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Epigenetics: The expression of your DNA

Posted: November 5, 2021
By: Kathryn Lederer & Dr Rubin

So often we think of our DNA as a life sentence- that the genes our parents gave us are our destiny, no matter our choices. We look at our parents and grandparents and we assume that their present is our future. However, the science of epigenetics is turning that idea on its head. We might have genes for cancer and diabetes and Alzheimer’s, but it is the actions in our lives that determine the expression of those genes.

“[DNA is] like a script. Think of Romeo and Juliet, for example. In 1936 George Cukor directed Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer in a film version. Sixty years later Baz Luhrmann directed Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in another movie version of this play. Both productions used Shakespeare’s script, yet the two movies are entirely different. Identical starting points, different outcomes.” ―Nessa Carey, The Epigenetics Revolution

This concept is proven when you look at identical twins, who have the same genetic make-up, but different medical histories. At the moment of conception, the health status of our parents will affect the expression of our genes. Throughout our childhood, everything from the food we ate to the air we breathed affect the interpretation of our DNA.

Here are a few ways we can influence our genes in a positive way:

  • Eating whole, minimally processed foods
  • Moving our bodies daily
  • Getting adjusted regularly
  • Minimizing our exposure to environmental toxins
  • Meditation

We can’t prevent every illness with epigenetics, but by living a healthy lifestyle we give our bodies their best chance!








Breastfeeding issues Part 1

Posted: October 18, 2021
By: Ana Garraton and Dr Rubin

Breastfeeding issues, Part 1:

Nipple confusion is defined as “an infant’s difficulty in achieving the correct oral configuration, latching technique, and suckling pattern necessary for successful breast-feeding after bottle feeding or other exposure to an artificial nipple.” Although there is inconsistent evidence to support this topic, many practitioners believe that after exposure to artificial nipples (such as bottles or pacifiers), infants experience difficulty with breastfeeding. The main cause for debate is limited research as to whether bottles and pacifiers are causing infants to refuse the breast or if it’s simply markers of maternal-infant characteristics.

Studies have shown that the way a baby latches to his or her mother’s breast is very different than the way they suck on a bottle or pacifier. Bottle feeding can separate the epiglottis and soft palate connection. It elevates the soft palate, drives the tongue back and alter the action of tongue. This makes it difficult for the baby to drink milk and may result in fussiness or frustration from the infant. It can also be an explanation to why babies may have trouble switching back and forth between drinking from a bottle and breastfeeding.

Another hypothesis that can explain nipple confusion include:

1. The newborn may have a limited ability to adapt to various oral configurations.

2. A form of “imprinting” may happen when the baby receives a bottle before the breastfeeding attempt.

3. Low colostrum available with breast-feeding in the first few days of life.

4. An infant who has not learned to grasp and suckle the nipple correctly might perceive bottle feeding as easier and more rewarding.

Methods that can be considered or used to help feeding and prevent nipple confusion, until breast-feeding can be established, include: a cup, spoon or dropper or the use of nipple shields. Many other issues can cause breastfeeding challenges, such as tongue/lip tie, TMJ weakness and missing/weak primitive reflexes. We will cover these in future blogposts. Working with a pediatric chiropractor is always a good idea, and a lactation consultant can help identify if your child’s fussiness or difficulty feeding is related to nipple confusion.


RFC’s Breastfeeding Service Recommendation:

Angela Gomes dos Santos, CLC


National Lactation Consultant website:

Breastfeeding twins? Yes you can!!!

Posted: September 28, 2020
By: Ksenia Kimbro & Dr Drew Rubin

I had a healthy twin pregnancy.  The babies were born at 35 weeks, both boys. It was my goal to exclusively breastfeed. Both boys had a NICU stay. I pumped every three hours at the hospital, and they were fed a combination of Neosure (formula for preemies) and breastmilk. At the hospital, I attempted to latch the babies and do skin to skin, but they were too small and just kept falling asleep at the breast.

When we got home, my first goal was to boost my milk supply while pumping. Now, looking back, I see a huge difference between pumping and nursing in terms of supply. Supply was always an uphill battle while exclusively pumping. At first, I fed the babies all breastmilk during the day and half breastmilk/half formula at night. I did a lot of research and the following is my advice on how to boost supply in order to transition to all breastmilk and where to go from there.
        1.      Keep attempting nursing at the beginning of as many feedings as you can. Yes, it’s very hard to find time, especially with twins. Do your best! At the very least, attempt it once a day with each baby. Nursing will stimulate the breast to help your supply and give the babies an opportunity to practice. After the nursing attempt, give the babies a bottle.
        2.      LacTeck flanges for my Spectra pump were a game changer. Using coconut oil with them also helped me with nipple irritation.
        3.      Hand express after each pumping session
        4.      Power pump (pump 20 minutes, rest for 10 minutes, pump for 10 more minutes)
        5.      Massage the breasts during pumping, I used LaVie lactation massager
        6.      Use a heat pack before and during pumping
        7.      Have oatmeal for breakfast every day
        8.      Legendairy Milk supplements are amazing!
        9.      Moringa supplements
        10.    Shatavari supplements
        11.     Barley water, at least 2 cups a day- this has gluten in it, just in case!
        12.     Stay hydrated
        13.     Body Armor sports drinks- like a healthier version of Gatorade
        14.     Sleep as much as possible

Once my supply was up, I simply cut the formula out and used all breastmilk. My next goal was to transition the babies from bottles to breast. I worked with an amazing lactation consultant. We did a few weighted feeds to make sure the babies are getting enough during the feed. I supplemented with a bottle until they did.

One of my boys latched better than the other. For a while, I nursed one and bottle fed one. That’s ok too! I used “flipple” or exaggerated latch technique to help the babies have better latches. Once they figure it out, nurse away! Make sure the babies are getting enough wet and dirty diapers and look for hunger cues. Trust your instincts! You know your body and your babies best. Once you nurse exclusively or almost exclusively, you won’t have to worry about your supply as much as if you exclusively pump.

Note: Information in this blogpost is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the direct advice provided by your chiropractor or other healthcare professionals.  Please consult your own healthcare team before using any of the supplements, drinks, devices, etc, suggested herein. 

Remote Chiropractic? Zoom & Google Classroom

Posted: April 14, 2020
By: Aeriel Green and Dr. Rubin

Are you worried about you and your family leaving your house during this troubling time?  Rubin Family Chiropractic is here for you and your family, and your health and wellness remain valuable to us. Many health professionals are starting to offer telehealth video calls. During this time of uncertainty, Dr. Rubin is offering Zoom video calls to parents of children that are unable to come regularly to our office.  During these video calls, he will be checking primitive reflexes by having the parent or guardian perform the test and watching the response of the child. Dr. Rubin will then explain exercises for you to do at home during this time, that will help the child’s brain and nerve system stay strong between adjustments. Please call or email the office to set up a time for a Zoom video call.

Also, Dr. Rubin has developed a Google Classroom, that has videos of the most common exercises he recommends. This tools has been invaluable for patients and their kids to recall and refresh exactly how neurologically based exercises should be done.  It is available for the asking for patients of Rubin Family Chiropractic.  

Pandemic or not, the use of Zoom and Google Classroom are just 2 ways showing how we are keeping ahead of the curve.

First I was a patient, now I work here!

Posted: April 7, 2020
By: Ashlyn Segler and Dr. Rubin

Hi everyone! My name is Ashlyn Segler and I am a senior in high school. You may have seen me working at the front desk on Saturdays this past year, but now I’m here during the week too! I first started as a patient here when I was in elementary school and returned as a patient my junior year when I was having severe digestion issues. For about a year and a half prior, I would wake up every morning and get sick. After an extensive, yet disappointing, experience with mainstream medicine, I turned to alternative medicine. It was then I was diagnosed with an allergy to casein, and while cutting dairy out of my diet helped, my digestive system was still in the process of healing from 16 years of eating dairy, and I was still getting sick every morning. Chiropractic care not only aided the process, but Dr. Rubin went a step further to help ease my transition to a dairy-free life. He helped suggest new foods and dairy-free options that I otherwise wouldn’t have known about. I was especially enthusiastic coming to the Halloween bash because all the treats were baked dairy free, gluten free, and vegan. I wish I could express the extent of my excitement coming to Dr. Rubin’s when I could eat whatever I wanted, free from anxiety of whether or not it was contaminated with dairy. All fun and games aside, however, it has been over two years since I last got sick in the morning, and I feel better each day since cutting out dairy.

                Likewise, my junior year I was diagnosed with mono. With the stress of AP exams, SATs and ACTs, extracurriculars, and college tours, I was anxious to be out of school for too long. I had heard stories of my peers hospitalized for a month or more from mono. When I first started showing symptoms, I couldn’t stay awake for more than three or four hours, let alone a whole school day. With no more than three adjustments, I was back at school the next week, fully recovered. Chiropractic care can benefit everyone in so many ways, and I’m so thankful for my access to holistic care at Dr. Rubin’s. 

Pictured below: Ashlyn, Ksenia, Laura and Dr. Rubin

The Importance of Movement in Childhood Development

Posted: October 15, 2019
By: Chris Johnson, intern, & Dr. R

It's a common trend in schools across the country: physical education classes are being cut and recess hours reduced. Young children are increasingly expected to sit still at their desks for entire school days. Even at home kids often spend hours each day in front of a television, computer, or phone. This is happening even as more and more research shows just how important movement is to the developing child, and how development can be stunted when children don't learn to move correctly.

What many parents don't realize is that movement skills and mental skills grow together. Each is affected by, and dependent on, the other. For example, the earliest signs of an autism spectrum disorder are often abnormal movement skills. These often include things like incorrect crawling patterns, and this is why it is so important to make sure your child is meeting their milestones. 

However, movement is a concern even for children who seem to be developing normally. While frequency of physical activity is very important, scientific studies have also linked the quality of movement skills to increased academic performance as well as improved mental health. That's why it is also crucial to have your child's movement patterns evaluated. Kids in our office are always checked to be sure that their movements are progressing normally. When faulty movements are found, exercises can be given to teach your child the proper movements, ensuring that their development continues normally and they develop the skills they need to thrive. This goes for children in school as well as infants who are have trouble rolling, crawling or walking. 

Why the Activator Method chiropractic care is so effective

Posted: October 8, 2019
By: Grace Shiach,intern, and Dr. R

The Activator Method is a device-assisted form of performing a chiropractic adjustment. The Activator Method is one of the most widely-researched chiropractic techniques, and the only instrument adjusting technique with 23 clinical trials to support its efficacy. Activator Methods has published hundreds of clinical and scientific peer-reviewed papers, worked with major academic research institutions, and received grants from recognized entities like the National Institute of Health. 

Chiropractic adjustments involve applying forces at specific spinal levels to release the tension caused by a misaligned segment. It was shown that the Activator is able to provide 1mm of movement to a spinal segment where as a manual adjustment was shown to only  deliver 2% of the total force to the target tissue. The Activator is able to provide an adjustment up to 300 times faster than a manual adjustment, which results in the ability to deliver a gentler adjustment over a smaller area in order to more properly move the bones to promote healing. 

Dr. Rubin used more manual adjustment techniques for the first 15 years of his practice until he found the Activator Methods in 2001.  Over the next several years, he began taking post doctoral classes in Activator Methods and in 2008 earned the Advanced Proficiency Rating from Activator, which was a grueling written, oral and practical exam.  He has published several research papers on the effectiveness of Activator and enjoys using this adjusting tool on children and adults. 

Lyme Disease & PANDAS

Posted: October 7, 2019
By: Young Han, intern and Dr. Rubi

     In North America, Lyme disease is the most common insect-borne infectious disease with a whopping number of 300,000 cases reported a year [1].  A tick infected with Borrelia burgdorferi transfers bacteria through its bite to a human after being attached for 24 hours or more, and initially causes fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans [2].  This is why it is so important to do a ‘tick check’ if your child has been playing in wooded areas, since the quicker you remove the tick, the less likely they are to receive the infection.  If the Lyme is allowed to stay in the body, chronic symptoms such as joint pain, heart issues, stomach and sleep challenges, and multiple other nervous system and behavioral problems can occur.  Lyme disease can be devastating in its attack on a person with a weakened immune system

     Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Strep, also known as PANDAS for short, is also a condition on the rise and worth paying attention to.  This condition is ultimately caused by Strep bacterial infection, but interestingly the real problem is that the antibodies created by the body become “cross-reactive” and attack normal brain cells.  This may cause Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), tics, and other neuropsychiatric symptoms [3]. 

     Both of these conditions can create serious neuropsychiatric issues for pediatric patients.  Many parents say, “this isn’t my kid” in response to how different they become when affected by Lyme or PANDAS.  So how can chiropractic help patients with these conditions?  Chiropractic adjustments reduce vertebral subluxations, a condition which disturbs one’s nervous system by interrupting communication between the brain and the body. With each corrective adjustment, the brain receives and executes more properly through a “traffic-free” nervous system, and this would be crucial for children with infection-based diseases like PANDAS and Lyme disease.  After antibodies wipe out bacteria from the system, new and correct redirection from the brain can be achieved with chiropractic care helping to rebuild the nervous system. Chiropractic is neuroplasticity in action! 



Eye Movements and Childhood Development

Posted: October 4, 2019
By: Chris Johnson, intern, & Dr. D

                  Nearly every child will have its vision checked at some point. You’re probably familiar with the traditional test, in which children are asked to read the letters on a poster from across the room. While this is a great way to screen kids for vision problems that might require glasses, you might be surprised to learn that many eye issues can go undetected during this typical screening. This is because many of the issues- such as the ability to focus the eyes on one spot, or to follow moving objects- are not really problems with the eye at all. Often, an imbalance in brain activity is to blame. These imbalances are especially common in children who are struggling developmentally, academically or behaviorally.

                  One of the best examples of this connection is seen in dyslexic children. Dyslexia, which is a difficulty with reading, was once something of a mystery to doctors. Recent research has shown that not only do some kids have trouble processing the words that they read, but often their eyes are actually unable to smoothly follow the words on a page. Instead, their eyes may jerk slightly back and forth, making the words nearly impossible to understand. No wonder so many of these kids tire out and are frustrated when trying to read. But there’s good news: Just like a muscle, “weak” areas of the brain can be strengthened with practice. Often, simple exercises can be performed at home to help strengthen any underactive areas of the brain. That’s why all children in our office are screened for problems with eye movements.

                  And there’s more good news! More research has shown the power of chiropractic care to help kids normalize brain and eye function! Chiropractic adjustments can help remove irritation from the nervous system and provide the stimulation needed to form strong connections in the brain. This is just one more reason that all children should be regularly checked by a chiropractor.

Sugar's Affects on your Child's Brain

Posted: August 7, 2019
By: Alyssa Quimby, intern, & Dr. D

Did you know what excess sugar does not only have a negative impact on your child’s cardiac health and waistline, but there are some recent studies on how sugar can negatively impact your child’s brain and memory function??

A study done by the University of Southern California found that a large amount of sugary drinks consumed during childhood will cause metabolic imbalances and have negative impacts on short term memory capabilities in adulthood. Another study conducted at UCLA on rats in 2012, showed that the more fructose the rats consumed, the slower the brain function and brain activity. Sugar causes inflammation in the brain, and this inflammation slows down cognitive function. Over time, this decreased cognitive function will negatively impact a person’s ability to focus and their ability to form memories. 

With extreme levels of sugar consumption, it can actually cause interferences with the neurotransmitters in the brain and these neurotransmitters are responsible for stabilizing moods. Without the ability to stabilize mood, this can lead to depression or anxiety symptoms in children. In a brain imaging study, elevated blood glucose dramatically impacts someone’s ability to process emotion. This can even be shown to impact healthy young people’s brains. A study in 2017 published in Scientific Journals, found that those with higher sugar consumption were 23% more likely to be diagnosed with a mental disorder than those with lower sugar intake.

So how much is too much?? Any added sugars consumed over 4 tablespoons per day is considered unhealthy for children. To put this in perspective, the average adult in America eats approximately 22 tablespoons of added sugars everyday! Try supplementing those sugar cravings with fresh fruit to give the brain the glucose it needs to function optimally without going overboard!  Or sweeten with healthier options like agave, evaporated cane juice, or maple syrup.