Embrace Your Daily D.O.S.E 

 

As we all begin a new academic  year we may have many conflicting emotions,

thoughts and anxieties.

 

For those of us whose children are neurodiverse in a mainstream world anyway, it can be a daunting transition.

 

So, here is the first massive sunbeam of light to help us all find our way through.

 

Whatever lies ahead as we move forwards, YOU GROW YOUR OWN BRAINS! 

 

 

Yes, it’s absolutely true!

 

Brains stop growing physically at around the age of 18 … but what we do with the grey matter inside them is under our control throughout our whole lives!

 

In other words, WE can define US! 

 

We can grow or shrink grey matter around our amygdala/ emotional brain (sometimes called ‘the fear centre’) and we can grow or shrink it around the hippocampus (memory and learning) and our frontal lobe which contains all those higher executive shiny brain functions.

 

 

If we are stressed for prolonged periods, or in flight or fight, the grey area around the emotional brain grows and it shrinks around the other areas causing learning and judgment to be compromised.

 

But we can turn this around? Yes! 

 

“How?”, I hear you cry!

 

Well it’s all about getting your daily D.O.S.E – your “happy and coping chemicals”.

 

 

Let me explain…

 

– Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of reward, focus, attention, concentration and motivation.

O – Oxytocin is the neurotransmitter of love, nurture which stimulates emotional intelligence. We start flooding with it within 20 seconds of touch.

S – Serotonin the neurotransmitter of happiness , confidence and self-esteem. And never has this been so needed!

AND if you make enough serotonin you then have enough to make Melatonin the neurotransmitter of sleep, mood and aggressio!

E – Endorphins the neurotransmitter of pain relief and that euphoric feeling of well-being .

 

And that’s not all..

 

Did you know that memory isn’t just carried inside your brains? We carry the day to day memory of how and who we are in our water (young children are made of 90% water and this drops to about 75% during adolescence) and it’s carried in every single one of our 37.2 TRILLION CELLS!

 

Touch, mindfulness, massage, acupressure, reflexology, yoga, mindfulness and meditation all HUGELY boost the positive memories we carry, that positive way of “being”.

 

Play therapy and any Positive Growth Mindset games /activities do the same.

 

The key is to meet the child where THEY are at and not where you want them to be. 

 

By feeling invited, by knowing they can change the insides of their brains (and yes, I share it with them all, however young), guess what happens next ?!…

 

THE BRAIN MAKES A NEW NEUROLOGICAL PATHWAY!

 

As Rick Hanson PhD proved, “What fires the brain wires the brain. Every day our MINDS are building our brains”.

 

In other words, what we tell our children is what they become.  

And what we tell ourselves, is what WE become.  

 

In a relaxed and playful state, a child only needs to receive the same positive message 4-6x for a new neurological pathway to be formed !

Touch is key to this.

 

How can I utter this as we transition out of a pandemic? Because touch boosts immunity! And we can self-massage too which can lead to self-awareness, self- management and better self-regulation which leads to more empowerment!

Since the controversial experiments on monkeys by Harry Harlow in the 1950/60’s to the present day leaders in the field such as Darlene Francis, Michael Meaden and Tiffany Field, touch has been proven to ease stress, boost resilience, build bigger brains, better physical health, significantly higher levels of emotional and social intelligence as well as better trust and bonding.

Tiffany Field also carried this research into yoga and proved how breathing and the poses push up the dopamine and serotonin from the gut (90% of our serotonin is made in the gut).

Our gut or second/enteric brain carries so much dopamine and serotonin it could actually run as an independent nervous system. It is also the seat of meltdown, so it is a win-win!

Yoga can also improve breathing, perspective, sleep, self-awareness, focus , attention, positivity and calm.

Meditation and mindfulness MASSIVELY stimulate our 37.2 trillion cells on a subconscious level, dropping our busy heart rates down to the ideal theta level, promoting clear thinking, deep sleep, wellness, perspective, attention, resilience and productivity.

 

Everything we need is inside us already. We are deliciously complete, perfect and exquisite jigsaws! 

 

Our MINDS build our brains, not the other way around. It’s called Neuro (brain) Plasticity (being bendy).

 

AND IT’S YOUR SUPERPOWER! 

 

 

Written by Giuliana Wheater

 

Author of ‘Indian Head Massage for Special Needs’, multi-award winning therapist , Wellbeing Charity Ambassador for AnnaKennedyOnline and autism Mum

 

 

https://www.therapiesforspecialneeds.co.uk/

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