Telling our story at MINDD’s 2011 International Forum – come along!

By Alive & Well

I wish I’d known about MINDD a long time ago. When my Mr 8 started regressing into autism, I could see that his physical health challenges were a big part of it – but I didn’t know why, or how, or what to do about them.

When I came across MINDD – which stands for Metabolic, Immunologic, Neurologic, Digestive, Developmental conditions (say it three times quickly) – I found a whole lot of answers.

MINDD educates medical and health professionals about the benefits of food as medicine, and the importance of de-toxifying to heal conditions like ADHD, asthma, allergies, autism, chronic illness, depression, learning and language delay, and a whole range of digestive and behavioural disorders. They’re also a resource for parents and others trying to get to the bottom of conditions like these.

As their website states, it’s about healthy cells for life: “The rise in childhood disease signals a need for preventative healthcare that focuses on cellular health by optimising nutrient intake while minimising toxins.”

Physical and mental health do not operate in isolation

This sort of integrative healthcare encourages each person’s own innate ability to heal and stay well. Your physical health can dramatically affect your mental health. Simple as that. They are in lockstep. Symptoms that appear to relate to mental health can be manifestations of an unhealthy gut.

Of course, in some cases, other therapies might be needed to help children with autism connect socially or to help kids with learning difficulties to make new neural networks. But a solid foundation of physical health upon which to build will be a huge step forward.

We are truly lucky to have an organisation like MINDD educating professionals and families about what an integrative health approach can do. Have a look at their website for info, resources, stories of healing and inspiration, and a list of practitioners around Australia.

Come to MINDD’s biennial forum in Sydney: Aug 13-14

There are two streams – one is a ‘science’ stream for practitioners, the other a more ‘general’ stream for parents, carers, policy makers and anyone interested in broadening their understanding of the impact of food and the environment on our health. There’s also a ‘food as medicine’ stream about when and how to implement various diets.

Speakers include world experts like:

  • Dr Robyn Cosford – brilliant complementary medicine GP and Mr 8’s angel
  • Dr Nancy O’Hara – integrative paediatrician who works solely with children with special needs in the U.S.
  • Wendy Matthews – leading autism nutrition expert based in San Fransisco, and author of Nourishing Hope for Autism
  • Dr Frank Golik – Brisbane-based GP who has been practising nutritional and environmental medicine since the mid 80s
  • Costa Georgiadis – host of SBS’s ‘Garden Odyssey’ show and passionate advocate of chemical-free food

… and many, many more.

They will cover things like how the gut works, how it affects the brain, when undiagnosed food allergies create learning and behavioural problems, the role of the immune system in autism, ADHD, allergies etc, and how to integrate all of this stuff to get the best outcome.

Two years ago, I attended the general stream as a parent. One of the presenters was a mum, whose calm and practical speech felt like the steady hand I needed to hear at that time (thanks Chris!).

This year, I will be one of the mums participating in the discussions, telling our story and sharing my ideas about the importance of wellness for the whole family. I’ll also be attending the practitioner stream so I can keep learning about how to help my son and others.

We’ve come a long way in two years.

Can you come? Find out more and come along if you can. If you’re a practitioner, it counts towards your ongoing professional training. If you’re a parent, you won’t regret it. And I’d love to meet you!