In the Spotlight: Dr. Cecilia Betencourt
Many of our clients want to know about and do ALL the things to help them prepare for birth. One of our biggest recommendations is chiropractic care throughout pregnancy. Not only does it help with the pregnancy aches and pains that are so common, but it can make for an easier, more comfortable birth!
This month we sat down with Dr. Cecilia Betencourt, a Long Beach chiropractor that specializes in prenatal and family care. Cecilia is such a ray of sunshine and we’re so happy to know her. We’re confident that she will support you and your family in your wellness goals and that your lives will be all the better for it! We’re excited to share some of her wisdom and thoughts on the benefits of chiropractic care.
Start by telling us a bit about you and what inspired you to become a Chiropractor.
I was born and raised in Reno, NV where I worked as a chiropractic assistant for a little over 4 years, then moved to Dallas, TX for Chiropractic college. There I met one pretty handsome guy that was from Long Beach and he bribed me with the beach & sunshine. So, I decided to take a chance and move! I have now been practicing in Long Beach for almost a year.
What initially inspired me to become a doctor was my older brother. He unfortunately passed at a young age but when I began working as a chiropractic assistant I started to realize how people could truly live their full potential if given the best support possible. From there I made it my mission to not only honor his memory but give other families that opportunity. Chiropractic in my opinion is the missing link for many of us. Our community lacks connection & we’ve lost a lot of wisdom along the way. This is why I chose to focus my practice on families especially prenatal, postnatal and pediatric care. I am so fortunate to be pursuing this life and I absolutely love the people that I am privileged to care for!
What do you find to be the biggest benefit of chiropractic care for pregnancy and postpartum?
A pregnant mama is carrying one of the most complex systems known to us (without any help from the outside world mind you) all while her body has undergone and continues to change massively. Having a Chiropractor that understands how to care for you are essential for a healthy and comfortable pregnancy. Optimal nuero-spinal development for both mama and baby are so important, and by allowing that connection to remain clear and fully functioning many pregnant people experience benefits such as:
Decrease labor time with fever interventions
Low and upper back relief
Optimal pelvic alignment
Higher energy levels
Optimal positioning of baby
Once the baby has been born the work is not done. Again by keeping your neuro-spinal system clear and connected many postpartum women experience:
Decreased healing time
Upper back relief from nursing
What is the best way to get started as one of your patients? Do you offer free or paid consultations? How do people make an appointment? Give us all the deets so people can find you!
The easiest way to get started as a patient is to schedule an initial visit. Even if your curious if this is something for you and your family, schedule a visit! The first visit includes an exam and consult for $89 where we will gather all the information we need create a care plan that is designed for you and your health goals. You can schedule via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and primary contact source.
Share your top 3 tips for new or expecting parents?
Do your research
Everyone will want to help and give advice on “what you should do”. Now this isn't necessarily a negative thing but it can get very overwhelming, especially if you are new to this whole thing. There is no gold standard of how to parent so I encourage everyone to do their own research to find out what fits with their families needs & wants.
Love on your new little addition as often as you can
I don't know where this idea came that the more affection you show your children the more codependent they become. Studies have actually proven to show the exact opposite, but I would just recommend to love and snuggle that little one as much as you can. Feeling loved is a basic human need and for babies a loving environment is crucial for optimal neuro-spinal development.
Build your community
They say it takes a village and I couldn't agree more. When it comes to someone’s Ideal birth team, a prenatal chiropractor is becoming more sought after and for good reasons. A prenatal chiropractor ensures that the neuro-spinal system is clear and connected for a healthy and comfortable pregnancy. When looking for a prenatal chiropractor make sure they possess the skills and knowledge to care for you properly as not all chiropractors are equipped with pre and postnatal care. Searching the ICPA for Webster certified doctors is a great place to start.
What is the most satisfying part of your job? What is the most challenging?
The most satisfying part of being a chiropractor is playing a part in my patient’s “wins”. Of course everyone loves the miracle stories, but all the little moments of when someone hasn't had a headache for the first time in years, can pick up their children again, and finally sleep through the night, are what make my career so rewarding. It doesn't sound like much but these little moments really make such a difference in one’s quality of life. The fact that I get to be apart of their journey is one of the most fulfilling things I could do.
It's a challenge to get people to understand that just because you feel well doesn't necessarily mean you are healthy. The general public know chiropractic as this great natural way to relieve back and neck pain- which it is- however that feeling of pain is not that reliable. Pain itself is only responsible for about 10% of the total function of your nervous system while the remaining 90% influence all the other functions of the body. So to go from “feeling ok” to understanding decrease autonomic function of your nervous system is a whole paradigm shift so I try to be very clear when talking about that.
What is a common misconception about chiropractic care that you’d like to clear up?
That kids don't need chiropractic care. Many don't see chiropractic as a necessity because they think that kids don't have pain, and they’re right! Most kids are not complaining of neck or low back pain but a lot of kids have other issues such as trouble sleeping, irregular bowel movements, recurrent infections, reflux, recurring ear infections that antibiotics are not helping with, and a multitude of digestion issues. When you allow the nervous system to thrive we expect to see a dramatic improvement for lot of these issues.
Another misconception is that Chiropractic care is rough or painful. Simply put, you do not adjust a baby or a child the same way you would adjust an adult. The amount of pressure you would use to adjust an infant or toddler is about the pressure you use to test the ripeness of a tomato so it is very safe and gentle.
What are three qualities that make you stand out as a chiropractor?
I specialize in Prenatal and pediatric care and have additional certifications such as Webster to better serve my clients. I also have extensive training through the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
I am a family orientated wellness based Chiropractor, in what appears to be a sea of sport driven chiropractors in Long Beach. In my opinion It’s easier to raise healthy kids than fix sick adults.
I am independent from insurance companies so am more equipped to give my clients what they need. I never want to skip over the root cause of why my clients came to me in the first place, and more often than not most insurance companies don't allow that freedom. Additionally it allows me to keep cost affordable for families.
Tell us your favorite thing about Long Beach.
The food is FANTASTIC, but hands down the people are my favorite thing. There is such a unique mix of people in Long Beach but I love how genuine and authentic everyone is. It always seems like everyone is just trying to just really enjoy their day whether that is at the grocery store or on Second Street, and I really love that.
What do you like to do when you’re not in the office?
When I am not in the office I am looking for any excuse to further explore Long Beach. I love lounging on the beach with a good book and try to stay as active as possible. I enjoy yoga, volleyball, and really any fitness class I can sneak into. I do have a new Great Dane puppy so she and I takes walks as often as possible, but really I am just trying to figure out all Long Beach has to offer.
Who has been the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?
I have many important people in life, but the most influential has been my brother Stanley. He passed when I was twelve after surrendering his battle with brain tumors and his legacy is something I try to always honor. He always chose to see the good in every situation and thought that laughter could solve most of the worlds issues, even though he was going through things that most couldn't imagine. He was constantly concerned with making everyone’s day around him a little brighter and putting the well being of others as his top priority. I'm by no means perfect at that, but I try to do everything in my life with the same principles that he possessed. The example he set for my siblings and I are responsible for who I am today in large part.
What else inspires you in life?
I try to draw inspiration from anything I am in contact with. That can range from the people in my life, podcast, the beach, the city, girl bosses ( shout out to the doulas!)…. I don't try to limit what speaks to me and if I am drawn to something, I like to believe it's for a reason. I am constantly feeding my curious nature.
Anything else that would be helpful for people to know?
You don't have to necessarily have something “wrong with you” to seek chiropractic care. The foundation of the care I offer is being the best you possibly can be. The main goal is to increase your adaptability in life so that you experience all life has to offer.