Breaking the Cycle, Naturally!
Growing up for our children seems to be quickening in pace; could this lead to higher expectation of maturing early? It is useful to consider that physical development including the strength and functioning of one’s organs can be linked to those of the parents when younger. This month we will be focusing on causes that affect functioning of the bladder especially at night in children. A vicious circle can be created when bedwetting becomes a worry or cause frustration for those involved. This article hopes to offer helpful hints and inspiration through access to an invaluable website, relevant statistics and a natural way that has helped families to break the cycle by working together.
It is good to know that it is common for children to accidentally wet the bed. The medical name for bedwetting is nocturnal enuresis. Nocturnal enuresis is common in young children but it gets less common as a child gets older. In the UK, it’s estimated that about:
- 1 in 12 children wet the bed regularly at four and a half years old (regularly is defined as at least twice a week)
- 1 in 40 children wet the bed regularly at seven and a half years old
- 1 in 65 children wet the bed regularly at nine and a half years old(NHS)
- 1 in 75 teenagers wet the bed
Possible reasons why this happens, not laziness but: When their bladder gets full, the ’empty me’ signal doesn’t get through to their brain, to wake them so the bladder empties when they are asleep. They might not have enough of a hormone called Vasopressin. This hormone helps the kidneys make less urine in the night. They could have an overactive bladder. This means their bladder needs to empty often and urgently. If they are constipated their bowel will be full and can put pressure on your bladder at night. (ERIC)
ERIC stands for Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence and is based in Bristol. Their website is full of useful information for children, teenagers and parents of sufferers with this common condition. They supported my natural supportive therapy that I developed after an astonishing response from a press release in the local paper in July 1997. This brought about the realisation of the extent of this problem for families in Cornwall and beyond.
The article focused on Reflexology and how it could help students’ stress around exam time but also mentioned previous exciting results for babies with asthma and older children with bedwetting problems. From this press release, I received over 15 phone calls from mothers all over the UK asking how Reflexology could help alleviate their child’s bedwetting. I trained six mothers at this point on an individual basis to focus on this specific ailment. All the children responded well to treatment, those who achieved the greatest benefit were those treated daily for the first week.
Previously we have looked at how stress affects the body physically and how 75% of all common ailments are stress related. Although the effects are physical, the source of the stress is usually emotional. It has been documented that many illnesses are related to specific emotional trauma. The most significant examples for this article are the emotions that affect the kidneys and bladder: Louise Hay fig 4 believes that kidney disorders relate to the emotion – fear. Bladder disorders relate to – disillusionment with those in control. This connects well with this traumatic cycle -imagine how frustrating it can be to have to keep washing sheets, duvets and bedclothes and possible disillusionment of the child’s progress if they used to be dry (secondary nocturnal enuresis). Children are sensitive and can pick up on suppressed emotion leading to suppressing the way they feel. This is the beginning of a vicious circle, where disillusionment and fear build up inside the child and begins to affect his/her daily life. ‘How can I go on a sleep-over, or to camp, how can I talk to anyone about this when it is stressing them out?’ often becoming a taboo subject. But during the reflexology treatment, the child will start to relax. He/she will begin to realise that the Mum or Dad are doing this just for them, working on a one to one basis a greater bond and level of understanding will begin to develop and the child will start to open up and express how he/she feels.
It might take one session, but expect to complete a few daily treatments before seeing an improvement. The child’s confidence will grow as both become more accustomed to the treatment and the effect will become evident. Then it is possible to treat less regularly, maybe drop down to two or three times a week, then weekly, every fortnight and so on. As the bond between parent and child strengthens it will become easy to work out how often the sequence is necessary. If the child goes through a bad patch at school, or seems troubled by something give them an extra treatment. It’s great to feel more in control!
Vasopressin, the hormone already described as helping the kidneys make less urine at night has also been investigated in relation to its effects on relationships of couples; finding that a flood of oxytocin and vasopressin produces a greater feeling of attachment and security. The original study observed relationship changes in prairie voles. In the experiment male prairie voles were given a drug that suppresses the effect of vasopressin, leading to the bond with their partner deteriorating immediately as they lost their devotion and failed to protect their partner from new suitors. (BBC, Science) Although a little off on a tangent, could there be a link between a vasopressin reduction in children suffering with enuresis and a sense of insecurity at home? Through Reflexology an energy boost can be focused towards balancing hormones by targeting the endocrine glands where they are produced and strengthen relationship bonds as described above.
A trial carried out in Canada involved 20 children who had reflexology administered twice weekly for four weeks (with a minimum of 2 days between treatments) followed by weekly treatments for seven weeks. A decrease in the night time amount of urine was reported by 43.8% of the parents and 23.5% moved from the category of “soaking wet” to “a little wet”. Upon conclusion of treatment, one boy was completely dry. For one month after the conclusion of treatment the effects were maintained with one boy and one girl being completely dry, also one boy was almost dry. Some parents reported a change in their child’s sleep pattern, now the child would awaken upon urination which they previously had not done, one possible reasons from ERIC’s list above. I have found that parents treating their children at home in a familiar environment once the sequence has been learnt; increases the likelihood of success.
If you would like to learn what to do that might help someone troubled with enuresis, there are a few different ways forward. If you are local I could come to your home and using a full reflexology treatment sequence would determine where the areas of weakness are on the one in need. For every child treated so far I have found an uncharted point that has shown an energy blockage. By teaching you how to complete the personalised treatment tailor made to their needs; you would then be able to look after them yourself. You are also given a booklet to help remember your treatment and contact details if you should have any concerns. Fig5 If you aren’t local and hear about this while you are on holiday or through Grandparents, a very popular way word spread last time; a long weekend in Cornwall would be a great way to relax and learn how to treat Enuresis. I am also starting a 10 week course in September to teach how to treat family and friends with common conditions using foot and hand reflexology; if you would like to treat more conditions.
Hope the sun keeps shining on you,