Swan Mothers

Discovering Ourselves through Parenting

Homeopathy and Verbal First Aid for Easier Doctor Visits

If your child is dreading a visit to the doctor, homeopathic remedies and supportive words can help ease the anxiety. Injections and blood draws can be particularly upsetting, even when administered by kind and gentle nurses and technicians. (More invasive procedures are not addressed in this article, though you will be able to modify these suggestions for any situation.)

Parent’s Attitudes are Contagious

If you yourself are afraid of the forthcoming procedures or are worried about your child’s reaction, he or she will likely mirror your feelings and attitude. You may have had painful experiences in medical settings and your reason for concern in cemented in your body and mind.

The first step in making a visit to the doctor easier for your child is to do your own work using Matrix Reimprinting with EFT, journaling, or another transformative energy method so that you can feel better about the upcoming event. This does not mean that you have to feel happy about difficult situations. All feelings are valid.  In doing the work, you make a shift to a place of feeling better by replacing fear with knowledge and acknowledging your fears. When you change your old programming, you will be equipped to support your child and speak up as needed.

Preparing Your Child with Words

This section is inspired by and borrows from Chapter 5 of Verbal First Aid: Help Your Kids Heal from Fear and Pain–and Come Out Strong by Judith Simon Prager and Judith Acosta.

Many children don’t like surprises. Tell your children about upcoming procedures and appointments. Prepare them by using social stories (simple and accurate descriptions of what to expect, presented with drawings if needed) and providing gentle, honest descriptions of what to expect.

Preparing for Injections, Blood Draws, and Potentially Painful Procedures

If your child asks if a procedure will hurt, answer truthfully. Remember that pain is perception and a bad old experience will not necessarily be repeated. Consider saying something like this, “I’m guessing you will feel something curious or different.  It may feel like a pinch. It may feel hot. It may feel funny or weird. What would that feel like?”

These kinds of statements and questions leave space for the child to have his or her own experience.

During the Procedure

  • z_18Take a few breaths to calm and center yourself. If you child is able and interested, invite him or her to join you in breathing. Children might enjoy breathing in a favorite color or fragrance (use imagination) to feel better.
  • Build rapport with the caregiver so that your child can see that you are a team.
  • Ask your child to look into your eyes, out the window, or at a picture or toy.
  • Tell positive stories about other or your child in similar situations:  “Remember when . . .”
  • Guide your child in picturing a happy time and place.  Engage her in reminiscing or telling stories. “Let’s go for a walk in our imaginations. Is there a place you’d like to go?” Let the child answer. If he doesn’t have any ideas, you may help him. “I think I see a rainbow over that way.  Let’s walk over and see if we can touch it.” You may want to have fun sliding down the rainbow, flying on unicorns, or getting caught in a sparkle or candy shower.
  • Use imagery to ease sensations and anxiety. Ask your child what would help and then imagine that unfolding. For example, before a blood draw: “The nurse is going to use a needle to draw some blood. Your body is constantly making blood and can easily let her have what she needs. Then, she will let scientists look at your blood under a microscope and that will give us important information that will help you to feel better. Can you think of something that would make it better?” Allow child to make a suggestion. “Okay. So let’s imagine that there is a marshmallow right there.” Press the spot where the nurse will poke. “It is really tall and squishy. That was a really good idea!”

Homeopathic Remedies for Children Who Are Afraid of Doctors

Observing a child’s unique fears and responses to various situations helps point the way to a good constitutional remedy.  The descriptions below describe only a tiny portion of the remedy picture. They are provided so that you may gain insight into comprehensive nature of homeopathic prescribing.

Consider the remedies below. If one of them seems to be a very good match for your child, give your child a dose of the 30c potency at bedtime for up to a week before the doctor visit or procedure. Don’t be afraid of homeopathic remedies.

Many other remedies may be indicated for your child. If your child is very afraid of doctors or needles, a consultation with a homeopath may be helpful.

Aconite (Aconitum Napellus)

A great remedy for children who have been stricken with great and sudden fear and do not want to be touched. They might feel like death is pursuing them, even when the ailment is minor.

Gelsemium

Children who need gelsemium prefer to be left alone in a quiet place. They are apathetic about their illness and seem frozen both mentally and physically before dreaded events.

Nux Vomica

Irritable children who are hypersensitive to noise and light. These children do not like music, are very fussy and want every detail in place. They don’t want to be touched. Even minor ailments affect them strongly.

Phosphorus

Children who blaze brightly, then burn out. They are also sensitive to light, sound, odors, touch, electrical charges and thunderstorms. They crave salt and are very thirsty. Phosphorus individuals are subject to nosebleeds and other excess bleeding.

Homoepathic Remedies for Children Who Are Afraid of Needles

Alumina

This is a remedy for delicate children who are intensely affected by modern living conditions and over-processed foods. They are afraid of sharp objects such as knives, needles and pins and the sight of bloodThey tend to be constipated and may appear unhappy, like the light has gone out of them.

Apis

Apis children are jealous, rigid, hard to please, and unable to concentrate enough to read or study. They may have many allergies. They are individualists who find it difficult to integrate into community life. During procedures, they may produce sudden shrill and piercing screams.

Silica

These children lack grit and self-confidence. They are sensitive and serious. They will usually give way if pushed, but will quietly do what they wanted to do anyway. Silica children are terrified of pins and needles.

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Tools and Words for Reducing Anxiety in Children (Part 2: Verbal First Aid)

In the Part 1:  Changing Old Stories, I wrote about using Matrix Reimprinting to change how your child sees old events.   When old traumas continue to affect our children, Matrix Reimprinting is the tool to use.

In this post, I offer suggestions for speaking gently and minimizing the effects of trauma on the scene and in the moment.

When our children get hurt, the words we say can initiate healing or exacerbate the trauma.

Consider these three possible responses when a child falls and scrapes a knee.  (The examples for this article are taken from the outstanding book, Verbal First Aid by Judith Simon Prager, PhD and Judith Acosta, LISW, CHT.)

Response 1

“Oh, no! Look at you! You’re bleeding, oh, my poor, poor baby! Are you okay? Does it hurt a lot?”

Response 2

“You’re all right. Buck up, buddy. It’s not that bad.”

Response 3

“Oh, you’ve fallen and your knee is bleeding.  See what a good job your blood is doing cleaning out that cut.  Now you can even use your mind to stop your bleeding.  We’ll wash it off and put a bandage on, and you’ll be surprised at how fast it will start to feel better.”

What are your words teaching your child?

We cannot know definitively what a particular child will learn from each of those responses since each child is different.  Each already has a bank of experiences and his own temperament.    Here are some possible learnings:

  • Response 1 teaches the child that seeing blood is cause for alarm. His body will respond by creating chemicals that impede healing.

  • Response 2 teaches the child that his feelings are not valid and that he should not cry or express pain.

  • Response 3 teaches self-confidence and initiates the healing process.

The words we say in those first moments can set the course for both physical and emotional recovery.

When children are injured, they are particulariy susceptible to influence.

What We Think = How We Feel = How We Heal

Science has demonstrated that words, thoughts, images and memories generate an instantaneous cascade of chemicals, causing a physiological reaction within us.  This reaction is most pronounced when we are scared or in pain.  Our breathing gets faster, our hearts race, we sweat or freeze or run.

What we think can throw us into this flight-flight-freeze response – or initiate healing.  Since we cannot hold two thoughts simultaneously, presenting our children with a positive scenario can pull them out of the panic place to a place of peace.

Building Rapport:  Believability and Credibility

Using words that are honest and authentic will build credibility with our children.  We want our children to recognize the truth.

Saying, “Everything is fine” when neither you nor your child believe it can be damaging.  Instead, state what you see and use the knowledge and wisdom you possess to uplift and support your child.

For example, if your child is seriously injured and you don’t know what to do, try this:

Take a deep breath to calm yourself.  Use a gentle tone and say, “I’m right here.  You can relax now.  Let’s figure out what we need to do next . . .”

For extensive scripts and protocols for burns, cuts, bruises, getting stitches and much more please read the book, “Verbal First Aid.”

Verbal First Aid for Non-Verbal Children

Even if your child is non-verbal, using words in the way described in this article will be helpful.  By changing how we speak, we shift our feelings.  Children will respond to our tone and energy and gain confidence.

Super-Easy Homeopathic First Aid

Like Verbal First Aid, homeopathic remedies support the body in healing itself emotionally and physically.  I always carry the remedies described in this article.  Having homeopathic remedies with me has saved the day for my family many times.  If you don’t want to buy them all, buy arnica and prepare to be amazed at the rate of healing.

Reference

Highly recommended!

Verbal First Aid: Help Your Kids Heal from Fear and Pain–and Come Out Strong

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