What Are Your New Year Health Resolutions For You and Your Family?
As the end of the year and the school term approach, as school reports are issued and end of term concerts wrap up 2022, as parents, I feel, we are handed an opportunity to reflect on not only how the year has been for us, but also for our children. Within the hustle and bustle of school drop-offs, extra-curricular activities and packing lunch boxes all year it can, at times, feel like there isn’t a lot of room to stop and question, what is working for us, our family and our children, and what is potentially not. What are your new year health resolutions for you and your family?
During the summer break, I often have parents sitting in my office, keen to ‘nut out’ how they can best support themselves and their child with their challenges, be it immune challenges such as recurrent sickness, focus and engagement issues in class, or digestive complaints, to name a few. Interestingly, it isn’t unusual for symptoms to be linked with each other rather than being separate and unrelated; as scientific research is confirming, the gut-brain connection is more than just a theory, it is a truth playing out in both our own health and that of our children. The health of the digestive system, the microbiome (the bacteria that live within our digestive systems), strongly influence the health of the immune system – how honed our body’s internal surveillance system is – as well as impacting neurotransmitters pivotal in mood regulation, focus and learning. For this reason, it is crucial that we look at health holistically, taking into account all facets and their interplay with each other.
So where do we start? As clinical nutritionists and naturopaths, our starting point is thorough case taking; we consider factors such as the pregnancy and birth of the child and how they may have impacted the microbiome; from here we create a timeline of sorts, looking at the health history of the child up until the present. This provides valuable insight so we are able to refer for both conventional and functional testing, as necessary, and interpret the results taking into consideration the individual patient, assisting us to work with you to create a treatment plan that is evidence-informed and targeted to address the underlying root cause . The analogy of an iceberg is often used here, where the tip of the ice berg is the symptom picture – for example, difficulty focusing at school, frequent infections and some digestive abnormalities – while the lower part of the ice berg, what the lies beneath the water, are the aspects we are able to uncover through the naturopathic process of thorough case-taking, physical signs and relevant testing. The goal of this methodology is to shift overall health and create long-lasting change rather than only providing symptomatic treatment.
Being a mother of four children myself, my first and foremost priority for formulation of a treatment plan is that they are incredibly practical. Ultimately, in the busy-ness of the school year, changes need to be doable and sustainable. So although, we often begin implementation of treatment plans in January when life is quieter without the school commute and extra-curricular activities busying our days, we aim to create habits and a rhythm that ensure any prescribed changes in diet and lifestyle to be easeful to continue as the year ramps up, and focus is spread over an increasing number of tasks and activities.
So I urge you, when an opportunity arises to sit in the garden with a cup of tea and consider your new year health resolutions for you and your family. Embrace the breeze on your face at the beach, take some time to reflect on this year and take stock of where your family’s health, what is going well and whether there are any areas you might like to optimise coming into this new year.
Let me help you to get your health resolutions on track in 2023. Make a appointment with me now and we can establish a practical, effective plan that will help to optimise the health and wellbeing of the whole family.
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