Tag Archives: natural parenting

Natural remedies for children

10 Dec

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Following the natural parenting path isn’t easy, especially when your child becomes ill and you must decide which is the best course to ease their suffering. Although I use to work as a nutritional advisor in the field of testing for food intolerances, I am not a medical doctor or any other certified practitioner of heath care. As a natural mama I do have experience of using natural remedies on my child to ease the transition through various forms of healing crisis.

Medical science has done a great job in providing the technology needed to deal with accidents and emergencies which are man-made e.g. surgical methods to prevent life threatening bleeding caused by a car accident.

Holistic or natural therapies and remedies deal with the whole organism in striving to combat dis-ease whilst modern conventional medicine only ever looks at the individual parts of the body/mind system in a separatist, mechanistic model. Furthermore, naturally occurring exposure to germs, and infectious diseases play an important role in helping to develop and strengthen our immune system for maintaining future health.

For these reasons I have opted to not administer any drugs, vaccines or other man-made chemicals to my child’s developing immune system. I view fevers, childhood diseases and other imbalances as a positive sign that the body has reached critical activation point in toxic load and has now activated a healing purge or ‘crisis’ to allow the body to cleanse the poisons

Instead of using drugs to suppress these important healing symptoms, there are a host of natural remedies and therapies available which do not cause the liver to become overburdened and exhibit more negative side effects.

Below are listed a range of common health complaints alongside some natural remedy suggestions. I recommend that you always talk to a health care practitioner of your choice and do your own varied research before trialling any new remedies. Above all else I trust my own instincts and observations whilst trialling new healing remedies or therapies:-

Asthma: Turmeric and ginger root, Fresh unpasteurized apple juice, Salt pipes, Yoga breathing exercises (for older children 3 yrs plus), Breathing in a steam shower room with eucalyptus oil (to open up the airways during an attack), Chiropractic/Osteopath/cranial sacral adjustments. Elimination diet* (led by a natural health practitioner)

*The main culprits which cause intolerances or allergic symptoms in the diet are: wheat, dairy, sugar, yeast, MSG and other artificial flavourings, additives and preservatives.

Allergies (non-life threatening): Freshly prepared nettle tea (contains naturally occurring anti-histamines), Unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (taken diluted in water), Chiropractic /Osteopath/cranial sacral adjustments. Elimination diet* (led by a natural health practitioner)

Autism: A complex condition often triggered by heavy metal poisoning from the mercury in dental fillings and/or the mercury added to vaccinations. A heavy metal detox under guidance of a qualified practitioner is paramount to healing the body from mercury poisoning. A natural and safe combination for children to take combines coriander/cilantro herb with the algae called Chlorella.

Constipation: Chia seeds, Flax seeds, Prunes, Apricots, Pears, Figs, Psyllium husk, Aloe vera (in a juice), Probiotics (found in all types of natural yoghurt including vegan coconut yoghurt), Sauerkraut Abdominal massage with lavender oil, Warm bath, Increase water consumption, Physical exercise, Reflexology, Elimination diet* (led by a natural health practitioner)

Colic: Fennel, mint and chamomile tea combined and left to cool to tepid temperature. Baby wearing in a correctly supportive wrap or sling, Switching from formula milk with soya or cows milk to donated breast milk or Goat’s milk as a second best option to human milk, Sound and movement vibration (e.g. riding in a car or dancing and singing to baby)

Congestion/mucus: Turmeric root powder added as a large pinch to homemade lemonade (add a natural sweetener instead of sugar), Neti pot cleansing with sea salt water.

Eliminate mucous producing foods: bananas, wheat, dairy foods such as ice cream, yoghurt and butter; soya, deep fried foods, corn, chips/crisps, cakes, unstable oils such as sunflower and safflower vegetable oil, jams, cereals, biscuits. Increase foods that eliminate mucous such as: green vegetables, ginger, turmeric root, garlic, grapefruit, bamboo shoots, oranges, onions, celery, cauliflower, lemons and limes, asparagus.

Cough: Raw honey mixed with turmeric taken on a spoon.

Cradle cap: Extra virgin coconut oil rubbed on to affected area.

Diabetes: Cinnamon, stevia and xylitol for balanced sweeteners which will not spike blood sugar level. Incorporate as much of the raw food diet as possible to the daily diet.

Eye infection: Breast milk squirted into the eye directly.

Ear infections:  Olive oil poured into the ear canal whilst head is turned to the side.

Fever: Camu camu berry powder mixed with water and a little natural sweetener in a drink.

Flu: To nourish and heal the body use a liquid diet of green smoothies/juices freshly prepared from organic produce in a low speed RPM blender/juicer. Raw garlic and ginger can also  be taken chopped up in small chunks and swallowed like a pill.

Rash: Pure Paw Paw ointment (made from Papaya fruit)

I hope these suggestions help relieve any uncomfortable symptoms. Do remember these healing modalities are not a ‘cure’ for the dis-ease but rather act to buffer and comfort the pain and unpleasant symptoms of healing.

As ancient tribal wisdom and quantum physics all agree, ultimately the root to all dis-ease is first created in the mind through mental disturbance and emotional stress and so can not be ‘cured’ in the long-term by simply treating the physical body.

Techniques such as emotion freedom technique, progressive and attachment parenting methods and other types of emotional therapy are great ways to get to the root of any diseases. (For more information on this see my blog on ‘Mental invitations: the real root cause of disease’).

 Wishing great natural health to you and your children.

Naturally healthy kids on a shoestring

8 Sep

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They say your health is your wealth and that is so true when you consider a well man has many wishes but a sick man has only one.  The world of natural, healthy food seems to have gone mad with the average price of an organic apple now matching that of a hamburger in Macdonald’s; is it any wonder more and more kids are suffering from obesity, diabetes and a plethora of other diseases which just a few generations ago were rare or even unknown in the younger generations.

Since becoming a parent and giving up pursuing a high paid career I have committed to full-time attachment parenting without any substantial added  incomes. I have had to learn first hand how to make a budget stretch whilst maintaining the health of all the family.

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Tip 1: Stop buying pre-packaged and pre-made foods, they are expensive and have poor quality nutrient content. Instead shop mainly in the outside aisles of the supermarkets where most of the fresh food is and watch your shopping budget stretch further. Swap sugary cereals for porridge oats, confectionary for naturally sweet dried fruit and crisps for salty nuts or olives.

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Tip 2: Buy foods from local markets and farms, cutting out the middle man

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Tip 3: Grow your own; maybe you have an allotment, garden, balcony or even just a window sill. Everyone can grow something. Tomatoes, salad leaves and strawberries are all easy to grow and don’t need a lot of space. THis is a great way to connect kids with where their food comes from and inspire them to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.

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Tip 4: Forage wild food for free; go to your local woods, park or even your neighbour’s front gardens where you will be surprised at how much is growing, even in the city. Apple trees are easy to spot, also  try foods you can’t normally buy in the supermarket which are super nutrient dense: rosehips, dandelion leaves (yes weeds are good for you), wild garlic, watercress, chestnuts, hazel nuts, blackberries, and elderberries

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Tip 5: Eat more raw; it’s more nutrient dense, uses less money on the gas bill and helps to cure all sorts of ailments from allergies to diabetes. For tips on amazing child-friendly raw recipes see Raw food 4 kids book at http://www.therawfoodmum.com

Tip 6: Have vegetarian/vegan days; animal products for protein intake are so much more expensive than protein rich plant foods such as beans, lentils and legumes.

Tip 7: Breastfeed your children full-term (usually between 2 and 4 years), allowing them to wean themselves. All financially challenged countries value extended breastfeeding for ensuring optimum nutrition for the child.

Tip 8: Ensure your child gets outdoor sun exposure directly on unprotected skin, all-year-round, to boost vitamin D levels. Even when it’s cloudy and raining, the rays still come through.

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Tip 9: Learn how to get the most out of your whole foods products. Eg. One fresh coconut can provide you with at least three products; coconut milk, coconut water and desiccated coconut. You can also learn easy ways to tun simple, whole food ingredients like raisins, dates and cashews into home-made versions of popular shop bought snacks such as ‘Naked’ bars.

Tip 10: Take advantage of government initiatives to save you money; healthy start vouchers are a great way to save money on your fresh fruit and vegetables in the UK.

Booby Traps: modern day obstacles to establishing a successful breastfeeding relationship

5 Aug

P1000009 Hands up everyone who admits to being a pro-breastfeeding judge of all those mummies who didn’t quite make it with their mummy milk?

I admit I was one of those people; surely successful breastfeeding is just a matter of perseverance and strong will I thought!

Since breastfeeding my son now for over two and a half years I can now attest that these two traits are definitely part of the process, however, there is a lot more to it than just knowing the benefits of breastfeeding for you and your child and deciding to follow through.

Here’s a list of ten ‘booby traps’ to breastfeeding that you may not have considered:

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1. RESTRICTIVE BRAS – any bra with a wired structure and no room to allow the breasts to expand is going to make breastfeeding unpleasant and often painful. Instead wear vest tops with built-in support or loose-fitting t-shirt bras; or better still why not try getting rid of your ‘boob crutches’ and going bra-less.

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2. AN ACTIVE SOCIAL LIFE INCLUDING ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION – everyone seems to know that a pregnant mummy should stay away from alcohol but how many people can admit that for the breastfeeding duration it is just as important to remain t-total? Your baby eats and drinks everything you do, without exception so why not use this time as a great excuse to get healthy by swapping your alcohol for water or a natural juice; I promise that you can have just as much fun and nobody even has to know if you stick it in a wine glass!

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3. NOT SURE HOW TO GET STARTED – many years ago women used to learn all about breastfeeding by growing up in communities where they witnessed it daily; they learned from mothers and aunties and knew what to expect. Nowadays breastfeeding is so uncommon amongst westernised cultures that we must take support elsewhere. Request a breastfeeding councillor if you birth at hospital and afterwards hook up with ‘La leche league’ for advice on all things breastfeeding. Expect a 4-6 week settling in period where perseverance is the key to get past any pain and latching on issues.

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4. FEAR OF OTHERS OPINIONS – there’s no better way to overcome self-consciousness like breastfeeding whilst others look on or make comments. I’ve found the best way to conquer this is through confidence that what you’re doing is natural and best for you and your child. Seek out helpful facts to help you face others with confidence:

  • International weaning age across the globe ranges from 2 up to 7 years old when the first ‘milk teeth’ begin to fall out; after that the jaw changes shape slightly making it more difficult to breastfeed thereafter.
  • Breast milk is the only food created for your baby, not any other animal, which can fully protect their immune system and provide all the nourishment they need by changing the formula depending on your unique baby’s needs at different times, stages and through varying climates. For example, in summer when it’s hot, your breast milk will automatically add in more water for optimum hydration.

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5. LACK OF SUITABLE PLACES TO BREASTFEED IN PUBLIC – shopping centres usually have a parent and baby room near the toilets. Nobody should be expected to feed their child whilst sitting on a toilet to avoid feeling uncomfortable. If you find that you can only relax whilst feeding discreetly and out of view then the best option is to buy a comfortable, breastfeeding-friendly sling so you can feed your child anywhere, anytime, even on the move.

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6. TOO EXHAUSTED TO BREASTFEED – there’s definitely a general consensus in the parenting world that being a parent is tough and tiring, no getting away from it! There are ways though that we can try to make life a little less stressful and more restful. Apart from taking nutritional supplements (Udo’s choice oil and Chlorella are a great start)  and assigning food preparation duties to someone apart from the breastfeeding mummy, the best parenting tool you can add to your kit is Co-sleeping in mum’s bed. Sleeping close to your child not only helps keep them safe and regulated in terms of body temperature and security, it also ensures that the mum receives subtle signals that baby is hungry and ready to feed without having to cry the house down and wake everyone up. As long as you aren’t intoxicated or seriously ill you are highly unlikely to roll over or harm your baby by sleeping with them. Mother’s have an innate instinct to protect their child, even when they’re asleep!

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7. INNACURATE MEDICAL ADVICE – it’s interesting to note that most medical training includes barely a month of basic nutrition out of several years and medical schools also do not offer compulsory teaching about lactation. It is common advice that you should only feed your baby every 3-4 hours. This makes for some very unhappy, hungry children. Unlike cow’s milk, breast milk is lower fat and lower protein to account for the fact that human’s as a species who should stay close to their helpless young for a long time before they venture off alone. Due to this compositional difference, human children must feed as regularly as their unique constitution requires them to (especially through the night). On demand feeding creates a natural demand and supply relationship between mother and child. Other interesting medical opinions include those who state your baby is the ‘wrong weight’. The charts which are determining that ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ weight are actually based on bottle fed babies who, like cows gain weight quicker and digest their milk much slower, making them less active and more dozy, sleeping more.

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8. SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDS WITH FORMULA MILK (especially before 6 months) – formula milk is created as a lab food by pharmaceutical companies using allergens such as cows, goats and soya milk as the base and a whole host of artificially created chemicals, rancid fats and flavourings on top. All this not only makes it difficult on your baby’s digestive system but also, like many other man-made  foods, the taste can become addictive. The introduction of formula milk at any time during the child’s younger years is far inferior to a full-term breastfeeding relationship complimented by whole foods, however, supplementing breast milk with formula early on in the baby’s feeding relationship is bound to encourage them to prefer the taste of the artificial formula milk and reject breastfeeding more and more. The only healthy alternative to supplementing or replacing your own breast milk for your child is to use another mum’s pumped breast milk as women use to do years ago when ‘wet nurses’ were common place.

9. MEDICALIZED BIRTH INTERVENTION – if you birth your baby in a hospital, the chances of achieving a successful breastfeeding relationship are greatly reduced. There are a few reasons for this:

Hospitals are filled with sick patients, bright fluorescent lights, lots of noise and rushed staff, hospital environments are highly stressful whilst breastfeeding requires that mum and baby remain relaxed and comfortable. Opt for a home birth, it’s your right to choose.

Common place procedure involves Immediate separation of mum and baby after birth to do medical checks/interventions which interfere with the vital first moments when mother and bay connect and bond, the baby becomes use to mum’s smell, lying on her stomach, feeling safe, he crawls up and locates his food source. Make a birth plan and state clearly that baby must be handed directly to you for immediate contact, even if this means intervention has to take place with the baby held in your arms. See below for an example of a birth plan taken from http://www.MamaNatural.comAlthough many women know the importance of keeping toxic and harmful substances away from their body during pregnancy, they do not seem to make the connection that during birth your baby is still directly receiving everything that comes into the mother’s body. This includes powerful, narcotic, pain-relieving drugs which not only have to pass through the baby’s liver but also interfere with the hormone production which make breastfeeding a pleasant experience for mum and baby. Try exploring alternative pain relieving methods such as yoga breathing, hypno-birthing and homeopathy during your pregnancy in preparation for the birth.

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10. RETURNING TO WORK WHILST STILL BREASTFEEDING – a successful breastfeeding relationship is difficult to achieve without close, constant contact between mother and baby. When your baby cries due to hunger, the breasts will miraculously begin leaking milk even if you are far away from your child. Expressing milk is a great alternative to breastfeeding as baby is still getting the nourishment from your body however, milk does change according to the time of day and even breast milk taken from a bottle cannot replicate the loving connection a baby receives when feeding directly from the breast. Wherever you can, arrange to work from home where your child can have full access to breastfeeding whenever they need to. If this is not possible then consider selecting a child carer who is willing to be flexible and visit you at your workplace during break times for baby to feed and re-connect with mum. This is now becoming more widely available in places such as OfficeCreche who allow you to work from their own offices whilst providing flexible childcare on site with breastfeeding access. Also there are many nannies and childminders who will work from your own home. If there is absolutely no way you can arrange for your child to have contact with you during your work hours then do insist on a private and comfortable room to made available where you can express breast milk regularly to keep your supply up.

Good luck and happy breastfeeding!

Barefoot baby: how shoes are dis-connecting our children from great health

19 Jun

IMG_1104Once your child begins to walk, the next event many parents get excited about is the first trip to buy the first pair of shoes; some parents get so excited about shoes that they put them on their baby’s feet before they can walk and sometimes even before they can crawl!

Shoes that are commonly worn today ,with rubber insulating souls, are a very new invention in the history of man’s evolution. For eons of years men, women and children roamed the earth with their bare feet and slept and sat directly in contact with the earth’s surface. In extreme cold weathers they may have also wrapped conductive animal skin around their feet and under their bodies whilst they slept for extra warmth but the body was in contact directly with the earth’s energy for at least 80% of the time. Nowadays due to insulating shoes, raised beds, synthetic carpets in our homes and artificial carrying devices for children our human race is now directly connecting with the earth less than 1% of the time, 0.025% to be exact or just 10 minutes a month.

So why should this matter? Does your child like to run their hands along a brick wall whilst being pushed along in a buggy? Have you ever wondered why so many children ask to take their shoes off whilst outdoors? Have you ever noticed small babies chewing on the metal chain of a swing and wondered why they find it so appetising?

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The answer lies in the earth’s natural medicine that can bring health and happiness back to us all. The earth acts like a giant, constant, self regenerating battery, re-charged by lightning storms with a never-ending supply of free electrons also known as negative ions. For those of you who are scientifically minded check out this interesting study (http://electromagnetic-pollution.com/attachments/EFX_science_Ober_chronicInflammation1.pdf).If you’re confused then stay with me and I’ll break it down…

Our bodies are full of cells which all have an electrical charge to keep them functioning effectively. The movement of nutrients and water into and out of the cells is regulated by these electric fields. The atoms that make up our cells each have a pair of electrons whizzing round them in constant orbit. When our bodies are attacked by stressors such as electromagnetic pollution from mobile phone masts and domestic appliances, a process known as free radical damage takes place. Free radicals are solo electrons which want to pair up with a second electron; in the process they rob an electron from the next stable pair that they come across. To understand this better consider a single person running off with someone else’s partner and breaking up their relationship. This then results in a domino effect for surrounding coupled electrons. The single electron becomes unstable, without a partner, and in search of a new mate then steals off the next pair it comes across….quite the home wrecker!

This process is how inflammation and disease is created. “A build-up of free radicals over time will wreak havoc with your immunity by causing a cascade of cellular destruction; all because these little molecules are electrically unstable and require a ‘donation’ of an electron to stop the damage from continuing.” (http://www.bdlive.co.za/blogs/health/2013/05/29/earth-yourself-the-benefits-of-barefoot-healing)

Fortunately for us planet earth has created a way to help guard against the body’s damaging attack on itself. Much like plugs and electrical devices have a grounding wires to stop any interference in the signal occurring, we humans too have the ability to directly re-connect to the earth which provides us with a constant flow of free electrons. These free electrons act like speed daters; they will happily pair up and prevent those free radicals from interfering and breaking up the healthy relationships by donating them a flow of new partners to satisfy their pairing needs.

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The higher up from the earth we travel, the more positive charge we experience. This is often noticed as static charge in our hair or an electric shock when touching a door handle; something we experience more in the winter time when we are least connected to the earth and the air is artificially heated, creating friction and more positive charge. The earth has an abundant supply of negatively charged ions which neutralise the effect of electromagnetic pollution in the atmosphere around us.

Grounding or earthing is a process which not only aids in decreasing inflammation (which is the root to most disease) it also improves immune function and helps to regulate body temperature and circadian rhythms (sleep wake cycles). As a result, the more grounded you can become the better you sleep, the less cold you feel, the less you will ‘catch bugs’  and the less pain, inflammation and depression you experience.

The key to connecting back to this vital healing source is to allow yourself and your children to go barefoot on the earth and touch it  directly with the skin as much as possible. It’s important to realise that only natural materials conduct the earth’s free electrons, not man-made insulating materials.

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Natural Materials:

grass, mud, metal (unpainted), cotton, linen, bamboo, trees and plants, human and animal skin/hair (e.g. leather), glass and sand, marble, concrete, stones, tiles and brick, natural bodies of water such as lakes, sea, rivers and even running water coming directly on to the skin from taps and the shower through metal pipes.

Man-made synthetic materials which insulate and therefore do not conduct:

plastic, synthetic rubber (incl. souls of shoes and pushchair wheels), polyester and acrylic (clothing and fabrics), carpets, dead and treated wood (decking and flooring), tarmac, chemical coatings in paint, bath tub, lined paddling and swimming pools.

In addition to the numerous benefits of grounding, going barefoot also enables healthy development of the muscles in the feet and creates correct spinal alignment. If your child has collapsed arches or balance and postural problems one of the first things a chiropractor will encourage is to take off their shoes and give your child more barefoot time.

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Perhaps the biggest obstacle to achieving this may be the fear of your little one treading on something sharp or undesirable. My little one walks barefoot on seemingly sharp and rugged surfaces all the time including pebble beaches and wood chips; due to the lack of tension in his legs and body he does not feel pain like we adults might do. If you do still want them to have some layer of protection there are now leather moccasin slipper style shoes for ALL ages to give protection to the feet when the weather is dry/cold. Don’t forget that even these wont keep your kids grounded if they aren’t wearing natural cotton fibre socks underneath. (http://www.star-child.co.uk/)

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It can also be difficult to ground if you live in a particularly cold or wet climate; it’s much more appealing to take your shoes off and jump in a lake or the sea to have a grounding swim when it’s warm outside. The cheapest way to combat this is to encourage your kids to go climbing and touching the living trees more often, rolling in the grass and playing in the sand pits getting their hands dirty. For young babies you can wear them in a sling and through touching your skin and connecting to your electron flow they will also be grounding. At least 30 minutes a day of making direct contact with the earth can make a huge difference to your child’s health, try it and see for yourself!

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If you have a little more cash to splash there are some great products which allow you to sleep grounded in bed using a cotton and silver threaded sheet connected to the earthing prong in a plug socket. This increases your connection to the earth to nearly half of the time. There are also handy conductive grounding mats, also plugged in to a socket and are especially useful for putting under little feet whilst playing the computer or watching a film. (http://www.earthing.com/)

Next time your kids ask to take their shoes off instead of worrying about the dirt and the cold think of it as a nutritional supplement boost of free electrons which will help to calm, regulate, restore and re-balance them…..and after they’ve finished there’s always wet wipes for a quick and easy clean.

For more information on going barefoot and its benefits, read the book ‘Earthing’ by Clinton Ober.

Mental invitations, the real root of childhood illness

6 Jun

grumpsHave you ever noticed that your child becomes unwell during times of major changes, trauma and emotional stress? Maybe they’ve just started nursery, a new sibling has arrived or they’ve got a test coming up. Perhaps there’s an unwelcome visitor who creates feelings of awkwardness and judgement or an appointment coming up such as the dentist.

Disease has many triggers: poor nutrition, environmental allergens, lack of exercise and toxin overload; the real root cause to why the disease has manifested in a particular way may lie far deeper in the troubled mind.

Shamans and ancient healers have long believed that all dis-ease originates from disturbances in the mind/ psyche and they treat their patients through techniques such as chanting and invocations to access and ‘release’ the negative energies causing disruption.

Humans are energetical beings affected by everything around them that has its own energy field, even that which we cannot see or touch; whether it be mobile phone radiation or a domineering person exerting their forces of control.

Have you ever notice how some people uplift you and others make you feel drained and depleted? This is due to how our energy fields interact with others, some build your energy higher whilst others deplete it. If it becomes too depleted, disease will manifest in the body. As children are under the guidance and control of the adults surrounding them, the adults issues will have a direct affect on their well-being whether we accept it or not.

Below I have taken a selection of common childhood imbalances from Louise L. Hay’s book ‘You can heal your life’ and given their mental invitations/thoughts that have helped to manifest that particular illness.

Try not to discredit or take this information too personally; as the Buddhists teachings say, we all come here with our own karmas and the only certainty in life is that all humans will endure suffering at some level.

  • Accidents – Inability to speak up for the self. Rebellion against authority. Belief in violence.
  • Aches – Longing for love/to be held.
  • Allergies – Denying own power.
  • Anemia – Lack of joy. Fear of life. Feeling not good enough.
  • Adenoids – Family friction. Arguments. Child feeling unwelcome or in the way.
  • Anxiety – Not trusting the flow and process of life.
  • Asthma – Smother love. inability to breathe for oneself. Suppressed crying.
  • Baby asthma – Fear of life. Not wanting to be here.
  • Bedwetting – Fear of parent, often the father.
  • Childhood diseases – Childish behaviour in the adults around them.
  • Colds – Too much going on at once. Mental confusion.
  • Colic – Mental irritation. Impatience. Annoyance in the surroundings.
  • Pink-eye – Anger and frustration. Not wanting to see.
  • Eye problems – Not wanting to see what is going on in the family.
  • Earache – Anger. Not wanting to hear. Too much turmoil. Parents arguing.
  • Eczema – Breath-taking antagonism. Mental eruptions.
  • Fevers – Anger. Burning-up.
  • Overweight – Represents protection. hypersensitivity.
  • Hay fever – Emotional congestion. Guilt. A belief in persecution. A fear of the calendar.
  • Headaches – Invalidating the self. Self-criticism. Fear.
  • Infection – Irritation. Anger. Annoyance.
  • Inflammation – Fear. Seeing red. Inflamed thinking.
  • Influenza (Flu) – Response to mass negativity and beliefs. Fear
  • Jaundice – Internal and external prejudice. Unbalanced reason.
  • Motion sickness – Fear of not being in control.
  • Nail biting – Frustration. Eating away at the self. Spite of a parent.
  • Nose bleeds – A need for recognition. Feeling unwanted and unrecognised. Crying for love.
  • Polio – Paralysing jealousy, a desire to stop someone
  • Stuttering – Insecurity. Lack of self-expression. Not being allowed to cry.

(extracted from ‘You can heal your life’ by Louise L. Hay)

Only you can figure out how best to help your child once you have identified their emotional imbalances. The most important remedy is nearly always to bring back a sense of security and love in to the child’s life. Allow them to talk with someone who will act as a sound board rather than offering solutions and judgements on the issues.Make them feel loved, giving them quality time and showing affection through physical affection, no matter what their age.

Sometimes a bit of TLC along with offloading their emotional baggage in a safe space is all kids need in order to feel heard and understood and begin to heal.

Don’t cut the cord: A lotus, free birth story

3 Jun

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The words ‘natural birth’ often conjure up images of a relaxed home birth with a birthing pool, homeopathic remedies and few interventions from midwives, sometimes even a doula is present. To me natural birth means a whole lot more than just birthing in the comfort of your own home without forceps and drugs.

To truly understand how nature intended women to give birth we must look to the wild animals who are untouched by man. When animals are near the end of their pregnancy they instinctively know when to retreat and allow their offspring a safe passage into the outside world. They choose a quiet and peaceful place without too much stimulation from light or noise and begin their labor alone. Nothing else intervenes for this would cause the mother stress, contracting her birthing muscles which must remain relaxed in order for the labor to progress successfully. Once the offspring have arrived there is no weighing, measuring or wrapping in blankets; the young mammals simply find their way to the breast to suckle and to connect to the vital touch of the mother’s skin who will help regulate their body temperature and provide a feeling of safety and comfort. This closeness with a familiar smell and touch also provides a much-needed buffer against the shock of the transition from a warm, dark and quiet womb to a harshly over stimulating outside world.

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The placenta is the baby’s life source delivering oxygen, food and also expelling waste for a lengthy nine months in most cases. It has grown with the baby, constantly present. Even after birth the placenta continues pumping oxygen to the baby for at least five whole minutes whilst the baby learns to transition to breathing fully with it’s lungs. For as long as the cord pulses, not only oxygen but also other precious nutrients such as iron and stem cells are also being delivered to the baby’s stores, providing an optimal chance for survival and growth.

When we clamp and cut the cord too soon we risk loosing this precious fluid and gas exchange. Some wild animals such as our closest relatives, the chimpanzees must know this instinctively as most of them continue to carry around the placenta with the cord attached to their babies until it naturally drops off and is returned to the earth; what we otherwise refer to as a ‘lotus birth’.  Other animals do chew the cord off shortly after birth but as a vegan this option did not appeal to me.

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Just recently there has been much concern amongst the medical profession of Obstetricians regarding the potential danger of cord non-severance possibility of causing Septicemia. Interestingly even though this subject is talked about with much concern there does not exist any evidence/cases of actual Septicemia or deaths of newborns caused by a mother opting not to sever the cord. There does however, exist many cases of Septicemia in instances of cord severance.

The physical benefits of not cutting the cord include optimum immune protection and reduced risk of infection as no open wound is created. Other benefits are, in my opinion, of a more spiritual nature.

I decided to opt for an unassisted birth without any intervention. I felt strongly to allow my baby to be born at the exact time and in the way that I felt most comfortable. Even though I had emergency numbers on hand, I chose not to have any midwives or medical professionals present as I felt I could not trust them to respect my wishes and follow through on my birth plan. After hearing numerous stories from other women who had birthed with the medical profession I did not feel reassured that I would be fully supported. For these reasons I chose to only have my husband present at the birth.

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We adopted a child-led parenting approach to raise Ulysses, which allows the child to take more control of what happens in their life. Child-led parenting involves raising the child with freedom alongside guidance, without force and punishment. In allowing children to take life at their own pace they learn to trust their own instincts and develop a set of morals and values based on their own experiences rather than the parents interpretation of the world. Such practices as baby-led weaning, non-violent communication and unstructured play form part of a non-forceful approach, much like lotus birthing where the baby’s body decides when to let go of the placenta rather than a third-party.

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Growing up as a conventionally parented child I often felt a sense of powerlessness that in turn created a dependency on others and lack of self-confidence. Natural birth and child-led parenting provides ways you can show the most precious person in your life that you respect, trust and honor their innate wisdom.

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The lotus flower is a symbol most widely recognized from India. Many times I get asked from where does lotus birth originate? I am not entirely sure how it became named, but I would guess it has something to do with the placenta resembling the flower. If you have ever observed a placenta with the cord attached it has a beautiful network of veins running through it as the leaves on a flower have, the cord also bears resemblance to the stem.

Central to all spiritual paths is the concept of ‘letting go’; everything in nature takes its cycle and in it’s own time transforms into the next phase. Just as the mother’s body knows instinctively to release the placenta after it has received the chemical messages released from the baby suckling on the breast, so does the baby’s body know exactly when to release the cord from it’s point of attachment without any intervention.

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During my lotus birth, a lovely six-day period of bonding and closeness was established. We washed and wrapped the placenta everyday to keep it clean and placed it in a waterproof pouch. As the placenta did not release until five hours after the birth this provided for a special bonding period in a close embrace, without separation. During this vital period of bonding between us I felt strongly that it was important that no one else take the baby away and having the placenta still attached to the cord helped to ensure this.

Shortly after the birth, the cord dried quickly into the texture of an electric cable. During the nights we slept with the baby on the bed and the placenta was placed next to the bed. Transporting the placenta with baby around the house was made convenient by using a stretchy wrap, which had a pocket in the front to hold the placenta.

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After six days of healing and bonding we woke up one morning to find baby Ulysses had gripped hold of the cord and detached it by himself, leaving a neat and healthy looking belly button. For the 6 days the placenta was still attached he was very peaceful and slept extremely well. Due to the damp environment where we lived and also choosing to wrap plastic around the cloth, the placenta did not dry out as well as it should have and did leave a musty smell for the last few days however, as the cord had already sealed off and we kept the rooms well aired, I didn’t feel this posed any threat to Ulysses. Despite the minor inconvenience of learning to maneuver around the cord for 6 days and dealing with the cleaning of the placenta I feel the potential benefits of lotus birthing far outweigh any cons and will definitely be having a lotus birth for my next child. With regards to the unassisted part of the birth I’d like to say most likely yes.

In cultures where they maintain their placenta after cutting the cord, a tradition exists for the placenta to be buried to the right side of the front door for a male and the left side for a female. We lived in a block of flats at the time so did not have this option and decided we much preferred the idea of returning the placenta back to the land through the sea rather than burying it. As we love to travel, the sea is a symbol of adventure and freedom, a life I hope Ulysses has the opportunity to experience.

Natural language learning: simple ways to help your child become bilingual

17 Mar

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Not many parents out there would be against their child Growing up bilingual. Did you know that the best time to learn another language is alongside the first language and that the brain at the age of <18 months is perfectly capable of processing more than one language without confusion?

What a great talent to add to your child’s repertoire with many bonuses such as  making them more culturally sociable both at home and abroad and making them more attractive in the work place later on in life. Furthermore, studies have now shown that bilingual children have increased attention and cognition abilities.

(http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/radical-teaching/201211/bilingual-brains-smarter-faster)

Children and adults alike ideally need immersion in the language for more than just a few hours every week in order to become fluent and competent in their speaking abilities.

Here are some simple tips which you can integrate into everyday life to help your child pick up another language without having to move away to a whole different country:

  • If you intend on sending your child to an educational establishment or childcare facility, look for the ones which provide more than just one or two language sessions per week and last less than a few hours in total. In many places more and more opportunities are popping up to gain greater immersion. Where I live in East Sussex there is now a bilingual spanish and english playgroup for toddlers, a bilingual nursery and even a bilingual government-run school. In these establishments at least half the curriculum/activities of the day are conducted in the foreign language. bilingual school
  • If you choose to home educate your child you can always hire some home help in the form of a native speaking cleaner or nanny to increase your child’s exposure to the language and ask that they only speak with the child in their language. If living on a tight budget remember that once your child turns 3 years old you can use child care vouchers to pay ofsted registered child care and some childminders will come and work from your home.
  • If your child likes screen time, pick the foreign language option on dvds, type in your child’s favourite programmes in to youtube alongside the name of the language in it’s mother tongue e.g. ‘Mickey Mouse francais’. This is how many European kids end up becoming so proficient in English.youtubeicon
  • Make friends with people who live near you and are native speaking so you can provide play date opportunities for the kids to hear both languages simultaneously.

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  • Play music in your chosen language, dance and sing. Songs are often the most affective way to learn and store new information in the brain.

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  • Buy or loan from your local library some dual language reading books to get them use to seeing the language as well as speaking and hearing it at the same time. Popular titles such as “Walking in the jungle” come in many dual language options.

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  • Finally, learn the language alongside your child so you are able to recognise and reinforce just as you do with teaching them English. You do not have to be fluent to do this with a young child. Connect to the internet to start learning the basics for free today http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/