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Beyond Biofeedback: How Words Can Help Children Heal

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What accounts for the difference?

According to Lipton's early observations of cellular response to toxins, it's the environment. The environment not only affects the cell, it affects the cell's posture and receptivity to other cells.

But, as we are coming to see, it's not just the physical environment we need to concern ourselves with. It is the way in which we receive our experiences, the beliefs we hold about ourselves, and the words we repeat in our minds (as well as the images they create) that determine whether a cell becomes "self-protective" and closed or "adaptable" and open. The "environment" includes not just what we see or eat, but what we hear and feel.

What makes this important in terms of communication with children is that not only are they hearing what we say (whether or not they have the cognitive and linguistic abilities to fully understand us), but they are receiving our communication at the cellular and genetic level.

Beyond Biofeedback: Verbal First Aid

The American Medical Association advises parents to talk to their children as often as possible. And when words fail to come readily, they explain that just a parent's voice and presence is what a baby needs to feel reassured. They state: "Always respond to your newborn's cries—he cannot be spoiled with too much attention."

Other professionals, particularly those in the field of Speech and Language Development and Education, call upon parents to interact with their children on as many levels as possible. Do things together. Talk while you do them together. Make eye contact, body contact.

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Judith Acosta, LISW, CHT is a licensed psychotherapist and clinical homeopath in private practice in Placitas and Albuquerque. Her areas of specialization include the treatment of anxiety, depression, and trauma. She has appeared on both television (more...)
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