I just got back from a fantastic meeting for Child Life. It was at Shriners hospital in Minneapolis. Two DCTC students, in the Child Life Assistant degree program, attended with me.
After we registered, dinner was served. It was scrumptous! Creamy wild rice soup, salad, fresh fruit, breadsticks with cheese inside, brownies and lemonade. Following dinner was the guest speaker, Rebecca Kajander. She presented the topic “Replacing Pills with Skills.”
I jotted down a few notes to share with you…
Kids do not want to take a lot of pills but they do want to learn to self-regulate. Did you know that anxiety is the number one reason for having trouble falling asleep? If children have chronic pain as a child, they are more likely to have issues as an adult too. Every illness has a mind/body component. There are many skills that can be used: breathing, relaxation, biofeedback, self-hynosis, self-talk, aromatherapy, acupressure and exercise.
Our bodies want to take care of us, but did you know that every body part reacts to stress? Breathing and muscle tension are incompatible. Go ahead and try it…tense up all the muscles in your body tight. Are you breathing? Doubt it.
Do you get migraines? Try imagining that your hands are warm and breathe. Will it work? I don’t know, but I’m going to try it. This next one blew my mind…did you know that we think about 40,000-60,000 thoughts per day? We are the creators of our own thoughts and have the power to shut off stress/negative thoughts.
Have you ever tried aromatherapy? For energy, try citrus or sage; alertness = peppermint; reducing stress = lavender; sleep = citrus or lemon.
At least a few times a day, obtain an altered state of awareness. (a.k.a. daydream on purpose!) Think or do something that allows you to let your mind to wander. Smile, relax, slow down your breathing (6-8 breaths per minute)
Rebecca recommends keeping the television OUT of the bedroom, as well as cutting out the sugar, white flour and soda from your diet. She also recommended the Feet Up The Wall pose before bed, for you or children.
Rebecca has published a few books as well. Click on her full name above for more information.