“It was quiet just now and she was sleeping contentedly but then suddenly Sam is sitting up in bed, crying and screaming, her eyes opening wide in fear. This can happen several times a night and occurs almost every night. Our nights are short, sometimes we only sleep 1 or 2 hours a night.”
Sam's symptoms of suddenly waking up, crying, screaming and staying awake fall under sleep disorders, specifically night terrors.
Night terrors are more common in children. Parents and caregivers will also be able to recognize other symptoms of disturbed sleep such as restlessness, teeth grinding and mumbling.
The result of disturbed sleep is almost always tired and irritable children who therefore need more attention and energy.
It causes a lot of stress and lack of sleep for parents. But how can you solve night terrors and poor sleep in children naturally?
Night terrors can already arise in infancy
Sam's mother came to visit me with her youngest son Noud for a baby reflexology course. After the course we talked about her middle daughter, Sam.
“She suffers from night terrors and also from her intestines. She has had regular diarrhea and stomach problems since the summer.
But she has been suffering from night terrors for a long time, she is now 3.5 years old and I think she was 1.5 when it really started, but I don't know exactly. Since she was 3 months old, she had been a very poor sleeper, waking up several times a night and then she could quietly be awake and cry for 2 hours. I'm sure she suffered from it when she just turned 2, and I think before that.”
Insomnia in children viewed from TCM
From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, restless sleep is the result of an excess of yang or fire in the child's heart and liver. Such excessive firing will affect the child's sleep quality and general temperament.
In TCM, the heart is seen as the ruler of the mind (shen) and it is the seat of our consciousness and intelligence. Heart health affects shen and in turn can lead to emotional disturbances such as anxiety, insomnia and palpitations.
The solution lies in reducing the fire that is spreading. Herbs are often used within TCM, but you don't even have to look that far. For children who are not used to herbal medicines, baby reflexology and/or toddler reflexology can be a first aid. This offers parents a natural solution for night terrors. All you need are your hands and some loving attention.
Baby reflexology & toddler reflexology
Baby reflexology is a special mild form of baby foot massage that is applied to specific points. The points are based on reflex zone points.
Toddler reflexology is a form of hand massage and is used for children who can already crawl or walk.
Are you looking for a natural approach to guarantee a good night's sleep for your child and yourself?
I am in favor of a holistic approach to ensuring a good night's sleep for both children and parents, in which massage, nutrition and lifestyle all play a role. I prefer not to need any additional tools for this.
The goal is to ensure that the rampant fire is reduced. You can achieve this through baby reflexology (baby reflexology lasts a lifetime and can also be applied to toddlers and older children) and by paying attention to fixed eating and sleeping times. Late nights and irregular eating patterns put children under stress. Over time, this stress can build up and cause the stagnation of 'Qi' of the liver. Stagnation of Qi can in turn generate internal heat, causing disharmony and disturbed sleep.
Techniques that last a lifetime
The baby reflexology techniques for parents last a lifetime. They are therefore not only suitable for babies but also for children and even adults. This meant that Sam's mother was able to try out the baby foot massage on her daughter once she got home.
3 days after the course, Sam's mother sent me an email:
“I am now fanatical about the foot reflexology with her, paying attention to the bonding (eyelash kiss and butterfly kiss) and some general relaxation. Just knocking on the door, but haven't had a night terror since Friday!”
Thank you thank you for all the information!”
4 days after the course there will be another response:
The do-it-yourself foot reflexology does seem to help. Yesterday she finally had one after us waking her up around 11pm. I do different techniques but often start with the sun's rays and then do something like the squid, the giraffe, the butterfly kiss and the eyelash kiss. The latter was an immediate success!! :-) Last weekend she started coughing, so I also tried something with the swimming fins. She now knows a few names and always chooses the giraffe, the squid and the eyelash kiss.”
Sam's mother subsequently came by once for personal treatment for her daughter. A few weeks later this response follows:
“Sleeping is a lot better. I don't even do it every night because after we were with you it was quiet for a long time. She had it a few more times, but they seemed milder (except for a few).
Coincidentally, I did it again last night because it was very busy this weekend and she fell asleep a little more restlessly. Very nice!”
A professionally trained infant and toddler reflexologist can work to resolve sleep disruptions and provide better quality sleep for children and their parents by reducing the rampant fire.
There are now quite a few baby reflexologists spread across the Netherlands who have been trained according to the method of Floor Tuinstra (1st baby reflexologist in the Netherlands and author of 'Reflexology for babies).
She also teaches the baby reflexology course for parents. See her course offering for possible dates or email her for a course on request.
Get started quickly yourself
If you want to get started at home with the eyelash kiss, butterfly kiss and more, take a look at the book reflexology for babies, massage away your child's ailments in 1 minute .
Would you like to teach parents how to apply baby and toddler reflexology to their child(ren)?
Take a look at the course offerings for baby reflexology training for professionals.
Watch the butterfly kiss on video
You can watch how simple the butterfly kiss is on YouTube: