Here’s how these conversations usually begin:
“My son has been home so much this September. He keeps getting this stomach bug.”
“My daughter had that twice, too.”
“My son got Strep. He gets it every September.”
The way we speak about these “bugs” contains a lack of awareness and a lack of power. We are not the victim of these arbitrary bugs running around and hitting a percentage of the population. These bugs are not hovering over us playing “duck duck, goose” and the the goose gets it. We have so much more to say over the condition of our health than we take credit for. As mothers, it is our gift to our children to empower them about their bodies and health rather than to take their healing power away with our words and actions. We empower our children when we teach them to listen to their bodies, to treat their bodies well, to trust their bodies, and to build their health.
What is “Being Healthy?”
One of the guiding principles of chiropractic and other traditional healing systems is the interconnection of all things. Each of us is an inseparable part of an infinite field of intelligence, and in this very moment, with every breath, we are exchanging millions of atoms with people all over the world. From this holistic perspective, health isn’t merely “getting the bug” or “not getting the bug.” Health is not merely having a symptom-free life. Health is a higher state of consciousness that allows adaptability, vitality, and joy to flow into our experience of the world.
We are healthy when we take in all life’s stimulus and adapt this information for our own betterment, eliminating the stimulus that doesn’t work for our system. This is very similar to the digestion process of the body. We are healthy when we take in what we need for our bodies’ improvement and eliminate what we do not need. We are our most healthy in our jobs, families, and relationships, when we take in the things that our body, mind and spirit need in order to be nourished and grow, and simply let go of what is not helpful.
Why Do We Get Sick?
Illness can develop when there is a disruption ― a blockage in the flow of energy and information in our bodymind. I deliberately use the word bodymind, as we tend to think of emotions as separate from our body’s experience. But most of us KNOW this to not be true when we feel afraid or sad, or anxious. Our energy changes drastically. Our heart rate increases, our pupils dilate and our breathing changes. The body secretes hormones that change our muscle tone. Our bodies feel our feelings. Sickness can often occur when our bodymind experiences a disruption in the flow of intelligence. In the office I describe this experience as being similar to blowing a fuse. We have all had days when we have felt like we blew a fuse or two!
Symptoms and sickness are the body’s “check engine light,” letting us know that we need to stop, “pull over in the rest stop of life,” and look within. Symptoms can allow us to become more aware of how our engine is working. Then, we can eliminate whatever is causing the blockages to our best expression, and repair ourselves, to bring the healthy flow of intelligence back to the body.
The intention of the founders of chiropractic was to help people find freedom from the burdens of ill health so that they could fulfill their deepest spiritual potential. This is true of other healing traditions such as Acupuncture, Ayurvedic Medicine, Reiki and Massage to name a few. These healing traditions emphasize our ability to influence our own health through our choices of food, people with whom we surround ourselves, our attitudes and beliefs. These ancient teachings repeatedly remind us that we are the only creatures on the planet (from our current understanding) who can CHANGE OUR BIOLOGY through our thoughts, feelings and intent.
What can we DO differently for our children?
Start by pretending that your relationship to your body and your child’s to theirs responds to the same principles of all the relationship experts:
1. Listen to your body through quiet contemplation or meditation.
2. Respect its needs. Water, rest, good food, good people, good thoughts.
3. Focus on what is RIGHT with your body, not emphasizing what you see as wrong.
4. Trust your body. It can heal. Do you lead the relationship with Fear or with Trust?
As you apply these ideas and become more nurturing towards your body (and your child towards theirs), you will be giving them a life-long tool, putting them in charge of their own body, mind, heart and spirit. We do not want our young children to feel the victim to life’s stresses and turn to drugs in their teens — so let’s not set up the pattern for that now. Let’s embody and teach trust and self reliance in little steps to build their confidence as they grow.
On days when they are over stimulated and surrounded by life’s insanities, they can transcend through these tools you will have embedded in their system and create lives filled with self reliance, wellbeing, happiness, and love.