Beautiful Spring view from this past weekend. I was in Atlanta at the National TACA (The Autism Community in Action) conference. The hot topics were eliminating EMF's and using CBD to support Autism and other health issues.
As most of you know, I am an Autism Mom and when my son was born in 1993 very few healthcare practitioners were talking about Autism. It was as if there was a black hole of information and support. Even getting a diagnosis took years.
A fellow practitioner and conference buddy asked me if I had to give just 5 supporting tips for those working with Autism as a parent, teacher or practitioner, what would I suggest? Great question because over the years we tried many diets, modalities, supplements, testing, physical therapies, schools/educational practices, etc. Some just didn't help much, others were needle movers and we saw great improvement.
Note: Every person on the Autism spectrum varies greatly to what they may respond to and I am not saying this will help you personally, but I will share what I consider to be great starting places for this day and age. If you have questions on implementing any diet, exercise or modality in your life and need medical assistance please contact your primary healthcare provider. (There - legal disclaimer out of the way!)
First, there is no official cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder at this time. It falls under "spectrum" because there are varying degrees of behaviors and symptoms one may have. To me, the best way to define anyone on the Autism Spectrum is to simply recognize they have central nervous system inflammation. Once I was able to look at it this way, it was evident I needed to focus on reducing that inflammation. So as one mother to another parent, here is what has worked for us over the years:
1) Diet - Yes, I completely agree there is no one-diet-fits-all. But there are one-size-fits-all inflammatory foods we can eliminate. #1 to me is to eliminate refined sugars and increase healthy fats.
#2 would be do not eat anything treated with glyphosate (non-organic foods, with wheat being a hugely documented offender). For more information please see the research Stephanie Seneff is doing at MIT (https://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/). She gave a great presentation and feels strongly that glyphosate is the actual cause of Autism with correlation time tables showing her research. I had the privilege of having dinner with her Saturday night and she is a wealth of knowledge.
Of course artificial anything should be eliminated (colors, fragrances, flavors, etc) which is tricky because these can be in your vitamins, supplements, household cleaners, skincare products, etc.).
2) CBD Oil - There were two talks on CBD oil this past weekend. I've been listening to practitioner focused talks about CBD for the last 5 years and the momentum of use and case studies are growing. Positive results are being recorded every day.
Verum Gold CBD is a game changer in our household. It is a pure, crystalline CBD with no THC. The upside with CBD oil is that it is great for anxiety, inflammation, depression, etc. Now, tell me how many people on the Autism spectrum are not dealing with these things? The downside is that due to government classifications research has been limited. One presenter noted that as a human race we have documented medical records of using CBD medicinally for 2,000 years!!! The other downside is manufacturing is not regulated so please see my website under CBD to find the 4 questions you need answered when it comes to purchasing CBD.
In my observation, part of the inflammation in the nervous system includes trauma loops in the emotional processing part of the brain known as the limbic system. I love the work of Annie Hopper and her DNRS (Dynamic Neural Retraining System), but many kids aren't able to do this. This is where enhancing the endocannabinoid system of our body with CBD oil may help.
Supporting the endocannabinoid system with CBD oil has been shown to activate feelings of happiness, well being, reduced inflammation and less anxiety. As someone is working to make new neuronal pathways connections (you know the neurons that wire together, fire together) if they are in a happy state of mind instead of a fearful or anxious state of mind they can stop putting their body on alert and triggering hypervigilance. Dr. David Berger, MD, FAAP has over 2,000 patients utilizing CBD oil in his practice and gave compelling case studies about the benefits he is seeing.
3) SLEEP : Weighted Blanket/ Turn off Wi-Fi - If you're not sleeping, you are going to have a hard time healing. There is a plethora of information available to you about the health benefits of a good night's sleep. CBD can help with this, but I have a few additional tips:
Weighted blankets are reported to have the benefit of turning on, or activating, GABA receptor sites and inducing calm and deep sleep. Again, the key is calming down that inflammation in the nervous system and sleep is a necessary part of the healing process. If you want more information about this, I would simply do an internet search on weighted blankets. Even guests who have stayed at our house and used one have reported better sleep. So if you have sleep issues this can be a great non-invasive technique. Make sure you read up on the proper weight to body size before purchasing.
EMF exposure was a hot topic with some presenters like, Dr. Joe Mercola stating that 90% of our exposure happens from within our homes. The take-away: Turn off your wi-fi at night and if you have the means, get your body checked with a body-voltage meter.
I met Bryan Hoyer, a certified Geobiologist who has created a business checking homes and offering solutions for EMF exposure. You can find out more here: Brian Hoyer. There are even devices he can suggest that will allow you to remotely cut the power to certain breakers to give your body the chance to heal (I will have more on this later).
4) Epsom Salt & ACV Baths - I LOVE a good bath! It's one of my favorite things to do in the evening. I've been using epsom salt and essential oil baths for decades but adding the ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) is a new thought for me. ACV is one of the supports to detoxify and break up glyphosate and now I'm adding that to my filtered water and baths.
The natural magnesium in an epsom salt bath (2 cups/bath) allows you to calm the nervous system and relax your muscles. It's another non-invasive way to assist the body with detoxification and support.
During hormonal times (PMS I'm looking at you) I add geranium or sandalwood essential oils. During times of stress French Lavender oil (not synthetic lavender) is my go to. If you want to add oils putting a few drops in a tablespoon of baking soda will help disperse the oil evenly in the bath. Just make sure you use organic essential oils because you have a better chance of avoiding additional glyphosate exposure.
5) Reconnect with Nature - This is free and available to EVERYONE. Did you know that hearing natural birdsong is another way, (with scientific studies to back the effects) of calming the nervous system? How cool is that?!? Living in North Carolina I've been enjoying waking to birdsong and listening to it on my daily walks.
Yes, walk daily! If you want to do HIIT, Zumba, Pilates, Yoga, go for it. But don't skip your daily walk. My favorite time is 3pm and sometimes I can get it in and sometimes the client schedule for the day doesn't allow it. But, when I can, that is my favorite target time to walk 20 min.
Our body naturally starts to slow down as our pH in our connective tissue switches from acidic (stimulate) to alkaline (rest & repair). It's a natural time for you to feel a little sleepy and sluggish. I don't think we do well with our work schedules to transition from one biophysical change to another. Walking can help with this transition.
Ideally, do not wear sunglasses and have some skin exposure to the sun for maximum vitamin D support. Another tip I learned from a friend whose husband had suffered a heart attack and was walking to strengthen his heart - Walk only as fast as you want your heart to beat. Take deep, cleansing breaths. Notice the sounds, sights and gifts that nature has to offer.
Sunlight, grounding with the earth, playing in the dirt, walking on the beach are all great ways to reconnect with nature. Try to do this every day.
In my coaching practice, I work with biospecific recommendations utilizing information gathered during your appointment. But if you're looking for things you can do yourself, right now, today, I think this list may be helpful to you.
Yours in health,
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