What has happened to our children? Have you noticed that in a world where children are overmedicated, they aren’t as resilient and healthy as they used to be? Parents are desperate to find another way! Nature’s Child provides a comprehensive natural approach to managing children’s health issues using safe, holistic remedies while learning how to strengthen the immune system.
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Good Health is Natural
Health is a natural part of life. The body was created perfectly and has an innate intelligence to stay in balance, working very hard every second to do so. We function best when there is a balance of proper foods, exercise, and serenity. A perfect example of this is the people who live in the "blue zones" of the world, which are areas where people live the longest and are the healthiest. These people live to be well over the age of 100, are the farthest from health care, have no symptoms, and live in underdeveloped areas. These people live in harmony with each other, the environment, and enjoy life and their good health.
So why in the richest and most developed country in the world do we focus on illness and disease rather than wellness? Last year we spent 3.8 trillion dollars on health care alone. Obviously, there is a health crisis, but why? It has become common to talk about our symptoms and compare who has more symptoms and who is worse off. We focus on the disease and manage it through the use of drugs and surgery in order to "fix" the body. When we relieve symptoms by taking medications or performing surgery to remove something, we are often only compounding the problem rather than looking at what caused the problem to begin with. Wellness focuses on keeping the body in balance so that the "cause" of the problem does not get to the point where symptoms appear.
Your Body Is Always Talking
Our body has an innate intelligence and will do anything to survive. One of the laws of the universe is "cause and effect." Our body, too, follows this law and will respond accordingly to whatever happens to it. In natural health, there is a law about how the body heals itself, which is called the "Herrings Law of Cure." This law states that the body heals from the inside out, top down, and in the reverse order that symptoms occur. What? Sounds crazy, but think about it. Your body is this amazing, complex machine that is always trying to tell you a story about how it is doing, whether it's good or bad. A symptom is a story the body is trying to tell. For example, if your child has eczema, the body is telling a story that the skin is inflamed and toxins are trying to get out, which then causes a rash and alerts you there is something out of balance. Does the skin need a cream that will drive the eczema in deeper, or is there something that the child is eating that is an irritant and causing a rash, or is there an imbalance in the bacteria of the digestive system? These are the questions we need to be asking rather than trying to just relieve symptoms.
A great example of this is a little two-year-old boy named Wyatt. Wyatt was assigned to me because he had behavioral issues caused by possible sensory processing problems. After meeting Wyatt and his mother, I found out that he was born with eczema from head to toe, had twelve different food allergies, and his mother was on antibiotics throughout the entire pregnancy due to a liver problem she was experiencing. His mother said Wyatt was moody, did not sleep, and hated to be dressed or bathed. After looking at him, I couldn't blame him. Wyatt had open, weeping sores from head to toe. He appeared to be in pain with every movement he made. I realized then that he did not have a sensory problem; he had a "gut" problem. I explained to his mother that he probably did not have enough "good" bacteria in his digestive system, but rather had too much of the "bad" bacteria. This was causing food to leak into his bloodstream, which in turn caused his entire body to be inflamed. The eczema was a way the body was trying to push the toxins out. Wyatt started on a probiotic to help balance out the "gut" with good bacteria. When I came back two weeks later, his mother reported he was happier, sleeping through the night, and bathing became so much better. After four weeks, his eczema was almost gone. He was retested for food allergies, which decreased from twelve to only three allergies. His mother reported that she had no idea she had been so stressed, until the stress went away and she had a happy, playful toddler.
This is why I am so passionate about what I do. Could it be as simple as if you eat healthy food and take care of your body emotionally, physically, and spiritually then your body will perform naturally to its potential? You bet. My 83-year-old mother is a prime example. My mother is on no medications, is active, feels great most of the time, and always tells me how frustrated she is with all of her friends who are so sick, but will not listen to her. Was she always this healthy? No. In fact, she has only felt this good in the past five years after she quit smoking, drinking, and eating processed foods. Her transformation has been amazing to experience, and I tell her all the time how she keeps getting better. Even at 78 years old, the body can heal itself.
On the other hand, if we eat bad foods, abuse our body with toxins, and are emotionally and spiritually depleted, then our body will (over time) become ill. Symptoms are a good thing, because they are the body's way of trying to get your attention to say, "you've pushed me too far and I'm out of balance." Symptoms, can be compared to the warning light that goes on in your car when something is wrong. Patterns of symptoms make up what we call disease and are a response that the body is adapting its function to survive. In other words, "we rob Peter to pay Paul," if you're old enough like me to remember this phrase. This means the body will rob nutrients from one part of the body to compensate for another part of the body that isn't getting what it needs. If we continue this pattern over time, our body starts to break down and the disease process will take over. Our society has come to believe that we are a "victim" of our body and that we have no control over what symptoms or disease we have. We blame heredity and bad luck on what illness we might manifest. Heredity does play a role in what markers of a disease we might have, but it is up to us to what extent we push the body out of balance as to whether we manifest a disease or not. Your genes do not dictate whether you get sick or not. We are responsible for our own health. We live and die at the cellular level, and we cannot be healthy if our cells are living in a sick environment. The food and the lifestyle we fuel our body with today, dictates how healthy we will be in the following years.
So, the next time your child gets another ear infection and the doctor recommends antibiotics for the tenth time, are you going to think, "ear infections run in my family" or could you ask, "is there possibly something causing the ear infections that I should look at?" Remember, symptoms are the clues or the warning light telling us what is out of balance in the body. This is why I am so passionate about starting our kids out with a good nutritional base so as they navigate this crazy toxic world, they have the foundation to fight off disease and live up to their potential.
Germs - Good Guys or Bad Guys?
Kids are messy. They touch everything in sight, especially when they are little. They are one giant GERM carrier, infecting everyone they come in contact with. Is this true or false? Are germs the problem? Is this the reason our children are so sick? I used to think this was the case, until I learned about this amazing thing called the immune system.
So what is the immune system? Our immune system is comprised of the thymus gland, tonsils, appendix, and other organs including the digestive system that protect us from outside invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, that attempt to take over so they can live and multiply. The digestive system is lined with protective bacteria or "flora" that keep us protected from these invaders by providing a barrier to the internal world. This is why the digestive system is our first line of defense for the immune system. The digestive system is coated with these protective, healthy bacteria, so that no invaders such as bacteria or viruses can easily get into the bloodstream, and make us sick. I often get the question, "What herb is the best for preventing colds and flu?" No herb is best. A probiotic (good bacteria or flora), which will protect the lining of the gut wall, is the best way to make sure viruses and bacteria do not enter the bloodstream and weaken the rest of the body. I'll be getting into more detail about probiotics later but in general, probiotics are healthy bacteria that live and grow in the body and when there isn't enough of these healthy bacteria then the bad or unhealthy bacteria are left to grow and cause the body to become out of balance. In fact, 70 percent of our immune system resides in our "gut," so building up the gut wall is far more effective than taking an herb to improve immunity.
Have you ever noticed how obsessed our society is with germs? There is antibacterial everything, from hand cleansers to soaps to shampoos. So why with a country obsessed with cleanliness do we have so many sick people? Believe it or not, our obsession to avoid germs has actually caused us to get sick more. Sounds crazy, but the truth is our immune system wants to work. In order to work, it has to come in contact with everyday common bacteria in order to get stronger. Germs are nothing more than microorganisms. Bacteria or viruses are not responsible for getting us sick, but only look for a suitable "host" to set up house so they can grow and multiply. When the body defenses or immune system are weakened, then germs find it easier to live and grow. However, when our immune system is strong, then it makes it more difficult for these germs to grow because the environment conducive to their growth is not available.
So what causes our immune system to be weakened so that germs can live and thrive? High stress levels, fatigue, poor food quality, lack of movement, and trauma are the big ones. Over time, the body tries to fight back and accommodate. When these factors are continuous, then our 100 trillion cells become weak and germs take over; therefore, we live and die at the cellular level. Such things as trauma are immediate and cause the immune system to take immediate action, whereas allergies or asthma are a result of an overburdened immune system in overdrive now causing symptoms such as inflammation, which then leads to mucous and other symptoms. When this happens, most people will seek out medications for relief of symptoms. This is where the vicious cycle begins. Medications help to relieve the initial symptoms. Over time, medications will compromise the immune system, which often leads to a new set of symptoms that leads to a new medication. Antibiotics are an example of a medication that gets the immune system off track. A typical scenario I see with the kids I work with is a child gets an ear infection and then takes antibiotics. This initially gets rid of the bad bacteria however antibiotics take out both the good and bad bacteria. The ear infection is now gone but the "good," or protective bacteria has been wiped out, leaving the stronger, "bad" bacteria to proliferate and grow. This stronger, "bad" bacteria then causes the breakdown of the gut lining, which leads to a weaker immune system because now the gut lining which was a barrier is broken down and viruses or other unwanted bacteria slip into the bloodstream through this broken down "gut" wall. The child continues to catch more and more viruses because the immune system is now weakened and the germs have now moved in permanently. This, in turn, leads to more antibiotics, and the vicious cycle continues. These kids never seem to get well and often end up with digestive or gut issues due to so many antibiotics, which damage the gut lining and lead to food sensitivities and other health-related issues.
So, am I saying antibiotics are bad and should not be used with treating illness? No, but maybe asking a better question when your child has an ear infection would help prevent this antibiotic roller coaster. Could there be a food intolerance that is causing the ear infection or inflammation in the first place? What about the "good" bacteria that has been stripped away? Maybe there is another strategy that could help with ear infections such as chiropractic care, probiotics, or herbal eardrops to counter the bacteria. At the end of the book, there is a section on specific childhood ailments and a variety of natural strategies are suggested for each issue that can be used instead of only using antibiotics to combat illness.
Could it be a balancing act between building the body up with nutrient dense foods, proper rest, movement, and feelings of well being, while at the same time cleansing the body of toxins that overload the liver and kidneys? I believe it's a balancing act between building and cleansing the body so that the body continually maintains that homeostasis in order to ultimately aid in "healing itself."
The Body Burden - Is Your Bathtub Full?
With more than 80,000 chemicals on the market, it's not surprising that most babies are born with over 400 different chemicals in the umbilical cord blood. These babies are polluted even before they take their first breath. In order for the body to function optimally, it must be able to detoxify or get rid of the constant toxins it comes in contact with every day. So what happens when the toxic load is more than the body can handle? This is known as the "body burden" and happens when the liver and kidneys are so overburdened with an excessive amount of toxins. Instead of getting rid of these unwanted toxins through the elimination organs (i.e., Bowels, urinary tract, lungs, lymph, skin), it has to recirculate the toxins within the body, often compromising the immune system and weakening tissues and organs, causing a person to become sick.
So what is the "body burden"? It basically means, how full is your bathtub with dirty water? What? Visualize this, when we are born we come in with a certain amount of toxins, passed down from our birth mothers, which have accumulated in our organs and tissues. If the mother has a heavy "body burden" or toxic level, from a life time of ongoing stress, and a unhealthy lifestyle, then that is passed down to the child. So let's say the child comes into the world with a bathtub half full of toxins, then he/she has only half the ability to deal with the toxins coming in to his/her own liver and kidneys.
Detoxification and cleansing were not talked about 20 years ago, because this is a natural function of the body. Now, because we are all so full of toxins from our toxic environment, our detoxification organs need extra help just to stay well. Detoxification means improving your body's ability to get rid of toxins and minimizing your exposure to them. Our body is constantly eliminating or detoxifying through our detoxification organs, which include our digestive system, liver, kidneys, skin, lungs, and lymph system. If any one of these channels of elimination is blocked, then toxins build up causing illness or disease.
Elimination - The Cleansing Process
What are these channels of elimination? I learned from my naturopath studies, they are called "The Bulls." This stands for: Bowels, Urinary, Lungs, Lymph and Skin. "The Bulls" are a primary component ofwellness. No matter ifyou are an infant or 100 years old, they contribute to whether we are well or sick. If your body is unable to get rid of waste from any one of these five systems, poisons back up and the disease process begins. So let's take a closer look at each of these elimination processes.
Bowel - Our bowel or large intestine is our primary organ for eliminating waste. It is part of the digestive system, which is considered to be the "hub of the body" since every toxin comes through this system first. If we do not have a bowel movement one to two times a day, if it isn't formed like a soft banana and if it has an overpowering pungent smell, then we have a channel of elimination that is blocked, causing toxins to build up in the blood. The liver, which is also part of the digestive system, is the body's primary detox organ and is responsible for over 5,000 processes in the body. The liver filters toxins and dumps them into the digestive system to be eliminated. If there are too many toxins for the liver to filter out or if the bowels are not eliminating properly, then toxins will accumulate throughout the body. Many toxins are stored in the organs or tissues of the body, causing chronic inflammation, which is then linked to such illnesses as allergies, asthma, arthritis, and other health issues.
Urinary System - The kidneys are our primary organs for filtering the blood. This filtration system is very complicated, but the end result is excretion of urine. When toxins build up in the urinary system, urine will often be a darker yellow, cloudy, or have a pungent odor. Urine should be clear, look like the color of white wine, and have very little smell. Many people are chronically dehydrated, which is often indicated by the dark color of urine and a pungent smell. These symptoms may be indicative of an infection or the body functioning at an acidic pH (this will be discussed later). Water plays a key role in the detoxification process and is important in keeping the blood clean and kidneys from being overburdened.
Excerpted from "Nature's Child"
Copyright © 2017 Paula J Johnson, ND, OTR.
Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
PART ONE - CHAPTER 1 - GOOD HEALTH IS NATURAL, 1,
CHAPTER 2 - THE BODY BURDEN - IS YOUR BATHTUB FULL?, 9,
CHAPTER 3 - BUILDING YOUR KID'S TANK - BUILDING KIDS UP NATURALLY, 23,
CHAPTER 4 - THE NATURAL FIRST AIDE KIT, 37,
PART TWO - HEALTH CONDITIONS OF BABIES & TODDLERS, 51,
Colds & Flu, 61,
Cradle Cap, 67,
Cuts And Bruises, 69,
Diaper Rash, 71,
Ear Infections, 75,
Emotional Stress, 79,
Food Intolerances/Sensitivities, 81,
GERD (Gastric Esophageal Reflux Disease), 83,
Immunization Related Reactions, 85,
Insect Bites/Stings, 87,
Self-Regulation/Sensory Processing, 89,
Sleep Problems, 91,
RESOURCES and FURTHER READING, 97,