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Articles    H3'ed 10/19/09

Words Are Medicine: Raising a Self-Healing Child

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You've taken your niece to an amusement park. It's her first time. She gets onto the roller coaster with you, but you can see her grip on the bars is tight and she seems anxious. You build on the rapport you've developed over the years by simply saying, "Looks like you're holding on pretty tight there." Your niece says, "It's scary." "It's scary the first time," you pace her feelings. Then, as you take your bracelet off and put it on your niece's wrist, you say, "But now you've got my magic bracelet. You hold on to it while we ride, okay? It's easier to enjoy the ride when you know you've got magic with you." Your niece smiles, relaxing.

The Science of Self-Healing

According to Ernest Rossi, a well-respected authority on the psychophysiology of mind/body healing, when we are under stress our biochemistry changes. These changes, he writes, "can direct the endocrine system to produce steroid hormones that can reach into the nucleus of different cells of the body to modulate the expression of genes. These genes then direct the cells to produce the various molecules that will regulate metabolism, growth, activity level, sexuality and the immune response in sickness and health. There really is a mind-gene connection! Mind ultimately does modulate the creation and expression of the molecules of life!"(1)

The research being conducted in the field of Epigenetics is confirming this view. It is becoming more and more clear that the things we say, which generate feeling states, which, in turn inspire cascades of chemistry, alter not only our current physiological states but our genetic expression and our children's genetic inheritance. What we say—to ourselves, to others—today has an impact both right now and for years to come.

It also means that we have within us the God-given capacity to help ourselves heal by altering our words, our thoughts, the images we nurture in our minds, and the beliefs (about ourselves and our futures) we cultivate. Our children have the same capacity and it can be enhanced by the adults around them as they grow so they become calm, confident in their ability to heal and handle crises, compassionate, and courageous.

When you use Verbal First Aid with your children, they are learning by your example to use it for themselves. Your calm, confident, healing voice becomes the voice they hear within themselves whenever they are hurt, frightened or challenged--either emotionally or physically.The healing you facilitate in them by the words you use when they are hurt becomes a self-replenishing well of mental, emotional and physical resources they can draw upon for a lifetime.

(1) Rossi, Ernest. The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing, W.W. Norton, N.Y., 1993

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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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