Sav-n-Sac Genius

These are my girls…Savannah #1…and Sacred #2. They have been raised in an environment where “being right” is not a goal. Oh… please…don’t think we are making our choices because we think we are smarter than anyone…we are MOST certain we are doing everything wrong.

But…an interesting experiment none-the-less! Dad is completely insane…and instead of following normal structure…found guidance in some weird concept of eastern medicine called the five elements. This weird concept…or philosophy…suggests that our ONLY job is to be the most amazing and UNIQUE YOU ever. It suggests that you CANNOT screw it up, because you are the only YOU ever…so the game is fixed…you will certainly be the most amazing and unique you EVER.

Then it suggests that we have this strange drive toward contribution and significance…which creates this very uncomfortable need to be of VALUE to others. All within our own weird-ness.

Well…so far…here is an example of what they have uniquely created. A game. Each player is given a certain number of lines to create anything (drawing lines)…with the goal to be the most comprehensible to others. At each stage, the number of lines available decreases…so at some point, you only have ONE line to get someone to comprehend your message.

Mom and Dad are the contestants. They take us through 10 lines…down to 2 lines (they found at 1 line, there was not enough expression to be unique…playing by themselves, they both got pencil). Our job is to identify the drawing as intended…their intention…to convey THEIR meaning. If we got it right, they get a point.

Mom and Dad…being raised in a structure of “being right” think the game is our ability to perceive. And Mom kicks Dads butt…she is more “right” than Dad! Butt…they were wrong…not right…and the game is the ability to convey a message…and Sacred wins with simplicity. Savannah thought too much..and created too much complexity for us to understand her meaning (just a couple points…still better than ME).

As Mom is celebrating…which technically, she did win our game of right-ness…our genius children announced that Sacred won. She won the ability to convey a message with simplicity…we weren’t even in the game.

And this…perhaps the greatest lesson of life…conveying a message with simplicity so that others can ‘get it’ …is what our (un)schooled children created…as a game. Practicing something I have struggled with all of my life…for FUN!

Perhaps…as parents…we should stop talking…long enough…to hear the genius of children…

It Must Be Stress!


“Great…I can’t leave my job, my family, or make more money.”  (I guess you could do all three, but often it is not practical).  “My doctor says eat right, get some exercise, take some time off, get plenty of rest, and see a shrink.  
The reality is that all I can think about is pizza, chocolate and ice cream…I can’t sleep even though I’m exhausted.  I have no vacation time left, the LAST thing that sounds good is exercise, and I can’t imagine sitting with a stranger and discussing my problems.”  (although more people seem to be trying counseling/therapy…I actually quite like it)
And, well, there’s always the antidepressant medication.  (A plant called St. Johns Wort has actually out performed several antidepressants in side by side tests with mild to moderate depression)
I say that is a pretty un-resourceful list of ways to reduce stress.   
I say that this crappy list is why people feel helpless to stress.
Try my top tips for reducing stress:
Panhandler Method:  The panhandler has one great asset…an asset that more of us could utilize.  Here it is…everyone he meets knows exactly what he wants, and he is (mostly) not offended by “no.”  He gets tons of no’s…but he realized that if he keeps asking, well, sooner or later he will get what he wants. 
 
Perhaps you could have some fun with this.  Start asking everybody for whatever it is you want…just the first thing that comes to your mind.  Ask your spouse for a foot rub, scalp massage, shoulder rub, free night, a new shirt, a party, a movie…anything you want, important or not.  Expect that you will get many no’s. 
Ask a coworker to cover a job for you, to get your lunch, to speak more quietly, to help you answer a question, or solve a problem.  Ask your child to clean their room, do the dishes, play a game, watch a movie with you, paint your nails…whatever comes to mind.  And even with kids…don’t boss…ASK… “Would you be willing to…?”  Get your hand out, ask for what you want…clearly and distinctly.  Somebody will give you what you want, and that will reduce your stress dramatically.  
Stealing Method:  Your problems were not invented by you.  I bet most people you know have similar problems.  I bet many people have bigger problems.  I bet somebody has solved the exact problem you are experiencing.  
Steal that solution.  I often say that overcoming problems requires breaking a pattern.  I also say that reading is a wonderful pattern breaker (as long as you are reading about the person who solved the problem, not someone else describing her problem…that would just deepen the pattern).  Find a book that covers a solution to your problem (no, it’s not really stealing of course the book is there to share the ideas).  And read it, over and over, until it sinks in.  You just created a new pattern!  
Treat Me Right Method:  If you would accept the task, the responsibility, that YOU must teach every person you interact with how to treat you…YOU MIGHT HAVE NO STRESS LEFT!  Your job is to teach people how to treat you.  
Teaching is a kind, educational process.  Teaching corrects errors, but if done compassionately (and effectively), it does not include punishment (which is not effective).  You could get compliance with punishment, but the compliance is not a heartfelt attempt to make your life better.  The compliance is just avoiding the pain of your mouth or actions, and the reality is that you are less loved.  
Teaching people how to treat you is a new attitude.  It is a connecting attitude.  It is simply stating your preferences.  Sometimes it can be firm, “That is NOT OK!”  And followed with education… “If you are angry with me, you can… (people will get angry with you, how would you like them to handle that…teach them).  When people are mad at me, I would like them to describe what they experienced and how it made them feel.  That’s my preference.  
If they are so mad they could scream, I would like them to make some space and cool off.  If they lose control, I would prefer an apology.  As Savannah has told me waaay tooooo many times, after my apologizing, “It’s ok, Dad, we all lose our temper.”  Bless her wisdom!  Now get to teaching.  
Validation Method:  Validation simply means “you’re ok and normal.”  I have a special place in my heart for validation, as I have felt soooo not ok for so much of my life.  I wouldn’t even poop at school because it seemed “not right” to me, somehow embarrassing or humiliating.  Pooping!  Funny…several years ago we found a book at the library called, “Everybody Poops.”  
Validation makes everything and everyone RIGHT! YAY!!!  Validation assumes positive intention…and I can guarantee you that nobody is trying to alienate everyone around them (negative intention).  They ARE doing the best they can with their current resources.  And once you validate, you can actually teach them more resources.  
This is my favorite example, a true story…a patient of mine had a grandson that was acting up, causing trouble.  During one visit she shared that he stole a car.  She started ranting that he needed punishment, control, rules, regulations, etc.  Probably correct, but I suggested that he CAN’T hear the message, the new resource, when he feels” not ok.”  
When someone feels not ok (IN-validated), he will most likely do exactly the opposite of what you ask or suggest (or demand).  It’s a hardwired survival response.  I suggested that she validate.  She said, “WHAT?  That is not ok!”  “Really, you’ve never stole something?”  (You are a rare exception if you can say yes…I remember our 5 year old pulling a cookie out of her pocket after leaving a friend’s house)  
What if you said, “I completely understand why you did that…you wanted to get somewhere, thought it would be fun, exciting, and really wanted that car. When I was little, I remember stealing…”  Then, when they feel “ok,” you can teach…but don’t teach them why that was wrong, they are not idiots.  
“I am concerned about how worried the owner might have been or how losing that car might have hurt him.  If you want a car or to get somewhere, here is what you do…if you want excitement or danger, here is what you do…”  
The trick here is to notice the positive intent by stepping into their shoes…it takes some practice to see a positive intent when what you are seeing is clearly aggravating you!  It is repetition that creates a new pattern, so spend some time noticing the positive intent in everything that has aggravated you…back to mom and dad.  When you get back to now, you may have a new pattern.    
No Mas Method:  Can you say no?  Try it.  “NO.”  It’s pretty easy…until you have to say it TO somebody!    
Here’s the irony:  if everyone were practicing the Panhandler Method, we all would ALSO be practicing the No Mas Method.  If you knew what everyone wanted (clearly and distinctly) you would be able to easily see how you could be the most helpful or giving…and say no to all the rest.  You would feel awesome in your giving (not resentful), and be nourished with appreciation for your giving.  
Take a look at your “to do list” and rate each to do on a scale of one to four…one being this feels like torture, and four meaning this feels like a gift.  Here’s a hint…when you provide your gift, you feel excited and energized…when you are providing (resentful) obligation, you feel exhausted and unappreciated.  
   
Now, notice the number of 3 and 4’s you have compared to the 1 and 2’s.  If it is less than 80%, your to do list is a great source of stress.  Start to slowly get rid of the 1 and 2’s…nobody is benefiting from those.  
Here’s the story I often tell…If you asked me to wash your car…and I said yes…and washed your car…but then later you heard me telling someone, “what nerve you have to ask me…who does she think she is…like I have nothing better to do than wash a car…I had to miss my sons soccer game!”  You would wish I hadn’t helped you!  And that is true of every situation, every person…
No is the kindest word you can say if you are asked to do something that doesn’t make you feel good.  The intention will be off, the result will be off…it will be disconnecting rather than connecting.  Take your list of 1 and 2’s and start doing the best thing for everyone…say NO!  
Natures Method:  In nature, if an animal was stressed due to sickness or injury, it would most likely eat some plant (and they most likely know better than we do which to eat) and go lie down. 
One thing we do know about plants are the effects of a group of plants called “Adaptogens.”  These adaptogens have the quality of surviving harsh conditions, and they seem to pass that resilience on to us.  Many studies on adaptogens have shown that they increase resilience to stress, physically and mentally. 
They seem to do this by lowering our resting threshold for the stress response…you know the feeling…when confronting a person about something…the heart racing, stumbling on your words, tightness all over your body.  That’s the stress response, and your resting threshold determines the amount of stress you can take before you blow your stack or collapse.  
Think about a glass of water.  If the glass is full to the rim, one drop will cause it to overflow.  If the glass is empty, you can pour it on…and on…  Same goes for our brains…if you stub your toe getting out of bed, spill the milk on your shoes, and snag your sweater on a nail, all before 8 AM…as you are leaving the house, you might be near your threshold for stress.  Then when someone cuts you off in traffic, you “blow your top” and give the universal hand gesture for “I didn’t like that.”  
Our threshold “glass” is always holding some water.  We need a stress response for holding ourselves upright in gravity.  If your posture is symmetrical because you are a patient of Dr. Stone, that stress is minimal.  If you have a weak gluteus medius, which allows the hip to drop and turn a touch forward, that stress is greater.  
The amount of water in your threshold glass depends on your total experience of life and health.  And some people are getting out of bed with a full glass of water.  (This doesn’t feel good!)
But, that is what adaptogens do for you…they lower the level of the water in the glass.  Possibly, they build you a bigger glass, since nothing is really changing in your life…but it is clearly observable that they increase your threshold for stress, both physically and mentally.  
Some of the plants considered adaptogens are Ginseng, Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Holy basil, Reishi (actually a mushroom), Shisandra, and Rhodiola.  One or more are always on my list, both because I find life challenging, and because I think I have something important to share, and the more energy I have for sharing, the better!  
You won’t necessarily notice something the moment you take it…it takes time to shift function and physiology naturally.  But be consistent for a week, then two, three…you will start to notice the difference.  And for the minority that don’t notice a difference in 4 weeks… that experience is actually diagnostic…it means that there is most likely an immune challenge that is keeping your body in stress overwhelm.   And that’s a whole other way to reduce stress naturally…treat inflammation.  
There are so many more ways…eating protein in regular intervals, extra green veggies every day, our Greens First drink, tapping acupressure points…what you want to achieve is being resourceful to attend to stress and inflammation, and practice listening to see if it is working.  
Hopefully, this has increased your resource list in at least one way.
Best,
Dr. Stone   
PS.  The most broad spectrum adaptogens we have is Adaptocrine.  There are 6 different adaptogens plants in one supplement…that’s the place to start if you want to “try” adding some adaptogens to your life.  Laura is happy to ship if you give her a call.

Natural Pediatric Care

One thing I know very personally is pediatric medicine.  We have 4 children ages 3-9 (with another on the way!).  No world record, but we know babies, toddlers, and pre-teens.  (and looking forward to the teen years when the child suddenly knows more than mom and dad!)  
We have experienced the gamut of pediatric problems… allergies and spitting up, neurologic issues affecting school performance, bronchitis (in a 2 day old!), tummy and headaches, urinary tract infections, colds, strep throat, flu, chicken pox, fifths disease, random vomiting, potty training challenges, warts, bad cases of poison ivy (including the private parts!), eczema…what else?  I think we have seen and experienced all the common problems (not to mention all the emotional struggles).  
We have never visited a pediatrician, however, as we have been able to identify the problem, including the root cause, and apply a treatment (naturally) that effectively resolved the symptoms.  
The closest to a label we have experienced was our school mentioning the name dyslexia.  But, when brought to my attention, I devised a neurological processing treatment that resolved the symptoms, and there hasn’t been any mention of it since.  
I have thought about creating a website that is specific to pediatric needs…but first, you tell me if this would be of benefit to you and your kids.  
Gates has been going back and forth with potty training…he’s got it…oops, he’s not even close…  He also has some separation anxiety (mom of course), anger and aggressiveness (hurting) his twin sister, and some feeling sad or low self esteem when people won’t listen to him (good luck with 3 sisters!).  
Our main concern was helping him master the potty training, but I want to consider all symptoms, challenges, and difficulties when doing an assessment.
Now, with no real experience with pediatricians, but knowledge of medical protocols…what would your local pediatrician offer?  Stool softener?  Antidepressant?  Counseling?  A wish of good luck?  
Here’s what we did.  Using what is called indirect muscle testing, (using a third party), we asked his nervous system and energetic system what it needs.  We found a primary need in the part of the brain called the Amygdala, which is part of the limbic or emotional brain, plus the water element in eastern medicine.  
Oh great, that’s very useful!!!  (Obviously we translate into practical advice!)
That allows us to assess stressors…from a physical level, we discovered a couple immune challenges, including corn and peanuts, and heavy metals…a stress challenge (noradrenaline)…and an organ challenge (gall bladder).  Our process also allows us to assess remedies…again on the physical level… cilantro for heavy metals, probiotics and enzymes for food sensitivities (along with reducing intake), sage for stress, and choline for gall bladder.  
That might seem like a lot for a little kid (he’s 3), but it will most likely mean a few droppers of each tincture mixed into one bottle for one dose per day, and an open capsule of enzymes in his oatmeal or yogurt.  Our kids eat the probiotics straight up because they have chickory root in them, which tastes like sugar.  We certainly understand that it has to be easy or it just won’t happen!  
Moving to brain health, we know that this area of the brain is associated with fear, so we ask about the fear.  In his case, the fear is losing mom’s nurturing.  He wants to be a “big boy” but is conflicted with the comforts of mom’s closeness.  This is a classic values conflict…I want this (growing up) but I also want that too (nurturing from mom).  As adults, we know how a mother-son relationship evolves, and that a mother at 95 years old would give anything to a son of 70.  It never ends, it just changes.  
Gates doesn’t know that though…he sees a scary world, and if mom doesn’t stay in her protective role, he is a goner!  (to be more accurate, part of him sees it this way…another part is hungry to take on more).  But what a blessing to know his internal struggle and help him soothe his fears.  
Moving to energetic needs…the water element has to do with developing an ability to listen to internal cues and make a choice…safely and beneficially.  As this skill develops, a parent’s role and goal is reassurance.  “You can do this,” along with a careful watch, is the key to developing this internal guidance system that makes such an impact on his ability to be successful and handle failure in a positive way.  
Knowing his internal development process allows us to respond exactly to his current needs.  His potty failures are a clinging to mother protection…he simply needs reassurance of the choices that stand in front of him.  The choice for increasing independence is always scary.  Letting him know that he can do this may be all it takes.  We can reinforce with building value into making that choice…things he sees his big sisters do and have fun with…play dates, sleep overs, more choices, more options.  We can focus his little brain on the positives of a difficult choice.
We also have a physical treatment plan to soothe his energy system…acupressure points to stimulate that make the transition all that much easier, along with words to comfort, and natural medicine to increase his health and constitution.
I honestly don’t know how parents are parenting with-OUT this advantage!  Parenting is a challenge…and being a kid is a challenge…this just makes it soooo much easier on both ends.  
So…would this be of value to you as a parent?  Would it be helpful to know what your child’s internal fears are (or other emotional challenges), and have a game plan to soothe them…to know what the physical needs are to help your child stay strong and healthy in a toxic and stressful world…to know what the neurological needs are to help develop a resilient brain?? 

Amazing power of NET (NeuroEmotional Therapy)

Ever have one of those days where you are sure your child has lost her mind?  Our youngest, Amory (3), had just such a day recently.  
At breakfast she was screaming at her twin brother because he was too close to her.  And…”you can’t use my glass, don’t touch my plate…don’t say that…He called me stupid.”  As we drove out to camping she was screaming that she couldn’t wait any longer.  When we were walking down the trail, she sat down and said she couldn’t walk with shoes on, and of course once we took them off the rocks were “too pokey” to walk without shoes on.  
So there we sat…life being too impossible to take another step.  What could we do?  Should I demand that she walk?  Should I just fix it and carry her?  
The shoes were not the REAL problem.  Nor was her brother, the plate, glass, words, car, trail, etc., etc.  She had a real upset going on inside her and was acting this way instead of dealing with the problem.  And she’s 3…I don’t expect her to share her feelings and talk about her problems.  She probably didn’t even know why she was so ticked off that day.  
Something had triggered her upset.  A trigger is a sensory event…something you see, hear, or feel that ignites an emotional pattern.  
I use muscle testing to tap into the nervous system, which includes the energy systems described in eastern medicine.  As I “asked” her unconscious nervous system through her muscles, I discovered that she had been let down by her mother (sorry moms, most kid upsets are your fault).  Amory expected Mom to punish, correct, or somehow protect her from her brother taking her things.  Once I got the summary of what was REALLY bothering her, I started to ask some questions.  And one miracle I’ve discovered is if you guess the right upset, you get their attention.   
I also tapped an acupressure point that had a connection to her emotion…which in this case was muddled or confused.  The anger she displayed was her strategy to stop feeling this “bad” feeling.  
It works well to be playful with kids, so I asked if she thought Mom should punch her brother.  She loved that one, and excitedly said “Yes!”  I then explained that Mom wants her to be strong and know how to handle it when people treat her unfairly.  That mom loves her and knows she is not always around to protect her.   It might sound like a bit much for a 3 year old to absorb, but I figure that the intention of the words is understood, even if the words are not. 
After the testing, tapping and talking…the trail no longer seemed impossible.  We walked up to where the others were and told mom about the upset.  Mom reassured her as well.  
About five minutes later, another family arrived.  They greeted us and asked Amory for a hug.  I watched her walk over and give big hugs (that would NOT have happened an hour earlier), and I felt incredible gratitude for this wonderful gift of kinesiology…eastern medicine philosophy…and meeting my (and your) kids’ NEEDS.  
Compare that experience to another possible experience: forcing her to walk or fixing the trail problem by carrying her.  Or any other solution you might have come up with.  
I have seen this transformation so many times…in my own children and also in the many others I have seen in my clinic.  It creates so much ease in life with families, I almost feel negligent for not sharing this amazing gift more!