Thursday, April 30, 2009

Learing about Internal Balance and Detox

April's meeting offered a great exchange of information on holistic health in general and on detox in particular. Thanks to Dr. Tracy Freeman and Debbie McCabe, Reg. Naturopath, both of National Integrated Health Associates, for sharing such a wealth of knowledge! Detailed notes will go out to members soon, but one thing members and visitors surely came away with was the importance of maintaining the integrity of the gut for any and all health concerns. This includes assuring proper intestinal flora, ensuring active production and efficacy of digestive enzymes and checking for signs of malabsorption of food, food senstivity and yeast (Candida). The doctors maintained that most external issues -- including eczema and allergies -- often stem from a problem in the gut, where more than 80% of the immune system really lives.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring cleaning for our bodies!

Spring is a natural time to clean out the clutter -- in our homes and in our bodies, too! Just what do our bodies do with all the chemicals they encounter in our environment? Come to our April meeting and find out!

Our April 23 meeting will feature an MD and a Registered Naturopath who will talk to us about some basics of holistic health with a focus on toxicity. Dr. Tracy Freeman, MD, and Debbie McCabe, Reg. Naturopath, practice at National Integrated Health Associates in NW DC and have special interests in autism, ADHD, allergies, children's health and women's health. The title of their talk is "Holistic Health from the Inside Out: Spring Cleaning for Every Body."

Join us at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 23 at Alexandria's Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Road. Directions at right. Children are always welcome to attend!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Taking a Pause: Mindful Parenting talk

Our March meeting was a wonderful presentation on "Mindful Parenting" by child/family therapist and parenting coach Francine Ronis. Francine began with a description of an upsetting scenario. She had us notice our reactions to her description and then led us through a visualization exercise, after which it was much easier to imagine clear-headed responses. Focusing on the now -- as opposed to an imagined future or to what a situation says about our own pasts -- can really help us to address issues as they are coming up for our kids, without all that baggage and instead just with what we see in front of us.

One strategy that can make a big shift in our relationships with our children (and with anyone else!) is to show empathy by mirroring back to a person what you heard him or her say. It doesn't help to tell someone not to worry, or that they're going to be fine. That just makes a person feel like you weren't listening or don't value his/her experience. Instead, offer just a restatment of whatever the person said, such as "You don't want to (do X)" or give a child the "feelings" language that labels what they are expressing: "It sounds like you are ... " (sad, mad, happy or scared, or some variation of the big four).

There were lots of great tips through Francine's talk and from questions and answers.

For more on mindful parenting, Francine referenced the following books:
Francine teaches "How to Talk" classes and leads Mindful Parenting workshops. Thank you, Francine, for your time!