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  • Meta Health, EFT and Matrix Reimprinting - Part 2: How does Meta Health inform us?




    Meta health provides us with extensive knowledge


    For example, when someone tells me they have a symptom:

    Lets say they have pain in their right shoulder,

    What is it?    Why is it there?     Well it depends.

    Remember, symptoms are only ‘symptoms’.

    So instead of becoming intolerant to them, learn to  listen to what they are telling you, to provide a smoother, quicker flow to wellness.
    The sooner you  acknowledgevalidate, and  accept your symptoms and emotions the sooner your body can heal.
    You are designed to learn from them so you can become wiser and stronger.

    Through using a Meta Health analysis process and asking specific questions, we can gain extensive insight into why a particular symptom or emotion, or thought process is occurring. This insight is linked to empirical evidence and scientific knowledge.


    These questions include:


    1. Are you right or left wired?  This is not necessarily the hand you write with. Our ‘wiredness’ is important as it has specific meaning for the symptomatic area of your body. 


    2.  What does the associated part of you do biologically?  Its function in your body.


    3.  What relay of the brain controls that part of the body

    This is laid down in your 1st 20 days of life as a tiny embryo. 
    Each of the 4 main areas (relays) of your brain govern precise organ tissues


    4.  What are the themes, the thoughts and the emotions associated with each specific organ tissue?   The specific ‘secret’ language of your body.

    5.  What is going on in your life when you first felt the symptom / emotion?       

    6.  What happened before and since?
    For the shoulder, I would ask, where in your life do you feel responsible for  something  -  like carrying a weight on your shoulders.
    If part of your body aches,  I would ask,  what did you begin to feel better about just before it started to ache.


    7. If there is swelling it tells me you felt isolated, alone, and abandoned.  Part of your kidney is activated when you feel this.



    So now those who understand Meta Health have many answers to these questions and can guide you in your healing.




    In part 3 we will explore how our brain works.

  • Meta Health, EFT and Matrix Reimprinting - Part 1


    An Introduction to Meta Health

    Throughout history people have come to look at things differently   
    New science, new discoveries, new knowledge.  
    I would like to take you on a journey.   
    A new understanding of health, wider and deeper
    Linking, exploring, discovering.

    So, What is Meta Health
    An analysis process involving the meaning of illness / disease
    A method for mind body healing and latest advances for coaching and therapy
    Ancient wisdom and modern science
    ‘Meta’ - the big picture
    Incorporates information from many fields      
    A foundation for all health professionals
    A new paradigm of the future   


    Background Understanding
    We are social beings and we need our family, our community, and others.
    Our body is intelligent and has order and structure  
    Our body never makes mistakes, and nothing our body does is random.
    Dis-ease is a meaningful process - a specific response to a perceived traumatic event - someone yelled at us, hurt us, said something unkind about us or we thought they did, we saw something  …..
    Every symptom has a bio - logical and psychological meaning  -
        A symptom is our body’s way of telling us something is not right.



    Western medicine has generally accepted the connection between stress and illness but has moved away from the root cause for what we are experiencing.


    And little is discussed about the connection between our mind, body, spiritual, and social health.  

                        
    When we experience disconnect from others, we may feel isolated, anxious, and fearful and many other thoughts and feelings, yet so frequently these beliefs and emotions are not addressed.

    Our  stress triggers,  emotions,  thoughts,  and beliefs

    Impact on our organ tissues, and create specific body responses and symptoms. Though we usually only want to suppress them to make them go away.

    What if we could understand our emotions and symptoms and use them as a guidance system.

    To embrace them with curiosity. Like a road map connecting what they mean.


    In Part 2 we will look at how Meta Health provides us with the knowledge to understand our symptoms and emotions.

  • Why Newborn Babies Need Skin to Skin Nurturing - Part 4


    In part One I introduced why I felt the need to write about this.


    Part Two looked at the infant’s amazing senses and critical periods of development.


    In Part Three we continued our learning of epigenetics and the microbiome, and explored the dependency and interrelationship of newborn infants with their mother, father, and others special to them.

    In part Four we will review how separation can impact on the infant’s life, and when separation has occurred, how we may be able to address this and the effect later in life, to soften its impact and enable some resolution and healing.



    Early care can profoundly alter an infant throughout their life and effects of separation can be extensive. To a baby it is a life - death situation when separated from their mother. Separation disrupts an infant’s behaviour and development 1 and there is extensive research on its effects especially if repeated. Effects not only for the infant, their mother, father, and family but also on society.

    Sharon King, author of ‘Heal your Birth Heal your Life’ 2, writes of life long anxiety, hypervigilence, fear and shame, the inability to regulate ones emotions, an exaggerated stress response and decreased resilience, all relating back to separation at and around birth.

    Gabor Mate 3. 4,  also writes extensively on this subject and includes a long list of effects, especially if separation continues during early childhood. Depression; socio-moral immaturity; relationship problems; trust, low self esteem and attachment problems; disconnect with others; behavioural and learning issues; aggression, violence and addiction; a feeling of being disempowered, rejected, unloved, unwanted or abandoned which may even lead to mental illness and or suicide; physical illness such as asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. All can relate back to separation issues, many of which may have originated at our birth.

    Klaus & Kennel (1976) 5 research, informs us that “a mother’s interaction with her child during the first few hours of life critically affects her attitude towards her child for at least the next 5 years”.
    Lack of maternal feeling for her child increases her potential for child abuse. We need to ensure that as parents, families and health professionals, we honour and respect the mutual need for maternal and newborn infant skin to skin contact to optimise their attachment and bonding.

    My research, training and knowledge 6, 7, has enlightened me to many health concerns that originate from feelings of separation and the very specific biological response to something experienced. These include skin disorders (eczema, psoriasis, rashes …), eye disorders such as conjunctivitis, squint, some cornea / lens disorders, and those involving the tear ducts and eyelids. Others involve the ear, nasal mucosa, sinuses, and more. Also when we feel isolated, abandoned and unloved, a biological process is activated in a specific part of our kidney, the kidney collecting tubule which results in retaining fluid and oedema in our body.
    I have witnessed specific cases including; a mouth ulcer that linked back to separation of a premature infant from her mother, isolated and alone in her incubator; a second time mother unable to breastfeed her first child presenting with eczema on her breast in the precise places he put his hands while breast feeding; conjunctivitis in infants separated then reunited with their mother … and more.

    We have established the need for skin to skin nurturing and that separation of a newborn baby from their mother is their primary cause of stress 8. So what if a premature, well, or unwell baby is temporarily separated from their mother after birth? Are they permanently affected by the loss of their early contact period? Research informs us that bonding and attachment are so vital for survival it can be compensated if a strong mother - infant connection occurs when they are reunited. However, the longer the separation, the greater the risk of insecure attachment. 9, 10.

    How can we reduce and mitigate the effects of separation for well, unwell and premature infants, at birth, in the following days and weeks, and at a later stage in life

    First, consider if the baby needs neonatal specialist care immediately following their birth. Can that be done while the baby is skin to skin on mum. If it is not essential, maybe it can wait for a little while. As Jill Bergman writes, “observations and tests can be done while leaving the newborn in his or her safe place”. 8

    Studies have shown us that the effect and how we respond, depends on how we perceive the experience. A newborn infant who knows they are being helped may have less effect than another, even from a similar experience. By anticipating, observing, listening and responding to all baby’s protest signals (varying heart rate, breathing, colour, oxygen levels, hand and body postures, facial expressions, cries), we can avoid their brain flooding with cortisol, and their resultant disassociation ‘tuning out’ response and consequent wiring emotional pathways associated with ‘the world is a dangerous place, I am not safe, nobody loves me …..’

    If mum is unable to be present initially, as is the reality currently in many neonatal units, having dad close can offset some effects. Tuning into his little one, providing partial skin to skin with his gentle loving hands, and quietly speaking to his baby enables soothing connection. Soft materials, dimmed lights, soft sounds, an overriding calmness, dad believing and telling him or her the nurses and doctors are helping him / her, can enhance baby’s increased feelings of safety. In this instance ensure a high priority for full skin to skin initially on dad (or significant other) then onto mum as soon as possible.  

    Keep something that has mum’s smell on it near baby - a blanket, head sheet, little octopus (the small knitted or crocheted soft toy gaining popularity in neonatal units 11). Mum’s voice on a tape may also provide comfort.

    We know that energy travels through time and space so encourage a mum who is physically separated from her baby, to create an energetic connection. To close her eyes, breathe in and out of her heart 12, 13. Then to imagine her baby is on skin to skin, and see, feel the touch, hear the sounds, smell, ‘taste’ the sweetness of her newborn baby. Breathe. Others present can guide her in this and quietly step back and allow the connection. Practicing this energetic connection before baby is born creates knowing and maybe increased connection post birth for mother and infant. Hypnosis, Matrix Reimprinting 14, Reiki, and other therapies have taught us we can connect energetically through time and space with someone anywhere in the world and in our past.

    Since 1974, Doctor David Chamberlain, a California psychologist, author and editor, began using hypnotherapy to discover and resolve traumas arising in the womb and at birth. In 1980 he demonstrated that babies remember birth and their memories are reliable 9. 14.  This phenomena is repeatedly demonstrated in Meta-Health, EFT, and Matrix Reimprinting sessions. We now know these memories are stored in ‘our field’ and can be revisited through our subconscious brain. Another vital fact is our subconscious mind does not know the difference between past, present and future. So when a person has suffered the trauma of separation all is not lost. Fortunately, human beings are capable of recovering from many types of trauma with appropriate insight, support, and healing techniques. 9  

    If you or your loved ones experience or have experienced any of the above, you may wish to explore this with a practitioner such as one who like myself is qualified in Matrix Reimprinting 14 who can gently and safely guide you back to your birth experience and help you release trauma you are unconsciously holding. You may be surprised, how, like many others who have felt the relief of freeing trapped emotions and trauma created at their birth and in their young childhood, you can change your perspective to give you a freedom you never thought possible.




    Bowlby in his ethological theory of attachment suggests that infants are born with an innate need to form an attachment bond with a caregiver to increase their chance of survival 15. 16. 17. 18. He also claims that “being skin-to-skin during the first hour after birth sets a pattern of behaviours between mothers and infants that supports continued body contact and carrying, and thus normal brain development of the infant” 9. Interestingly, Dr Prescott’s research 9 observed that cultures that carried their babies on the mother’s body throughout the first year of life, were more peaceful cultures. Those that did not, were more violent cultures. What a huge impact this has on our society on so many levels.

    Two videos you may enjoy, are produced by NIDCAP, an organisation providing education and guidance for hospitals in meeting the needs of newborn infants and their families. As stated in the video, care given to premature babies “will impact on their future and that of their parents” 19. 20 (‘Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program. Voice of the Newborn’).

    It is time to address the effects of separation from an individual and a societal perspective. A loving, caring attuned relationship between an infant and their mother, father, and family has wide implications for society. A society where nurturing care is fostered for all ages. Where every individual feels cherished, loved, connected and supported by others.

    Situations may arise where the mother is unable to be provide the loving care and skin to skin contact for her infant. At these times a mother or father figure can form a wonderful attachment and bonding with the infant and provide the necessary love and support.

    I leave you with the wisdom of Nils Bergman a leading researcher on skin to skin for neonates 1. Every infant needs caring adults for their optimum neural development. All infants have highly conserved instincts and behaviours 21, but nothing can make sense for them without this.

    Bring back the paradigm where the sacred bond of infants and their mother and father is not compromised. A world where they feel safe to grow and discover to their highest potential. A world where skin to skin care is cherished and enables every infant to feel safe, secure, nurtured and loved.


    Part 4 References

    1.   Bergman, N. (2016). Skin-to-skin contact is our BIOLOGY. http://www.skintoskincontact.com/ssc-biology.aspx    And a one day seminar with Nils Bergman I had the pleasure to attend.

    2.   King, S. (2015). Heal Your Birth, Heal Your Life. Silverwood: Bristol.

    3.   Mate, G. (2011). Dr. Gabor Mate on Attachment and Conscious Parenting. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tdljIW86e8

    4.   Mate, G. (2011). When the Body Says No. John Wiley & Sons: New Jersey

    5.   Torngren, P.  The Needs Of The Newborn In The First Few Hours Of Life
    http://primal-page.com/firsthrs.htm

    6.   Markolin, C. The Five Biological Laws - Biological Special Programs - discovered by Dr. Ryke Geerd Hamer.
    http://learninggnm.com/SBS/documents/skin.html#Epidermis_Dermatitis_Allergy_Rosacea
    http://learninggnm.com/SBS/documents/eyes.html#Conjunctivitis
    http://learninggnm.com/SBS/documents/kidneys.html#KCT_Top

    7.   META-Health. (2017). Bio-Psycho-Logical Keys. Member access.

    8.  Bergman, J. (2011). Grow Your Baby’s Brain. The importance of skin to skin contact for every newborn.    http://kangaroomothercare.com/jill-articles.aspx

    9.   Phillips, R, (2013). Uninterrupted Skin-to-Skin Contact Immediately After Birth.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257612445_The_Sacred_Hour_Uninterrupted_Skin-to-Skin_Contact_Immediately_After_Birth

    10.  Sears, W. (2017). Bonding with Your Newborn.   http://www.attachmentparenting.org/support/articles/bonding

    11.  Prawelewe. (2016). Octopus for a Premmie. http://www.prawelewe.pl/octopus-for-a-preemie/

    12.  HeartMath. (2017). Quick Coherence® Technique.  https://www.heartmath.com/quick-coherence-technique/

    13.  HeartMath. (2008). Mother-Baby Study Supports Heart-Brain Interactions.  https://www.heartmath.org/articles-of-the-heart/science-of-the-heart/mother-baby-study-supports-heart-brain-interactions/

    14.  https://www.matrixreimprinting.com/

    15.  Chamberlain, D. B. (2013). Windows to the Womb. North Atlantic Books: Berkeley.

    16.  Chamberlain, D.B. (2015). Babies Remember Birth.
    https://birthpsychology.com/sites/default/files/pdf/babies-remember-birth.pdf

    17.  Cherry, K  (2017). Bowlby & Ainsworth: What Is Attachment Theory? The Importance of Early Emotional Bonds. https://www.verywell.com/what-is-attachment-2794822

    18.  Lewis, T.,  Amini, F., & Lannon, R. (2001). A General Theory of Love. Vintage Books: New York.

    19.  NIDCAP. ‘Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program. Voice of the Newborn’. (2011 a).  NIDCAP: Baby.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5xtNY6GCQQ

    20.  NIDCAP.  ‘Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program. Voice of the Newborn’. (2011 b). NIDCAP: Nurse.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VKX2KUntLA

    21.  Swain, J. E. (2011). The Human Parental Brain: In Vivo Neuroimaging. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4329016/

  • Why Newborn Babies Need Skin to Skin Nurturing - Part 3



    In part two we looked at the infant’s amazing senses and critical periods of development.

    In part three we continue our learning of epigenetics and the microbiome, and will explore the dependency and interrelationship of newborn infants with their mother, father, and others special to them.

    The science of epigenetics and theories of attachment have much to teach us. Epigenetics is the switching on and off of genes (DNA) in response to environmental influences. Yes you read that right. Your experiences change your gene expression, and in addition, key environmental factors during critical development periods, have life long effects. As Bruce Lipton1 teaches us, it is ‘nature x nurture’ (gene x environment).

    Our brain development is ordered and higher circuits build on lower circuits. But we need to experience critical periods for optimum brain development. These include smelling, touching, feeling, seeing, hearing, and sensing our mother.

    “It matters how we are born” - the first 1000 minutes and 1000 days are critical periods.2   Bonding research reaffirms the importance of the mother as the newborn's primary caregiver.3

    In regards to the microbiome, miss the window of opportunity to have colostrum in your first days of life and your gut bacteria will develop differently over your life. The work of Harman and Wakeford 4 provides increasing research of how our ancient microbiome, designed to protect us against many diseases, is degrading. This creates consequences and a significant impact on the infant’s life and what he or she is able to pass on to future generations. Microbes from a vaginal birth, breast milk as our source of food, and skin to skin nurturing, provide the ideal environment for optimal functioning of the newborn baby’s intestinal tract and immune system and has lifelong effects.

    So what can parents and all those caring for babies do to ensure every baby feels safe and receives care that optimises their development?

    Provide gentle, loving, safe care at all times - during birth and following. Loving hands, skin to skin nurturing, soft lights, quiet sounds, warm soft materials, breast feed and give mother’s colostrum / breast milk. No routine procedures in this precious first hour. Newborn babies need to smell, touch, feel, hear, taste, and see their mother without interruption. Zero separation. The first hour is an alert time for most babies and critical for firing and wiring maternal infant attachment. It is a two way process not only involving wiring baby’s brain but also creating neural attachment connections in their mother.
    Ensure individual gentle loving care at all times. Learn your baby’s cues and what they mean. A booklet ‘Getting to Know Your Baby’ 5. 6 provides a wealth of information on baby’s organised and disorganised behaviours and what they need.

    Although this article is written mostly about mothers, fathers also play a critical role in the development of their newborn. Babies need skin to skin on dad too. 2. 7   Did you know just 30 minutes of skin on skin with dad (especially in the first 24 hours) wires his dopamine levels for life. Dr Sears 3 also writes that bonding right after birth brings out sensitivity in dad and that “fathers have their own unique way of relating to babies, and babies thrive on this difference”. So after mum has had a few hours skin to skin at birth, baby will love bonding with his or her daddy. Such a special time for all. Then return to mum as she needs 18 hours uninterrupted skin to skin (preferably in the first 24 post birth) to wire all her circuits, mind, body and social, as more are involved.2 For the premature infant this is even more crucial and needs to be ongoing for as long as possible.
    If for any reason mum is unable to have skin to skin initially or later, dad can bond with his little one during this sensitive period. If neither are able, consider someone else who baby knows well (maybe grandma). Your baby needs a significant presence with a loved one.


    Twins (triplets) also need one another. Imagine being with someone continuously for nine months then suddenly being separated. The ideal is both twins skin to skin on mum with times together on dad. Enabling premature twins connection with one another is important. If mum, dad or significant other is not available, at least consider placing them in the same incubator. If concerned about safety, most small premature infants are monitored and observed continuously. When transported between areas or hospitals, premature twins frequently travel in the same incubator so why not put them together at other times? A beautiful moment I witnessed was when I nested one twin beside her sister in her incubator and she smiled. A precious moment.


    The more premature the infant, the more they need skin to skin.2. 8  Premature babies are less able to tolerate stress and are more dependent on their mother, father and significant others. Technology and expertise in neonatal care has increased survival of premature infants however long term effects are becoming more apparent as we learn more from emotional and social outcomes.

    An international study of premature infants weighing 1000 grams to 1800 grams is in its pilot stage. The IPISTOSS, ‘Immediate Parent-Infant Skin-to-Skin Study’ is planned to enrol 5000 babies. 4000 will have zero separation committed to and shared between 3 people - their mother and 2 others, one preferably their father. The further 1000 infants are the control group who will receive skin to skin as it is currently utilised in neonatal units. All babies receive the full neonatal care they require. Only the place of care differs - continuously on skin to skin or in an incubator / thermal cot with some skin to skin. Follow up is planned for 2 years and if the outcome is positive, it will continue for 30 years. This is a very much needed study, and I for one, thank Nils and Jill Bergman for their continuing pioneering work in this area.

    So get all sensations right and individual for every baby.  Mother’s smell, soft sounds, soft materials, loving gentle touch, gazing into one another’s eyes and breast feeding. Holding your newborn baby provides many of these, but skin to skin is the ultimate.


    In Part 4 we will review how separation can impact on the infants life.


    Part 3 References


    1. Lipton, B. (2014). How does epigenetics play a role in a developing infant?
    https://www.brucelipton.com/blog/how-does-epigenetics-play-role-developing-infant

    2.  Bergman, N. (2016). Skin-to-skin contact is our BIOLOGY. http://www.skintoskincontact.com/ssc-biology.aspx    And a one day seminar with Nils Bergman I had the pleasure to attend.

    3.  Sears, W. (2017). Bonding with Your Newborn.   http://www.attachmentparenting.org/support/articles/bonding

    4.  Harman. T. & Wakeford, A. (2014). MICROBIRTH Movie Trailer.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CTmwUU2iHU

    5.  Vandenberg, K. A., Browne, J. V., Perez, L., Newstetter, A. (2009). Getting to Know Your Baby.  http://specialstart.ucsf.edu/sstp/download/getting_to_know.pdf

    6.  Vandenberg, K. A., Perez, L., Newstetter, A. (2008)  Supporting Your Infant After the Neonatal
    Intensive Care Nursery Experience. http://specialstart.ucsf.edu/sstp/supporting_your_infant.pdf

    7.  Skin-to-Skin contact. (2012-2017). Skin-to-skin contact is for FATHERS also!        
    http://www.skintoskincontact.com/ssc-fathers.aspx

    8.  Skin-to-Skin contact. (2012-2017). Skin-to-skin contact is specially for PRETERM newborns
    http://www.skintoskincontact.com/ssc-preterm-babies.aspx




  • Why Newborn Babies Need Skin to Skin Nurturing - Part Two


    In Part Two we will look at the newborn infant’s senses and introduce critical periods for their development.

    Through my studies and research of the mind body brain social connection, I have learnt that our body knows what it needs, is always wise, and at all times, strives to maintain homeostasis. We respond to our environment through our senses and perceptions. These experiences create our thoughts, emotions and beliefs and are not only in our mind and nervous system. Our brain releases chemicals messages (neurotransmitters) that allow it to communicate with itself, and organ tissues. Our body bio-logically responds depending how we perceive the experience. So we are physically reacting, and changing, in response to the thoughts that run through our mind.1 This occurs at all stages of our development from a fetus in utero, to a new born baby and as we grow and become adults.

    Dr Sears 2 writes of the "sensitive period" at birth when mothers and newborns are uniquely programmed to be in contact with each other and do good things to each other.

    Infants placed skin to skin on their mother, calm. I consider myself fortunate to repeatedly observe newborn babies vital signs normalise, as they snuggle in between their mother’s breasts. Warm, safe and protected, and, if they instinctively orientate towards the breast, nourished. Smell is the newborn’s first sense and they are totally reliant on it. When a baby cannot smell their mother, they perceive their world as unsafe and instead of oxytocin, our love and social bonding hormone, and dopamine our reward hormone, flooding the brain and enabling growth and development, cortisol, our stress activated hormone, is released.3. 4

    When I talk about skin to skin and / or enabling breast feeding with new mums and dads / families, I get my own oxytocin release, a warm beautiful feeling between my shoulders that sometimes spreads over my whole body. I see it as a gift, an energy, a knowing that all is as it should be. If I can experience this, how much more does a newborn infant feel when it is critical for their brain connections to wire up flooded with oxytocin.

    Did you know the secretions from the little bumps on the breast areola (Montgomery's Tubules) smell like amniotic fluid to a newborn baby?3. Loving skin to skin provides a wonderful way to calmly transition from life in the womb to the outside world. I have watched premature babies as young as 31 weeks orientate to the breast, and activate their sucking reflex and research tells us that many do this even younger.

    Strange smells are considered dangerous to a baby until they learn whether they are safe or unsafe. This is something to be aware of with the personal care products one uses especially in the early postnatal period. Your baby knows and prefers your natural scent.

    Guided by smell, babies activate their other senses. Skin to skin provides extensive touch. What an exquisite way to activate all the neurons in their skin as they feel their mother with their hands and their near entire body. A nappy only creates a little less and is practical to use.

    Babies are born with perfect hearing. They cannot close their ears to unexpected sounds, so these especially if loud, lead to dysregulation. Touch, tactile stimulation plus smell, sucking and hearing their mother’s, father’s, and other voices they know while in utero and are soothed by, stimulate oxytocin. They also need their mother at all times for optimum auditory and language development.3

    Like when in utero, babies have innate instincts to suck. Taste receptors are activated by sucking their hands, licking and nuzzling their mother and tasting her breast milk. Skin to skin also ensures transfer of microbes essential for newborn healthy gut and immune system activation. And the special breast milk sugars (oligosaccharides) feed the right kind of microbes acquired during vaginal birth and skin to skin.5 We will learn more about microbes in part three.

    Infants have a huge need for social connection. If you are a mum constantly distracted on your cell phone while holding your baby, please pay attention. Babies constantly try to engage with their mother. She is their world, their food source, their survival. When they sense their mother is not responding to them they will disassociate and self regulate - a bad idea as cortisol is involved. Unsafe feelings activate the Hypothalamus Pituitary Axis and disrupt brain function. Many studies now show us the effect of major separation trauma or repeated small traumas have on our physical and mental wellbeing.6 Separation perceived as stress increases our cortisol levels and disrupts development of new neural brain pathways. When cortisol is up, dopamine is down. Early stress has the potential to alter gene expression (more in part three).

    Newborns are born with emotions, smell and face recognition and prefer to look at their mother.3 Skin to skin fires and wires the infant’s social and emotional intelligence brain centre, the amygdala, the area of our limbic brain that controls our emotions, memory modulation and sympathetic nervous system activation. It achieves this directly and via the pre frontal cortex, the area of our brain behind our forehead that we consider our conscious mind. This is a critical period for maturation in the first 2 months following birth4. 7. 8.

    Babies learn empathy through the eyes of their mother - that loving reciprocating gaze.9 Visual experience is essential for continued visual development.

    A newborn infant lying within their mothers heart field, enables not only hearing her heart beat, but also creates a powerful connection of energy flow between them especially when the mother tunes into her baby.10

    In Part Three we will build on our learning of epigenetics and the microbiome, and, explore the interrelationship of infants with their mother, father and others special to them in their neonatal period.


    Part 2 References

    1. Hampton, D. (2016). How Your Thoughts Change Your Brain, Cells, And Genes. http://reset.me/story/how-your-thoughts-change-your-brain-cells-and-genes/

    2. Sears, W. (2017). Bonding with Your Newborn. http://www.attachmentparenting.org/support/articles/bonding

    3. Bergman, N. (2016). Skin-to-skin contact is our BIOLOGY. http://www.skintoskincontact.com/ssc-biology.aspx And a one day seminar with Nils Bergman I had the pleasure to attend.

    4. Skin-to-Skin-contact. (2012-2017). Skin-to-skin contact is key to perinatal neuroscience. http://www.skintoskincontact.com/ssc-neuroscience.aspx

    5. Harman. T. & Wakeford, A. (2014). MICROBIRTH Movie Trailer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CTmwUU2iHU

    6. Shonkoff, J. P. & Garner, A. S. (2015). The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/1/e232

    7. Phillips, R, (2013). Uninterrupted Skin-to-Skin Contact Immediately After Birth. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/806325_5

    8. Schore AN. (2001). Effects of a secure attachment relationship on right brain development, affect regulation, and infant mental health. http://www.allanschore.com/pdf/SchoreIMHJAttachment.pdf

    9. Matousek, M. (2011). The Meeting Eyes of Love: How Empathy Is Born In Us. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/ethical-wisdom/201104/the-meeting-eyes-love-how-empathy-is-born-in-us

    10. HeartMath. (2008). Mother-Baby Study Supports Heart-Brain Interactions. https://www.heartmath.org/articles-of-the-heart/science-of-the-heart/mother-baby-study-supports-heart-brain-interactions/


  • Why Newborn Babies Need Skin to Skin Nurturing - Part 1


    The best place for newborn infants is on their mother. Skin to skin high up on her chest, where she can gently tilt forward and kiss them on their head. Not only is this where babies feel safe as they transition from life in the womb to the outside world, full of new experiences, it is the optimum position anatomically to maintain their airway.

    As a neonatal nurse and health coach, I am passionate about nurturing newborn infants and enabling them to feel safe, secure, nurtured and loved. My research and experience of observing, well, less well and premature infants, has repeatedly shown me that skin to skin is where an infant prefers, and needs, to be. So why is anyone surprised about this and why is it not always considered a priority, at birth and in the days, (weeks for premature babies), following.

    In this four part article I would like to look at the infant’s perspective of the impact that separation from their mother (and father / twin) has on their life and wellbeing.

    Caring for babies for many years within Maternity and Neonatal / Special Care Baby Units, has raised my concern about the short and long term effects for infants when they do not have their mother continuously present. In many countries, skin to skin for the first hour post birth is generally cherished and well ‘term’ infants and mothers (and often fathers) stay together while in post natal care. For sick and premature infants it depends on their gestation and wellness at birth and yes this needs consideration.

    Following this precious hour, remaining on skin to skin is variable and usually less likely for unwell and premature infants rather than the norm. In the neonatal period, in many instances, premature babies are alone without their mother for hours and days, especially when she also has other responsibilities and children to care for.

    Like so many other dedicated doctors, nurses and midwives, I have chosen to work with newborn infants and families and to ensure each individual baby receives evidence based safe, loving care of the highest calibre. Over the years we have progressed extensively in neonatal care by incorporating World Health Organisation (WHO) baby friendly initiatives, but there remains much more we can achieve. Nils Bergman and other researchers are demonstrating that we need to find ways to safely provide full neonatal care while maintaining skin to skin contact even for tiny babies. Hospitals and maternity units need to look at their practices and see how baby friendly they really are.

    I am asking, ‘what can we learn from traditional civilisations, other mammals, and the extensive studies that are now showing us the impact of separation at both an individual, and society level?’


    I am hopeful that in teaching and writing, I can share my experience and research with others, so it will become the norm to honour and respect the dynamic connection between an infant, their mother, and their family.

    In parts two, three and four, I will provide the insight and research to enable you to form your own opinions and maybe by spreading the word we can all make a difference within our own families and communities.


    If you would like to learn more, about me, the other articles I have written, and what I offer, I invite you to:

       Explore this website: nurturingnaturally.nz

       Facebook page: www.facebook.com/nurturingnaturallynz

       Contact me via email: nurturingnaturallynz@gmail.com

    I also invite you to connect with me, book a consultation, or share your email so you can be notified with new website content.

    Life is journey, a time given to us to explore, discover and learn. Indulge yourself - you never know what you might discover.

  • Make your own toothpaste and shampoo / conditioner


    Have you ever wanted to make your own toothpaste and hair shampoo?

    Recipes for easy, safe alternatives

    Toothpaste:

    • Organic Coconut Oil (3 tbsp)
    • Baking Soda - aluminium free (1 -2 tsp)
    • Himalyan or Celtic Salt - to provide many minerals
    • + / -   Ground organic Egg Shells (1 tsp) to provide more minerals (remove the inner lining, boil for 3 - 5 minutes, drain the water, allow to dry then grind - coffee grinder is perfect)
    • I used to add Essential Oils like Peppermint (10 drops), Myhrr (2 drops) or TeaTree (8 drops) but now prefer not to as they alter the natural microbiome of the mouth -    but you might like to

    Hair Shampoo:

        Baking Soda (2 tsp aluminium free) and fill bottle with clean Water

                (preferably chlorine and fluoride free) - thats it

        Can add a couple of drops of Essential Oil -

                  Lemon, Orange or your choice

    Hair Conditioner:

        Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (approx 3 tbsp) and fill bottle with Water.

               Removes tangles, and no your hair does not smell of vinegar

          


    Simple, inexpensive, no nasty chemicals

  • Summary of Thyroid Imbalance from a Mind Body Brain Perspective


    We respond to the environment we live in and your body does not make mistakes. Ask, what is your body trying to tell you.

    Autoimmune diseases relate to a traumatic experience usually early in our life, that involves an attack against self lymphatic response. This ‘attack’ is something you perceived around your self-worth of not being able to cope or trust. Within a loving and supportive environment such as with an experienced practitioner, ask yourself: how, when and why did I become an enemy to myself and / or when did I allow others to influence me, denying my own self worth, thoughts or feelings.

    When the thyroid reacts the conflict theme is either about:     

    1. A recurring powerlessness / fear struggle. I am powerlessness and fearful of    something / someone coming towards me, vulnerable, not safe and I can’t do anything about it.   

    2. A recurring survival issue of being too slow, not quick enough with the need to go faster.                                                                                                                             

    3. Both 1 & 2

    The experienced trauma is individual and unique to the person and is always unanticipated, dramatic and isolating for them.

    You are the key to your own health. Healing comes from within so take full responsibility for your health and wellbeing. Healing from the root causes, not simply easing symptoms. Include others to guide, love and support you but remember the ultimate process of healing is yours. It should always be your journey, your decisions, your choices.

    Awareness of the mind - brain - body connection and the two phases of stress and regeneration, reduces and removes fear of symptoms as it enables understanding of why the body is responding in a particular way. It also guides you in what you can do to support its healing process. Whatever age you are, your inner child remains. Learn to be calmly curious about what you are experiencing.

    Names of health concerns are just names and do not define you. View them as a process - a response to something, your chance to learn and take the action needed to regain your vitality and passion in life.

    Genes are not your destiny. As the research of epigenetics shows us, you have a lot of control over the switching on and off of your genetic inheritance by changing the environment of your cells.

    Nourishing and supporting your body is vital and includes working with the body’s energy system. Look at your lifestyle and environment. Everything you put in and on your body - the food and water you eat and drink, the air you breathe, the personal care and cleaning products you use, the electronic devices you use, and your balance of fun, rest, sleep, exercise and how you move. Be aware of your emotions, your social interactions with others and the beliefs and values you hold.

    How much love do you have for yourself? Love and connection with others is central to survive to reach our greatest potential of health. Isolation increases separation. Find, connect and share with others. Connect with higher powers if this is right for you. Gratitude, love, connection. Find what you need to feel safe, secure, nurtured and loved

    Your empowerment is in your ability to reframe previous beliefs and change how your mind, brain and body responds.

    Understanding your soul journey may also help you understand you are more than your physical presence.

    Your personal growth is in discovering yourself spiritually and finding your passion, your life purpose and what you came into this lifetime to learn.

  • Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance Part 6: Addressing Pregnancy / Postpartum Thyroid Imbalance and Depression


    • Find a doctor who understands thyroid disease and how it affects your pregnancy and post birth. Someone knowledgeable and open to lifestyle interventions, alongside medications if they are needed.
    • Ensure you have close medical supervision if you are taking antidepressants and during any weaning off phases 1.
    • Preferably learn and address thyroid imbalance and your potential for this before you become pregnant. Thyroid hormone requirements go up during pregnancy and any thyroid imbalance needs close monitoring 2.
    • Correct copper zinc ratio gradually and carefully with doctor / naturopath guidance.
    • Take responsibility for your health and wellbeing. You are your own, and your baby’s, advocate. Research, ask questions and speak up for yourself and your little one when you know something is not right 3.
    • If overwhelmed by sadness, crying spells, distancing from spouse, inability to care for your baby, seek help, and, get your thyroid checked 4.
    • Meta-Health Analysis, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), and Matrix Reimprinting, can be very beneficial in finding and resolving the root cause of your thyroid imbalance and depression.
    • A tailored Lifestyle Prescription, should include nutritional guidance of foods and / or vitamin and antioxidant supplements that are depleted and those nutrients known to be linked to mood (Vitamin C, Zinc, Selenium, Calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids 4).
    • We are social beings so healing also involves love, connection and support from caring others - family, friends and / or specific support groups with those who have had and overcome similar experiences.
    • Fun, enjoyment, relaxation, meditation …. re-evaluating ones values and beliefs and finding your life goals and purpose are also steps to healing.

    Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery, provides an in depth look at thyroid Imbalance from a western and mind body brain perspective 5. (Coming in an ebook but in interim, link to part 1 of this 4 part series)

    Do not expect the mother to tough it out. She needs love and support to reduce the overwhelm. Take depression and thyroid imbalance seriously. Do not neglect it. The mother, infant, family and future generations depend on it. Nurture the mother, the infant and the family.

    Remember that “our life is an endless path of learning, an evolving journey of personal growth and development, a discovery of who we are, and the beliefs we hold. Each step provides the opportunity to look at what shapes us to be our individual unique self” (Hansen, 2016). 5


    References

    1. Trentini, D. (2013). The Truth About Hypothyroidism And Depression. http://hypothyroidmom.com/the-truth-about-hypothyroidism-and-depression/

    2. Wentz, I. (2013). Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. Lifestyle Interventions for finding and Treating the Root Cause. ISBN. USA.

    3. Katie - Wellness Mama. (2017). How Thyroid Disease Affects Pregnancy and Fertility https://wellnessmama.com/156213/pregnancy-thyroid-disease/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pregnancy-thyroid-disease

    4. Arem, R. (2007). The Thyroid Solution. Ballantine Books: New York.

    5. Hansen, G. M. (2016). Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery (Parts 1 - 4). http://www.nurturingnaturally.nz/blog


    Part 7, 'Thyroid Imbalance from a Mind Body Brain Perspective - Summary Points' will conclude this series of posts.

  • Pregnancy and Thyroid Imbalance Part 5: Postpartum Depression and Copper Connection


    Dr William Walsh, the author of ‘Nutrient Power’, provides extensive research on the connection between high copper levels and postnatal depression.

    To quote Dr Walsh:

    “Copper and oestrogen are related and I’ve seen probably 400 cases of postpartum depression. Virtually all of them have a copper overload. These are people who might have been on SSRI antidepressants and with nothing really happening not making them better or worse. But if we are able to simply normalise their copper most of them become completely okay and you can throw away their medications. They’re the easiest people to help” 1.

    A woman's copper level normally more than doubles during pregnancy to provide for her growing fetus 1, 2, 3. The levels should then start reducing back to normal. Dr Walsh and his colleagues believe that in women who develop postpartum depression, the copper levels stay high, most likely, they suspect, due of a genetically determined flaw in the protein that regulates copper levels 1, 2, 3.

    Excess copper in the brain can contribute to postpartum depression as it alters the balance of two mood regulating chemicals, dopamine and norepinephrine 1, 3, 4. 5. High copper may also be seen in bipolar disorder, severe anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD, autism, some types of schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, alzheimer’s and psychosis 3, 4. 6.

    If a woman has an anxiety or depression disorder with the onset at puberty it is highly likely the lab results will show a copper problem. At hormonal events such as those at puberty, childbirth and menopause copper levels tend to become skewed if the person is not able to regulate their copper 1, 5. Birth control pills and hormone replacement may also raise copper levels 5, 6.

    Copper toxicity can be compounded with each pregnancy and may explain tragic stories of “seemingly healthy women who in the midst of a postpartum psychosis harm their children” 5. It may also explain emotional or other health problems that begin after the birth of a child, and for girls who develop inattention, anxiety, panic or depression around the onset of puberty 4.

    Specific laboratory blood test results of elevated copper levels and insufficient serum ceruloplasmin (copper binding protein) indicate copper toxicity. From these two levels the percentage of free copper in serum another marker for diagnosis can be calculated. Commonly, zinc is depleted in these patients, and may also suggest an impairment of copper detoxification mechanisms 3, 7.

    Management

    Copper levels need to be adjusted gradually and carefully, guided by blood test monitoring and a qualified knowledgeable doctor / naturopath. One way to do this is zinc supplementation. As zinc and copper need to be in balance in our body, high in one will create low in the other 8. Many people with Hashimoto’s (and adrenal fatigue) have low stomach acid, which can lead to depletion of zinc and raise their blood copper level 8.

    Small doses of zinc are given initially then the dose is increased. For most people it will take about six to eight weeks 1, 3, 4.  Slowly correcting and normalising high copper levels, minimises any discomfort to the person 1, 3.

    Avoid multivitamins with copper. Copper deficiency is rare and most people do not need it in a supplement 3, 4.

    Limit exposure that can raise copper levels: drinking water, especially if from copper pipes or well water; swimming pools treated with copper for algae; copper cookware: and copper containing intrauterine contraceptive devices 4, 6. Foods including chocolate, seafood, avocado, beans, nuts, lamb and organ meat also contain higher levels of copper 4.

    Monitor thyroid function tests and Vitamin D levels. If either or both are abnormal, address this in order to more easily correct the copper overload 4.

    Provide an individualised nutrient protocol based on the person's clinical presentation, laboratory tests, age, weight and how well they absorb nutrients 4.


    References

    1. Scott, T. (2016). The Anxiety Summit – Is My Anxiety and Depression from a Methylation, Pyrrole, or Copper-Zinc Imbalance? http://www.everywomanover29.com/blog/anxiety-depression-methylation-pyrrole-copper-zinc-imbalance/

    2. Norton, A. (2007). High copper levels tied to postpartum depression http://www.reuters.com/article/us-postpartum-depression-idUSCOL96756220070209

    3. Jazzar, C. (2008). Study Links High Copper Levels to Postpartum Anxiety Reactions https://momswellness.wordpress.com/2008/11/11/study-links-high-copper-levels-to-ppd/

    4. Synder, C. (2015). Copper Overload - Too Much of a Good Thing http://www.courtneysnydermd.com/blog/copper-overload-too-much-of-a-good-thing3

    5. Walsh, W. J. (2014). Nutrient Power. Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain. Skyhorse Publishing: Canada

    6. Pfeiffer, C. C. (1987). Nutrition and Mental Illness. On Orthomolecular Approach to Balancing Body Chemistry. Healing Arts Press: Vermont.

    7. Bowman, J, (2015). Copper Overload and Depression in Girls and Women http://www.mensahmedical.com/copper-overload/

    8. Hansen, G. M. (2016). Hashimoto's Thyroiditis - A New Path of Learning and Discovery (Parts 1 - 4). http://www.nurturingnaturally.nz/blog