Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Better Behavior Show with Dr. Nicole Beurkens

Apr 3, 2019

My guest this week is Dr. Maya Shetreat, a neurologist, herbalist, urban farmer, and author of ‘The Dirt Cure: Healthy Food, Healthy Gut, Happy Child’ (Simon and Schuster, 2016), which has been translated into ten languages. She has been featured in the New York Times, The Telegraph, NPR, Sky News, The Dr. Oz Show and more. Dr. Maya is the founder of the Terrain Institute, where she teaches Terrain Medicine™, earth-based programs for transformational healing. She works and studies with indigenous communities and healers in Ecuador, and is a lifelong student of ethnobotany, plant healing, and the sacred.

In this episode, Dr. Maya and I discuss the importance of children spending time in nature and how that exposes them to a diversity of essential germs needed in order to build a stronger immune system and a healthier gut and brain. All children can greatly benefit from time outdoors including those with simple to severe learning and behavioral disorders such as autism, dyslexia, ADHD, and nonverbal or degenerative issues. Learn more about Dr. Maya Shetreat here.


Why Getting Dirty Is Important

  • Immune systems are ‘social’ and want to meet compounds, foods, and organisms and have contact with them
    • This allows the immune system to go into alert mode when something problematic comes along
    • A restricted immune system can be over-reactive. Variety is the spice of health
  • Gut health is the foundation for immune health and immune health is the foundation for brain health


Designed For Exposure To Dirt

  • We are evolutionarily designed for our immune system to be exposed to many different germs
    • Ex: babies learn how to crawl on their hands and knees and stick their hands and whatever they can grab in their mouth. We were designed to be exposed to dirt.
  • Children who grow up in homes where bleach is routinely used have a higher risk of chronic bronchitis and seasonal respiratory infections
  • Being exposed to a variety  of germs helps to keep anyone organism from growing out of control and causing a problem


What is Hormesis and Why It Is Important

  • Hormesis: where something would normally be toxic in large amounts can be beneficial in tiny amounts
    • Ex: fasting - if you do it for a month you will have negative effects, if you fast for 12-24 hours it can greatly benefit you
    • Small challenges like this, though slightly uncomfortable, cause our mitochondria to step up and function more optimally
  • Getting into dirt, into soil, exposes us to billions of compounds and organisms that inspire every cell in our body to function effectively
    • Soil is nature’s free probiotic


Benefits of Time in Nature

  • “Shinrin-yoku” (forest-bathing) - Asian cultures encourage this time out in nature to immerse oneself in the beauty of the forest regularly
    • Studies show that this results in better sleep, focus, organization, executive function, higher accomplishments at work and school, and feeling happier
    • As well as, increased production in anti-cancer proteins


Get Your Kids Outside

  • Let your children build a relationship with nature
    • Playing outside on the grass, gardening, having a picnic
  • If your child is suffering from a simple to severe developmental issue (ADHD, dyslexia, behavioral issues, non-verbal, degenerative issues, birth trauma)  they can benefit from being outdoors
  • Every single child can benefit and was designed for their nervous systems to be stimulated by the outdoors


What Our Kids Illnesses & Challenges Can Teach Us

  • Parents have a lot of pressure to FIX their child's issues
    • Dr. Maya says, “Your child is actually your teacher”
    • She encourages parents to stop trying to fix their children and instead listen to their symptoms as their way of showing you how to take care of them better
    • 3 things to do for your children: Love them, advocate for them and offer them resources


Where to learn more about Dr. Maya Shetreat...


Connect with Dr. Nicole Beurkens on...


Need help with improving your child’s behavior naturally?

  • My book Life Will Get Better is available for purchase, click here to learn more.
  • Looking for more? Check out my Blog and the Better Behavior Naturally Parent Program - a resource guide for parents who want to be more effective with improving their child’s behavior.
  • Interested in becoming a patient? Contact us here.