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Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

A Conversation with Dr. Risa Sloves and Dr. Mark Joachim : of Associates in Family Chiropractic and Natural Health Care

Dr. Risa Sloves and Dr. Mark Joachim are a husband and wife team who have been helping infants, children and adults obtain optimal health through natural chiropractic and wellness care. Dr. Sloves is 1 of only 10 Chiropractic Physicians in Connecticut who is Board Certified in Pediatric and Maternity Care including certifications in the Webster and Bagnell Breech Techniques and she also has certifications in scoliosis care. Dr. Joachim is the first and only physician in CT with Advanced Certification in The BioSET Allergy Elimination Technique, a non-invasive, drug-free and shot-free health care method that can permanently eliminate food and environmental allergies. They  are one of the few offices in CT offering non-surgical Spinal Decompression and they provide acupuncture and nutrition.

You’ve been in practice in Norwalk for over 23 years. What do you think sets your practice apart?

We have been dedicated to continually enhancing our education to provide the best care possible for our patients. We provide treatment that really no other chiropractic office in CT provides.

Dr. Sloves, why is it so important that pregnant women have a chiropractic exam?

Our spine protects our spinal cord and when a spinal bone shifts out of normal alignment it may produce abnormal motion and damaging pressure on spinal nerves. This condition is known as vertebral subluxation and if present, it may interrupt the vital nerve flow within a woman’s body and to her baby. Chiropractic care diagnoses and corrects subluxations.

Unfortunately, subluxations are an inherent part of pregnancy due to the hormonal and postural changes that occur in the spine and pelvis which affect the associated joints, nerves, muscles and connective tissue. Realignment of the spine and pelvis can be achieved through chiropractic care which focuses on gentle adjustments either with the doctor’s hands or with special adjusting instruments to remove the subluxations and allow the joints of the spine to function properly.

 Studies have shown that this approach helps alleviate the vast majority of common neuromusculoskeletal symptoms experienced by pregnant women: low back pain and sciatica, headaches, neck, shoulder and arm pain or tingling, carpal tunnel syndrome, pubic pain or separation, and pain in the ribcage. Further studies have shown that chiropractic care reduces nausea and vomiting, decreases pain during labor and delivery, and reduces mean labor time. Other benefits include a reduced number of breach presentations, reduced cesarean section rates, less labor intervention, and a quicker recovery.

Post-pregnancy, it is critical to have a chiropractic exam because post-partum changes occur rapidly in the mom’s body and it is important to make sure that as her weight and hormones change her body maintains normal alignment. Likewise, a new host of issues commonly arise due to new stresses on her body such as breastfeeding, lifting and carrying a newborn, etc., which are easily helped with chiropractic care.

You’ve said that every newborn should have a chiropractic exam. Why is that?

According to infant health expert Abraham Towbin, M.D., “The birth process, even under natural and controlled conditions, is potentially traumatic.” Research shows that in a normal, average vaginal delivery, there may be between 40 to 70 pounds of force exerted on a newborn’s head and neck during delivery. So, even a normal delivery without any intervention, can potentially strain the delicate spinal joints in the baby’s neck, resulting in subluxations and nerve dysfunction. In fact, reearch studies concluded that up to 80 to 90% of all babies have strains in these regions and this may actually account for many common symptoms found in infants and children such as frequent spitting up, irritability of the stomach and colon, colic, difficulty with feeding and attachment, sleeping problems, torticollis, asthma, ear infections, nose and throat infections, generalized lowered resistance to infections, and learning/behavioral problems can all be associated with stress to the neck during the birth process.

Ideally, babies should be checked and adjusted if necessary as soon s possible after birth to correct for spinal subluxations.  Chiropractic adjustments for babies and children differ significantly from those of adults and often I will use light fingertip pressure or a gentle tapping instrument on the baby’s back or neck. Even medical doctors have noted how, even with the lightest pressure of the index finger to perform an adjustment, the infant’s clinical picture normalized.  It is important to note that 65% of neurological development occurs in a child’s first year.  It is therefore imperative to ensure that your baby has every opportunity to maximize their nerve function during this critical period in their development. 

What other conditions do you commonly treat for children?

Other common physical causes for vertebral subluxations during the first year may include sleeping in a car seat with inadequate support of the head, neck and spine, falls off of the bed or changing table, or falls when learning to walk. As your child grows, sporting activities can induce physical trauma as can postures such as playing computer games, watching TV or carrying backpacks. The most common complaints for older children are of respiratory tract dysfunction, ear/nose/throat dysfunction, allergies, gastrointestinal complaints including constipation, scoliosis, growing pains, sports injuries and prevention/wellness.

Dr. Joachim, allergy relief is a big part of your practice. How does your treatment of allergies differ from that of other doctors?

I see a large number of patients who suffer from food, environmental and chemical allergies or sensitivities. I use the BioSET Allergy Elimination Method, which is a complete healing system that detoxifies the body and desensi­tizes it to allergies. Our office differs from the typical medical examination and treatment for allergies because BioSET evaluates the function of the body and tests for allergies by using a computerized and non-invasive, painless process so even newborns and infants can be cared for. I can determine what is weakening the body, what nutritional or enzyme supplementation may be needed, what someone is allergic to and then help that patient permanently eliminate food, environmental, and chemical allergies and sensitivities as well as many other chronic health problems (eczema, migraines, sinusitis, and GI disorders such as reflux) - without the use of drugs or allergy shots.

Since 2000 I have been utilizing BioSET with great success. My experience with it began when I was in search of a cure for eczema that was affecting Alana, a 15-month-old patient. This little girl is a beautiful redhead whose skin in the areas of her abdomen and diaper region was often so irritated from eczema that it was often redder than her hair, with the worst flare-ups happening when she ate strawberries and chocolate. After only five BioSET treatments on Alana, along with the addition of a digestive enzyme to her juice twice a day for one month, Alana’s eczema was gone. Alana is now 14 years old, has never had another spot of eczema on her body, and has never been limited in the foods she eats. I was especially thrilled because this little girl is my youngest daughter!

This success with Alana inspired me to dedicate a large part of my chiropractic practice to helping other children and individuals benefit from the BioSET total health care system. Many of my patients have had severe ec­zema and life-threatening food allergies that have been eliminated, and they are now enjoying their lives to their fullest potential.

Associates in Family Chiropractic and Natural Health Care is located at 152 East Avenue in Norwalk. For more information call 203.838.1555 or visit, or for a free copy of Dr. Joachim’s ebook, How to Stop Suffering From Food Sensitivi­ties, ‘Allergies,’ and Digestion Prob­lems, visit

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