What a great topic to tackle for the last Parent Education Night of the school year. Dr. Tanya Hudson, Naturopath, came in to give us pointers and ideas on how create a solid foundation of health for our children (and really for ourselves too).
With the on-going snow days, it was an small group of people who came, which really enabled everyone to get very specific details and ask lots of questions -- which is really what these educational evenings are for.
Dr. Hudson has been in naturopathic medicine for twelve years, and she brought a wealth of ideas and information with her. Above everything else she discussed, I think all there would agree, that she really wanted us to take away two key points from that evening. One, your body has three brains (I know, craziness) - our actual brain, our heart, and our gut! And two, proper care of those three brains is the essential foundation of everything else in life.
Dr. Hudson gave many examples about how clients who reach out to her for mental health needs, anxiety, depression, ADHD - can most often find that the root of the problem stems from an improper diet. She, like so many other professionals, also pointed out that screen time - although it can be "irresistible" - technology has a huge impact on mental health and brain development as well. She made sure to note that the Prefrontal Cortex of the brain continues to develop until the age of 25. Meaning, that if our children utilize screens too much and too often, it can adversely impact their brain function later on. One idea that she implemented is that of "Minfulness". Creating a small amount of time to just stop and take in all that is around you. She said that she herself enjoys hiking and time outdoors to help achieve this.
The main area everyone there was the most fascinated by was the idea of your stomach, your Gut, as being the second brain of your body. Until recently people didn't pay much attention to their stomach, unless you had an occasional stomachache. But Dr. Hudson argues that the vitamins and minerals needed to have the rest of our body function properly, all stems from how our stomach is being treated. She surprised everyone by telling us that, an order of small french fries (from any restaurant) creates inflammatory mediators in the body for FIFTY-SEVEN days! And for the many people who have Chronic Inflammation, this impacts serotonin production, which in turn, directly impacts the stomach's ability to function properly. It also impacts the Cortisol, which is a stress hormone; which is something hardly anyone is without -- stress that is.
Dr. Hudson had so much to share and teach us with our last parent education night. It was a fascinating topic, and a great way to end the Parent Education Series. Thanks to the Parent Ed Team and to BSCO for providing these learning events.