This post was written by Roman Vaynshtok, founder of Peace and Balance Reiki Center. Roman usually holds Reiki programs in our Branches.
Even before COVID-19, the beginning of a school year could be very stressful for many kids. Physical distancing, that limits socializing, and seeing their parents stressed, escalate their stress level and anxiety to a different level. Uncertainty about the new school year after distance learning brings another layer of stress. More than ever, parents and guardians need to be aware of their children’s emotional and mental health. We know that emotional and mental health affects our physical health.
More and more medical professionals recommend a non-pharmaceutical approach – Energy Therapies. These therapies reduce stress, calm mind, and help with many health issues. In my practice, I found that many times I need to start energy work with parents. Children have a unique ability to mirror the parents’ energy state.
There are several schools or practices of Energy Medicine in the majority of hospitals that fall under Integrative Medicine. I want to share with you a few techniques you can do at home with your child. Please don’t ask your child to do these exercises; do them together. Later you will be surprised when your child will do them on their own to calm them down. Try all four and see which one works better with your child.
1. Brain Gym
Brain Gym exercises help calm an anxious child. Stimulate and balance between right and left sides of the brain, and brain-body connections. This exercise regulates energy flow to the Central Nervous System (Vegas Nerve). My wife is a teacher and uses these exercises with her students before the test. It helps with focus and performance. Always have water before the start; water enhances electrical activity in the brain/body.
Do the “Cross-Crawl” exercise to stimulate the flow of energy between brain hemispheres & body.
· Front – touch the left knee with right elbow, continue rotating left and right.
· Back – move the hand and touch opposite heel behind the body, keep rotating left and right.
· Ski – raise one hand to the front & opposite foot behind & alternate.
Our emotional state affects our breathing pattern. We breathe differently when we are angry or scared in comparison to when we are calm and happy. By changing our breathing pattern, we can improve our emotional state. Our brain is only 2 % of our body’s weight, but it uses 20% of the body’s oxygen. These exercises can enhance the brain’s oxygen flow and reduce heart rate, anxiety, and improve clearer thinking.
“Make Balloon” abdomen breathing. It is done when a child is lying on the floor with a hand on the tummy. He is asked to inflate the balloon in his belly and completely deflate. This exercise could be done as a game.
“4-2-6” Inhale air to a count of 4, hold for a count of 2, and release for a count of 6. Because breathing becomes very conscious, it has a calming effect on the mind. Continue for a couple of minutes.· “Square Breathing” – When you take a breath in, draw the 1st line in a square. Hold your breath and draw the 2nd line in the square. As you exhale, draw the 3rd line of the square. Hold your breath again as you connect the last line. Do this exercise several times.
3. Meditation (see January 2020 blog post “kids and meditation” here at peace and balance )
4. Create a healthy routine for your child.
A healthy routine or daily schedule has a positive effect on the big range of emotional, behavioral, or mental issues kids could have. It brings stability and a feeling of safety. It is never too late to establish a routine. A part of your routine can become a family tradition. Establishing a consistent routine will benefit the child with:
· Helps your child get on a schedule
· Bonds the family together
· Establishes expectations
· Creates a calmer household
· Gives your child confidence and independence
· Develops healthy, constructive habits
· Allows your child to get excited about what’s ahead
· Provides an opportunity for special “daily rituals”
· Offers stability during times of change or stress
To learn more techniques or schedule a session feel free to contact me. I also offer distance sessions.
Disclosure: Reiki or any Energy treatment is not a substitute for medical treatment.
With light and love,
Roman Vaynshtok, founder of Peace and Balance and Reiki Center