’s IVF, or whatever they’re going through, as soon as that stress is gone, the body can do what it needs to do. I’ve heard that story more often than not, and it’s just always unbelievable to me that sometimes it’s just that piece of stress that they need to release and then the body can do what it does.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Yes. It is really cool to hear stories like that. I know when we were on our journey, I was researching all those things, because you’ll do anything to get pregnant. I said, do I just need to give up this hope that I have, because once I give up, then I’ll get pregnant?
Even giving up the desired result to get pregnant, research actually shows that it only happens to 5% of couples, so…
Kat Eckles: Oh wow.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: That was encouraging because the Bible tells us in Romans 5:3-5, “Endurance produces character. Character produces hope.” I can’t remember the exact words of that verse, but it just basically says we are supposed to have hope.
I know for many people they do have that testimony of just giving up and surrendering and said this isn’t part of our story. They had moved on and then got pregnant. I’m not there yet. I’m not ready to give up. I want to still have this hope.
That statistic of it just being 5%. I love hearing those stories from people, but it’s only 5% of couples that it actually happens to.
Dr. Kahla’s Struggle with Infertility
Kat Eckles: I would love to hear a little bit about your story, if you’d be willing to share just the things you tried and the different things that you went through. So we can maybe share that hope with people that are on that same struggle.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Absolutely. For me, when I’m serving people that are struggling with fertility, and this kind of ties into just my story, but I am laying that foundation.
What I want people to have is support in weighing the risks and benefits of their choices. I want them to try the most natural options first. I want them to have advice that they can trust about when to consider assisted reproductive technologies. The truth is that with careful diagnosis, basic fertility education and some simple but detailed diet and lifestyle advice, many women using assisted reproductive technologies could actually conceive much more naturally.
That was our philosophy. We wanted to try everything natural and available to us and if we needed to go the assisted reproductive technology route, we tried to surround ourselves with those wise guides who would help us navigate all of our choices. We started working on our preconception health.
That is a big piece that’s missing from modern fertility and just the entire healthcare system in general. Most doctors will say, “Don’t come and see us unless you’ve been trying to get pregnant for over a year. Then we’ll talk about it.”
Why do we have to wait and go through the struggle? Why can’t we focus on preparing our bodies and being proactive? We tried to be proactive in all these other areas of our health. We started preconception health, which really just looked at working with a functional medicine doctor, doing some basic lab panels, hormone testing, just kind of seeing where we were at and what things looked like. We focused on some dietary and lifestyle changes. I worked through healing of candida overgrowth infection and some food allergies. It was really beneficial. I remember when we had our meeting with our functional medicine doctor and he said:
“You know, we’ve worked through a bunch of stuff the past 10 months and I’m not really seeing anything else that we really need to focus on. Everything looks great.”
We said let’s go ahead and start trying to conceive. In my mind, I said okay, I’ve done all this work, so now that when I physically try and when I’m emotionally invested, my body’s just going to be ready and I’m just going to get pregnant. Another piece to that puzzle was really the fertility education – really studying and charting my menstrual cycle. I had been doing that for two years. I knew exactly when I was ovulating based off of three ovulation signs, which would be basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and cervix positioning. I know exactly when I’m ovulating. It just was not that easy for us. It was a very humbling moment for me.
Acupuncture for Fertility
We tried for six months before I started acupuncture and that was great. I went to someone who specializes in fertility and she specializes in pregnancy as well, which I think is important when you see an acupuncturist.
That helped really with all kinds of blood and circulation. Of course it’s going to help with a menstrual cycle because of massive blood circulation going on there. I had great improvements with my menstrual cycle with that after doing that for three months. I also started seeing a local woman who practices what’s called Las Sobadas, which is a womb massage.
It’s a very cultural thing, but it’s a visceral manipulation and helping, just making sure my uterus was in the right position, that my ovaries were doing what they’re supposed to do. It’s something that only people from Mexico will practice. It’s not something that’s taught in massage school.
It’s definitely very cultural, but I love it and have so much respect for it. The woman who served me in that way served me all through my pregnancy and then was even at my birth with my daughter.
Kat Eckles: Oh, that’s really cool.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Yeah, she’s very special to me. It wasn’t until about 10 months of trying to conceive unsuccessfully that I finally decided to go see a fertility naturopath.
I knew that I didn’t want to go to a reproductive endocrinologist because I knew what services they were gonna offer me, right?
Kat Eckles: Mm-hmm.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: We chose to not go that route until we exhausted all of the other options. We did more extensive blood work and testing with a fertility perspective, not just an overall health perspective.
A great example of that is vitamin D levels. If you’re anywhere between 20 and 40, they’ll say it’s within a normal range. But for fertility, you really want to be between 60 and 80. You go through things with a fine tooth comb within the eyes of reproduction.
My husband ended up doing a semen analysis while we were under care with this fertility naturopath. We saw her for six months and the last little piece of the puzzle – we worked through everything we could with her. I had an abnormal pap smear, so we went down the rabbit hole of doing some further testing to figure out what was going on there. It ended up coming back normal. We had these rabbit holes, but nothing actually gave us answers.
We went down every path that we needed to. We got to the point where we didn’t really have anything else to investigate.
Root Canals & The Effect on the Body
We did everything we could with this fertility naturopath. We switched back to a functional medicine doctor, and under his care, I finally got this root canal tooth removed.
I had a tooth that I had a root canal on about 10 years before it had bothered me. I had watched some documentaries, I’ve read five different books and studied a lot of Weston A. Price’s research. I had it looked at. I had a cone beam, a CT scan on it, which showed a pocket of infection above it and I had that tooth pulled. A month later, we got pregnant. Naturally.
Kat Eckles: Wow, that’s unbelievable.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: I feel all of that played a piece in the puzzle and even during that time, I know God was working on my heart. I was learning things about how I wanted to parent and birth that I didn’t know of before.
I’m so grateful for the time that it took, as hard as it was. I can’t help but deny that the one month before we miraculously conceived, I had an infected root canal tooth extracted.
Kat Eckles: I think that’s something we’re probably just on the tip of the iceberg with understanding – how much our dental care and, especially root canals and wisdom teeth extractions, and all of the things we’re doing with our teeth, has such an impactful effect on our body that we really, really need to be paying attention to. I just applaud you for going down that route because we’re just getting into that.
Even then in the natural world, people are just really starting to understand how important that is. I actually wish my husband was here because he has a few root canals that I’ve really been hounding him to get out and he doesn’t want to listen to me.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: It’s crazy – the more I researched it, which I know we weren’t planning on talking about this today, but the more I researched it, I saw that what they do with the root canal is completely cut off the blood and nerve supply because there’s infection and inflammation. They cut off the supply and that basically kills that root of the tooth, and then they pack it down with this tar- and cement- material.
The problem with it is that our teeth have so many little tiny micropores that bacteria and organisms and microorganisms are going in and out of. When we cut off the blood supply and the nerve supply, we’re then just leaving dead tissue in the body. A root canal is the only procedure where we leave dead tissue within the body.
That’s creating the perfect scenario for an infection because we don’t have the blood supply and the nerve supply to then bring more of the body’s innate immune system to the area. Some of the research by Weston A. Price showed that he would take root canal teeth that had been extracted from a hen, place it under the skin of a rabbit, and 80% of the time that rabbit would develop the disease that the hen had.
Kat Eckles: Wow.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Yeah.
Kat Eckles: I had heard a statistic, and I might get this wrong, so I hate to quote it, and maybe you can correct me, but I think it was 80% of women that had breast cancer also had a root canal on that same side.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Yes. I don’t know the statistic there, but I do remember seeing that as well. There’s a toxicologist that works at my dentist’s office and she owns a thermography center. She does thermograms on these women and it shows these heat patterns between the tooth and the breast and that lymphatic circle there.
Kat Eckles: I would love for you to quickly to explain what thermography is because I know what it is and love it, but I think it’s actually something that I wish more people understood. I know we weren’t going to talk about that, but since you mentioned it, I would love for you to just explain it a little bit.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Thermography is basically just getting heat readings from the body. I actually did a full body thermography scan a few months ago at a center in Dallas, and I think it’s good information to have. It wasn’t the end all be all for me, and it’s a good tool to have in my pocket, but it’s not something that I need to do all the time. But what was really interesting is it showed over my thyroid that it was colder.
I wasn’t getting as warm of heat signals that I should have, which meant that my thyroid was probably a little bit more underactive than what it needed to be, which made sense. At that point, I was six months postpartum. The load of my thyroid had been a lot from pregnancy and birth.
Really interesting information you can gather. What I think is most beneficial for, and where I’ve referred some of my practice members to do thermography scans, is if you have breast implants.It’s really great to be checking on those heat patterns with that change there. Because breast implant illness is real.
For breast health, I really liked the information I gathered. It’s a less invasive way. Instead of doing a mammogram, you can do a thermograph, which would be a less invasive way of getting information about breast health. Mammograms have been shown to not be as effective and have caused cancer in situations. I don’t think they should be completely thrown out. There’s a time and a place for them, but I think there’s an over-reliance on them. We could be using tools like thermography and then if we see something we could follow up with a mammogram.
Kat Eckles: Exactly. What I liked about it too is you can do the scan and then if you see a few areas of concern, you can keep an eye on it and work on really treating that, whether it’s the lymph around your breast, and then you can go back and see if that’s changed.
You can use it as a good baseline tool, which I really like.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Yeah, absolutely. It’s great when we look at metabolic health, right? Our metabolism, our bodies, are supposed to be warm and increasing in heat. If we have areas on my thermograph, my feet, it doesn’t show up on it at all because my feet were so cold we didn’t get any heat patterns.
That’s not healthy. It shows circulation issues. But also from a metabolic perspective, am I eating enough? Am I nourishing my body so that I’m actually warm?
Men’s Preconception Health
Kat Eckles: Mm-hmm. That’s so good. Something that piqued my interest is you were talking about your journey and all the testing you did, but also a lot of the testing that your husband did, and I think that’s probably something that sometimes people might overlook, or might not realize how important it is for the male and his sperm to be healthy as well.
Even if it’s healthy enough to get pregnant, it is just as important for what a male does preconception as what a female does, and I think that’s an important concept for people to understand.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Absolutely. That was something I felt we had to really push against; what society and culture tells us with that. I think the more common messaging is that women’s reproductive health is more important. But no, it’s 50/50, right? They’re getting genetics, gene expression, they’re getting so much more and it really takes three months to produce healthy sperm.
There were times during our fertility journey that we just took a flat out three month break to just give my husband an opportunity to work on some dietary changes. He was taking some supplements for some deficiencies and just really focusing on sperm health.
A big part of our journey is I had my husband come to all of these fertility appointments with me, because we did make the active decision of that we’re going to pursue my health first because I’ll be the one carrying the baby. I have more time and I really like going to doctor’s appointments.
We can focus on that. I really worked on bringing him along with me to do some of his own testing and just making sure that he’s as healthy as possible. We did do a semen analysis, which is very invasive, and we processed that really heavily because most of these reproductive centers that take semen analysis have a ton of pornography in their rooms.
We processed it to where we just don’t think that on this pursuit of getting answers for growing our families, that it would involve sin. We’ve found another option where you can collect a semen analysis sample within a 30 minute radius of the facility, such as at your house, and then keep it in the container and place it warm between your legs and drive it and drop it off at the facility.
Kat Eckles: I love that. That stuff’s so important. I don’t think that we even think about it in modern culture, but it’s our child. It’s putting all these things and all of this energy into our future and if it’s rooted in sin or rooted in these things that are wrong it’s just something you want to be aware of.
I love your discernment there, and I respect that a lot.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Thanks. I know that was probably tmi.
Kat Eckles: No, not at all.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: It’s the nitty gritty stuff that when you’re walking that journey, no one talks about. I’m going to talk about it.
Dr. Kahla’s Experience with the Birthing Process
Kat Eckles: Now let’s talk about once the baby’s born and this miraculous life is here, what are some of the things that you did differently with your daughter and some of your patients that people might not be thinking about. I read that you didn’t cut the umbilical cord right away as they normally do and there’s reasons for that. I’d love to just kind of go through the birthing process and how yours was a little bit more unique than the modern way that everybody does it.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: I don’t know if I did anything that people would say is culturally normal. I feel everything I did goes against the grain, but let’s talk about it. Through pregnancy, I had a midwife. Instead of having an OB-GYN, I went the midwifery model route. I had a midwife.
I declined having any ultrasounds, so I didn’t do any ultrasounds during my pregnancy. I also, for the glucose tolerance test, I did not drink the glucola drink. I monitored my own glucose levels by pricking my finger multiple times a day, which was really cool. Really interesting. I declined any doppler check for checking heart rate.
I did the fetoscope instead. I ultimately had a home birth. I birthed Rosie after 32 hours, at home in my bed. With the post-birth stuff, I delivered the placenta naturally. Rosie was still attached, the umbilical cord was still attached to the placenta and to Rosie as I delivered the placenta and we left it attached until it was shriveled up and completely dry. We didn’t do what’s called lotus birth.
Lotus birth is where you leave the placenta and the umbilical cord attached until two weeks, until the umbilical cord, little stump actually falls off. We didn’t do that because there is a risk of infection with that. But we left the cord attached for 30 minutes to an hour before we cut it, just to make…
Kat Eckles: and is the baby getting more oxygen? Or what’s the benefits of that?
Dr. Courtney Kahla: The benefits are really cool and there’s so much here, but basically the baby is getting the rest of its blood supply. I can’t remember the exact percentage, but I wanna say it’s 20% of their blood is still within the placenta after they’re born. If you cut the cord right away, they’re not getting all of their blood and that would involve all of their clotting factors.
That’s something that you see in our modern birthing society right now; we’re cutting cords really quickly. Part of the reason for that is that once the cord is cut, the hospital and the doctor are no longer liable for anything that happens.
I’ve seen videos and some of the most traumatic births I’ve ever seen, and that doctor cuts that cord so quick to decrease liability. They’re not getting all the clotting factors. What we’re doing currently is we’re cutting cords quickly and then we’re giving babies vitamin K. Which vitamin K shot is their clotting factors.
Kat Eckles: Right.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: We’re cutting the cord so they’re not getting clotting factors, and then we’re giving them synthetic and artificial clotting factors.
Kat Eckles: Right.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: You know?
Kat Eckles: Which they already have in the…
Dr. Courtney Kahla: In a hospital setting, they’ll usually, if they do what’s called delayed cord clamping, their standard practice, which this is now, the research shows that you should do delayed cord clamping.
If your practitioner is not, they are not practicing evidence-based medicine within the appropriate standard of care. You should make sure you talk to your provider about it, but they typically will only wait just one minute, which is better than not. You should be able to wait as long as you want to make sure they’re getting everything that they need.
Kat Eckles: There’s also something with the cord and the vagus nerve, correct? Keeping it connected for longer gives them a stronger nervous system essentially.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Oh yeah. I mean, that kind of goes into a little bit of polyvagal theory of the social vagus emerging instead of it just being the parasympathetic and the sympathetic nervous system, there’s a social vagus nervous system, which is having the cord connected, having the mom and baby be able to just gaze into each other’s eyes immediately upon birth, having baby be able to do the breast crawl to get up to the breast to nurse for the first time. That stimulates the contractions to help the placenta come out. There are a lot of pieces of that normal physiological labor and birth process that we’re definitely interfering with.
Sometimes the interference is appropriate, necessary, and lifesaving. It’s the over-reliance on that or that being the standard that I have a problem with.
Kat Eckles: When was the first time that you had your daughter adjusted?
Dr. Courtney Kahla: I got to adjust her myself when she was an hour old.
Kat Eckles: Wow. That’s awesome.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Some other things we did is we didn’t bathe Rosie for the first two weeks to a month. When babies are born, they are delivered with- sometimes they have this white cheesy stuff on them and that’s called vernix. It’s just amazing. That’s their whole immune system. We definitely want to leave on as much of that as possible. Babies that are born maybe a little bit early tend to have more vernix than not. Rosie didn’t, she didn’t have a whole lot of vernix on her, but I wanted to leave what she had. What else have we done? We didn’t use a pacifier. We did not swaddle. We practice safe bed sharing and co-sleeping. We nurse on demand. Mm. We contact nap. I’m going to try to think of all these names for all the weird things that we do, but I just put it all through the lens of, how did God create us? And what are our bodies created to do?
Now that may work for some families, it works for us right now. It may not work for other families and it may not work for us when we have subsequent kids. We just don’t know. But we’re so open to just leaning into the needs of our family and doing what works best.
Kat Eckles: Well, I said earlier I have five kids and I would say my three youngest who they’re eight, seven, and four, sleep in our bed in our room every night.
I would say 50% of the time, my teenagers end up on the couch in our room too. Even with big families, it’s just instinctual. We all want to be together. You know? It’s not that they’re scared or not independent. They are, but it’s that family feeling of nurturing and that’s always been the instincts of my kids and myself.
We’ve just always tried to honor it. It’s funny, we fought it a little bit with our oldest because we thought that that was what we should be doing, teaching her to stay in her own room and the poor thing, she would, I remember we’d open the door and she’d be sleeping outside of our door cuz she just wanted to be close to us and it would just break my heart.
I said you’re coming in my room now,. But it’s there because instinctually and deep down we all love our families and we want to be together.
Dr. Courtney Kahla:That’s the part that I just want to help families understand is that there’s a reason why. If you try sleep training and you’ve got your baby and they’re in their bed and they’re crying and you’ve closed the door and you’re sitting on the outside of their door and you’re crying because everything in you says that you just wanna go in and soothe your baby, you’re not wrong. You’re not wrong for feeling that way. There’s a reason you just want to go and soothe your baby. There’s a reason you want your baby close to you and I think some of the messaging our world gives us says otherwise of that we’re teaching bad habits and we’re spoiling our kids.
That’s not normal human physiology. God created that for a reason, and I just want families to listen to that. If you say “hey, I have to get sleep trained because of X, Y, and Z, and that’s what our family needs,” then do it and have peace about it, but don’t deny yourself your own instincts of knowing what’s best for your family.
Kat Eckles: That’s so true. It’s, it’s so true. It really is. Thank you for sharing all that. I love that. I think it’s beautiful when God’s able to just use your story to inspire others, motivate others and teach others. I appreciate you sharing that and all you’ve been through and just your strength.
Thank you so much.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Thank you.
Chiropractic Care for Birthing Trauma or Strain
Kat Eckles: Before we wrap up, I want to talk a little bit more about bringing your kids and your family into a chiropractor. There’s probably a bunch of people listening to this that might have not even done chiropractic care or really understand. I know for years I said I don’t go to a chiropractor, I don’t have back pain. I didn’t ever think it was something I needed to do. What are some things, especially with children, that parents might notice that you think chiropractic care can really help?
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Oh yes. This is my jam. I love serving babies and families because it is always going to be healthier, or it’s always going to be cheaper to create a healthy adult than it is to fix a broken one.
When we look at why would you bring kids in, let’s start with birth. Birth is tough work for moms and babies. There’s a ton of pressures and forces being exerted on the baby during their journey into the world. In a recent study, actually by Viola Frymann, it demonstrated that 90% of newborns suffered the effects of birth trauma, which would be associated strain through the neck and cranial areas following birth.
She studied about 1500 babies over an eight year period, and all of these babies within the first five days of birth, and many were checked within the first 24 hours. It showed that 10% of the babies had perfect heads. 10% had trauma that even untrained, I could see. A parent without any medical history could see this doesn’t look right. The other 80% all had some sort of strain patterns in the cranial mechanisms within the head and neck. Birth, in its many different forms, if we want to, we could talk about all of the interventions that are currently happening and the trauma that is inherently there for both mother and baby, but just in any kind of form, even the most natural form, it’s, it’s a lot of work and quite traumatic.
There’s just a great chance that babies are suffering some sort of strain due to a variety of reasons. A researcher, G. Gutman, actually wrote that, “The trauma from the birth process remains an under publicized and therefore significantly undertreated problem.”
That’s where I step in. Basically some of the things that you can see that can cause a traumatic birth event for an infant, would be if you had a very short labor. I consider that anything under two hours. A very long labor, which is anything really over eight hours. If you’re using Pitocin to strengthen or induce uterine contractions, if you’re using any sort of pain medication, whether that’s an epidural or any sort of pain medication.
If the mom is having any restricted birthing positions, meaning she’s required to just lay on her back, if there’s any pulling or twisting on the head to deliver the infant’s body, which this is a very standard practice. One thing that I was very adamant about was that no one touches my baby’s head but me during my own birth.
If they’re having to use forceps or vacuum to extract the baby, or if there’s a c-section. Any of these events, the trauma just impacts the baby’s spinal growth and development, which can reduce the healthy function of a nervous system. When we look at a baby, and this is where I was talking about earlier, you remember the day where they started tracking you from across the room and you didn’t have to teach them that?
That’s because 65% of their neurological development, which is development of their brain and nervous system, occurs in their first year. That’s where I think it’s imperative that your baby has every opportunity to maximize their nerve function during this critical period in their development. It’s why I see kids that after their first adjustment, they will crawl for the first time. The parents are freaking out. They say they’ve never done that.
It’s because crawling is a neurological developmental milestone. It’s a connection their body is having to make with their brain. By releasing any miscommunication or roadblock between their brain and body, whether that’s from the birth process or something in a few months of life, we’re giving their body every opportunity to do exactly what it needs to do.
Kat Eckles: That’s amazing.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: It’s so cool.
Kat Eckles: My youngest had, and I’m going to be careful here, but you and I have similar thoughts on this. He had an injury from a medical procedure that’s standard that he got when he was younger. He was really sick. I mean, very sick.
Anyway, he was extremely delayed in his walking and everything at that point. We started seeing a chiropractor three to four times a week. He went from essentially not even crawling, honestly, to walking within probably two months. And of course we were doing many other things cuz he was very ill.
Especially the chiropractic care, I attribute his physical movements to quickly. And I always thought it was because of the physical body, but it’s not, it’s the neurological pathways. It’s all of a sudden his nerves were firing on correct. He was able to start to use his body correctly. I just wanted to share that because we experienced that firsthand with our child.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Yeah, for sure.
Things to Look for When Searching for a Chiropractor
Kat Eckles: If our listeners finish this and they want to find a chiropractor for their family, what are some things that they would look for in the chiropractor’s training or, I know certain chiropractors have different methods that they use, and what would you recommend when they’re looking for someone for their family?
Dr. Courtney Kahla: First and foremost, I definitely believe that some chiropractic care is better than no chiropractic care. If you have some options in your area, the first thing I recommend looking for is someone who will talk about your nervous system. This can simply just be their communication of what chiropractic is on their website.
It should be communicated on their website, but you can always call and ask if they assess the nervous system. You definitely want someone assessing that, but we can kind of dive into why. Chiropractic techniques fit into three basic models. There’s the skeletal system, the muscular system, and the nervous system.
All chiropractic techniques involve all three, but why would we prefer a nervous system approach? I think it’s important to really just understand how this interference happens within a person’s body in the first place. Maybe a bone moved out of place, which then affects the nerve, and the muscle, but when we look at bones, they can’t move by themselves.
Maybe a muscle pulled it. Let’s look at the muscles. The muscle doesn’t have a mind of its own. It doesn’t just push or pull whenever it wants to. Something’s controlling and coordinating and communicating that function.
It’s the nerves. The nerves are telling those muscles and those bones exactly what to do. The muscle imbalance or the bone moving can only be the result of that miscommunication between the brain and the body. To me, it just makes more sense to address the nervous system first so that all else can follow.
That’s the first thing I recommend looking for. Now, if you are pregnant, I do think it’s important to go to a chiropractor who is certified by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, the ICPA, in what’s called Webster Technique. That’s a certification that really helps your chiropractor have a greater understanding of all the changes that are occurring throughout literally every single day of your pregnancy and serve you very specifically.
I personally do not think it’s appropriate for a chiropractor to adjust pregnant women without this certification, because they’re just missing so much of what is happening. I would agree too, with kids, you definitely want to see that they are listed on the ICPA website as someone who has taken trainings to be able to see and serve kids.
Some chiropractors will say they see kids and they’re just miniature adults. No. In their first year of life, 65% of their nervous system develops and their spine doubles in size. That doesn’t happen with adults. I want to assess them very specifically. Those are kind of the two things that I definitely recommend looking for.
At the end of the day, if you don’t have as many choices, some chiropractic care is better than none. I definitely just want people under chiropractic care.
Kat Eckles: That’s awesome. Well, Courtney, I could talk to you all day, and I think that you’re just a wealth of knowledge. I hope we get to bring you back on here one day to talk about more things.
I just want to first thank you for being open and ust your pursuit of knowing the body and knowing what God wants for the body, and just your journey and how you’ve gotten there. Thank you for taking the time to share that with me and our listeners today, and for all you do, whether it’s on social media with your patients, you’re just making a difference.
I appreciate you and I enjoy learning from you and I just really honor your path and walk of life. Thank you so much for just being you and for joining us today, I really appreciate it.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Thank you so much for having me. I just love clean juice.
Kat Eckles: Aw, well I appreciate that. Before we sign off, what is your one tip- if you could give just one- for living life organically?
Dr. Courtney Kahla: You know, I was thinking about this and I said okay, we can get into some of the free stuff, right? Which I love, that is what I advocate for – health being simplified. It does not have to be expensive. I just think as a chiropractor, I have to recommend chiropractic care.
That’s where I want to say that you can totally go out into the sunlight, get fresh air, drink water, and do all those wonderful things, which are so beneficial for your body, but I don’t know of anything else that actually removes any interference between your brain and your body chiropractic care can.
When our nervous system is what is processing and sensing all of these stressors within our environment, we have to allow our body an opportunity to work through that and adapt at a higher capacity. I definitely think that chiropractic care is the foundation for all health. When we have a disruption to that pattern of ease within our body, that’s what causes dis-hyphen ease.
I’m going to say say go find a chiropractor that will talk about your nervous system and get under some consistent care.
Kat Eckles: I second that. Very, very true. Where can our listeners find your Instagram and website? And your center, if they’re in the Texas area.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: On Instagram, I’m Dr. Courtney Kahla. My last name is spelled k-a-h-l-a. It looks Kala, but yeah, it’s pronounced Kayla. I’m also the owner of Our Well House and you can find Our Well House on Instagram as well. My website is drcourtneykahla.com, which is actually in the process of being refreshed. There’s going to be a cool section on there where I’m actually going to have a data base where you can search to find a nervous system centered chiropractor. Be on the lookout for that. It’ll be a free resource for everyone.
There’s also ourwellhouse.com and if you’re in the Dallas area, we’re in North Dallas, win Frisco. It’s a holistic wellness center where we have two chiropractors that specialize in pediatric and prenatal chiropractic while assessing nervous systems. We have two pelvic floor physical therapists that specialize in prenatal and postpart care. We have a massage therapist that specializes in prenatal massages, prenatal and postpart . We also have a functional medicine doctor and a nutrition therapy practitioner that specializes in thyroid.
Kat Eckles: Awesome. Well, again, thank you so much for everything you’re doing and thank you so much for your time today and , we appreciate you and I know our listeners are gonna enjoy just learning from you more and following you. Everybody go follow her, and thanks again for joining us today.
Dr. Courtney Kahla: Thank you so much for having me.
Kat Eckles: Thank you so much for tuning in today to be organic. We’re so excited for you to become healthier in body and stronger in spirit.
Landon Eckles: If you like what you heard today, please be sure to subscribe on Apple Podcast to never miss an episode.
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Landon Eckles: All right, y’all, thanks for listening. Have a great week and remember to be organic.
Kat Eckles: Just a quick legal disclaimer, we are not doctors. While we absolutely love discussing wellness nutrition with our expert guests, you should always talk to your physician or other medical professional before making any dietary or lifestyle changes. They can assess your specific needs and come up with a plan that works best for you.
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