On the playground there can unfortunately be many accidents both big and small. Often there is no ice or first aid immediately available. This is a simple first aid visualization one can use to help soothe a child until (you) can get home. Of course for major injuries call 911 or go to the hospital or call your pediatrician. This is for minor injuries that require TLC (Tender loving care) and a band aid (aka boo-boo’s and ouchies:)
When there is an accident often for moments long after the actual incident took place, people are coming up to you with concern asking what happened? Then you are forced along with your child to go over it again and again for them. This keeps the child returning to that painful or scary incident and not moving forward into the healing. I have personally observed this and actually heard one dad shout out ‘hey, call a plastic surgeon”. He was of course using humor to alleviate the situation but it was a little brash for a three year old and her mom.
For an excellent explanation of why we instinctively rub on an injury(not an open wound) see below:
“In 1965 the “Gate Control Theory” was proposed by Melzack and Wall. It explained the relationship between pain and emotion. According to this theory, there is a hypothetical gating mechanism occurring at the level of the spinal chord- a “gate” through which pain impulses reach the lateral spinothalmic system. Painful impulses are transmitted by large-diameter and small diameter nerve fibers. Stimulation of large-diameter fibers prevents the small-diameter fibers from transmitting signals. Stimulating (rubbing, massaging) these fibers helps to suppress the sensation of pain, especially sharp pain. Many parents and small children seem to know this instinctively. They rub the injured spot, thus activating large-diameter fibers. These fibers also carry a faster signal. In essence, massage sensations win the race to the brain, and the pain sensations are blocked out because the gate is closed.” Source: Mosby’s Fundamentals of Therapeutic Massage by Sandy Fritz
Here’s a technique to use when you want to help your child move past the accident and feel empowered that they are on their way to feeling better. Explain to them that they have teeny tiny microscopic helpers inside their bodies that are working right now to help them feel better. Explain ‘microscopic” as so tiny that you can’t see them (it is very cute to hear them pronounce microscopic). There are thousands even millions of them. This gives them a positive image to hang on to if they are still replaying the initial injury and pain in their minds over and over. This constant replaying of the accident can also be a reaction from well meaning people asking what happened and then having to explain it as your child relives “the spill”. Now they can respond how they have microscopic helpers and feel more empowered. It also gives them something positive to focus on rather than the accident itself.
Using our imagination to call upon imagery for healing is very powerful. Remember that this is scientific. Leukocytes (white blood cells) rush to an injured area to help heal it. These microscopic helpers are in fact helping us on a consistent basis (unless there is a pathology wherein they are compromised). In healthy functioning blood they are essential in recovering from injury. This is a great first Biology lesson and may help them in connecting scientific principles to every day life. Using this knowledge empowers the child by being able to answer back to concerned adults-“I have microscopic helpers helping me and I am feeling better and better.” “Better and better” is a phrase used in the Silva Method of Mind Techniques. This technique is extremely useful in helping to have tools to use our minds in positive and powerful ways. See website for more info www.silvamethod.com.
Staying in the present moment is useful for anyone recovering from injury and replacing a negative experience with a positive image is very useful in returning to a stronger , more well-functioning place both physically and mentally.