Reclaiming the nurse in you and your family health.
Reclaiming the nurse in you and your family health.
In lieu of last winters cases of measles and the renewed debate on the MMR I thought it might be an idea to highlight some of the things that they are NOT saying in the press about measles and other childhood illnesses.
This is not a discussion on the politics of immunisations or who’s fault it is that children are getting measles (which I find as futile as trying to figure out who gave nits to who at primary school), instead this is about how to deal with measles or other childhood illnesses if your child does get them or is exposed to them. The crucial information that we don’t hear from the media but I, for one, would like to.
The news fills us with fear about measles. I know it’s true that some children could be hospitalised and some may get gravely ill but this is also the case with the common cold and cough, or riding a bicycle. It’s certainly the case that more babies have been hospitalised with measles because we no longer pass down immunity to them through breast milk. In places where children are breastfed measles is an illness that only affects children out of the infant stage.
I believe we have lost contact with our innate nursing skills and so these childhood illnesses have become more terrifying than they ever were. Despite the resources we have of instant information at our fingertips and skilled doctors to support us we seem find illnesses even more threatening and scary.
In many cultures, childhood illnesses are still seen as necessary part or our health and immune development. In the West, we are keen to eradicate them or control any illness that does not respond to antibiotics. Could this be because children need at least two weeks nursing and complete bed rest and this ‘model’ doesn’t fit into our modern world where both parents are expected to be at work no matter what?
We live in a consumerist society where not being competitive in the work place for women and families means that taking time off to care for sick children is seen as a sign of weakness with bad financial consequences. God forbid you have more than one child and the illness is passed on - this could mean many weeks off work with grave financial implications.
It’s no coincidence to me that the imperative to eradicate non-antibiotic responsive illnesses from our culture came at the same time, as women became part of the industrial revolution and workforce.
For all the childhood illnesses such as Tonsillitis, Ottitis and Bronchitis for which there is no immunisation, parents are taught to dose their kids up with antibiotics and baby aspirin (as many as three times a day) and send them back of to school as soon as possible so they can get back to work. These illnesses are also an important part of the autoimmune development and also take a number of days or weeks of care and nursing. But as they respond to antibiotics
which reduces the care by two-thirds (if you ignore the high relapse rates when they have been repressed) and so don’t keep half the work population at home for an extended time.
I hear many adults saying that they remember having mumps, chickenpox and measles as children and that it wasn’t dramatic or traumatising it was just boring.
I personally remember having measles when I was 14 and being cooped up at home at a time when my priorities where all about being out with my gang of mates. I remember being cared for by my mother, the shaded curtains of my room and not reading or watching TV for at least two weeks. I remember counting the flowers on the curtains, picking brush hairs out of the paintwork and, most of all, I remember thinking, dreaming and resting. In fact, looking back on it, it was just what I needed: I needed to slow down a little. I needed to reconnect with my home and family. I remember it so clearly and much more profoundly than the days I got another box of penicillin and bounced back to school looking pale and sallow and in fact probably still ill.
So in the ‘modernisation’ of illness care the majority of us seem to have lost our innate parental skills for nursing. Hot balms and tinctures, to aid healing and recovery, are seen as ‘witchy’ and useless. No one is encouraged to understand illness and we are filled with terror by the health organisations that we and/or our children may get very ill so best not to risk it at all.
We as humans are natural healers, doctor and nurses, we are drawn to self heal and always have been. It’s important as parents to reconnect with the nurse inside us, We have instincts and experience that modern medicine is not complementing but trying to eradicate for the sake of commerce
So what can you do if your child is exposed to or contracts a childhood illness?
The Health Care professionals say that if you have been exposed or haven’t had the immunisation you should go and have it, I tend to wonder how helpful this would be for an immune system that is rising to a challenge.
Firstly, and most importantly, fully inform yourselves and make real personal choices for you and your family that suit your lifestyle and personal views. You can do this from good books and practitioners rather than the news and the Internet. Informing yourself is your most important tool helping you to feed, nurse and parent your children through empowered hands not through fear.
Get the help of a Homeopath or Naturapath.
- A Homeopath can be very helpful in helping you deal with the illness if it is already manifesting or to help boost your child’s immune system. Homeopaths can also help your child to minimise the effects of the immunisations and rid the body of the toxins that accompany the vaccines. Homeopathy is also easy to follow and administer and gives a parent an important role of participation in the healing process. The homeopath will listen to the whole picture that the parent can share about the child, the illness and the behaviour in question, which is immensely more satisfying than an 8 min session with a GP with the only option being antibiotics.
- Naturopaths cover many different types of medicine nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, Chinese medicine etc and again they take a whole family history and look at all aspects of the child’s health.
- You can look up how Chinese medicine (Chinese medicine has been practising for a lot longer than our current medicine) regards measles and other childhood illnesses to understand its benefits to a child, as they believe that measles represent the expulsion from the body of poisons accumulated during pregnancy and are seen as a very necessary transitional illness.
-You can explore Mindfulness or centring practices such as meditation, yoga, Thai chi and psychotherapy these tried and tested methods are helpful not only for general health and relaxation but can be invaluable tools to help pinpoint your fears and anxieties, they can help us all in finding the roots of our fears and give greater clarity to be able to discern between our instincts and fears and see if they are coming from previous experiences or from outside influences.
-You can explore learning healing techniques yourself. There are many easily accessible courses in self-healing like Reiki, basic Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Herbal Medicine and Massage. These introductory courses are widely available and can help get you in touch with your inner healer giving you greater knowledge on the way illness manifest in the body whether it be emotional, physical or viral and deepen your knowledge of anatomy and physiology.
-You can support yourself with not only supportive practitioners but with a few good books which are essential to have at hand when your up at four in the morning with a feverish child and not sure what to do.
There’s no need to spend large amounts of money on new books they are now easy to find second hand on the Internet or charity shops.
The most thumbed and defiantly most treasured book I own is a copy of Natural Medicine for Children by Julian Scott. This great book gives important medical information as well as a variety of helpful support techniques including massage, tissue salts, homeopathy and herbs all in a very easy to use and practical format.
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