Dr. Erin Elster    
Alternative Caregivers Find Success With Children

The DAILY CAMERA , June 9, 1998
by Debbie Melani

Erin Elster, a chiropractor who specializes in upper cervical care, works on Max Dameron, 9. After four years of chiropractic school, Elster continued her education, focusing on the upper cervical specialty. She says her rare practice has a 95-percent success rate with an array of health problems, including Dameron's once-chronic ear infections.

For 9-year-old Max Dameron and his mother, upper cervical chiropractor Erin Elster is not much less than a miracle worker. Plagued with illnesses almost since the day he was born, the two had reached their wits' end when the doctors told them last fall another set of tubes in the young Dameron's ears would be necessary. Constant fluid buildup had begun causing substantial hearing loss.

"He came home from the hospital with a cold," his mother, Nancy Dameron, said of when he was born. Chronic ear infections then invaded Max's life. "He lived on antibiotics," his mom said. By age 5, he had undergone a tonsillectomy, multiple courses of antibiotics and the insertion of three sets of ear tubes. He would also suffer severe muscle aches that would awaken him at night. Now, he says, all of his problems are gone. They disappeared quickly after making the leap from the medical doctors to a chiropractor.

"After she adjusted him the first time, the fluid (in his ears) just started running out," Nancy Dameron said. She said her mouth-breather son suddenly slept quietly and through the night. I could hear better," Max said. "I didn't have any muscle aches. I didn't have any headaches at school." He began seeing Elster in the fall, and by Christmas, his doctors gave him a clean bill of health, Dameron said. "I feel bad I didn't try something else earlier," she said. But she admits skepticism of alternative care kept her reliant on her doctors.

Elster believes Max's problem stemmed from a difficult forceps birth. In fact, many common childhood ailments, such as chronic colds, allergies and asthma, can sometimes be traced back to birth, which can be traumatic for an infant no matter how routine it is, Elster said. The twisting, turning and pulling of the head can cause spinal misalignment, which short circuits the body's central communication system and leads to an over-challenged immune system, Elster said. Her adjustments will get that immune system back on track, she said.