Continuing on the path to being holistically healthy (is that even a logical phrase?) I took Doodle to a pediatric osteopath yesterday.
The definition of osteopthy is that it is an approach to healthcare that emphasizes the role of the musculoskeletal system in health and disease. In most countries osteopathy is a form of complementary medicine, emphasizing a holistic approach and the skilled use of a range of manual and physical treatment interventions in the prevention and treatment of disease.
The way I saw it was that it seemed a little like the combination of chiropractic and massage.
We went there because according to my naturopath this would help with Doodle's problem with hyperactivity. The initial consultation was pretty amazing to me. By just looking at Doodle (and not yet getting the full details) she was able to describe his sleep problems as a baby, his current sleep problems (will happily stay in his room but takes a long time to fall asleep, wakes up early and changes positions a lot in the night) all by looking at his body.
When she worked on him she had him lie on the table. It looked like a massage table but smaller and lower. The manipulation takes about a half an hour. She did a lot of rubbing of his head and shoulders. The purpose was that she said that he is very tight on one side and loose on the other so he is out of whack. Thinking back, all sorts of issues he has had are all on one side. He has ear infections in one ear which is also very waxy most of the time. She said this is a drainage issue.
She explained to me the link between hyperactivity and temper tantrums and osteopathy. I'll admit she sort of lost me at one point because my understanding of biology is really lacking. But it made sense at the time.
While she massaged away she rolled in a tv set and Doodle watched a movie while she did what she had to do. Brilliant. He stayed calm and relaxed the entire time.
The one thing she said to expect was he may sleep a little more. So far she is right. He napped in the car after and then he slept in until 9:15 today. He NEVER does that. I was shocked. And I like it.
When we combine that treatment with the lack of sugar and nitrates in his diet, I think we'll be seeing a big change in our child. I'll admit I already am. He's calmer and happier. He's still a 4 year old boy and we are still doing time outs and need to discipline him. But, it's different. For instance when he got a time out today, instead of kicking and screaming before he got there, he walked right over to the time out stair. He cried and screamed when he was there. But when I went to talk to him about the issue he calmed right down and listened and actually understood what I was trying to tell him.
This is all I hoped for. The roles Phat Daddy and I have as parents are to teach Doodle right from wrong, and to help him succeed in life (there's much more, I know). And, I feel like these changes we've made for Doodle's health are helping us to accomplish this. There's much less screaming on our part and much more teaching. We can do things with Doodle we would not have done even a month ago.
All of this is hard. But right now it is so so so worth it.