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Back to School. Building Your Natural Medicine Cabinet.

Yesterday on Good Morning Texas I spoke about preparing your child's immune system for back to school.

In chiropractic we come from the mindset that an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. In every consult I educate my patients that we operate physiologically in a model of proactive care. Meaning that the lifestyle habits that we do on a regular basis all lay the foundation for a healthy internal ecosystem--mentally, physically, and emotionally.

When it comes to back to school, there are things that you can start doing now to help establish a healthy transition into the rhythm shift. As a mom to three daughters, we will be going into preK, 1st, and 3rd grade...and especially as a single mother, sick days can take a huge toll on our rhythms. I'd love to share with you what we do in our household and what I have on hand for my girls just in case they do get sick. You can stock up your natural mama medicine cabinet with all of my favorites in a link at the end of this post.

A holistic approach to back-to-school preparation can help your kids stay healthy, focused, and ready to take on the academic challenges ahead. Let's explore some holistic habits and immune-boosting supplements that can support your children's well-being as they head back to the classroom.

1. Nourishing Foods:

A strong immune system starts with a healthy diet. Encourage your children to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These nutrient-rich foods provide essential vitamins and minerals that are vital for immune function. Incorporate immunity-boosting foods like citrus fruits, fermented foods such as sauerkraut for natural probiotics, garlic, and add ginger into their meals. Avoid excessive sugary snacks and drinks, as they can weaken the immune system.

2. Regular Exercise:

Physical activity is not only essential for keeping your kids active and fit but also for supporting their immune system. Your lymphatic system is the only system in your body without a pump, so regular activity is crucial to keeping the immune system flowing. Encourage them to engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day. Activities like playing outdoors, biking, dancing, or participating in organized sports can be both enjoyable and beneficial for their overall health. With the transition to sitting multiple hours per day, it is important to incorporate daily activity and exercise.

3. Sufficient Sleep:

A good night's sleep is crucial for your children's well-being, and it plays a significant role in maintaining a robust immune system. Make sure they follow a consistent bedtime routine that allows for 8 to 10 hours of restful sleep each night. Adequate sleep helps their bodies repair and recharge, making them less susceptible to illnesses. You can start implementing school bedtimes now a few weeks ahead of time to help reduce the shock of early mornings.

4. Stress Management:

Stress can weaken the immune system, so it's essential to teach your children healthy ways to manage it. Encourage open communication and offer support during stressful times. Practice mindfulness exercises, such as deep breathing or meditation, which can help reduce stress levels and improve their mental well-being. It's always a good idea to incorporate creative play into their daily rhythms such as coloring, painting, or creating.

5. Holistic Therapies:

We offer all of the therapies needed for back to school at the Nest--including chiropractic care, ozone therapy, massage, IV's, holistic speech therapy, nutrition, and homeopathy. Getting on a regular wellness chiropractic routine is a game changer for most children's health. Staying in alignment not only helps the physical stress that children experience, but also the mental stress. We offer cranial visits for children that have been shown to help with childhood anxiety and attribute to deep healing. We are also so happy to offer ozone therapy at the Nest that helps prevent and naturally treat ear infections, sinus issues, allergies, upper respiratory infections, and so much more.

6. Immune-Boosting Supplements:

While a balanced diet should be the primary source of nutrients, some immune-boosting supplements can further support your children's immune system. Before considering any supplements, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure they are safe and suitable for your child's needs. Here are some commonly recommended supplements that I keep on hand.

a) Vitamin C: Known for its immune-enhancing properties, vitamin C can help protect against infections and reduce the severity of colds.

b) Vitamin D: This vitamin plays a vital role in immune system function and is especially important during colder months when sunlight exposure may be limited. As always make sure your child is getting as much barefoot sun exposure as possible. Natural vitamin D is always best.

c) Probiotics: These beneficial bacteria support gut health and can help strengthen the immune system. I love incorporating fermented foods as the first source of probiotics. Try to encourage 2-4 spoonfuls of sauerkraut or fermented foods daily.

d) Elderberry: Elderberry extract has been traditionally used to boost the immune system and may help reduce the duration of cold and flu symptoms. We proudly sell Mama T's elderberry at the Nest, she is a local mom and makes the most delicious and pure elderberry syrup. She even has a maple version for the little ones under 12months.

e) Omega 3/Fish Oil: Children need omega-3s for healthy growth, development, and brain function. In addition, some evidence suggests that omega-3s may be beneficial for avoiding allergies, improving sleep and school performance, and mitigating ADHD symptoms.

f) Trace Minerals: Many children are naturally deficient in crucial minerals that can lead to chronic dehydration. I love adding in a pinch of sea salt to water or including trace minerals into my kid's water bottles for school. This helps re establish mineral balance and keep your little ones hydrated.

g) Herbs: There are many herbal blends that can help support the immune system. Especially the upper respiratory system. One of our favorites is Briar Rose. Ashwaghanda is another herb that helps support the adrenal glands in children.

You can find all of these supplements and protocols in our online Fullscript access. Check out this protocol HERE.

We are offering $50 off all of our pediatric visits this August. To schedule your back to school check up, book online with us HERE.

Remember, supplements should complement a healthy lifestyle and not replace a balanced diet. I've also included in our Back to School protocol a list of supplements to stock up on so you are not rushing to Whole Foods in the middle of the night to pick up your natural remedies. It's always good to have things on hand for when sickness does hit. The key in natural remedies is administering them at the first sign of illness. Here are some of my favorites that you can find in our protocol.

-Garlic oil for ear infections

-Colloidial Silver for topical or internal infections

-Bach's natural stress relief

-Dhist for allergies

-Cold Calm for natural cold relief

By adopting these holistic habits and incorporating immune-boosting supplements (after consulting with a healthcare professional), you can empower your children to head back to school with robust health and vitality. A strong immune system not only helps them stay healthy but also enables them to focus better--mind, body, spirit.

Wishing you and your children a happy, healthy, and successful back-to-school season!

With love,

Dr. Courtney


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