Ballard Naturopathic Blog | All posts tagged 'childhood'

Stone Turtle HealthNaturopathic Medicine and Massage Therapy for the Whole Family

6204B 8th Ave NW Seattle, WA 98107 Work (206) 355-4309

Stone Turtle Health Blog

Band of Brothers (and Sisters)

September 29, 2013

I'm a big fan of Kid President. This kid stands for positive change, "being awesome" and "more dance parties". His partnership with local actor Rainn Wilson, of "The Office" and Soul Pancake is a bright light in an often-cynical and sad world I think the message that they are sharing is important. I LOVE dance parties! I want to be awesome!

Last month, I did an awesome thing. Via Twitter, I thanked Anthony Shears, a local recording artist living in L.A., for a beautiful song he had written about domestic violence. He did an awesome thing- he replied. Our dialogue, such as it was, transferred from Twitter to Facebook, to phone & email. We dreamed about what we could do to REALLY make a positive change in the lives of children touched by domestic violence or in difficult home situations. Anthony spent a lot of his childhood at the Ballard Boys & Girls Club. He tells me there were some days where most of his meals came from there. The folks at the Ballard Boys & Girls Club helped keep Anthony, his brother and their friends off the streets by providing them a safe place where they could build healthy relationships and stay out of trouble. Mentors at the Club gave the boys opportunites to play sports and support to succeed in school. Anthony went on to attend Dartmouth and work in L.A. with some legendary recording artists; Norris is an Olympic athlete. They want to give back.

My own work with children spans 20 years, in various areas such as medicine, social work, teaching, and volunteering. I believe that if we support children who need it the most, we benefit ourselves through building a strong community. Another generation will be raised up with the values that we treasure. Values like integrity, honesty, a strong work ethic, creativity, and a sense of community are supported at Boys & Girls Clubs. 

Working with Anthony, Norris, and a team of amazing volunteers, we are designing the first annual "Field of Our Dreams Celebrity Softball Tournament" to benefit the Ballard & Wallingford Boys & Girls Clubs. Money raised will help to re-surface the softball field and provide scholarship funds to the 70% of children that rely on assistance to be a part of the Clubs. Scheduled for May 4 at B.F. Day Playfield, the softball game will have local celebrities and athletes and live performances. This event can't happen without volunteers- let us know if you'd like to help!

Our first step: The upcoming Ballard Boys & Girls Club Auction to begin the fundraising for the field, held October 25th at 5:30 with both silent and live auctions. More information can be found here, as well as tickets ($45, including free childcare and a salmon dinner)

Tricks for Safe Treats

October 18, 2011

Little ghosts and goblins are excitedly gearing up for Halloween in less than 2 weeks. We all remember how fun it was to dress up and rampage through the neighborhood, collecting candy and playing tricks. Some of us had the best houses mapped out or even descended on housing developments from our country neighborhoods to maximize our candy-collecting efficiency. From Madonnas to monks, clowns to crickets, witches to Wonder Women, many of us have fond memories of costumes that we wore year in, year out. 

This year, make sure that your kids are safe by following these rules from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

S- Swords and knives (and other blades) should be soft and flexible

A- Avoid being alone. Kids should be accompanied by an adult. If you feel your kids are old enough to go on their own, make sure they're in a group & check in frequently via cell phone or coming home every hour.

F- Fasten reflective tape. If your child will be trick-or-treating after dark, pick up some inexpensive reflective tape and attach it to their costume so drivers can see them better.

E- Examine all treats! Make sure everyone gets a filling dinner before going outside, so that kids are less likely to be tempted to eat candy before you have checked it out. Look at each piece of candy for evidence of tampering with the wrapper. Do not accept homemade candy from people unless you know them well.

 

One of the best websites for child (and adult) Halloween safety tips, www.halloween-safety.com, offers more in-depth advice, such as not going into strangers' houses, making sure that costumes are flame-retardant and do not inhibit vision or movement, fire safety with candles and jack-o-lanterns, and pet safety tips. It is a great resource for parents and I highly recommend it!

 

Flu Season

October 4, 2011

With predictions of wet and windy La Nina months ahead, now is the time to prepare your immune system for the onslaught of viruses that cause colds and flu. At Stone Turtle Health, we have a wide variety of conventional and alternative options for cold and flu prevention.

Kids can get flu shots at our office, true, but we also offer an array of choices for natural immune support and safe, alcohol-free choices for dealing with nasty coughs, runny noses, and fevers if your child already has one. Common ingredients include kitchen spices that are known to have antibacterial and antiviral effects, like thyme, hyssop, garlic, and oregano, vitamins and minerals like vitamin B, C and zinc, as well as botanical medicines like astragulus, echinacea, and elderberry, all extracted in glycerine for alcohol-free formulations that are safe for children and pregnant women. 

If you can't make it in to the office, or it's the middle of the night, we've got a handy Handout on Home Remedies on this website that can earn you some relief from common symptoms, such as earaches, nausea and vomiting, cough and cold, fevers, and headaches. Perfect for getting a few more hours of sleep for you and your child. 

We're open until 7 at night on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as Friday and Saturday mornings to keep kids in school as much as possible. Please contact us today to schedule your child's flu shot, your immune wellness appointment, or your acute care appointment to keep your family healthy all through the year!

 

Jamie Oliver is my hero

June 7, 2011

"Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. " This quote from Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine is one of my favorites. The Hippocratic Oath, "First Do No Harm" is commonly used in medical and naturopathic oaths taken by doctors and is the first tenet of naturopathic medicine. Personally, I just love food so much- the tast, the texture, the smell, the sight and sound of cooking and eating freshly prepared meals, the joy of sharing food, drink, and laughter with those closest to me- that it's a natural part of treatment plans that my patients and I create together.

That's why this blog post is a plug for Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Whether you watch the show on ABC or go to the Jamie Oliver Foundation website to see what the Food Revolution is all about: check it out one way or another. See, Jamie's a chef from the UK who decided he was disgusted by what local kids were getting in their school lunches. He launched a program that changed the way school lunches were made in the UK and now he's come across the pond to help US schoolchildren and their families get educated about what goes into their bodies, how they can make healthier choices, and how they can make changes happen locally and nationally surrounding the food that we grow, process, distribute, and ultimately buy and feed to our families. The TV show is incredibly touching and enlightening in many ways as it shows kids the difference between real vegetables and what they're being served, empowers families to start cooking for themselves, and addresses institutional problems inherent in the school lunch and fast-food systems.

When I was in school, I worked on a project with a grandiose vision: in-school public health clinics (naturopathic, of course) that provided health care, vaccinations, exercise and weight-loss programs, nutrition education, school gardens, worked with the cafeterias on improving school lunch options, and served as hubs for family and community health. Although we would have been the only clinical provider in the city, we met roadblock after roadblock- parents concerned that their children might receive healthcare without their knowledge, shrinking budgets and fewer opportunities (plus stiffer competition) for grants, and other issues. Eventually, the project went on hiatus, but not before our collaborators, who were simultaneously working on a similar project elsewhere offered me a job as the lead physician. Three weeks after graduation, that project folded due to lack of funds. Maybe we were reaching too far, too fast, but a large part of my dream of becoming a naturopathic physician was to work with kids to introduce healthy lifestyle options and prevent many of the chronic illnesses that are epidemic in American culture, like obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and ADHD. To teach them the joy of healthy, fresh food.

If the thought of what we put in our kids' bodies concerns you at all, if you worry that your child doesn't know what vegetables look like, if you just want to know how, what, or IF anything can be done to stop this downward spiral into poor health at a younger and younger age, please do yourself 2 favors: 1) Don't buy it if you don't know what's in it (tetrasodium phosphate? YUMMY!), and 2) Check out what other people (including some in your community) are doing to make a difference at Jamie Oliver's website. Many hands make light work.

Tis The Season

December 1, 2010

So many families celebrate holidays this winter, whether it's Thanksgiving, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Christmas, Beltaine, or New Year's Eve. There's a deeply entrenched need to celebrate the good fortune of the past year, express gratitude and love for our family and friends, and shout out into the darkness that there will be a day when the sun returns with life. And there are as many ways to celebrate as there are families and individuals. Many people have a large traditional family gathering; some forgo the hoopla as they use winter as a time to reflect on their past year and their coming one, whether through formal New Year's Resolutions or through their chosen religious or spiritual practices.

In our family, Christmas was celebrated at no fewer than 5 houses, due to divorce and extended family celebrations. As exciting and energizing as the constant whirlwind of holidays with lots of cousins, even more presents, and even MORE treats, it was also quite a hassle for our parents to spend the majority of the holiday driving to the next place. As a teenager, holidays held the promise of getting to see family members I had a special connection with but were also the cause of much sighing and eye-rolling, and not a few tears as I struggled with an awkward adolescence and never seemed to be able to buy the right thing, dress the right way, or say the proper words. As a young adult, in school for an eternity, I was never able to afford the gifts I wanted to give. Rarely did Christmas measure up to the memories of my childhood (when, of course, my parents did the shopping, everyone else did the cooking, scheduling, cleaning, and party preparations). Lately, holidays seem to be about running through the stores at the last minute to cross another item off of my gift list, fighting traffic, and trying to make sure I can spend time with family and still see enough patients to make the January rent.

I'm fortunate in so many ways. To have my beautiful family, my beautiful clinic, wonderful friends and mentors who support me throughout the ugly business of birthing a dream is such a gift. I now, like many people before me, have lost friends and family who meant so much to me. Not only do I miss them every day, but their loss gives me another reminder that what I have is so precious. The past few years have been rough, but at least I'm still around to celebrate. This year, I'm planning to immerse myself in family (hold the politics & religion, please), show each of my friends how much they mean to me, not with gifts necessarily but by striving to be fully present with them and letting how much I cherish them shine through, and take some time to assess the past year both professionally and personally so that next year can be even better. What do you do for the holidays? Do you enjoy it? If not, what would you rather be doing and why?