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Raising Boys

Wellness Workshop Feedback

I attended this series of talks on Saturday morning, hosted by St Francis Links and put on as a fundraiser for the St Francis College. My ticket was sponsored by the organisers, and I am so glad I went!

What did I Learn?

With talks from Medical Doctors, Occupational Therapist and other health professionals it was going to be an informative morning. There was lots to take in from the talks, even though each speaker only got about 15minutes each to talk, I still came away with some golden nuggets to ponder on.

Dr Lana Pepler on Childhood Immunity- Homeopath M.Tech.Deg.Hom, B.Sc Hons (Chem)

Dr Pepler had some great advice for parents to help support your child’s immunity and her tips included :

  • Nutrition for gut health
  • excercise
  • Getting dirty
  • Contact with animals
  • Fruits and Veg
  • Probiotics

Her talk went around the factors that cause your child’s immune system to be under functioning and I think we can all agree that stress, nutrition and environmental toxins all play a role here. She suggested adding certain foods and activities to help support the immune function and these include:

  1. Garlic/Tumeric/Ginger
  2. Herbals like Echanacea/Elderberry
  3. Laugh and play
  4. Minimize Electronic exposure as much as possible.

Dr Jen Minaar MD – Rethinking ADHD (The brain gut link)

When it comes to ADHD it’s a very broad, sensitive subject, and with only 15minutes to talk to us it really must have been difficult to nutshell it as well as she did. I know a little bit about ADHD from friends, but my knowledge is nowhere near what it should be. I found Dr Minaar’s talk very easy to take in and extremely informative as a starting point.

Here are my take home points:

  • Boys and Girls present differently with ADHD and we need to keep this mind.
  • Dopamine is the brains reward system.
  • Sugar will trigger your dopamine response, and is as addictive as cocaine (she used visuals of a brain scan from a cocaine addict and a sugar addict, and the brain response is the same!)
  • Natural ways to trigger your dopamine is to eat Bananas, Avo, Beans and Fish
  • Excercise and music will also raise your dopamine levels.
  • You have almost the same amount of nuro-transmitters in your gut as you have in your brain! Our gut response plays a crucial role in our well being.
  • Things to aid the treatment of ADHD in children are Amino Acids, Iron and Zinc, Magnesium and Omega 3.

Dane Geldenhuys – Occupational Therapist on Sensory Profiling

I was so looking forward to this talk, I am a sensory avoider, my eldest is also, and I just wanted to hear something from a professional that would help me with my son. I was not dissapointed.

We all filled in our own sensory profile and she marked each one before she spoke. This was to give us an idea of how we interact with the world, which then gives us an idea of how our kids interact with the world. It was most informative.

My take home points:

  1. Sensory self-regulation is how we adapt to the stimulus around us and create a calm and alert state for ourselves.
  2. Teach your child to recognize behaviors in self and teach them calming strategies.
  3. How much stimuli can your kid handle? My son is also a sensory avoider, so he can’t handle much, that’s why our days are not jam packed.
  4. Sensory activities to include are: Playing in dirt, getting messy and clean up afterwards (not during), this will help kids become less sensory avoiding.

It was a lovely morning out, and the drive to St Francis is always lovely. I only noticed a few things, the event wasn’t very well attended, and you could see the organisers put in a lot of effort to put on a very upscale event with giveaways, lovely talks and local businesses putting their health and wellness products on display. We had tea and coffee on tap which was lovely, but perhaps a small pastry or biscuit for the break would have been great, especially at R100 a ticket.

The venue is super classy, and the ladies where all friendly and professional, I had a wonderful morning there, I unfortunately missed the gluten free cooking demonstration as things were running slightly late and I needed to get home to my kids, I am quite sad I missed that part. I did try the reflexology for the first time, and found it quite interesting, not sure if I’m totally sold it yet, but I’m glad I gave it a try.


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