Naturopathy, in one sentence, is to live life listening to your instincts. If only we followed our children’s footsteps, and joined them completely in their play, wonder, eating and sleeping, we would be much healthier.
Naturopathy for kids is not an option; it is the only way says Dr. Achyuthan Eswar. It is all they know. We cannot get them to practice a natural life. We can only learn from them, and allow them to listen to their instincts. The instincts that help a child keep itself healthy are the same instincts that help all animals in the world, children or adults, to keep themselves healthy.
“Naturopathy, in one sentence, is to live life listening to your instincts.”
Here’s a list of things that kids do, which most of us don’t – which keeps them in good health and us, well, not in the best of it:
They eat only when they are hungry
When you eat without hunger, it takes a lot of extra effort for the body to digest the food you eat, even if it is the healthiest of foods. Digesting food isn’t easy. We only understand this when we feel very tired and sleepy after a heavy meal.
They eat only food that they find tasty
In Nature, this is very important. Any food that does not taste good is probably not healthy for you. We have modified food by mixing and cooking, to make even tasteless foods appear tasty.
They eat only as much as their hunger demands. Not more, not less.
Babies never overeat. They never eat less than what they need either. When they are ill, they do not feel hungry, and so they do not eat, until they recover from their illness. This is the natural instinct of all animals. It must be encouraged from a young age – under medical supervision, of course – so that it remains a habit after growing up, too.
They drink water when they are thirsty, according to how thirsty they are.
Most of us are chronically dehydrated. We don’t drink enough water, and we don’t eat food that contains enough water in it. Children instinctively drink enough as much water as they need.
They sleep when they are sleepy, and stay awake when they are not sleepy
Many a times, this may mean sleepless nights for you. The trick is to see that they feel sleepy when night begins to fall.
They are constantly active, every second of their waking time.
Exercise = hunger + sleepiness. The more physical activity your child gets, the better he or she eats, and better sleep he or she gets.
How many of us do all these things? We eat when the clock strikes the hour, we sleep when the clock tells us to, and even wake up to an alarm, instead of following what our body tells us.
If only we followed our children’s footsteps, and joined them completely in their play, wonder, eating and sleeping, we would be much healthier.
What can we do to help? Allow them to follow their instincts. Take food for example. Let food remain something that is eaten when hungry, to get energy to play. Do not turn food into a bribe or a punishment. Do not attach emotions to food. If you are able to give your child a childhood free from these, he or she will be absolutely independent and in control of food after growing up.
Try to observe what you say or do with regard to food today, with your child. Do you use it as a bribe to get him or her to do something? A special treat, perhaps? Remembering to observe this itself will be difficult, because it is so ingrained – it has become a part of who we are. Let this mental conditioning stop with us. Allow your child to grow up without this mental and emotional programming, to ensure your family’s health for generations.