A Quirky Journey
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AQJ 138: Childhood Anxiety & the Inflamed Brain
10, May, 2019
Dr. Natalie Challis is a neuro-psychotherapist who specialises in treating children with anxiety and other health concerns. She says, “What drives me? Mothers. I want to be an advocate for mothers experiencing the same distress and frustration I felt.”
Dr. Nat first became interested in children’s mental health when her son started showing signs of anxiety and obsessive-compulsive behaviours. “He was 4 when his anxiety began. Watching him struggle was the hardest and most distressing thing I’ve ever been through. I remember the utter frustration of trying and failing, time and again, to get him the help he needed. My intuition told me it wasn’t his personality and we were the best parents we knew how to be. Yet these were the reasons offered to me by multitudes of medical professionals. Luckily I listened to my intuition and successfully treated my child.”
Working alongside Dr Nat is Leigh Shinde, a neuro-nutritionist, and together they successfully treat children at their Kids Development Centre, using a wholistic approach around the brain, body and gut. They use cutting edge science with regard to brain and gut inflammation through brain imaging and biochemical testing.
Dr. Nat says, “When a child presents with symptoms of anxiety, we need to look at what’s happening in the brain, the body and the gut. Anxiety is a symptom of chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is on the rise because of our lifestyle. We eat an excess of processed food, we’re less active, and we’re exposed to more toxins than ever before. This means we need a whole body approach to supporting your anxious child… In the medical world, so much emphasis is placed on psychology, rather than looking at what’s going on biologically. We can achieve real results when we reduce inflammation in the gut, body and brain. Children become calmer and happier because their whole body is balanced.”
Nat and Leigh are passionate about getting this information out to parents who haven’t been able to get the help they need for their child. They have developed a 9 week online program called “Love Your Anxious Child” for those who can’t get to a clinic for treatment. The program is designed to give parents evidence-based knowledge and actionable steps to support and treat their anxious child. You can find out more about this program here: Love Your Beautiful Brain.
“We want to make a real change, to the disheartening rise in children who suffer from anxiety, and to despairing mothers everywhere.” – Dr Nat & Leigh
About Dr Natalie Challis and Leigh Shinde:
Dr. Nat is a specialist in children’s brain health. She is a Board-Certified Diplomate in QEEG – the highest qualification level achievable globally in her field. As a Psychotherapist specialising in Neurobiology, Dr. Challis has QEEG mapped 1000’s of children, allowing parents the unique experience of seeing into their child’s brain. This view helps parents to understand the neurological reasons behind their child’s behaviour of fear, anxiety and avoidance.
Leigh is a children’s Neuro-Nutrition Expert. She holds a Bachelor of Science with postgraduates in both Human Nutrition, and Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. As a Neuro-Nutritionist she investigates how food, additives, nutritional deficiencies, gut health and genetics can impact on your child’s neurological and physiological development.
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