BIRTHFIT Podcast 60: Dr. Jeanne Ohm
The BIRTHFIT Podcast Episode 60: Dr. Jeanne Ohm
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Hello, BIRTHFIT community! It’s Dr. Lindsey Mathews, your BIRTHFIT founder. And today, I have a very special, special guest, Dr. Jeanne Ohm. She is the legend behind ICPA and Pathways Magazine and she also teaches the Webster Technique. If you’re a chiropractor and you’ve never heard of her, you might be living under a rock. She definitely, definitely has made strides and just huge steps for bringing parents more education and care via the chiropractic world and she’s a big, big, big inspiration to me and what I’ve done with BIRTHFIT and I just can’t get enough of her. And having somebody like her as a role model, as a mentor, as somebody to look up to is phenomenal and I know she won’t stop working until the day she dies. She’s a legend and I hope you enjoy this interview.
So for those listening or that will be listening, can you introduce yourself and tell everybody who you are in this world?
Jeanne: Who am I in this world? Well, my name is Jeanne Ohm. My husband and I are both chiropractors, have been since 1981. We have six children. They were all born at home. We now have eight grandchildren who were also all born at home. We’ve been living what I like to call the chiropractic wellness lifestyle for many years now.
Lindsey: Wow! Since at least 1981, huh?
Jeanne: Right. Well, yeah, school, in school as well and I guess prior to. Yeah, it’s been a whirlwind for sure.
Lindsey: That’s amazing because I always tell people I wish I was brought up in the chiropractic lifestyle and I guess you really don’t see the benefits of it until you’re exposed to it, which is amazing. So how did you get down the chiropractic route? I love your story and I just want the rest of the world to hear it.
Jeanne: Well, when I was 19 — Tom and I have known each other since 2nd Grade, so we’ve been friends and connected for a long time. When I was 19, I was with his brothers and we were hang gliding and I crashed and fractured my spine in two places. And so, I did the typical orthopedic route, which after a year of care — and there wasn’t really much care, but the drugs and the bracing. After a year of that, it still hurt. He said, “Oh, you’re going to have a bad back for the rest of your life,” and I was like, no, I can’t do that.
So someone said I’ll go to a chiropractor that works with the back and I walked into the office and he said, “Well, we really don’t work with the back. Yeah, we’re working with the spine, but the reason that we’re working with the spine is to take any interference and pressure off the nervous system so your body can heal and regenerate and do what it’s designed to do.” Not really getting it, but sort of saying, “Well, that’s interesting,” I said, “Just fix the back.”
So we got into care and after three months of care, many symptoms — asthma, allergies, migraine headaches, my menstrual cycle got regular and I remember saying, “What are you doing?” He said, “If you would’ve listened to me on the first visit, what we’re doing is reducing interference to the nervous system and that lets your body do what it’s designed to do,” and then he suggested that we go off to chiropractic school, and we did.
It was great. While we’re still in school, we had our first baby, and then we graduated and had our second baby and continued on to have a total of six. We were in practice and enjoying our lives and had a wonderful family practice, and then in the mid-’90s, I ran into Larry Webster. He was the founder of the ICPA. I took some of his classes and the next thing, I was teaching for them. It’s been an amazing ride ever since because the entire ICPA moved here on my lap in 2002 and it’s rocking now. It’s really growing, reaching a lot of people, making a significant difference I think in chiropractic and of course for the children and pregnant moms.
Lindsey: For sure. So there are lots of questions I have, but let’s back it up for those that don’t know Larry Webster or not exposed to the chiropractic world. Who is he and why is he important?
Jeanne: Well, unfortunately with chiropractic, what’s happened is the schools have gotten away from teaching chiropractic and put it into a model of just bad backs. That’s what chiropractic is. It’s so much more, but all the way back at the onset of chiropractic, DD and BJ Palmer, the discoverer and developer of chiropractic, said yeah, you should be adjusting children. You should be adjusting everyone. It just kind of got lost, so there weren’t a lot of chiropractors adjusting children back in the ’70s. He had a huge family practice and other chiropractors would say, “What are you doing? How are you doing this?”
So just very organically he started teaching them, how to adjust pregnant moms and children, and then people started saying, “Give us more information,” and boom, the ICPA was formed. He started his certification program, which was really successful. He developed several different techniques and a little apparatus to be able to adjust the babies with, and then he passed in 1997, which was such a loss. Things were just starting to really move with the association. And for the next five years, his wife stayed on as executive director and after that time, she said, “Well, that’s it for me. That’s my time.”
That’s when it moved here. We had about a few hundred members, maybe about 500 members and a four-page newsletter and we were citing research, a little bit of research that were out there, and we were running maybe 10 to 20 seminars a year. It has significantly grown since then. We have over 5500 members now. We run about 150 to 200 seminars a year and we have our Pathways Magazine instead of the newsletter, so there’s been some significant growth. I think it’s an idea whose time has come. People are recognizing, chiropractors in the public, the importance and necessity of chiropractic care for kids and babies and pregnant moms as well, so that’s exciting.
Lindsey: For sure. So you’re the one that teaches the Webster Technique, correct?
Jeanne: I do. Back when Connie, when his wife, was still executive director, she said, “I want you teaching this class,” and I said okay. And then we came up with the idea of a certification for the Webster and that has taken off. There are thousands of Webster doctors all over the world and the exciting thing — I mean, birth is really a passion for me. I don’t know why. It wasn’t like I had these terrible births so I’m trying to relive it or change it. I had phenomenal home births. The first four were unattended. The last two, we had midwives and they were great, very different from each other, but they were great.
But there is this insidious passion that I have about birth and I know, know, know that women under regular chiropractic care throughout pregnancy have safer, easier deliveries and it just makes so much sense. You work with their pelvis. You put it into balance. There’s more room for the baby. It’s easier for the baby to come out. You reduce interference to the nervous system and her system functions better. Birth is a normal natural process, and so what can we do to optimize her body’s function so that that normal natural process can occur as it’s designed to? That’s the gist of it.
What we did in ICPA — because it was in 2002 when it moved here — we hired a full-time research director who started collecting data from our members, but at the same time, we did public advertising. And so, we started advertising in Midwifery Today, Fit Pregnancy, Mothering Magazine, various other young parenting, pregnancy-related magazines and putting out there the concept of chiropractic care in pregnancy, of course; chiropractic care for babies, yes. And I think doing that public advertising at the same time as coming up with the research to substantiate it, at the same time training doctors to be able to handle this and feel clinically competent in serving these populations, I think all that happened simultaneously and all three departments have moved forward simultaneously with the same vigor. So yeah, that’s been —
Lindsey: That’s pretty awesome.
Jeanne: That’s been the road.
Lindsey: So for those listening, what would you say the definition of the Webster technique is? Because I know we go over it in the seminar, but you probably get moms as do many chiropractors out there that come in and say, “Hey, can you flip my baby?”
Jeanne: Right. There’s a little bit of history with that. You see, what happened was Larry watched his daughter give birth or was at her birth, a very, very intense, long labor. The baby happened to go breach in labor, and this was back when they would allow moms to give breach deliveries. Anyway, he watched. He went back and said — he was a Logan practitioner and he said, “Gosh, there’s got to be some way to really be working with these moms throughout pregnancy so they do have easier, safer deliveries,” and that was his goal, not turning breach babies, but it happened to be that the first mom that came into his practice where he was ready to use his new analysis and technique with, her baby was breach. He adjusted and boom, after a couple of visits, the baby turned head down and he said, “Oh, interesting.” He continued to address all pregnant moms, but anytime they are breach, these babies were turning head down.
We’re a simple-minded people. His name is Webster. Breach babies are turning. It became known as the Breach-Turning Technique. I think he was just tickled that there was a technique named after him, but that created bedlam because then it became known as the Webster In-Utero Constraint Technique. Both of those breach and in-utero constraint, those are conditions of the baby. And so, if we advertise and put out there “breach-turning in-utero constraint”, we’re implying treatment of the baby in-utero. Across the board, that is the practice of obstetrics and it’s getting a lot of doctors kind of under the radar by advertising and presenting it that way.
This really is a phenomenal sacral adjustment. He was a Logan practitioner, so you’re looking at the AI sacrum and the way it moves, and it was an adaptation of that movement to put a more specific type of force in because Logan doesn’t put a force into the spine and to get correction of the pelvis for optimal birth. So when I started teaching, I went back to that original model of no, it’s not breach turning. No, it’s not in-utero constraint. Connie and I agreed we’re going to keep it as physiologically sound and chiropractically, philosophically sound as well. That’s been a long road trying to change people’s concepts, that breach turning, and they want to throw that in the advertising because they feel it’s going to bring in the people, then you have to re-educate them.
Jeanne: When you have somebody coming in with a symptom then you have to change them to the bigger perspective of what it is. Anyway, I still continue to certify hundreds of doctors a year. The definition that I tell them, the Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and a diversified adjustment. It’s done a drop, much like Thompson, but it’s not Thompson, so it’s diversified. And the purpose of it is to reduce interference to the nervous system. That’s primary in chiropractic, that’s what we do, and to create balance in the pelvis and optimize the mother’s physiology for safer, easier births.
So it’s all about the mother. Our focus is on the mother as she comes in and what are we doing to care for her, how are we adjusting her to get her physiology optimized. The baby is going to do what it wants to do. That’s the first lesson in parenting.
Lindsey: That’s good.
Jeanne: And it will do what it needs to do if the environment is optimized, so that’s generally the definition. Yeah, babies are still turning, but a lot more is happening. Placenta previas are moving and labor times are being reported as shorter and easier. The other thing that chiropractic offers beyond the neuro-biomechanics is confidence when these moms come in. Our philosophy that says there’s universal intelligence, there’s innate intelligence, that is directing people back to trust their body’s ability to do what it knows how to do.
Everything, our education, our society is trying to pull us away from that that our body doesn’t know what it needs and we have to rely outside of ourselves on some outside influence in order for us to function rather than that’s normal physiological function to be able to give birth.
So I think with chiropractors, when we offer our philosophy — and I like to simplify our philosophy into three words, life expresses intelligence. All of a sudden, wow, my body knows what it’s doing. There’s such fear around pregnancy and birth. Women are petrified of it. And to take them out of that fear — because of course, we know neurologically when they’re in a state of fear, it’s harder for them to be able to give birth and it’s dangerous for the baby throughout pregnancy as well, so to take them out of that fear and introduce them to a paradigm that says trust it. It knows what it’s doing. It’s okay. I think that’s huge what we offer in our practices in addition to the adjustment.
Lindsey: Right. Yeah, it’s so powerful. Did you grow up being exposed to birth or watching births? How did you —
Jeanne: Not at all.
Lindsey: No, so did you have that initial fear maybe with your first pregnancy or were you like, “No, let’s do this”?
Jeanne: Well, I was brought up very medically. If I sneezed, you went to the emergency room. Tom was brought up very differently. They would do minor surgery on the kitchen table. It just blew my mind. I’d walk in and go, “What is happening? Oh, he’s just butterflying it. It’s fine.” Oh my gosh. So he had that philosophy of trusting normal physiology even before I did. We got together and then we got into chiropractic. So for him, it was like, “Yeah, of course. I know this. This is how I lived.”
For me, it was a different thing. Certainly coming into birth, no, I had never seen a birth. I was born very non-traumatically. My mother, she was knocked out for my brother and sister, but for me, I came out so fast that when my father rushed her to the hospital, she still had her sneakers and socks on. So again, I’m not coming from some old traumas, but yeah, approaching it, I was a little apprehensive. I didn’t know what it meant to give birth. I knew it was probably going to be intense. We read Ina May Gaskin’s book, Spiritual Midwifery. We talked to some midwives and that was about it. Tom’s attitude was, “Of course you can do this! You’re in a woman’s body. That’s what they do.” I was like, “Okay, I guess I can do this.”
The first birth, I remember you reach that point. Every woman reaches that breaking point in birth and you have to reach that breaking point. That’s the place where you let go of the shore. And if you don’t let go of the shore, it’s more painful. It’s harder. That’s when women are yelling for the epidural. “Oh my gosh, help!” They’re looking to be saved outside of themselves, but if you can let go of the shore and let the river take you and trust that it’s okay, the birth can shift.
I remember my first birth, I was hanging onto the shore kicking and screaming. I’m like, “No, no! This hurts, worse than when I broke my back!” Tom just stayed there like a rock and said, “Hey, you lived through that. You’re going to live through this. You’re going to be fine.” At the time, I wanted to strangle him, but in retrospect, what he did was he was protecting the cave like I believe a partner can do for the woman in labor, protect the cave certainly from outside negative influence. Let’s say if you’re in a hospital and they’re coming at you with procedures they want you to do, but also protect you from the cave from your own little demons that come up that say, “You can’t do this.” No, you can. We can.
And then after the first, okay, well, we did that before. Here’s my father saying, “Okay, so you’ve played that birth thing, that home birth thing the first time, so this one you’re going to have in the hospital,” and I was like, “Why would I do that?” Anyway, we proceeded to have all of them at home, and like I said, they were very, very different from each other, some easy, some harder.
Lindsey: Do all the births of your children fit their personalities, would you say?
Jeanne: My easiest birth was Timmy, or my fastest, and he is my easiest kid, yes. You know what I’ve noticed, which is very interesting, conception fits their personality.
Lindsey: Oh, that’s interesting.
Jeanne: Yeah, really, it really is. And if you consciously conceive and can recall your conception — I haven’t done anything on this except for observe my own obviously, but I find that interesting. But their births, I think their births are reflective of them, but it’s also reflective of the mother and what she’s going through emotionally. My third birth, I was afraid. I had two births. I did it. And now I’m pregnant and I’m 30 years old and I’m saying, “I don’t know if I could do this. I’m getting old.” I’m 30, right? I said I want a midwife. Tom said, “We don’t need a midwife,” and I said, “Yeah, I think I need a midwife,” so we argued about that the whole pregnancy.
We did get a midwife, but interestingly enough at the birth, she didn’t answer her phone and her beeper was broken, so she never came. I’ve had some issues in that birth and I’ve had some hemorrhaging afterwards, which was pretty intense, of which we just stayed home and dealt with it here, but I found out later from talking with midwives over the years that so much of what happens at our birth is related to our emotions, and hemorrhaging is related to not feeling supported and that’s kind of how I felt.
Now, here interestingly enough, my next birth, which was 18 months later, he was out in 55 minutes and there was no bleeding at all, but my emotional space had changed completely, and Tom and I were in a completely different place. So that’s what I mean that it’s so important for where the woman is emotionally and how she’s affected, how that’s going to affect her. That’s going to affect her birth outcome, so as much support that she can have throughout pregnancy of people saying, “Yeah, you’re designed to do this. You can do this. What’s holding you back? What are your fears? Let’s look at them in advance. Let’s bring this to the surface now. Let’s get you out of that fear state. Let’s show you information. Let’s connect you to trusting your body.”
Einstein has a great quote. He says, “The greatest decision we’ll ever make in life is whether we perceive we live in a friendly universe or a hostile universe.” It’s very, very important for women who are pregnant and in that whole time approaching birth to realize it is a friendly universe and to surround themselves with people who view birth that way as well because if they’re viewing it as it’s hostile, it’s fearful, it’s an emergency, they’re going to be in this state of being that it’ll just be so hard to counteract that and to find that safety in that feeling of assuredness.
Lindsey: Yeah, it would be hard just to get back inside your body again and find that river or that flow, like you’ve mentioned. So what do you think are the biggest obstacles that women face today during their pregnancy or birth or even postpartum?
Jeanne: I have to say the biggest thing is our societal fears and misgivings about birth and the image that’s given.
If we really want to see birth change, we can’t wait until conception. We have to be getting to high school, to grammar school kids. I’m a huge advocate of siblings attending birth and the reason that I think that is, is because it takes the fear out right away. “Oh yeah, mom’s having a baby.” We have my kids in the house. We have a home office. “Oh yeah, she’s upstairs having a baby.” But now, my six kids, three out of my six kids — and they’re boys who married women and they’ve all had home births. So there’s just that of course, this is what women do. We saw it as a kid and we see that this is easy and not difficult and manageable.
So to bring this in earlier, to let women know that cutting into conception, getting your body to work, feeding it well, being in an emotional state, being with a supportive partner that we can naturally conceive, and why is it happening that there’s infertility problems is because we’ve moved away from the physiological norm of getting our bodies to work right, to do things to support our bodies.
And then throughout pregnancy, the same thing, we’re relying outside of ourselves. We’re not prepared. Our bodies aren’t prepared. Emotionally we’re not prepared, and then all of a sudden we’re pregnant. It’s easy to just follow the system on that. And then we have birth and of course the expert knows what I need, so I’m going to rely on that instead of on myself. And then postpartum, a lot of that, the emotional stress is created by the interventions and by the traumatic experience that the mother had in birth, and the baby, too.
So you have this combination coming up that it’s a recipe for failure and people are buying into that instead of realizing birth has been around for a long time. It’s how we got here and it works. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be here. It works pretty well. People don’t realize that modern interventions — and some are life-saving for a small percent — but when you take that and put that across the board to everybody, now you’re going ahead and giving procedures and surgeries to perfectly healthy people who don’t need that. Of course the complication rate is going to just go over the top, so I think it starts in the educational system and you’re not going to find that in public schools. So home-schooling or other schools that are out there that are open to this and us addressing and just getting back to kids at birth, them seeing it.
We used to go to other people’s births. We had a great chiropractic community when we gave birth to our first two, and so and so would go in labor and everyone would show up with their kids. It was a zoo, but it became a normal thing for all of them. That’s where I feel the biggest thing, and of course, getting our nervous systems functioning. We’re in this world. We have tremendous amount of stress, physical, emotional, chemical stress. We can make some choices to eliminate some, but we really can’t eliminate all. Just for example, women sitting in a chair from kindergarten all the way up to now doctorate level, they’re sitting so much and it’s altering their pelvis and whatnot. Yeah, we need to get adjusted and get that balance back, and then we have chemical stresses and we can choose which ones we want or not, but then we’re inundated with ones that we don’t have a choice about.
So how do we strengthen our nervous system, which is an amazing system? How do we strengthen it so it has the resilience so we can adapt to this onslaught of physical, emotional, chemical stress? And I think chiropractic is key, absolutely key for preconception, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and infant care.
Lindsey: Yeah, I’m right there with you.
Jeanne: That’s just a little bite.
Lindsey: Yeah. You’ve mentioned sitting in a chair and how terrible that is. Do you think based on maybe when you started practice back in the early ’80s until now, do you think our population has become more sedentary?
Jeanne: Oh, absolutely. First off, back then maybe you sent your kids when they were four to kindergarten, but now we’ve got kids going — two years old — to preschool and whatnot. And to be able to contain them, they have them sit down. We have all the seats. Even as babies, we have them in seats instead of having them carried around the way they should, which supports neurology, but then they’re in school.
When I went to school, we had an hour recess every day and now it’s like ten minutes. Sit down for lunch for ten minutes, go outside. What can you do with ten minutes on moving your body? The rest of the day, you’re sitting down. Again, when I was going to college, if you went through two years of school, great! Four, wow! Six or eight, geez! So that’s happening more and more and more of women sitting and more women working and they’re in sitting jobs and that’s absolutely affecting us.
Lindsey: Would you say the rise or the presentation of breach babies or malpositioned babies has increased or just maybe more coming in and noticing it? Because —
Jeanne: Posteriority definitely has. I remember being at a midwifery conference about six years ago. I speak pretty frequently for them and the big conversation was where are these posterior babies coming from? It’s just all over the place. They have better access to birth, et cetera, than I do just dealing with these women.
The conclusion was it’s a sedentary lifestyle. So if you’re going to sit, you have to be conscious at how you sit. And this issue of Pathways, the spring issue, we have actually two articles talking about it, one about how to sit correctly, move your body, et cetera, for optimal positioning and then another article from Spinning Babies which talks about how to map your baby so you know the baby’s position and you can adapt your posture accordingly. So the more women become aware of that throughout pregnancy, the less crisis care they’re going to need in the last trimester.
Lindsey: Right. The Spinning Babies is so useful because it also teaches women to tune into their body a little bit and connect with the baby. I think that’s huge. I think we just got our box of Pathways actually, which is amazing, so posterior babies.
Let’s see. What are other positions of babies during labor or pregnancy and do you have any tips for movement that can help them out, help moms out?
Jeanne: I would refer people to Spinning Babies rather than me trying to rattle off and getting people to have a visual. Certainly the adjustment, you can sit any way you want, but if your pelvis is out of alignment to begin with, you’re going to be running uphill, so certainly that for balance. And the most simple, practical thing is when you’re sitting, keep your knees lower than your hips at all times. Avoid any postures or movements that are forcing your knees up because that rocks your pelvis back and shuts down the opening in there, but sitting forward, arching forward in your lumbar spine with your knees lower than your hips opens up the pelvis, allows the baby to find the best suited position, and it’s really important, so sitting eight hours a day at a desk, that’s what you do.
Don’t sit on the La-Z-Boy chairs and recliners, and a lot of the cars — in an SUV, you can sit better, but all the other cars where you’re sitting, when you get out, move. Do a figure eight with your hips. Get up frequently and move and get some motion into those SI joints.
That really supports the adjustments that hopefully women are getting weekly because with the weight gain and everything else going on, weekly is conservative for them to get checked and make sure they’re in balance.
Lindsey: Right. Okay, so you’ve mentioned Pathways. Can you explain to everybody what Pathways is and where they can find this?
Jeanne: Well, Pathways is a full color magazine. It’s quarterly and it started just as an ICPA membership benefit. I wanted our doctors to be able to have magazines worth reading in their practice instead of the crazy nonsense that’s out there, so it’s just for them. And then before you know it, they were saying, “Well, my patients want to subscribe and I want to buy this in bulk.” I was like, you’re kidding.
So it’s become a full-fledged magazine and it addresses always — there’s always an article on pregnancy, one on birth, one called Outer Womb. There’s family wellness lifestyle. There’s nutrition. There’s the chiropractic lifestyle. There’s parenting, things that new parents — this is information that they are not necessarily going to find elsewhere. We come up with it first. Our graphic designer was just saying the other day, she goes, “Gosh, such and such is coming up now in mainstream news. We’ve covered this five years ago in Pathways.”
So it’s looking back that number one, life expresses intelligence and the body knows what it’s doing and the body knows how to do that, knows how to do its normal physiological function. Parenting, how does that relate to it? We’ve got each individual as an intelligent being. Children are intelligent beings. Let’s trust them as well. It doesn’t mean let them run on the street and whatnot, but let’s treat them with respect, with honor, and let’s have a relationship that allows them to flourish, so the parenting articles go along that way.
There are articles on education. There are articles on informed choice and it’s all from that perspective, life expresses intelligence. You, mom, dad, read the articles and you deduce from that what’s best for your child. It’s not that there’s right or wrong, but there is a principle that we come from. Here, try this on. Look at it from this perspective. Check this out. And as people see them, “Yeah, that part makes sense and I’m going to do that” or not, but it’s introducing people also to think. It’s not one of those magazines where there’s 600-word article that’s selling the ad that’s on the page next to it. Thought-provoking information for people, and we always have all the resources and references archived online so people can go further with it and learn even more, so it’s to just invite parents to think.
Lindsey: Awesome! It’s a great magazine.
Jeanne: Thanks! And we have a website, pathwaystofamilywellness.org, and you can subscribe there. Lots of providers buy it in bulk so they can have that in their office and hand it out to parents. Yeah, it’s an interesting part of my life.
Lindsey: Yeah. You’ve mentioned the Webster technique earlier in certifying docs. Can you tell our community a little bit about what that certification process looks like for the docs and maybe how often they’ve got to get recertified or where they can find the Webster doc or something like that?
Jeanne: Well, the Webster certification is part of the ICPA 200-hour certification, so there’s an extensive course that doctors can take or they may choose to just take Webster and that’s a 13-hour class. You have to get on the ICPA4kids.org site and then find me under Seminars and then you could see the dates coming up. I haven’t posted my fall dates yet. So they can come there and there’s a 12-hour class — actually, it’s 13 — and we do a testing at the end. So I introduce them to the biomechanics, the movement of the sacrum, the subluxated AI sacrum, the effects of the adjustment, other supporting things they can do that support that adjustment and help.
We talk about the emotional stresses that moms come across and how we can deal with that, and I’m not talking about sitting there in a counselor kind of way, but sitting there by understanding their nervous system and how to work with their nervous system to help get them out of fight-flight and into a greater state of ease. We talk about birth, the technocratic process of birth and the fear associated with it and I give people the most current research. What people don’t realize is that obstetrics, out of all the medical professions, practices the most off evidence and that’s frightening when you realize that, but I share the research to substantiate that so people understand.
I think if OBs had a better concept of what we’re trying to achieve with natural birth — and many, many, many of our members have formed phenomenal alliances with OBs, midwives of course, talking the biomechanics of the pelvis, the nervous system and the effects that that has on the woman and pregnancy and labor. We’re making great alliances so that their perspective on birth is changing as well. And that’s the goal to make that connection there provider to provider to reach more women with the important information and the resources so that she can come back to more natural birth, which is of course how the body wants it to be.
Lindsey: Right. Awesome. And then where can people find a Webster-certified doc?
Jeanne: On a website called ICPA4kids.org, that’s our public resource site and that’s ready to go through a complete overhaul, which I’m really excited about, but in the meantime, the directory is there. We have 5500 to 6000 doctors all over the world, so if you can’t find one in your area, you can get in touch with somebody sort of close and see if they can help you find somebody.
Lindsey: The other cool thing — I think it’s on this site — is all the research that you all are doing, correct?
Jeanne: Exactly and that’s the part that we’re really cleaning up. One-tenth of what we’re doing is on there and it’s a matter of just uploading it in. We collect a lot of data from our doctors and our research director has what’s called Practice-Based Research Networks, so he’s just pulling in so much data and it’s all to measure up quality of life. How was the quality of life improving when you’re pregnant and under chiropractic care, for birth, post-birth, for children? So that’s the focus in looking at the shift of quality of life. No, not bad backs. Yeah, that’s happening. No, not even turning babies, although that’s getting recorded as well, but what’s the quality of life issues that are happening and how people’s lives after a couple of adjustments are transformed?
Think about this. This baby got colic, comes in and starts getting adjusted and the colic goes away. Great! Chiropractic is not the treatment of colic, but we know that working with the nervous system has huge impacts on the whole physiology, but when that baby comes in with colic, what’s happening to the mother? Well, she’s losing her mind. She’s losing sleep. Maybe she got put on antidepressants or something because she just over-the-top can’t cope. Dad’s about ready to lose his job because he’s staying awake to try to help her as well. He’s used up every bit of vacation time. He’s exhausted when he’s going to work. He’s not doing the performance he needs to do.
Five-year-old Johnny started wetting the bed out of the blue because the emotional tenor of the family is in disarray. One, two, three, maybe five, three months even of chiropractic care, if it even takes that long, the colic goes away. Mom’s like, “Oh, I can get off the antidepressant now because I’ve got my life back.” The father gets a promotion at work and the five-year-old boy stops wetting the bed. How huge is that in terms of quality of life? So that’s the kind of stuff we’re looking at that’s very, very exciting.
Lindsey: That’s awesome. I love it. So if you’re listening, go check out ICPA4Kids and check out all that research.
When I’m bored at work like in between or don’t want to do patient notes or anything, I just scroll on there, which is pretty awesome. Okay, so you have seminars coming up. You’re in charge of pathways. You’re in charge of ICPA. What do you not do?
Jeanne: What do I not do? I do sleep at night. I do sleep well at night. I garden. I have chickens. I have dinner with my family every night, so I get to enjoy my grandchildren and my kids.
Jeanne: Yeah, that part for me, it reads five or six o’clock and it’s like okay, this is the hour we all get together. People go, “How do you do so much?” and I say, “I never ask that question” because then you start thinking, “Oh, I’m doing so much.” I’m not going to go into that mindset. I don’t know.
Lindsey: You’re like, “What’s next?”
Jeanne: Yeah, right, exactly.
Lindsey: So what is next on your plate like in the next month or two? Traveling anywhere?
Jeanne: You know, I’m not doing that much traveling over the summer. I kind of cut it down a lot. In the fall, it gets intense. The big thing we’re gearing up for is our summit, which is going to be next March, a huge conference that we have right outside Washington DC. This is our fourth summit and we have phenomenal speakers and the members get together. We have other practitioners come as well and other people attend like [0:51:39] [Indiscernible], et cetera. It’s a great gathering, lots of good learning, I guess philosophy, but much more than that.
There are real practical workshops and hands-on and application into chiropractic, so it’s just a wonderful week. There’s a lot of planning happening for that in — I won’t say in my spare time. It’s really taking front and center here, so that’s a big thing. We’re getting Pathways ready for the June issue to come out. That should be out soon. Managing the seminars, I have somebody else now who manages the seminars in the membership, that section of ICPA. I’m loving the growth. We’re just coming off our Mastermind meeting that we had with ICPA members. We invited whoever wanted to come and we had about 80 docs and it was incredible. It was just —
Lindsey: I’m so bummed I missed that. I saw that.
Jeanne: It was great. It was wide open. You didn’t have to have a special degree to come, just a few interested in coming, and we opened up and recorded all their input, phenomenal ideas. It wasn’t a type of thing where you come here and we’re going to tell you what we are doing and what we expect from you. It was a real gathering of thoughts, ideas. It was great, so we’re processing all of that as well.
Lindsey: I love that.
Jeanne: Yeah. I’d like to do that all over the country regionally. I think it would be really powerful, but at least we initiated the first and it was a huge success. I’m rewriting my course again this summer. I do that every couple of years, but I’m changing the format and adding a lot more information. I’m very excited about that, too.
Lindsey: Full play, yeah, I love it. So before we get off, one last question. Looking back over all the years that you’ve practiced and you’ve been exposed to just women’s health, pregnancy, conception, birth, everything, and pediatrics, what would you say has changed the most from the start of your practice to now?
Jeanne: Parent public consciousness, understanding of chiropractic. Thirty years ago in practice, we had to explain to them. And as of about five years ago, moms who are just coming in with their babies saying, “I don’t know why, but I know I need to be here at a chiropractor with my baby.” I really laughed at the time that this pregnant mom comes in and she goes, “Well, you know, I need to have neurobiomechanical balance in my pelvis. I’ve read this article from somebody. I’m not sure who it was,” and I’m laughing because I knew it was my article. She didn’t connect it, but their understanding of taking back control of their bodies, their family’s health and well-being, that there are ways to get the body to naturally heal, regenerate, the ways of supporting normal natural physiology.
There’s an awakening happening with parents who are excited. They don’t want to have their kids on drugs. They don’t want to resort to these outside approaches and they’re looking for ways for them to be strengthened, and I think it’s just exciting. It’s very, very exciting.
Lindsey: Yeah. I think you’re right in that we’re about to see a huge awakening, a huge shift. What would you forecast for the next five to ten years here in our world?
Jeanne: What do I see as what is for the next five to ten years?
Lindsey: Yeah. Do you see a big shift happening?
Jeanne: I do. As I said, as parents become more aware and as the system, for lack of a better word, is trying to impose itself for example in mandatory vaccines, I mean, you’ve got to be kidding.
Lindsey: It’s nuts.
Jeanne: It is. Whichever way you feel on anything, that is a parent’s right to make those choices for their families and to be pushed into it — there was just this — I won’t be able to pull it up, but it’s on the Pathways Facebook page. I invite people to get on there and like it. We come across interesting things, but the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t want to use the word “natural” in front of breastfeeding because that implies that formula isn’t as good. Well, it’s not! Then they go on to say from that, “Well, parents don’t really know what’s best for their children and now they’re going ahead and having home births and educating their children at home because this whole natural thing tends to get parents all excited.” Well, yeah, because they’re rediscovering their human potential within them. That is exciting.
Up in Canada, there was an article there saying — oh, magical. People are trying to sell parents magical things like home birth, co-sleeping, which is so — geez! This is them desperately trying to manipulate people to not think for themselves. When it gets to that point — this article is ludicrous. You read it and you just laugh. When it gets to that desperation, you know that we’re close to a shift that enough people are thinking other ways or they wouldn’t be so frantic in trying to turn it around.
Lindsey: Yeah, totally right. So where can people find you on social media?
Jeanne: I have a page. It’s filled up with — Jeanne Ohm, DC. I mostly share birthing stuff on that one. My presence of course is on the ICPA and Pathways. I have my personal page where I just show pictures of grandchildren and chickens, so either the Jeanne Ohm page or Jeanne Ohm, DC or ICPA, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, or Pathways to Family Wellness. I’m sort of all around all of them.
Lindsey: Awesome! So anything you want to add before we get off? I certainly enjoyed our chat this morning.
Jeanne: I did too. It was a pleasure talking with you.
Lindsey: I know and I can’t wait to run into you again.
Jeanne: I just want to reiterate Einstein’s statement because I was about 30 years old and I was walking through the woods and I had this revelation that wow, it’s all about perception. And at any given moment in my life, I can choose how to perceive something. That’s always my right and my choice no matter what happens. And so, when he says the most important decision we’ll make in life is whether we perceive we live in a friendly universe or a hostile one, that’s something that we can look at for our big core values in life, but also our minute to minute, day to day interactions that we have with those around us and ourselves, so that’s my closing thought.
Lindsey: I love it. It’s so true especially for pregnancy and birth and postpartum. Well, thank you so much, Dr. Ohm.
Jeanne: Thank you. I really enjoyed spending the time.
Lindsey: I hope you have a wonderful Tuesday and I hope to see you soon.
Jeanne: Great! Okay, take care. Thanks!
Lindsey: All right. Bye! All right, BIRTHFIT, I hope you enjoyed that interview with Dr. Jeanne Ohm. You can find all things on social media, ICPA4Kids or go pathwaystofamilywellness.org.
I love her Einstein quote saying that perspective is everything and I think that’s so relevant for BIRTHFIT and specifically the motherhood transition. Mindset is one of our four pillars, so do yourself a favor. Educate yourself. Read some books. Employ a mindset practice because perspective is everything. If you need help, reach out for help and support in establishing a mindset practice. Bye, guys!
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