Growing Pains Are Not Just For Kids

Recently, I was meeting with another additional needs parent and we were catching up on each other’s lives. She was telling me about her life’s challenges. When I shared with her my perspective, that she was going through some growing pains it gave her a new appreciation and lighter perspective.

When we think of growing pains we think of it as something a young child or an adolescent experience. We never stop and think as adults that we would be going through growing pains. What comes with growing pains is discomfort. Children and adolescents experience their bones elongating, their muscles and ligaments stretching hormones changing and emotional imbalance as their bodies are shifting. There’s an awkward clumsiness that also comes along with these growing pains because there’s an adjustment period that happens to and for all individuals as they adjust to their new height.

Just the same happens for adults. It’s different because it’s not physical, but rather emotional, psychological and spiritual and oftentimes all at once. We know we are going through growing pains as an adult when we are presented a situation in which our status quo is no longer acceptable. That in order to proceed or move ahead, we need to change our behavior, our attitude or the way that we relate to others and/or to ourselves. This realization creates discomfort for us because sometimes we don’t know what it is that we’re supposed to shift towards. We don’t know how to relate and it is in that trepidation, in that unknowing, that we are experiencing our own growing pain. Hence we experience our own emotional instability and awkwardness.

Here’s how I’ve gotten through those moments. I recognize that in the times that everything is smooth going it is easy and enjoyable. It allows me to rest and it allows me to digest life. And then come those uncomfortable moments where I realize I am struggling. During those times I have to reflect back to the moments of ease. I realize that in order to enjoy the sweetness of life, there needs to be some sour. Truly when reflecting, think about it, we are never proud of ourselves for those moments when it’s smooth sailing. When we reflect back to the moments that we are most proud of ourselves, it is always in those moments that we didn’t know how we would make it. During these tumultuous times we feel unstable or uncertain in either ourselves, or our surroundings or both and we are consistently trying to find our balance. These are our growth spurts that when we reflect upon them, provide us much nourishment in the form of love and pride for ourselves and those around us.

Please, when experiencing your next growth spurt, recognize and embrace it. Although it may feel rather difficult, remember my favorite phrase: this too shall pass!

Vagus Nerve: De-Stressing Children and Adults Alike

As a practitioner and as a parent of an additional needs child, my personal life experiences affect my professional and vice versa. One most enlightening effect of having my son, who was quite sensitive to certain noises or fearful of certain states was that I had to look for a solution to ease his system so that he could self-regulate. I learned intuitively and through practicing that I could balance my son using biofeedback to activate and balance his vagus nerve. What transpired was amazing. He was able not to just tolerate but still soothe and transition his focus back to what he was doing instead of focusing on barking dogs, for instance.

Balancing Fear and Over-sensitivities through Vagus Nerve

Using this information I quickly started applying my knowledge on my clients. They calmed quicker. Anxiety reduced, digestion improved. Why, you ask? Because the vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve and it is our longest winding nerve affecting heart rate, breathing and because it wraps around most of the organs it therefore affects our digestion.

When we have a stress response, like my son to the sound of a dog barking, we choose to go into fight or flight or stress and digest depending on how “balanced” we feel. When we are more balanced and less stressed, it is easier to respond. However, when life circumstances that are out of our control happen, like #covid-19, loss of a loved one, etcetera stress ensues. This puts us back into fight and flight, making us more reactive. Even as adults, things that we could handle before re-trigger us along with new triggers and we become overly sensitive. This oversensitivity expresses itself either as anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, allergic reactions, and or digestive issues.

Adults and children alike respond to having their vagus nerve stimulated and balanced. Working on the vagus nerve through biofeedback returns their bodies back into the rest and digest state. Adult clients and parents of children I have worked on have commented that they or their children have noticeably become less reactive, that they pause and respond instead. Mood even elevates, becoming calmer, even happier.

There are ways of easing yourself from stress. Biofeedback has helped our family and my clients do that.

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Basil Combats Cold and Flu Symptoms

It’s flu season, and we all have to do all we can to remain healthy. My husband and I choose not to get vaccinated or to vaccinate our son. It’s our choice, and choose that because by the time that the flu vaccine is administered to us, it may or may not be made of the strain that is affecting the U.S. and is made with thimerosal, a Mercury based derivative.
When I first heard of Basil essential oil I didn’t quite understand the attraction anyonewould have to using it. Every time I thought of it all I associated it with was a good Italian sauce, marinara etc.

“There are many benefits of basil essential oil (including the improvement in the following conditions): (1)

  1.  acne                       5. colds                                   9. increase alertness                       13. indigestion
  2.  anxiety                   6. improve digestion               10. fatigue                                        14. sinusitus
  3.  enhance mood       7. coughs                                11. gout
  4. bronchitis colds       8. depression                         12.   soothe muscle aches 

Within the last two weeks both my son and I have needed basil essential oils for different reasons. I happen to be quite sensitive around this time of year due to red tide. It doesn’t matter if it is not directly in our county, it matters that it is around us and I go into respiratory distress, especially at night. I had the most difficult time breathing the other night and needed help. I asked my lovely husband to rub carrier oil with a couple drops of basil essential oil on my back in the lung area and within minutes we both noticed a difference. I was breathing clearer and he even commented on how the scent forces you to breathe! I was able to fall asleep and breathe easily through the night.

Our son came home from school run down and ended up going to bed early. He awoke in the middle of the night and after hearing his raspy voice and raspy breathing, I immediately grabbed the basil essential oil. I rubbed it on his throat that was hurting, his back, chest and feet. Because he was having difficulty falling asleep again I rubbed Frankincense essential oil down his spine(think central nervous system) and within minutes not only was he breathing easily, he had fallen asleep. When he awoke in the morning, no one would have known that he had respiratory distress just 4 hours earlier! When asked, he said his throat no longer hurt. I happened to speak with his teacher the next day, who was so impressed on commented how much work he got out of Jack due to his alertness and calmness.
A year and a half ago, Jack was suffering from recurrent ear infections, three almost back to back. It was recommended to us, by someone selling essential oils, to put basil and melaleuca (tea tree oil) on a cotton ball and insert into our son’s ear. At that time, I didn’t have basil essential oil readily available and fortunately, and since then, Jack has not had another ear infection so we have not had the need to try the effectiveness of this solution.

As impressive and effective as basil essential oil proved to be in alleviating our respiratory symptoms, we did use another oil in conjunction: oregano oil. (That will be its own post on its benefits.) The dual combination definitely knocked out all that we were going through. 

Please note, that just like any medicine, more is not better when using any essential oil. Although essential oils are homeopathic they are extremely powerful and concentrated. They are potent and definitely need to be diluted with a carrier oil like jojoba, grapeseed, etc. when used. Not all essential oils are made equally, so please select your oils carefully. If you happen to have a reaction, which may occur depending on your sensitivity and oil being used, please do not rinse with soap and water, instead dilute area with more carrier oil. Doug, Jack nor I take any prescription medications. If you do, please speak with your healthcare professional and discuss any possible interactions and possible side effects of mixing the two.

  1. http://altmedicine.about.com/od/aromatherapy/a/Basil-Essential-Oil.htm
  2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/109036-aromatherapy-sinuses/
  3. https://www.naha.org/assets/uploads/The_Quality_of_Essential_Oils_Journal.pdf