Arnica Parents’ Support Network — Conference 2016

The Arnica network was formed nine years ago as a space for parents to connect with others in their local area that have concerns about vaccines and are interested in a more natural approach to health and wellbeing.

Monday saw the first national gathering of its members (of which there are nearly 13,000 in the thriving Facebook group) and the schedule was packed with a choice of 6 speakers; of which we could attend 3. Here are the highlights from the notes I made throughout the day.

The first talk of the day I attended was nursing children through acute illness by NHS GP Dr. Jayne Donegan. She started the workshop by explaining that children get germs to build their immune system, and adults get ill because they’re knackered. As we go through life we accumulate toxins and a build up of ‘crap’. To clear this out, we must get ill. We only get ill if we need to; and once the illness has passed children often reach the next developmental milestone (a new tooth, improvement in reading, etc).
Fevers, loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, and rashes are all effective ways the body has of detoxing and healing (even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time!). Key points here:
- A high temperature makes things work faster and better. This is a crucial bodily process that enables healing. It is a sign of health, that your body is working efficiently to make you stronger and more robust.
- Febrile seizures/convulsions occur because of the speed of which a temperature rises. Although distressing to observe, they are usually mild and not of concern. More info on the NHS Choices site here:
- Often when we have a fever we lose our appetite. This is important — to starve the illness. If we feed the body whilst ill we use up a lot of energy digesting food. The body can process more effectively when left to get on with fighting the illness rather than having to focus on digestion.
- Re-hydration salts should only be given to babies under 6 months. Otherwise, diarrhea is an important process; the body is clearing out because it needs to. Let it do its thing. After an episode of diarrhea, the villi in the small intestine take a while to regrow so it is important to avoid fat and dairy for a few days to allow it a chance to recover.
- Mucus, warts and chesty snotty coughs are all low level clearings — the body currently doesn’t have the resources to produce a fever to clear the toxic load, so they will gently clear out this way until the energy is found for a fever etc.

The crucial point is this — the body knows how to address and heal acute illness. If the healing process symptoms are suppressed with antipyretics (Calpol, ibuprofen etc), the toxins remain stored in the body which leads to chronic disease and long term ill health in the future.

The current NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, who provide national guidance and advice to improve health and social care) guidelines state: “Antipyretic agents (paracetamol etc.) do not prevent febrile convulsions and should not be used specifically for this purpose. When using paracetamol or ibuprofen in children with fever: continue only as long as the child appears distressed, consider changing to the other agent if the child’s distress is not alleviated, do not give both agents simultaneously, only consider alternating these agents if the distress persists or recurs before the next dose is due.” Read this a few times and let it sink in… how many parents do you know that contradict this advice on a regular basis? Alarming…

We then discussed: What do children need to be healthy? Exercise, rest, sun, love, sleep, boundaries, boredom(!) and most importantly; your time. Being present to their needs, allowing them to process their illness in their own time with your support. Building a nurturing routine during periods of illness will stand children in good stead for episodes of ill health in adult life — they will have a good knowledge and skillset to be able to look after themselves effectively.

Things Jayne mentioned to print out and stick on your fridge:
NICE traffic light system for identify risk of serious illness —
General measures for managing acute illness —

Patrick took us through a crash course of medical definitions and explanations behind theories of germs, infection, illness and disease:
Waste — anything which is not needed at this moment in time.
Inflammation — waste + fire (heat) — we are burning away the waste. Inflammation cannot identify organisms. No infectious agents (bacteria, viruses etc) are found here. For something to be an inflammation it must have four components/symptoms: pain, swelling, redness and heat. These can be local and general.
Infection — inflammation + micro-organisms (bacteria etc.). Many infectious agents reside in the hosts’ body. These offending agents can not always be found.
This route is the healing process. They flow together to clean up the body.

Patrick then took us through a history lesson and introduced us to the work of Antoine Béchamp, Günther Enderlein, Wilhelm Reich, Royal Rife and Gaston Naessens. The conclusion of studying the works of these men is this: micro-organisms originate from within disease tissue. They are the result of disease; not the cause. These micro-organisms can change and develop into another form of germ/bacteria/virus etc., defending on the diseased tissue. Protection against invasion of micro-organisms does not prevent disease, meaning no protection is possible. Germs do not cause infection — they are part of the healing process. When the germs are cleared up by the disease healing process, healthy tissue is left behind.

At the end of the talk we were asked: How do you measure immunity? There is no clear answer to this. The measures used by doctors usually involve testing for the presence of antibodies. But does the presence of antibodies indicate infection or protection?

If anyone in the Swansea, UK area is keen to attend a meeting soon, please let me know. I am trying to arrange a film screening of The Greater Good and after hearing Jayne speak I am keen to get her down to South Wales and host one of her workshops. If there is a topic regarding vaccination, health or immunity you would like the group or Jayne to discuss, please let me know. Her current workshops can be found here:
Or if you would like personal support on any of the issues mentioned in this blog, please do contact me. Wishing you the very best health.

P.S. ~ I discovered Mary Aspinwall’s brilliant homeopathy site whilst at the conference. Also available as a free app. Check it out!

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