Empowering Women Chiropractic – Connecting Doctors with Parents and Teachers

Hello everybody, and welcome to ChiroSecure’s Look To the Children show. I am your host for today, Dr. Monica Buerger, and I am beyond excited to introduce you to my beautiful guest today, Dr. Susan [Crom 00:01:10] Weinstein but in my heart she’s a doctor of chiropracty because she’s so brilliant and so well versed in what we do and has an amazing pulse on the neurological component of what we do as chiropractors.

So I am beyond excited for her to be here today. I want to thank ChiroSecure for giving us the opportunity to bring this information to you and to make a change in the lives of children across the globe. So Susan, thank you so much for being with us today.

Well, I’m so excited to be here. Thank you for including me on your show.

Oh, I was so excited. Now a little bit about Susan. She is a retired elementary school teacher of 17 years, but is still a school teacher at heart. She won a Teacher Of The Year Award, not just for her work actually in a classroom, but also for her contribution to her school district as a whole. Today she is the founder of Beyond Paper And Pencil, which I absolutely love that title because it is beyond paper and pencil, right?

Right.

And she has a great company where she produces videos, blogs, amazing content, not only to educate teachers but parents, community members. She works closely with different organizations, different entities in targeting their market audience but I’ve had the opportunity to speak with her one-on-one on several occasions and she is a children’s advocate. She’s a teacher, a parent, an advocate for children across the country and her heart is absolutely amazing and her mission is absolutely amazing. So again, thank you for taking the time to be here today.

Well, thank you so much. I appreciate that, wow. I feel good.

Let me ask you, what made you move on beyond the classroom?

Well, that’s a great question, Monika, and I’m going to answer that in a way that will best benefit your viewers, the doctors, because I know that the challenges they’re facing are very similar to the challenges I faced in my classroom. Pretty early on in my teaching career, I developed a neurological model for behavior and learning that addressed the challenges that my students were having and really our nation’s children, with one in five children suffering from a mental health disorder. I realized pretty much from the beginning, that my children’s emotions were really impacting their behavior and their learning and emotions affect how and what a child learns and those unchecked emotions raised the child’s stress level and a stressed brain cannot work.

[inaudible 00:04:28].

So knowing that the emotional center of the brain, the amygdala, when activated … and we know the number one source of activation is fear, and that could be through yelling, teacher yelling in the classroom, a parent yelling, isolation, negative facial expression, body motions, creates anxiety, depression and aggression in the children but it also shuts down the areas of the brain that are so important to learning because the child’s in survival mode, fight or flight. I kill the tiger or the tiger eats me and you become the tiger. So there’s no short-term memory, working memory, long-term memory, attention, motivation, or learning going on.

Absolutely. Are you sure you’re not a chiropractor?

A wannabe, a wannabe. Trust me, I leave that to the experts. So knowing that a learning is a function of multiple parts of the brain working together. In my program I had to find a way to suppress the amygdala and at the same time activate the areas of the brain where learning takes place. Activate the prefrontal cortex, short-term memory, working memory, hippocampus, long-term memory, attention, motivation and learning and what better way to do that than by activating the cerebellum?

Now, just because the therapy Bella makes up 10% of the brain’s weight, it offers a big punch. Over half of the neurons are located are contained in the cerebellum. More than 40 million nerve fibers run through the cerebellum, those information highways and the cerebellum processes information received faster than any other part of the brain.

So activating the cerebellum, how to activate the cerebellum. Oh, I’ve got a little sound here. The greatest amount of feedback … I’m going to turn that sound off. The greatest amount of feedback to the cerebellum is the of the muscle spindle and golgi tendon. So every time there’s joint movement, flection, extension, you fire the muscle spindle and golgi tendon and the cerebellum is fired and I did that through movement in my classroom.

I did a lot of educational movement. We danced ABCs, numbers, you named it, we danced it. I also created an app for structured movement breaks in the classroom and doctors are activating the cerebellum through the muscle spindle and golgi tendon through adjustments and manipulation.

So the next challenge was how can you best get your message across to the parents? How can you inform, engage, educate, and ultimately get those children under your care? Well, I found out that I was not speaking the same language as my parents, my teaching peers or the school leaders, activating the cerebellum, suppressing the amygdala. I did not speak that language. They did not speak that language, let’s put it that way. It’s the same language and I was not speaking their language and I think that your viewers, the doctors out there, are experiencing similar challenges. By speaking chiro speak, parents aren’t really understanding, it’s not speaking parent language. You’re not getting that amazing message across in the way that parents understand and patients understand.

Absolutely.

And if you don’t get your message across, you’re not going to get the buy-in and you’re not going to get the parents to bring their, pay their children in to be treated by you or become your patients. [inaudible 00:08:18].

One second there [crosstalk 00:08:20].

I found a solution that since we are visual species, visual beings, the best way to get the message across is through visuals. I’m sorry, did we … Was I not speaking? Did I turn … Oh, I’m so sorry, I wasn’t … I turned off my volume, so I wasn’t hearing you Monica. So if you were asking questions, I apologize.

No worries, no worries. I find your work so fascinating. I think the reason I click with you so much as a chiropractor is because you speak chiropractic and I just found … Your presentation is absolutely beyond beautiful. So for you chiros out there, she is speaking what we should be speaking to our patients in our community, especially when we talk about that input from the muscle spindles to the cerebellum, et cetera. So I just wanted to throw in there that as chiropractors, when we do an adjustment, we are able to fire that information into the cerebellum, which is so critical for then controlling that sensory input. Actually I call it a three brain circus or three brain loop. The cerebellum will regulate the frontal lobe, which what you talk about in regards to memory, attention, et cetera. Then the frontal lobe will regulate the limbic system, or that amygdala.

So I just kind of wanted to throw that power punch in there, how what you’re presenting is exactly what we do as chiropractors, but then you bring it home and facilitate … You help us allow that adjustment to be even more of a punch, more of an impact by backing it up with movement and I find that just so fascinating.

Oh, well thank you. Thank you so much and I apologize for turning off your volume.

[inaudible 00:10:26].

This moving character had its little musical background and I thought I’d … I didn’t realize I turned you you off.

Don’t worry, I’m sure people want to mute me all the time.

Oh, never, never, never. So we were talking about really the best way to get the message across in a language that parents understand, that patients understand, is by using visuals and that’s through the form of video because 65% of our population are visual learners. The power of video, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text. A 60 second video equates as the same learning power as 1.8 million words of text. Videos on Facebook are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined.

So if you’re really showing your videos promoting on Facebook, I mean you’re getting your message out to millions. Now, let’s see how much your videos are being watched because hours spent watching videos daily on Facebook, more than 100 hours a day are spent watching videos, and on YouTube more than 500 hours. But it’s not just any video, it’s a video that gets your message across through the language that your audience speaks, your parents speak, your patients speak. So Monika had asked me to create some videos for her and today we’re going to showcase one of those videos that’s the language that your patients speak.

Welcome to Developing Minds Weekly Tip is your baby developing. Normally there are specific infant reflexes, known as primitive reflexes, your doctor looks forward to determine healthy development. Watch until the end for information on possible problematic signs to look for in your child’s development. Today we will look at the symmetrical tonic neck reflex, STNR, referred to as the crawling reflex and helps the infant’s body divided in half at the midline to aid in crawling.

The STNR is elicited when the baby’s head is flexed or bent forward. The influence on tone causes its arms to bend and their legs to straighten. When the head is extended or bent backwards, the influence on tone causes a baby’s arms to straighten and their legs to bend. The STNR is present briefly after birth and then reappears around six to nine months and should be integrated when the baby is approximately 11 months old. Some signs of retention of the STNR include poor muscle tone, poor eye, hand coordination, poor concentration, and sitting still. Poor gross motor skills and difficulty reading and writing.

Remember, early detection and intervention play a key role in allowing your child’s nervous system to heal at its maximum functional level. Contact your family chiropractor today to help your child experience healthy development, combining optimal neurology, nutrition, exercise, chiropractic care together for ultimate neuro development and wellbeing across all ages. To learn more, connect with us. And that is Developing Minds’ Weekly Tip.

Just amazing, amazing what you do and the way … I guess I’ll have to use the pun, the way you connect with your audience is quite profound. Obviously we like that the connect analogy, but beautiful, beautiful work. Susan.

Well, thank you Monika, I appreciate that.

You obviously are very adept in communication and you showed that in your work in the classroom and with parents and actually you have a program that you do for schools, is that correct?

I do. In fact, some of the slides that I showed are from that. It’s, Beyond Paper And Pencil and it’s really showing teachers, the teaching community and school leaders how we can positively impact how our children learn and really activate the brain. It’s been pretty successful and I’ve also created an app for structured movement because we know our attention span is diminishing and those kids need to get up and moving, they’re sitting in chairs all day.

Absolutely.

So I’m pretty excited about that.

Absolutely. One of the questions I get asked from teachers if my community that I work with, is it hard to get the kid up … their booties out of the seats and doing this structured movement?

It really is not and especially if you make it a very short … it does not have to be extensive. In fact, some of the videos out there for younger children where they’re getting out of their seats and moving around a lot, it’s hard to get them back and engage but if you have a very short structured movement working both areas, hemispheres of the brain, crossing the midline, 30 seconds, that’s all it takes. 30 seconds you can get up, do your movement next to the desk, sit back down and that’s pretty much what my app does. It’s a very structured 30 seconds to one minute movement and I tested it on teachers actually and they were so motivated. There were no breaks, we had a full day workshop. We ended up ending an hour and a half early because they didn’t want to take any breaks. They were so gung ho and engaged and I really think the movement had a lot to do with it.

Absolutely and they’re able to absorb more of that content.

Absolutely.

So they don’t go that … kind of glazed over brain dead look and not being able to imbibe the information. So that’s phenomenal. Very, very impressive. Is there one pearl that you could throw out to the audience because it’s mostly chiros that are listening to this, but where they can maybe connect with a teacher? Something on a teacher level that … If they have a teacher in their practice, let’s say as a patient, is there one pearl that you can give them on how to maybe connect with that teacher, to explain the importance here?

For a chiropractor to connect with the teacher, are you saying?

Yeah, if there’s a teacher on their practice as a patient and they might want to express the importance of movement in the classroom, is there a pearl you can give them as far as how to initiate that conversation or something from a teacher’s perspective?

I just think that the importance, just from a health importance … I mean just not only talking about the health and oxygen of the body and the brain, but just movement period. Just how important it is to get the children out of their seats and taking those breaks because there’s no learning going on. There’s no learning going on, once that brain shuts down, there’s no learning going on. I think another is really how we affect the emotions, how the teachers affect the emotions of the brain without even knowing it, without even knowing it. It’s raising the voice or giving that stare, it’s really activating. These brains are very fragile that we’re dealing with, our children, and we have to be very cautious of how we act around them because like I mentioned earlier, once those emotions, once that amygdala’s activated, there is nothing going on.

Absolutely. I think that’s an amazing key point that you have brought our audience in regards to teachers social engagement with the children. In chiropracty, we talk about the social portion of the vagus nerve and again, I know you’re a chiropractor at heart, I just know you are but we talked about that social engagement portion of the vagus nerve and we see that so compromised these days because of neurodevelopmental struggles to begin with, but then if they’re put in this environment where they’re fear-based or are they don’t understand those social expressions, for me, that was an incredible pearl you handed me today.

Oh, well thank you so much. I get so much from you. I’m so happy that I could share something.

No, that’s incredible and you guys listening to this, I think that’s something profound you can give to your teachers and your practices or even your parents because … Right, Susan? It’s not just the teachers. I mean the parents should be well versed or taught this as well and how to engage with their little fiddle fart from a social structure, from that facial expressions. I think that that’s a profound, profound take-home.

Thank you.

Do you use this too, with … Did you use any of these techniques, or this language or this type of communication with your parents when you were in the classroom?

Absolutely. I did the professional development for everything that I did in the classroom. I made sure my parents were educated. My philosophy as a teacher for 17 years, and I think it may come from the fact that I’m not a parent, so I worship the ground that parents walk on, I think it’s the most challenging yet rewarding job ever. I was always a partner with my parents and we were a family and so anything that I did in the classroom, anything, I did professional development for my parents. So they were always aware, always aware, of what was going on.

Oh, bless you, that is huge. In my practice, I talk about it’s the three Ps. I tell, it’s the parent, the patient and the practitioner. So I say it’s a three P ring circus kind of thing, but we are part of their family, part of their … it’s a team effort and that’s very rare to hear that, I think maybe from a teacher’s perspective, because these children can be very hard to parent and they can be very hard to teach. Is that correct?

There are some children have that find that extra, extra, extra special place in your heart. Sometimes you really have to carve that place because they’re acting up for a reason, and you just have to be able to figure out, kind of tease out, what that reason is. But basically they all need to be loved, they all need to be acknowledged, they all need to be just cherished. That’s my love. They fill my heart, children do.

Absolutely and you can tell, I mean, like I said, I’ve had private conversations with Susan and she is a mother advocate for children to her core. I think you hit the nail on the head. I say that a person, especially a child’s, neuro expression, the way they’re behaving in their environment is a window into their neurological integrity. If you understand that, like you said, they’re not acting out because they want to act out, they’re acting out because they’re trying to tell you where their struggles are from a brain-based perspective and you have been so savvy in regards to being able to peg that from an academic level and translate that into language and videos and incredible learning opportunities for teachers and parents.

Not everybody can do that and you’ve really become very successful in my eyes, being able to translate in that information. So thank you both from a chiropractor and a practitioner’s heart. We need people like you to make the words understandable for our parents and teachers.

Well, thank you Monika, and believe me, I appreciate all that you do and that your viewers do, all the doctors out there [crosstalk 00:24:16].

We’re in this together and hopefully those listeners out there, we’ll be seeing more of Susan out there creating some more incredible stuff for us to use for our communities and our teachers. Any last minute pearls or wrap-ups that you would give? What about the DC [inaudible 00:00:24:41], the chiropractor that needs a little inspiration in regards to, is there help for the children in the future, for academic-wise?

Oh, I truly believe there’s help and I’ve seen it in my classroom, how my test scores, how their behavior, how happy they were just by activating what seemed to me to be pretty simplistic, but just it blew everybody’s minds how these children were excelling. So it’s not that challenging of … it can be done and can be done very easily. Just get those kids out of their chairs.

Booties out of the seats, right?

What is that?

The booties out of the seats, get the booties out of the seats.

Booties out of the seats. In my classroom, 50% of my classroom were standing stations. I gave my children, my students, the option. If they wanted to sit, they could sit. If they wanted to stand, they could stand and it was really surprising how many children chose to stand. They needed to be active, they need to be moving and if a child is going back and forth and their feet while they’re standing, they’re not considered the behavior problem as a child who’s rocking back and forth in their chair, possibly tipping over. So yeah, just get the kids up, get them-

Are you finding the schools being more accepting in this paradigm?

I think some schools are, I think that a lot of schools are looking at budgets, but there are creative ways around it. I mean, I bought bed risers from Amazon, boxes, 24 and I propped my tables and desks on top of risers. I made sure they were secure, but they were the height that children needed … that they could work at standing stations. So you don’t have to buy a $2,000 desk, which some of the standing desks are very expensive, very costly. But you know what? There are creative ways around. It doesn’t have to be 100% of the classroom, start with one or two desks and work from there.

Awesome information. Awesome information. Well, I want to thank you again for joining us. I know you have an incredibly busy schedule, but the information I felt was invaluable and your contribution to the children is absolutely invaluable. So thank you so much for being part of our mission to get out there and change lives and change the future for these little fiddle farts.

Thank you Monika, for all you do.

It’s a team effort, right?

It is, go team.

That’s right, go team and thank you all for joining us. Make sure that you join Dr. Erik Kowalke on the first Thursday of September. He’s on the first Thursday with a Look To The Children show. And again, thank you so much to ChiroSecure for making this show possible, for us to get this information out and to really change the tide on what we’re seeing. One in five children with a mental health disorder in this country is not okay. One in five children with a sensory processing disorder, or neurodevelopmental disorder is not okay. So join us here, the first Thursday, the third Thursday of every month, and get some incredible information so that we can get out there and further change the tide. Thanks again. We’ll see you next month.

Today’s pediatrics show, Look to The Children, was brought to you by ChiroSecure and the award winning book series, I Am A Lovable Me. Make sure you join us next week, right here at the same time. See you next week.

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