Are you worried about your child’s first days at school?

Are you concerned that your child may not be emotionally equipped to handle the big change? Kinesiology offers a really gentle way of balancing the emotional stress for child and parent.

Starting school is an emotional time

When your child starts school or pre-school, emotions can run high.  While on one hand you’ll be swelling up with pride, you might also feel guilty and worried that you are not there to mind them if they get upset. It can seem cruel to be sending your little loved one into the unknown. The process is often tougher for the parents!

Usually after the first week or two the child settles into a routine and everyone breathes a sign of relief as the transition is complete. It’s a lovely thing to see your child making friends and growing in confidence in new ways.

Why is it more difficult for some children to start school than others?

For some kids the transition is not easy. They may find being away from Mom or Dad too hard and can become extremely upset. Often children will cling on to Mom, sobbing in anguish as they refuse to let her leave. This leaves everyone distraught and feeling terrible. The child is upset, so too are the parents and teachers are helpless. So what can you do to help this type of child? Do they just have to toughen up?

I’ve worked with a lot of children in my kinesiology practice. Very often I meet children from the same family with completely different emotional abilities / personalities. Some are calm and steady while others are emotionally volatile and are easily upset. Sometimes this just comes down to genetics and as a parent you just have to learn how to figure out each child and encourage them in ways that suit them best. This book is a great read for tips on parenting these kids Great book!

But sometimes no matter how well the parents prepare, the child still can’t seem to cope with the transition into school life. In my experience there is usually a trigger behind this type of emotional reactivity. What I consistently find in assessing these children is that a trauma, either physical or emotional has occurred at some time in their lives and their anxiety levels are high as a result. Very often birth trauma, such as C-section, forceps delivery etc. can be a contributing factor. There is a growing body of research in this area.  Here is a great video from The Center for Developing Child, Harvard University.  Video on early brain architecture

Some children can be a bit more emotionally sensitive in their makeup. And they are more susceptible to anxiety from trauma. The good thing for these ‘sensitive’ kids is that kinesiology tends to work well on them. To better understand anxiety take a look at this

How does kinesiology help a child that is struggling to start school?

Kinesiology is a therapy system that uses Chinese medicine techniques such as acupressure (no needles) to balance or calm emotions.  The important thing to understand about the child that is struggling to start school is that they are feeling emotionally overwhelmed and they cannot suppress or inhibit those feelings like other children can. Why not? Fundamentally these children just don’t feel as safe as other children. And the reason for this is often that at some point in their lives they got a shock or felt significantly threatened. If these shocks have happened in very early life there is no conscious memory – but there is a subconscious memory in the survival brain. See video link above.  Here is an old article from the NY Times when this research first came out. NY Times article

One of the keys to figuring out how to help them is to assess  the fight / flight and freeze responses in the body. These are involuntary and ‘switch on’ when we are threatened. Many children who become easily upset or find starting school really difficult are’stuck’ in this state of heightened fear. You cannot feel safe and be in fight / flight at the same time. For these children the primitive brain is sending signals through the body to stay in high alert. So before they ever go to school they are already frightened. Therefore the challenge of school with all its new variables is too much and the child just does not feel safe and inevitably reacts.

Kinesiology is a therapy system that uses Chinese medicine techniques such as acupressure (no needles) to balance or calm these emotions.

The child that finds starting school really challenging, simply does not feel safe enough to take it on. Previous traumas can create excess fear in the body keeping the child stuck in fear. The emotional reactions from the child are often triggered by these traumas and when these ‘trauma’ emotions are balanced the child settles down. Techniques which sedate our body’s primitive responses help the child to feel fully safe again and with this restored  they are better able to deal with all the challenges that growing up brings.

The treatment process is gentle and non-invasive.

If your child is struggling emotionally with starting school then kinesiology offers a great way to help them to feel safe and calm to make the whole thing much easier.

Here are some testimonials from parents who’s kids came to see me.

“My daughter Lisa (age 7) found it really difficult to be apart from me when she started her second year in primary school. I couldn’t put it down to anything specific. A pattern started in the second week of school.  I would walk her to her class and stay with her until she’d met her friends and teacher, to help her to settle in. But then, just as I was going to leave she would have to come and give me a hug and tell me she loved me and she was crying and upset. No matter how much reassurance I gave her, this kept happening. I started a routine of talking to her each morning after breakfast to reassure her that she would have a great day, that she’d meet her friends and that I’d be there to collect her at the end of her class. I told her that if she needed me I could come to the school whenever she wanted.

I spent extra time each evening and morning working to ensure she knew I was there for her. We talked about it and she would seem really pleased but then every morning the same reaction would happen.

I knew she was a little self-conscious about it too in front of her friends and this was making things worse.

Eventually one of the Mom’s I knew in her class told me about Tony and we brought her for a treatment. Tony was great with her and made it fun. She really likes him. He explained to both of us that the way she was feeling was just and emotion that was stuck in her and that if she wanted to he might be able to help her to balance it.

Tony’s treatment took about 45 minutes. Lisa became very relaxed for a short period of it and was chatting away to Tony while it was going on. She was really happy afterwards and said she would be happy to go back if she needed to.

School the next day was much much better. I still had to spend some time with her outside her room while she got ready but there were no tears and the weight that had been on her seemed to lift. I spoke to her about it that evening and she was delighted that she was feeling better. We went back to Tony for two more treatments and she didn’t have a single teary day after that.

I am delighted to say that she became much more confident and outgoing in general after the treatments too.

I have recommended Tony to lots of parents since. I couldn’t recommend him highly enough.”

Sinead O’Leary,

Passage West,



“My son Dylan started school last year (2017) and the first few weeks were torture. To say that he hated it would be an understatment. He kicked and screamed going in and I had to stay in the class with him for the first few days until he got distracted enough for me to be able to leave. I was baffled by his behaviour because he had no major issues in creche or in pre-school. Generally he’s well behaved and calm enough so this was really hard to understand. I heard about Tony from a friend of mine who had been to a talk he gave about children and behaviour and so I decided to bring Dylan for a treatment. I had my fingers crossed.

Tony’s treatment was amazing. Dylan was the calmest I’ve ever seen him when he lay on the table. He even dozed off at one point. Tony explained that he was working on stress that Dylan may have picked up from when he got pnemonia as a baby. He had been very sick that time and was in hospital for about two weeks. He also said that the arrival of my second baby two months before he started school was having an extra effect on him.

The results were fantastic.  I was genuinely shocked at Dylan the next day. It was like the last few weeks had never happened. He went into school the next day, no problem. I stayed for a while and he hardly even looked for me. Even the teacher was amazed. We were laughing at how different he was.

I’ve been recommending Tony to everyone since the treatment. Dylan is a much calmer child now overall and we are all hugely relieved.

Caroline Sutton,

Cork City


“Good morning Tony. Just sending you a very belated thank you. Our girl Judy had two sessions with you back in April (2018) and the results have been amazing. Judy was very unhappy in school and was struggling. She is now happy and more in control of her emotions and enjoying life more. A big thank you again. Regards, Maura.”


Bandon, Co. Cork.