I’ve heard from several practitioners how it can feel overwhelming when first bringing new information to clinical practice. It’s hard to know where to start, how to prioritize care, and what strategies will have the biggest impact for your pediatric patients.
In the field of environmental pediatrics these challenges are no different.
Today, we’ll cut right to the chase, and I’ll offer up my top 5 tips for bringing an environmental spin to your holistic health practice with ease.
My “5 R’s” System
Every successful practice is built on having solid systems in place. That way, you don’t need to re-invent the wheel day after day. I’ve implemented a system of patient care based on the “5 R’s”. It’s a means to prioritize care when working with children with chronic illnesses.
Here’s how I use the 5 R’s to help children heal from the outside in:
Goal 1. RESTORE the Pediatric Microbiome
Good digestive functioning is central to health and wellness. Restoring the gut microbiome and healing the gastrointestinal tract is always where I start in pediatrics. Healing and sealing the gut, reducing dysbiosis, and repairing the inner landscape can help kids make leaps and bounds in their health.
Goal 2. REMOVE Chronic, Low-Level Toxic Exposures
Toxins are literally everywhere! And growing children are particularly susceptible to chronic, low-level exposures in their environment. Informing parents about the biggest toxic threats at home, play, and school is my next step in the process of patient education and parent empowerment.
Goal 3. RESOLVE Nature Deficit Disorder
Kids thrive in the natural world. When we’re attempting to replenish a child’s health getting some outdoor time is an absolute must! Especially in the case of children experiencing immune, sensory, and/or mood disorders, resolving nature deficit disorder (NDD) is critical.
Goal 4. REDUCE Maternal & Childhood Stress
We often don’t think about children being “stressed”, but the reality is that family and home life deeply shapes a child’s health potential. In fact, much of this work begins before children are even born! By focusing our efforts on calming and supporting expectant mother’s (and father’s) we can alter the health trajectory of children across their entire life span.
Goal 5. RE-BALANCE with Indigenous & Functional Medical Systems
Seeing a child as a whole is something that has been largely forgotten in allopathic care. But getting a sense of the child in the context of their family, community, and environment is what allows us to help heal the root cause of a child’s disharmony. Indigenous and functional medical models are potent platforms for helping re-balance a child’s health.