With so many "health experts" online these days, I've come to recognize the need for a set of standards in the products I use and recommend in my practice as a Registered Nurse and Massage Therapist.
In early 2017, Grant Gabriel, a healthy, happy 5 month old boy, contracted bacterial meningitis. Thankfully he survived this severe life threatening condition but was left with spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, severe developmental delays, dysautonomia, and hearing loss. We've had the pleasure of working with his family for the past several months.
What is Peaceful Touch®?
Peaceful Touch® began in Stockholm, Sweden in the early 1990s. The program began with a focus on teachers and school aides learning basic Swedish massage techniques in order to provide massage for children. Everywhere they began to introduce the program, the children themselves assimilated the basic massage strokes, and began to give and receive Peaceful Touch® with each other.
Both research and instinct inform us that touch is essential to human growth and development. However, in our fast paced culture it is common for children to lack healthy touch in their daily lives.
It's not Magic, It's Oxytocin
Oxytocin is known as the “cuddle hormone” and is released in the body in response to touch. New research shows that this extraordinary biochemical impacts our ability to recover from stressful experiences and promotes healing and connection by mitigating the harmful impacts of the stress hormone cortisol.
Peaceful Touch® Benefits
In classrooms where the peer-to-peer based healthy touch programs are used, teachers report positive results for children including:
- Greater empathy for peers
- Improved concentration
- Less fighting and aggressive behavior
- Better functioning in groups
- Lower levels of anxiety and stress
- Peaceful Touch and Storytelling for Trauma Recovery
By using Peaceful Touch techniques while telling the story of Hurricane Harvey, children are integrating the cognitive and the emotional parts of their brain, while touch stimulates oxytocin release and calms the nervous system. The integration of the two parts of the brain along with the activation of the relaxation response of the nervous system can help children feel safe to work through trauma they may have experienced. Touch and storytelling are powerful ways to encourage resilience and healing in children and families and we believe that schools have the opportunity to lay the foundation for families to emerge from this experience feeling stronger and more connected.
Peaceful Touch takes place in a group setting in the classroom. It is essential that children ask permission before giving Peaceful Touch and participation is optional. The permission process is crucial for teaching healthy boundaries with touch. These lessons carry over to all aspects of touch and boundary setting in the classroom, playground and even at home.
Whether an adult or child was directly impacted by the storm, we believe everyone benefits from integrating the experience with resilience and strength to move forward together.
For a free training in Peaceful Touch and Storytelling for your school or organization, please contact us here.
Download the Flood story classroom or family activity here.
When I was 15, I lied to my parents about going to the movies, and instead climbed in a two seater truck with my friend and two boys I had never met. We drove to a field in Rosenberg to hang out with a cooler full of Bud Light. I had never tasted beer before, and because I didn't feel confident saying no to the boy who kept trying to kiss me, I drank that beer instead.
By now most of us have heard that multitasking is not that great for our brains or our well-being. Studies have found that multitasking may actually damage the brain, decreases our productivity and attention to detail, and leaves us feeling stressed and even unhappy. So here we are at another crossroads between knowing and doing. Because let's be honest, how on earth do we get anything done as mothers and NOT multitask at some point?
Sweet, sweet September. Of course it’s still warm in Houston, but there’s a light at the end of the hot, humid tunnel and pumpkin everything is just around the corner. The start of school is a great opportunity to pause and take a look at our lives and decide what we want- for ourselves and our families. If you’re like me, self-care is always a challenge. Knowing when to ask for help and receiving it gracefully is a challenge. Slowing down and listening to what I really need is a challenge.
I've been loving watching the Summer Olympics these past couple of weeks. As a former competitive swimmer, I am enamored by the incredible skill and grace the athletes display, and I know the enormous amount of work and commitment they've invested in their sport.
I also knew, as soon as I saw the now famous round, red marks on Michael Phelps' shoulders, that he had been using 'cupping' as part of his training program.
Welcome to the first of a series of articles focused on how to select, store, and prepare vegetables and fruits to maximize their nutrient value. Based on the book Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson (2013), we will explore simple, practical ways to improve your family’s nutrition. Since becoming a mom myself, I’m all about being practical when it comes to nutrition for my family.
As we embark on a season filled with gatherings and events often centered around food, many of us struggle with maintaining balance. While it may be tempting to either give up on our health goals and indulge without a care or avoid gatherings altogether to not be tempted, there are ways to make healthier choices through the season without depriving yourself or your family.
Air pollution is a familiar topic for most of us who live in Houston and surrounding areas. Despite recent improvements in Houston's air quality, we are still noncompliant with current ozone recommendations due to our close proximity to the petrochemical industry along the coast and a warm climate that encourages ozone production. However, awareness is growing of the role that indoor air pollution has on our health- especially when it comes to our children.
As parents and educators, we have the opportunity to make a big impact on young children’s relationship with food, eating, and their bodies. Most of us know this, and want to do our best in shaping healthy eating habits in our children, yet often we have our own issues with food that impact what we say and do.