Our Sweet Spot for today is a bright, cheery place on Pharr Road in Buckhead where childhood and health are celebrated. Dr. Caroline von Fluegge of Balance Atlanta Family Chiropractic has been adjusting me since I was pregnant with my first child, and she started adjusting both my kids when they were just days old. I think it’s one reason they are so healthy—between the two of them and their combined 5 years of life they’ve had one ear infection and three colds. Not bad, I say, not bad at all. She is really amazing–I’ve also met other patients who just gush over how much healthier they and their kids are since they’ve been seeing her. Oh, and if you’re afraid of the snap-crackle-pop of chiropractic, don’t be—Dr. C is gentle, gentle, gentle. A kid’s adjustment consists of no more pressure than the light push of a finger.
We had a few questions for Dr. C about what she does and why, and here’s what she had to say:
Lindsay: Why do you enjoy working with pregnant women and children?
Dr. C: Moms are open to doing what it takes to remain comfortable, pain-free and active throughout those precious 9-months and beyond. With a well-aligned spine and pelvis, labor and delivery are easier on both mother and baby. I like being part of a mom’s team as we enjoy the miracle of ushering a new life into the world! The kids in my office kindle my goofiness and remind me to enjoy simple pleasures. I would rather listen to a child sing the B-I-N-G-O song at the top of her lungs than to hear an adult complain about traffic! Also, if the legacy I leave behind is a generation of kids who have an understanding of what true health really is, then I am helping make this world a more balanced place to thrive in the future.
Lindsay: Thanks for that. I appreciate that you have realistic expectations of how a kid acts. Your office is also super-kid friendly and has some unique items in it. Tell me about it.
Dr. C: My mother died of cancer 7 years ago. Her colorful living room rug is in the kid’s play area beneath the toy chest. Mom had the best sense of humor, she loved kids, her laughter was infectious, and her kind words were filled with compassion and wisdom. The rug reminds me to embrace what mom taught me. It kindles a spark of connection with each person I touch personally and professionally.
Lindsay: It’s a great rug. And a great toy chest too. What surprises people most about chiropractic care for kids?
Dr. C: As soon as they are old enough to walk, kids march up to the adjusting table, climb aboard, lie down, and giggle as I gently adjust them. When I finish, they give me a sticky kiss or hug and run to the toy chest to play. Later, parents report that their kids didn’t stop talking about Dr. C for the rest of the day. An adjustment for to a child isn’t a big deal, they trust me, and it’s fun. Most importantly, their parents understand the value of making sure their kids are growing properly and their nerve system is not stressed throughout all stages of development. After all, you bring your kids to the pediatric dentist as soon as those baby teeth make their appearance. Doesn’t it make sense to ensure a healthy spine from the get-go? The kids who come here don’t get ear infections, have regular bowel movements, sleep better, get sick less often. Having healthy kids means a more peaceful family life and that is worth a trip to Balance Atlanta!
Lindsay: Now you’re talking to the moms out there! We love to talk about poop! Okay, on a different note. It’s Saturday and I am spying on you. What would I find Dr. C doing?
Dr. C: Wandering the aisles of Barnes & Noble in direct defiance of my self-imposed ban on buying even more books. Taking a spinning class thinking how great it is to rock out to loud music while shedding that pesky winter insulation lodged on my hips. Sipping a Starbucks London Fog (soy milk & Earl Grey Tea – sounds gross but it’s really quite good) watching the New York Times travel section video blog online. Going to a dreaded mall under duress only because I have to buy my niece a birthday present. Figuring out which friends to round up for dinner somewhere cozy. Lying in my bed for a few extra minutes enjoying being horizontal.
Lindsay: You have lots of energy! I feel the need to lie down just thinking about all that. Speaking of energy, you once rode your bike a really, really long way. Why?
Dr. C: Call me Forrest Gump on a bike. Actually, I was at a fork in the road while working for an advertising agency in NYC. I could look the part, I could do the part, but I was unhappy in the corporate world. I finagled taking a six-week leave of absence to ride my bicycle from Seattle to New York. Somewhere in Montana, while the wind was whistling through my mind clearing out brain fog, I realized that a person can do anything they want in life provided they have the vision, guts and determination to go for it. This epiphany is what lead to my taking a leap of faith and making a 180% career change to chiropractic.
Lindsay: Glad you did! Tell me this: what’s on your kitchen table right now?
Dr. C: My iMac – There’s nothing wrong with Googling cool things or checking e-mails while waiting for water to boil, right? A book on the connection between acupuncture and neurology which is sitting on top of the current People Magazine – The ying and yang of being geeky and brainless keeps me in balance. A bar of dark chocolate – I am deeply suspicious of people who do not like chocolate. A laser pointer – My cat Comet, an expert in lounging, cannot resist doing wind sprints up and down the stairs trying to chase the red dot.
Lindsay: *laughs* You need to get that on video. Comet, I mean, not the boiling water. Hey, you see a lot of stressed-out moms like me. You gave me really great advice once–“You can only do one thing at a time. Pick the most important one and do it.” Got any other good advice for our SweetSnaps moms?
Dr. C: The next time you are about to take off on a plane, listen to the flight attendant’s instructions. You are told in case of an emergency you should put on your own oxygen mask first before putting on your children’s oxygen masks. What’s the point? How can you ensure the safety of your kids if you are without oxygen yourself? How in life are you going to be an effective mom, a loving spouse and a happy person if you do not fill up your own cup first? It’s not about being selfish. Rather, it’s about fortifying your own mental, physical, emotional and spiritual strength first so you can be effective on all fronts. This is where chiropractic care comes in handy – remove layers of stress from your nerve system and watch your mood improve!
Lindsay: Thanks. I’ll see you soon. Thank you for being our Sweet Spot!