Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND
What do you do when you are sick? What do you do when your child is sick?
Last year, our son spiked a 40-41C/103-104 F fever a few days after Halloween. As a Naturopathic doctor, I already feel “on the fringe” with the amazing awareness we have of health – but I know in many people’s eyes we seem extreme because so many of the things that people consume on a regular basis are not found in our house – such as:
- fruit juice
- smarties, skittles, M&M’s or any chocolate or candy with food colouring
- chips & cheezies
- packaged cereals
- packaged food in general (i.e. cookies, Goldfish crackers)
- foods with trans or hydrogenated fats (i.e. margarine)
- foods with chemicals or preservatives, such as sodium benzoate
- genetically modified foods
- dirty dozen foods
- cheese strings and yogurt tubes
So, when it comes to Halloween, you can only imagine how much it makes me cringe inside. There is nothing about the concept of gathering pillowcases full of candy that sits well with me.
I am sure you are the same when it comes to your child
I am sure you are the same when it comes to your child – you don’t want to see them make the same mistakes you made. I also feel so torn when our son gets so excited about Halloween because deep down I wish the candy part of it would be outlawed. For the past 2 years, our son has been sick after Halloween, with last year being particularly extreme. It is important for everyone to understand that sugar compromises immune functionand to reduce sugar intake during the winter months.
So, what do I do when our child is sick?
Like most parents, I schedule some appointments for him – but where I take him might surprise you as it is not to a “regular” doctor’s office. Instead, I take him to the following medical practitioners:
- Naturopathic Doctor
- Massage therapist
This past spring, I did this right away and he was better the next day. However, last fall, I didn’t and he was sick for an entire week. You will note that I do not run to a medical doctor, take him to the ER or a pharmacist. I trust in the healing power of nature. I believe that nature is the teacher of science. I am not fearful of all the “what ifs” – in fact, these consequences do not enter my mind. Instead, I affirm that our son will be better in no time – and he usually is. I believe that fever is nature’s way of fighting invaders – and that suppressing a fever is the last thing you want to do. I administer immune supportive therapies that are prescribed by his ND to assist his body in recovery. I eliminate all sugar from his diet. This past fall, his fever would spike and then the next day it would be normal in the morning and spike again by the afternoon/evening. In the past, this has rarely lasted more than 1 day; however, last fall it lasted for 7 days. After 1 week of roller coaster rebound fevers, we proceeded with an autohemotherapy treatment using ozone. (For the benefits of ozone, please visit http://drmasonwood.com/treatments/injection-therapies/ozone-therapy/) It appears that when ozone is injected into the blood sample it destroys pathogens and when it is injected back into the body it has the effect of an autogenous (self-generated) vaccine.
The next day…
The next day, our child had a normal temperature and he remained well. I did find this paragraph in “A Guide to Child Health” by Michaela Glockler and Wolfgang Goebel really interesting: “It has long been known that genes and their functions are influenced not only by the immune system but also by psycho-social and soul-spiritual processes throughout a person’s lifetime. With a fever, the child has deconstructed some aspect of her inherited body and is rebuilding it under the independent direction of her own warmth organization. In our own pediatric practices, we have experienced repeatedly that flu with a high fever, a carefully managed case of pneumonia or even measles may introduce a new, more stable phase in a child’s development. Less frequently, longer bouts of repeated illness indicate a task that remains to be accomplished.”
The importance of not interfering with what the body is trying to do and allowing the body to heal
This highlighted the importance of not interfering with what the body is trying to do and allowing the body to heal on its own. I must admit that it was hard to hold out the fears – what if something is terribly wrong? Luckily, there wasn’t and perhaps this was as simple as his body moving into a more stable phase of development.
Typically, the next question asked of me whenever I tell anyone that our son was sick is: “What did he have?”
“I am not sure – some pathogen that challenged his immunity”
“What pathogen was it?”
“I don’t know”
We have to be okay with not knowing what “it” is. This is not a fight we are in. We have to learn to support our own inherent capacity to heal by getting back to basics:
- real food
- real fluids (i.e. water)
- real plant-based medicine & homeopathics
- physical therapies – such as hydrotherapy, chiropractic and massage therapy which help the nervous and lymphatic systems of the body
My prescription if you get sick:
- See a Naturopathic doctor to ensure you are taking the appropriate dose of immune supportive vitamins and minerals, such as: Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, probiotics, bioflavonoids, Vitamin A, etc.
- Eliminate sugar from your diet
- Make garlic soup from a bone broth base using organic garlic (For recipe see http://www.drchrisbjorndal.com/fall-recipes/)
- See a chiropractor
- See a massage therapist
- Get adequate rest
Remember, it is a good thing to get sick as it means your immune system is responsive and working naturally to develop immunity to the organism. The key is how quickly you are back on your feet.
Dr. Christina Bjorndal, ND is considered an authority in the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders and eating disorders using a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual approach. Having overcome many mental health challenges, Dr. Chris is a gifted speaker and writer and has shared her wellness philosophy with audiences from platforms such as the Jenny McCarthy show, the International Bipolar Foundation, and many health summits and docuseries. She is recognized as a top ND to follow by two independent organizations. Her books “Beyond the Label” and The Essential Diet: Eating for Mental Health, along with her Moving Beyond 10 week course are comprehensive guides to naturopathic mental health.