Our Children actually become programmed for the stress response as early as in the womb. Mother’s adrenalin levels affect the fetuses and brain development.
Our children are highly sensitive to the emotions of their caretakers, parents, family and friends. Children can be even more sensitive to fears and tensions around them because adults often become numb to their own level of anxiety.
Helping children survive in today’s world means more than providing them with shelter, food, clothing and an education. We need to help them develop early coping mechanisms and strategies to facilitate brain development and health bodies. We need to teach them about their bodies’ reactions to stress and joy and give them tools to flourish in the midst of all that life presents their way.
Because adults often become “numb” to stress and their own body’s reaction to stress, it is extremely helpful to take a moment to think about seeing life through our children’s eyes. Children, energetically, are like little sponges. As infants and toddlers are developing and learning about life, their body, mind and spirit are collecting data moment by moment, consciously and unconsciously. They are energetically reading everything and anything. Since their central nervous system and brain are still developing and integrating, they have not yet developed energetic organization or barriers to stress.
They take in everything and their little energy and nervous systems can very easily be overwhelmed, shut down or become fragmented.
You are the main energy environment of your child. How you feel is how the child feels plus his or her own responses to your emotions… so children get double stress from parents.
1). Take care of yourself– One of the best ways to assist children in learning to take care of themselves is to take care of yourself. When children see their parents consciously doing energy exercises, using centering techniques, setting boundaries in their lives, taking walks, going to yoga classes, getting massages, Healing Touch or Reiki or body centered therapies, etc., they begin to learn and feel through their parent’s energies, ways and methods of calming themselves.
2). Drink more water– A second great tool to teach children at an early age is the value of drinking good water. Water is one of the most important and abundant inorganic substances in the body. It makes up over approximately 70-80% of our bodies. Water comprises more of the brain than any other organ of the body; muscles and kidney function are extremely dependent on water. Water assists with electrical activity within the brain, distribution of oxygen and assimilation of nutrition. During stressful times, which could be daily life for most families, children and adults need two to three times the normal water intake.
Carbonated beverages, chocolate, alcohol, caffeine and even fruit juices “work” the body and are harder to process. Fruit juices are often high in sugar and salts which bind the water in the body; then the body must pull water from the other parts of the body to form digestive juices to break down and separate the water from the sugars and salts.
3). Teach your children to be aware as they are breathing– Use Energy Medicine, Brain Gym, Jin Shin Tara, etc., or energy modalities as First Aide or Soothing Tools for the whole family.
With the popularity of quantum physics, neuroscience and kinesiology, our world has the science and research to back up the energy therapies and make them readily accessible to everyone. No longer the avenue of shaman and mystics and new agers, Energy Medicine principles and practices can be taught to everyone including our children.
Energetic Calming Techniques:
Free the Diaphragm– Children love this exercise. They love to see how long they can hold their breaths… and they are calming themselves and slowing their metabolic rate.
a). Place your left hand under the center of your rib cage and place your right hand on top of it. Pull your elbows close to your body as if you are hugging your midsection.
b). Inhale deeply and push your belly against your hands while you are pressing your hands against your body. Hold your breath and push hard.
c). Release your breath naturally, along with your hands. Relax and repeat 3 times.
d). Now cross your arms over your navel at the waist. Spread your fingers. On the in breath, feel your diaphragm expand. On the out breath, pull or rake your fingers across your waist to your navel with pressure. Repeat several times. Shake off hands when completed.
Scissor your legs– Children often do this energy exercise spontaneously. Crossing the body’s midline, crosses energies from one side of the body and brain to the other, while aligning hips, spine and nervous system and brain. It is also a great exercise for circulation and hyperactivity.
a). Begin by lying on your stomach with your chin cupped in your hands, knees apart and legs bent upward.
b). Drop your feet outward, then bring them towards each other, crossing them like a pair of scissors. Alternate which legs crosses in front or behind. Do 20-30 times.
Hold the frontal neurovascular points– You can reprogram your child’s autonomic nervous system to a crisis response by training the nervous system to keep the blood in the front of the brain. This simple technique can be used on anyone to bring greater peace of mind, improve memory, calm headaches, prepare for sleep, relieve neck pain or jaw tension.
a). Lightly place your finger tips on your infant’s or child’s forehead. You could also use your palm across the forehead. Thumbs on the temples next to the eyes. Be sure you are breathing deeply and calmly while doing this.
b). As the blood returns to the forebrain in the next few minutes, you will begin to feel gentle pulses. Keep your hands or fingers in this position until pulses are smooth, rhythmic and calm.
Everyone loves this exercise and children also love to give back to the parents and explore feeling your head pulses. Enjoy these exercises with your family.
If you are interested in additional information on Energetic First Aide for families refer to the following websites.
Brain Gym: www.braingym.com
Jin Shin Tara: www.tara-approach.org
Donna Eden Medicine: www.innersource.net
Healing Touch: www.healingtouch.net
Colleen Haney has a unique perspective as a former university instructor, researcher, speech pathologist/communication specialist, energy healer and non-denominational minister. Utilizing an eclectic approach blending mind, science, body and spirit services are individualized for each client’s needs in a safe, calm and loving environment.