Issue #51 Articles

A Message from our Editor, Issue #51 - The Heart Brain

This issue of Pathways is rich in information introducing readers to Stephen Porges’s newly proposed concept of the social branch of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), the social vagus. Our articles offer a glimpse of understanding for humanity f...

Parenting Paradoxy

Today my 3-year-old accidentally created a kind of Zen koan, and she discovered the joy of paradoxy in the process. Her new game goes like this:

Honoring the Innate Potential

This remarkable talk at the 2010 Pathways to Family Wellness Summit was given by Joseph Chilton Pearce, who passed away in August. Joseph was a man who spent his entire life searching for the innate potential in mankind— which he found, as all...

The Social Vagus

People in stressful situations bargain and negotiate. Then they get frustrated and angry. Then they shut down. In November 2014, at the ICPA Freedom for Family Wellness Summit in Washington, D.C., I saw something that changed my life....

The Nurtured Womb

Gone are the days when we could consider pregnancy a nine-month grace period before the job of parenting begins. Mounting research tells us that lifelong well-being, including mental health, begins in the womb, and everything parents do—beginning e...

The Environment of the Womb

The environment of your womb is rich with sounds and sensations, and your impressions of the world continually filter through to your baby. Each sensation—pleasurable or uncomfortable, imaginary or real—releases chemicals through your body...

Healing Birth

During our first home birth, I can remember reaching a state I had never been in before. In spite of the many intense experiences I’d had in my life up to that time, this experience brought me to a new edge. I looked over to my husband, Tom, for...

Oxytocin: Finding the Love of Birth

Perhaps the best-known birth hormone is oxytocin, the hormone of love, which is secreted during sexual activity, male and female orgasm, birth, and breastfeeding. Oxytocin engenders feelings of love and altruism; as Michel Odent says, “Whatever the...

Hear My Cry

Why “cry it out” may be one of the most misguided parenting philosophies of our generation.Babies cry. Then they angry cry. Then they stop. Imagine you’re hanging out by a riverbank with some co-gatherers a couple million years ago,...

Viva Vagus! What Happens in the Vagus Nerve Affects Every Part of Our Lives

The vagus nerve is the longest of 12 pairs of nerves that originate in the brain, serving as the brain’s central command in the fight against stress, inflammation, and toxicity. The vagus helps regulate our “fight or flight” response, digestion,...

Sensory Sensitivities and Chiropractic Care

There are times when it seems that we over-label and under-respond to the many challenges of childhood. As a mother of two young boys who have each been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder (SPD) at one time, I’ve experienced this firsthand....

Chiropractic for Social Well-Being

From very early in our lives—actually in utero— one of the first reflexes that can be observed is that of withdrawal. Withdrawal is a whole-body reaction that is seen in response to a stimulus that is in some way adverse to the developing fetus, suc...

The Compassionate Instinct

Many question whether true compassion exists at all— or whether it is inherently motivated by self-interest.Recent studies of compassion argue persuasively for a different take on human nature, one that rejects the preeminence of s...

The Manager in My Home…and the Five Words that Changed Everything

Every couple of weeks I patiently untangle the knots of strawberry-blonde hair that sit at the base of my child’s neck. As I sat on the corner of the tub the other night, gently loosening an especially stubborn clump while my daughter chattered a...

Play Makes Us Human

Have you ever noticed how we, as a society, use agricultural metaphors to talk about parenting and education? We speak of raising children, just as we speak of raising tomatoes or chickens. We speak of training children, just as...

Please, Thank You, I'm Sorry...

“Say please.” “Say thank you.” “Say you’re sorry.” “Say hello.” “Say goodbye.” We can instruct our young children or insist that they parrot our words, but if we want them to develop true kindness, if we want them to develop social graces and true...

School ADD Isn't Homeschool ADD

I hesitated at the heavy glass doors of my son’s school. I’d cheerfully walked through these doors many times. I’d volunteered here, served on the PTA board, joked with the principal and teachers, and even helped start an annual ...

Be My Guest

By Harnessing Intrinsic Motivation, Unschooling Reflects Current Cognitive Research.As I wrote recently in Life Learning Magazine, unschooling is the way of the future, for all ages. So I’m always surprised that so many people...

The Age of Emptiness or the Coming Creativity

One day, while driving down a freeway, I looked up to see an empty sky where there had been mountaintops. Dust was rising as massive earth graders rumbled across a now-blank plain. Seemingly overnight, they had sliced away the horizon. Later...

Hope for Humankind

People everywhere recognize that our species is in danger. Since most threats to our survival are of human origin, they can be understood by human minds and overcome with human effort. By far the most ominous threat of all is not nuclear weapons,...