I have been learning so much lately on the fight or flight or fright response that our nervous system goes into when under significant stress. It is fascinating how protective our systems become to any perceived or real threat. The processes and interactions within the body systems during times of stress are fascinating. I have also learned the long term effects of overworked adrenals. Toxic levels of cortisol can be detrimental to our health.
For some of the children who I get the pleasure to know and care about, those perceived threats to the system, can create such havoc on the entire mind, body, and spirit. A child who struggles with chronic feelings of anxiety, frustration, or anger can have challenges in overall health and wellbeing. This can interfere with interacting and navigating the world around them. It can lead to poor self esteem, social isolation, decreased energy, fatigue, and lack of joy. It can also be so hard for the entire family system to navigate when their child is under such significant stress.
In my work in supporting children, I have observed more and more children who are under significant distress. The distress can be caused from many different reasons from changes in home life, stressors at school, trauma, sensory processing challenges and other developmental challenges. I believe though that hope is not lost and that children can be supported to work through those storms of life. Tools and strategies and a good support system are required.
We hope that Rainbow Tree can be one of those support systems.
I am so looking forward to supporting Rainbow Tree Campers in December when Rainbow Tree’s Self Care Camp begins! The essence of Self Care Camp at Rainbow Tree is not only to provide a space of healing and true acceptance but also providing an experience of how to make changes within the nervous system to move through the storms when they appear. Campers will learn life long tools to help manage stress! The tools learned are proven to make changes within the nervous system to instill calm and a feeling of wellbeing. As an Occupational Therapist, I strive to support people in maintaining a life of meaning, fulfillment, and overall function. When our nervous system is in overload, it is difficult use those high levels of brain function to make good decisions, to learn, to problem solve, and to feel in control.
Campers at Self Care Camp will engage in a variety of activities and learn different tools. One tool is teaching campers to deep breath. The research is very clear that breathing exercises can enhance parasympathetic or restorative responses, decrease sympathetic (fight, flight or fright) nervous activity, improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, minimize the effects of stress, and improve mental and physical health (Pal, Velkumary, and Madanmohan, 2004).
The good news is that I have SPOTS open for this camp! Click on the link to learn more: Self Care Camp Part II
Thank you to those who have registered! If you have questions regarding this camp, do not hesitate to contact Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rainbow Tree Therapies, LLC