REAL health is REAL balance -
not the absence of disease.
Imagine your child on a teeter-totter, a long board pivoted in the middle so as one end goes up, the other end goes down. Instead of your child sitting on either end of the teeter-totter, she is standing in the middle. Does your child ever do that? Ours do! She leans to one side, then the other, and then back again to the other side. Back and forth, balancing herself, grinning ear to ear. Lock that image in your mind, got it? That is REAL health! Flowing, happy, at ease.
REAL health is REAL balance - when your child can control her body in response to her external environment.
Now imagine you sit on one end of the teeter-totter, while your child stands in the middle. Thud! Your child is stuck, or is he? If he adjusts himself from the middle of the teeter-totter toward the opposite end as you, he can get the motion started again. When you get off…whoa…he adjusts himself again toward the middle of the teeter-totter and voila…he’s still in motion, balancing himself.
REAL health is dynamic. As your child’s environment changes, he changes. He adjusts himself to ensure his stability - he re-balances.
In medicine, we call this balancing act homeostasis. It’s the body’s ability to physiologically regulate its internal environment in response to changes in its external environment. An easy example is shivering when you’re cold to increase your body’s temperature.
If REAL Health is Balance, What’s Disease?
Disease is fixed imbalance.
From our teeter-totter example, disease is when your child is stuck! You sit on one end of the teeter-totter and your child doesn’t adjust himself to compensate. He’s stuck, fixed in an imbalanced position.
For whatever reason, your child is not able to change his position and re-balance.
In medicine, we call this homeostatic imbalance. The body loses it’s ability to regulate its internal environment to ensure its stability and survival in response to it’s external environment. Loss of stability leads to disease, and loss of survival is death.
An easy disease example is diabetes. The body regulates blood sugar with the hormone insulin. When blood sugar rises after eating, your child releases insulin from her pancreas to pull the glucose into her cells for energy, maintaining her blood sugar within a normal range. Your child’s cells only need so much glucose for energy; if her cells have reached their glucose limit, blood sugar rises producing more insulin. Yet despite more insulin, more glucose doesn’t enter her cells because her cells are full (insulin resistance). With time her pancreas tires from having to produce insulin surges to normalize rapid spikes in blood sugar, and less insulin is secreted (insulin deficiency). The result is diabetes, elevated blood sugar.
What happened? The body lost it’s ability to regulate it’s blood sugar in response to overeating (too much glucose). The body became imbalanced and couldn’t adjust itself to compensate. The result?
Disease. Fixed imbalance.
In this case of sugar imbalance, the disease is diabetes. However this analogy can be applied to other diseases as well, such as allergies, asthma, eczema, ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, heart disease, and cancer to name a few.
My child doesn’t have a disease, so she's healthy right? Maybe, maybe not. REAL health means balance. Your child may not have a labeled disease, but still be imbalanced.
Disease doesn’t always come with labels such as diabetes.
Look at the word dis-ease – it means not at ease. Not flowing easily, back and forth, stuck in an un-easy pattern such as constipation, diarrhea, recurrent tummy aches, frequent headaches and rashes, or a nagging cough. These too are dis-ease. A state of fixed imbalance.
Unfortunately today, many children don’t have REAL health they have “Band-Aid Health”. Band-Aids (medications) are placed on boo-boos (symptoms) to make them go away. Yet, every parent knows that Band-Aids don’t make boo-boos go away. Band-Aids cover the boo-boo so your child can’t see the boo-boo. Out of site, out of mind, right? Well maybe for a simple cut, where the body can heal and re-balance itself easily. For childhood chronic diseases, it’s a different story because once you remove the Band-Aid (medication), the boo-boo (symptom) returns.
Wheezing for asthma, rashes for eczema, and stuffy noses for allergies. Take away the stimulant medication and the inattention or hyperactivity return. Why? Because by treating symptoms we have not addressed the root of the disease. To achieve REAL health you have to dive below the surface, beneath the symptoms, and fix the system imbalances – that is, heal from the inside out, not the outside in.
To change the visible,
You must FIRST change the invisible.
Imagine you have an apple tree, firmly planted in the ground, secure and stable. Initially the apple tree grows gorgeous beautiful ripe juicy apples. Nothing better! Every year that follows more and more apples are “bad apples”. So you toss those apples. Within a few years, the only fruit your tree bears are bad apples. They’re all bad! Why? You never addressed the root of the problem. Did you nourish your tree? Did you water it? Did you enrich it’s soil with organic compost? Did you protect it from wind or prune it? Did you plant another tree next to it to ensure its pollination?
“If you want to change the fruits, you must first change the roots.
If you want to change the visible, you must first change the invisible.”
~T. Harv Eker
If you want REAL health for your child, you need to examine your child's roots.
Once you discover some possible reasons why your child is imbalanced and nourish those root causes, you push your child back into motion - back to REAL health. (Note: Find a health-care practitioner willing to walk the journey with you and your child; it can be overwhelming to do it on your own. We both see health care practitioners for ourselves and our children.)
"If you just set people in motion, they'll heal themselves."
Think of your child on that teeter-totter. It may take a few pushes, from a few different angles, but try and try again. Once you hit a major imbalance and nourish it – your child will MOVE.
The body inherently knows how to fix itself, it just needs a nudge from time to time.
Healing children naturally is a journey. Hold the image of REAL health in your mind - envisioning your child on the REAL health teeter-totter - balancing
- grinning ear to ear. Then buckle down and get to work! Find a health care practitioner to help your child re-balance by diving beneath your child's symptoms to fix his or her system imbalances. The result? Your child will heal from the inside out and feel REAL health.
Angelle Batten, MEd. is a Holistic Health & Parenting Coach and co-founder of get REAL for kids™. She teaches parents how to feed their children REAL food and parent in a more connected way every day - so despite a crazy busy life they can raise healthier, happier children who make the world a better place.
Susan McCreadie, MD is a Holistic Pediatrician and co-founder of get REAL for kids™. She shows parents how to find REAL health for their child, so they can stop treating their child's symptoms and instead find solutions that help their child heal from the inside out.