Monday, December 21, 2009

The Ear Infections Epidemic - The Truth Every Parent Needs to Know!

Dr. Maj adjusting young Samantha

Dr. Stephanie Maj answers the most pressing question in her pediatric practice: What is the cause of ear infections and what can we do to heal them without drugs or surgery?

Chicago-Ask any parent about ear infections, and you will likely hear one horror story after another. Ear infection or Otitis Media, is the most common reason for visits to the pediatrician’s office. In fact, visits to the pediatrician’s office for ear infections have increased over 150% from 1975 to 1990. It is estimated that over 30 million visits are made every year in an attempt to deal with this problem.

In my practice, we have an effective, safe solution to the problems plaguing parents. What we find is most parents fail to understand what is happening with these infections.

Otitis Media is the general name for several conditions affecting the middle ear. The most common symptoms are earache, a feeling of pressure, and perhaps difficulty hearing due to increased amounts of fluid. Teething often produces similar symptoms, therefore, the child should be carefully observed before jumping to any conclusions.

Historically, the treatment for ear infections has been antibiotics. This method of treatment has come under severe attack over the past several years for many reasons. One of the reasons, the overuse and over prescription of these antibiotics, has led to what is termed “antibiotic resistant bacteria”. These bacteria have “evolved” and changed so that the antibiotics no longer affect them. Because of this phenomenon, stronger and stronger antibiotics are being used, which is leading to more and more resistance. (

Another reason use of antibiotics has come under fire is because study after study has demonstrated that they are not effective. In other words, they do not work! This is why so many children are on one antibiotic after another, stronger and stronger each time. Sure, many times the infection will go away, but it quickly returns with a vengeance, and so begins the antibiotic roller coaster.

The reasons they continually reoccur is two-fold: First, antibiotics kill off most bacteria in the body including the helpful “good” bacteria our bodies need. This depletes our children’s natural immune system, making them vulnerable to many more infections of varying types.

Secondly, antibiotics merely attempt to treat the symptoms of ear infections, they do not address the actual cause and therefore the infections return.

The real question then is what is the cause of ear infections? The reality is that ear infections themselves are merely a symptom of a greater problem. The vast majority of them are secondary to a cold or another infection, which may be due to a depressed immune system.

The other more physical reason children suffer from ear infections is because of the actual anatomy of the young ear.

In children, the Eustachian tube is nearly horizontal, gradually acquiring a near 45-degree angle. This often slows draining of these tubes and with stagnant fluid, infection may appear.

The obvious question from most parents now is: what can we do? The answer lies in a new level of thinking.

As a chiropractor, my primary objective is to address the root cause of health problems. Treating symptoms, as mentioned earlier, has been proven unsuccessful at best. When dealing with your children and ear infections, my goal is to correct the actual cause, and to allow the body to function at its optimal potential. (

There is a direct link between the nerves in the neck (the superior cervical ganglion), the muscles of the Eustachian tubes (tensor veli palatini) and the middle ear.

Let me explain: The middle ear drains any fluid through the Eustachian tubes. These tubes open and close through the action of a muscle and that muscle is controlled by a nerve. This nerve originates in the neck. When this nerve is not functioning normally, the tensor veli palatini muscle may go into spasm, which constricts the Eustachian tube, restricting drainage and causing fluid buildup in the middle ear. This fluid, combined with a stressed immune system, may result in an ear infection.

Ultimately then, this “nerve interference” can cause your children to suffer as they do. My job as a chiropractor is to detect this nerve interference called subluxation, and correct it. A subluxation is a misalignment of a bone in the spine that pinches, stretches or twists a nerve resulting in interference.

By correcting this interference, the child’s body is given the potential to heal and be well. With proper chiropractic care, your child will be able to live a life free from nerve interference, and free from unnecessary medications and antibiotics.

Chiropractic adjustments for children are very gentle and differ tremendously from the adult version. Imagine you are putting a contact in your eye or testing a tomato to see if it is ripe, that is the extent of the pressure used in these treatments. There is no twisting, popping or pulling involved.

Through advances in technology such as Surface EMG and Thermal Scans, a chiropractor can easily detect these subluxations and monitor their correction as well. This enables chiropractors to be accurate and objective, allowing you the best care possible.

A promising study published in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics now indicates that there is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustments and the resolution of ear infections. 332 children with chronic ear infections participated in the study. Each child, ranging in age from 27 days to 5 years, was given a series of chiropractic adjustments. The results show that close to 80% of the children in this study experienced NO ear infections within the six-month period following their initial visits. The six-month period included maintenance treatments every four to six weeks.

Correcting the cause through chiropractic has been shown to help over 80% of all children with ear infections.

Treating the symptoms of ear infections with antibiotics has proven to be ineffective. Give your children a fighting chance with chiropractic; it could change your lives!

Dr. Stephanie A. Maj has been helping children and adults experience life at their maximum potential through Chiropractic for over 14 years. She is the author of the book, “You Can Be Well” and lectures throughout Chicago on a variety of health issues, and may be contacted at 773.528.8485. Community Chiropractic is located at 1442 W. Belmont, 1E Chicago, IL 60657. Her website is

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How Did You Become a Chiropractor?

My name is Dr. Stephanie Maj. I am a chiropractor. How I became a chiropractor is not all that exciting and yet it’s my story and I am going to tell it here. I got injured, had spinal pain and my mom urged me to go to a chiropractor. She also urged me to be a chiropractor. “Chiropractor?” There are none in our family and to my knowledge, no one in my family had ever been adjusted. So I went to Dr. Tony Battaglia in my hometown of Akron, Ohio. I was 23 years of age, working in an environmental lab and was looking for deeper meaning in my life. I went to this office looking for pain relief and received so much more. I was assigned a young doctor, excited and passionate about what he did and how he was going to help lots of people get well. No one talked about helping people at my lab job. Intrigued, I dug deeper. From my earliest memory, I had always wanted to be a doctor. A pediatrician to be exact. Through my undergraduate studies at Ohio University, I was a premed/nutrition major and just assumed my path was to be a medical doctor. After going through the application process, I realized that there was something that didn’t fit about me and traditional medicine. I decided against that career for reasons that were not fully formed in my mind and have since become crystal clear to me. After completing my treatment plan with my chiropractor, I not only healed the sprain in my neck from my car accident, my lifelong headaches went away as well.

After that experience, l decided that I needed to get my life moving in a better direction so off I went to Chicago to chiropractic school. Chiropractic school is a 5 year program, very similar to medical school except when medical students go into the hospitals, chiropractic students study the biomechanics, neurology, and function of the body deeper. I spent my last year and a half of school in clinics, helping the community and firming up my techniques of diagnosis and treatment. School was the most intense experience of my life. It was hard to think of life after school and the direction now of my career. I just wanted to help people, that’s all. I saw that there were so many people to help; this world has never been sicker. I felt for me, working under another doctor for a time was important. I studied under Dr. Peter Feldkamp outside of Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Pete is a good man. I learned many things both clinical and business from him although my biggest lesson was that I could make a living, help lots of people, and do it with integrity and honesty.

I opened Community Chiropractic in Chicago on April 1, 1996, my 30th birthday. I have operated a family-oriented wellness practice in the Chicago area where I specializes in returning people to health, family, pediatric, pregnancy, and wellness care ever since. I am certified in Pediatrics from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association where I completed over 120 hours of curriculum offered techniques and protocols of care for children and pregnant women. I also earned a Certificate of Proficiency in the Webster Technique, a specific analysis and adjustment used for pregnant mothers. This chiropractic technique helps to correct sacral misalignment, balance pelvic nerves, muscles and ligaments which allow the baby to get into the best possible position for birth.

Community Chiropractic is filled with people in various stages of health. We have sick people on the road to getting well, we have healthy people that utilize chiropractic care as a means of keeping their body functioning optimally. There are young families, athletes and everything in-between. Our hope is that we can be the coaches that lead you on your journey to health and wellness!

I recently returned from the Dominican Republic where I was a part of an orginization called ChiroMission. We help supply much needed health care and funds to the poorest of the poor in that country.

The mission at Community Chiropractic is to check as many people as possible for hidden health problems and to save them from a life of drugs and surgery. We do this in Chicago everyday yet I realized after this trip that the world needs our help as well. I have been hit by a lightning bold and will never be the same.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Local Chiropractor takes her Practice to the Children of the Dominican Republic

Chicago – The people of the Dominican Republic live with staggering poverty, having very little access to any form of health care and no access to chiropractic care. Dr. Stephanie Maj has just returned from a chiropractic mission to help supply much needed health care and funds to the poorest of the poor in the Dominican Republic.

“I have vacationed in the Dominican Republic and although I knew it was a poor country, I saw first-hand how poverty can affect people,” Dr. Stephanie Maj said. “One community was living on the side of a trash dump, with poor Dominican kids wandering the trash heaps with no shoes. Their toys were old tires and bottle caps.”

In some ways, Dr. Maj notes, the people in the U.S. are more stressed out. The Dominican people lead a simpler life, free of the repetitive stresses such as sitting over a computer all day. Poverty and nutrition are the two biggest factors affecting the health of the Dominican people. The nutrition in the U.S. can be blamed as the biggest factor affecting health as well.

Maj adjusted 900 people in a three-day period. “I would say 75% of the people I helped were children. We would go to a school and adjust every kid in the school, as well as the teachers and staff.” That was for the children lucky enough to be able to attend school. Thousands of Dominican children are abandoned each year by parents who can’t afford to provide for them.

“One barrio we visited, Ponch Mateo, our guide was a teacher named Dumy. He runs a school named ‘Mano a Mano por el futuro’ (hand by hand for the future). Dumy showed us his one room school-house attached to his home. When I say home, I mean a wooden and tin shack with a dirt floor. He has no money to pay teachers and yet supplies a place to help kids get education as well as caring for orphans.”

Dr. Maj practices in the Lakeview neighborhood. She traveled to the Dominican Republic with a group of 30 doctors and 30 students intent on giving free chiropractic care to people. The group was organized by ChiroMission and as a group adjusted 35,000 people in a three-day period.

ChiroMission is the “Doctors without Borders” of Chiropractic. The idea is to teach less fortunate people in Third World countries how to take care of themselves so they’ll have a better shot at avoiding medical problems. ChiroMission has just expanded to Australia to take care of the Aborigines.

“I will never forget the children. Even with these tough conditions, there was joy in their eyes. All they wanted was to hold my hand and to hug me. For every one child I helped, they came back with 5 more. If I helped just one, I consider this trip a success.”

This group had their Chiropractic miracles as well. One man showed up with neurologic problem, a hand tremor like in Parkinson’s disease and drop foot. After being adjusted a couple of times in the morning, he hunted the doctors down at their next location. He walked up exclaiming in Spanish that not only had his tremor disappeared, he no longer had drop foot.

This trip changed Dr. Maj’s perception of poverty and life here in Chicago. “We think this economy is bad yet when you witness first-hand a different reality you realize things aren’t that bad. We need to be grateful for the abundance we have at our fingertips.”

Dr. Maj states, “The mission at Community Chiropractic is to check as many people as possible for hidden health problems and to save them from a life of drugs and surgery. We do this in Chicago everyday yet I realized after this trip that the world needs our help as well. I have been hit by a lightning bold and will never be the same.”

Dr. Stephanie Maj is the clinic director for Community Chiropractic, a full service wellness center offering family health care, acupuncture, massage, orthotics and nutritional counseling. Dr. Maj has been practicing in the Lakeview area for almost 14 years.