Behavioural Problems and Mood Disorder in Children

Our clinic is seeing an increasing number of children who are having trouble self-regulating their emotions and suffering from different levels of anxiety. Although it is normal for children to express themselves outwardly in a physical manner at times (due in part to the limitations around their vocabulary and undeveloped maturity), it may start to become a problem when the behaviour and/or mood of the child is impacting the rest of the family. Relationships and friendships for these children can become strained and problems can start to spread to other areas of the child’s life including their academic performance, self-esteem and general health and wellbeing.

 Behavioural issues and mood disorder in children can manifest in various ways and require a multifaceted approach to treatment. Some of the more obvious signs of behavioural disturbance include:

  • Inability to regulate emotions
  • Angry outbursts
  • Physical episodes (hitting, kicking, throwing)
  • Verbal attacks (screaming, using inappropriate language, verbal insults)
  • Irritability and intolerance to surrounding people and circumstances
  • Desire to control social settings and peers
  • Hyper or over-reactivity of various outcomes

Some of the more subtle signs of behaviour or mood disturbance include:

  • Withdrawing from surrounding people and environment
  • Disconnection or detachment from family and friends
  • Tummy pains
  • Headaches
  • Sadness or low mood
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor memory

Children often do not have the maturity to cope with overwhelming feelings which can lead to meltdowns and outbursts. Physical outbursts provide a quick method of releasing negative energy for children, albeit taxing on parents and carers. If these outbursts are occurring frequently or becoming increasingly physical, parents or carers should seek some professional advice on how to manage the behaviour and how best to provide support to the child.

Behavioural problems are not always linked to disturbing and aggressive behaviour patterns. Children experiencing behavioural disturbance or mood disorder may have trouble forming and maintaining friendships and “fitting in”. Behaviour imbalance may also manifest as sleep disturbance including fear of being left alone at night, waking during the night, restless sleep and interrupted sleep patterns.

If your child is having trouble regulating their emotions, you may find they often seem down or sad or may be withdrawing from socialising or communicating with those around them. Their teachers may notice a drop in their academic performance or increasing disruptive behaviour in the classroom or day care setting.

Some children complain of ongoing tummy pains or headache which may be a symptom of underlying anxiety or over-stimulation of the sensory organs. Most children are unable to articulate specific feelings and the underlying trigger of these emotions, therefore it is important to look at the whole picture and speak to other adults that can provide further insight into the child’s behaviour. Collating all this information enables a holistic approach to treatment which is more likely to provide long lasting support and facilitate solid improvement to the behaviour and/or mood of the child.

An integral element of a Naturopathic Consultation is identifying what body systems may be contributing to the imbalance being displayed. Multiple systems are usually implicated in behaviour or mood disorder.

Poor detoxification activity can contribute to behavioural issues as the toxic burden on the liver increases and causes tissue damage and inflammation. Elevated levels of toxins can lead to dysregulation of the nervous system and the digestive system which can impact sleep, elimination processes and mood.

Impaired methylation can cause an imbalance to nutrient levels and negatively impact the synthesis of many essential molecules in the body. Nutrients begin to compete with each other in the body causing further imbalance resulting in aggravated behavioural patterns and mood dysfunction.

There are key nutrients required to modulate the nervous system and stabilise behaviour. Fibre is essential to ensure detoxification pathways and elimination processes adequately excrete toxins and waste. Essential fatty acids are important for healthy nervous system function which helps to reduce anxiety and stabilise mood. Zinc is essential for human growth and development and for healthy neurological function. Tryptophan supports brain health and enhances nervous system function to rebalance mood and behaviour disorders. It is important to note that supplements should never be taken, unless prescribed by your healthcare practitioner following a consultation.

A diet rich in whole foods with adequate protein and essential fatty acids provides a healthy start for children experiencing behavioural issues and/or mood disorder. Time away from stimulation including television, computers and other electronics, especially in the evenings, can help to calm the nervous system. Regular exercise, daily sunshine, adequate filtered water and positive parenting provide further support to optimise the function of the nervous system and the digestive system.

If children require further support to dietary and lifestyle modifications, functional testing can be performed to determine any physiological dysfunction. From pathology testing we can observe any specific nutrient deficiencies to enable targeted treatment and tailored support for the child.

 If you are concerned about your child or any children in your care, consider making an appointment with our Naturopath, Belle, who is able to identify pathology, either via consultation or functional testing, and make treatment recommendations accordingly.

A tailored treatment plan may be all your child needs to set them on the right path and bring peace and harmony back into your home and family life. Call us on 8406 0679 or visit to book an appointment.


Stay Ahead of Injury and Pain

Prevention is better than the Cure…. these might be the most recognised collection of words to associate with personal health care and personal wellbeing. When we apply these words and its intention on a gross level to healing, most of us can understand its relevance.

These examples are…no brainers! to reduce the chances of getting many types of cancer, one may stop or reduce smoking cigarettes. to reduce the chances of getting many types of cancer, one may stop or reduce drinking alcohol… these are best adhered to while we are in developing adolescent years, however at any stage is advantageous to better health and a more enriching life.

To build self confidence and competency, one will complete many hours driving a vehicle before they are socially able to drive free from restrictions, compared to most road users.
So it is clear to see, in many facets of life, we prepare to reduce the chances, or avoid the known circumstances that we do not desire. A simple and empowering antidote right?
We are living in a modern world where by we are noticing more PREVENTABLE diseases than ever before cause major illness or death. The kiss of death, albeit a slow one, is the factual statistics behind the notion that now we are living longer than ever before, yet the quality of life is reduced during those years.

My commitment to Remedial Therapy began of the coattails of the Sydney 2000 Olympics. The popularity of Manual Therapy arose mainly after this event. Globally however, healing through bodywork has been successfully occurring in many countries, over multiple centuries, with very specific techniques and approaches to how therapists belief the body or person will feel better and balanced. Recalling this moment back when I first started, Massage was for athletes and sportspeople to keep them in shape for their events and optimise physical performance. The everyday person did not know about it, or think it was for them. Fast track to 2018, most people have experienced some form of bodywork therapy. The experience, different each time. The reasons for making an appointment are many.

So two questions I get most often is , ‘When should I come back ‘? and, ‘What should I be doing in between appointments ‘?… before we explore these questions, lets come back to the quote and its variations – Prevention is better than the Cure.
A stitch in time saves nine. It is better and more useful to meet a problem in time than to seek a remedy after the damage is done, And lastly, we will reference Sun Tzu. 6th Century China, military strategist, Sun Tzu is well know for his book The Art of War. Used by corporate executives, people in leadership rolls, and of course by war and military generals over hundreds of years, to get the edge over their competition. What I use for my clients, is an approach very similar. Sun Tzu’s philosophy on how to decisively defeat one’s opponent, and It’s more prudent to head off a disaster beforehand than to deal with it after it occurs, are words I associate with my clients to get their edge in life, and get them healing quicker. Back to those two questions; ‘When should I come back ‘? and, ‘What should I be doing in between appointments ‘?
With the preventive nature of healing in mind, I allow these questions to get almost answered without me telling my client. In that 60 or 90min on the table, it is enough time to get an understanding of what battle my client is in. Are they disassociated from their body / teacher, have they an army of support, have they artillery such as time, concentration, history of movement and stress adaptation etc, and do I need to coach them on that… long have they held this injury for or more deeply, if we are the ‘sum of our habits’ ( to which refers to the state of the mind and body after a period of time, it moulds into a conditioned state ) and how much exposure have you had to that stress (physical, mental, environmental, emotional )… it can be comprehensively enlightening..

See more about this at Paul Chek – How To Eat Move and BE Healthy / Katy Bowman – Move Your DNA

So are you booking in your Nutritionist, your Kinesiologist, your Naturopath, or Acupuncturist at NBIP and asking ‘ How can I prevent these larger problems occurring ‘ ? OR ‘What are the signs to meet the problem before its gets catastrophic’ ? We cant prevent acute falls or tragic events to which our body was taken by surprise, but we can build a constitution, that responses well to healing. I deliver more than adequate hands. The discussions however long are matched with what you and your body needs.. Discovering the real means of health investment, has been used similarly in business, military warfare, and I am sure your children right now are adapting their developing
brains toward how can I get out of this, or how will I divert the attention away to get what I need.. If it was apt practice for a 6th century military practice, it can be the same good practice for a mother, or father, an athlete or weekend warrior.. I look forward to understanding your bodies needs with you, to get the best out of what you thought was not possible, or did not view before.

For more information give sam Walsh a call on 02 84060879

Are YOU wanting to give up smoking TODAY? 

Want to have the prettier set of lungs as shown in this picture but are nervous about giving up? Well we can help. 

Smoking, which is better described as nicotine addiction, is a complex addiction with both psychological and physical components. In general, people who find it most difficult to stop smoking are those who began in their teens and have smoked continuously since then.  It is estimated that most smokers attempt to quit two or three times before finally kicking the habit.

Acupuncture has a growing number of converts as an alternative approach to stopping smoking that can be highly effective.  It can reduce cravings and alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety and poor concentration.

Acupuncture assists people to quit by helping to regulate the actions of endorphin and other neurotransmitters that are thrown into disarray when one stops smoking; it is in this way that it can assist with lessening the frequency and duration of physical cravings; Generally acupuncture is given every 2-5 days, depending on the level of addiction, over the first 2 weeks after ceasing the consumption of nicotine. 

How can Chinese Medicine help you give up? 

Western medicine focuses on the effects of tobacco on the lungs while Chinese medicine considers it to deplete Kidney-Jing and Liver-Qi as well. In Chinese medicine, smoking weakens the Lung’s function of commanding the overall movement of Qi along the meridians (the channels through which Qi circulates). This is caused by the accumulation of heat in the lungs and stomach, which in turn causes fire in the Heart and/or stagnation of Liver Qi. Hence withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, palpitations, mood swings and restlessness occur.

On top of Acupuncture, Andrea will prescribe herbs and supplements that are used according to Chinese Medicine theory to:

  1. Stimulate detoxification
  2. Promote a heightened sense of relaxation
  3. Encourage endorphin production in order to overcome addiction
  4. Help the body cope with stress, improve circulation and promote mental wellbeing

The length of treatment depends on the patient’s response and on the severity and duration of the addiction.

Ear acupuncture will also be used as an adjunctive therapy for people trying to stop smoking. Auricular (ear) acupuncture is based on the same principles as acupuncture practised as part of Chinese Medicine. The therapy involves attaching tiny medicated herbal seeds or metal studs onto specific points on the outer ear (by using small, discreet plasters) in order for the patient to stimulate those areas everyday by pressing on the balls attached to the ear. Stimulating those areas using the auricular method can maintain the effects of acupuncture treatment in between the sessions, thus helping you to control withdrawal symptoms the moment they occur.

Our Acupuncturist Andrea is a NADA trained Clinician:

The National Acupuncture Detoxification Assocation auricular acupuncture protocol is used around the world to help people deal with and recover from substance abuse. The NADA protocol has been shown in a variety of clinical settings to be beneficial in the process of detoxification from substance abuse as well as to help with the emotional, physical and psychological attributes involved in addictions.

At five designated earpoints in each auricle (outer ear), NADA-trained clinicians apply fine gauge, sterilized, one-time use stainless steel needles just under the skin, where they remain for up to an hour while the patient relaxes quietly.

Andrea’s patients often report a dislike for the smell of tobacco after treatment and any cravings stop when they press ear points and herbal seeds placed during treatment. The desire to smoke will be greatly diminished and many patients feel an unpleasant taste in the mouth if they smoke.

Among these benefits reported by patients is a more optimistic and cooperative attitude toward the process of recovery, as well as reductions in cravings, anxiety, sleep disturbance and need for pharmaceuticals.

Andrea is in clinics at NBIP on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. 

To book in visit or call 02 8406 0679

S.A.D. Seasonal Affective Disorder. Is this affecting you?

With the colder weather setting in, longer nights and shorter days, many people become depressed or experience a low mood, often known as the “winter blues”. In severe cases this depression, brought on by winter weather, is clinically known as “seasonal affective disorder” or “SAD”.

There is sound scientific evidence to support the fact that the change in seasons can impact your mood, with many supporting the concept that the issue is connected with the way light affects our bodies. Some hypothesise that as light enters the eyes changes in hormone levels occur. Light entering the body causes the cessation of melatonin, the sleep hormone, causing us to wake. Those who suffer from SAD are considered to be impacted by the reduction of daylight in winter and their bodies produce higher levels of melatonin. This, in turn, causes them to feel tired, lack energy, motivation, and to experience other symptoms related to depression.

If your mood is unusually low and you are not motivated to do your usual activities, lack of daylight could be having an impact on how you feel. Reduced energy or motivation can cause a person to cut back on their daily tasks and responsibilities. Some people don’t enjoy going out as much with friends and tend to stay indoors, further reducing their access to daylight. When this starts happening it is easy to slide into a downward spiral. As your activity levels decrease, you become even more lethargic and lack even more motivation. You stop doing more of the things you otherwise enjoy and miss out on the pleasant feelings associated with these positive experiences.

Likewise, not attending to tasks and responsibilities means they tend to pile up, which can further create problems as the person becomes overwhelmed with the mounting pile of things they are avoiding. Not managing our tasks also then starts to impact our self esteem, as we feel guilty for not doing things and may start to see ourselves as defective or a failure. One way to help reverse the downward spiral of low mood or depressed feelings is to simply increase your activity levels. Very often we think we have to wait until we feel like doing something before we can do it, when actually the reverse can be true. Sometimes simply going for a walk or completing a task can help us feel a sense of mastery and achievement.

Engaging in pleasant activities or smashing that to-do list in a realistic and achievable way can kick you off on an upward spiral out of that low mood.

Becoming more active, particularly outdoors when the sun is out, has several advantages:

 Being active helps you feel better
 Being active gives you more energy and reduces fatigue
 Being active clarifies your thinking

If increasing your activity levels and being outdoors as much as you can, still isn’t helping your mood, we may need to look at your thinking patterns which may well be further contributing to the downward spiral. For more information on how thinking patterns and feelings contribute to our mood, call or make an appointment online with our counsellor, Lyn on 02 8406 0679.