Dr. Dolittle or Dr. Do-Nothing? | Dr. Heidi Skye
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Dr. Dolittle or Dr. Do-Nothing?


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Recently, I saw a commercial for an over-the-counter medication where a mom was standing with a spoonful of medicine over her child and the announcer said, “You don’t take your child’s illness sitting down!” This promotes the idea that you need to spring into immediate (drug) action whenever your kid has a symptom.

We live in a world of proactivity and the messaging from the media is: Make your life better, strive, do more, etc. The same paradigm is perpetuated in the field of healthcare. This appears as more interventions and more invasive techniques (and way less of a wait and see attitude).

As parents, because we live in this immersive sea of fear and reaction, we become programmed and are expected to “take action!” when our child is sick.

But is this the best course? Or is it better to let the illness follow its natural healing arc and simply watch to see if intervention is needed?

In other words, are you creating a culture of medication in your household? Or are you creating a Culture of Wellness?

To create a Culture of Wellness, follow this simple recipe, starting with two ingredients:

Allowing and Expression.

The Culture is how you react = Allowing.

The Wellness is what your kid does = Expressing.

What happens when you suppress a cough? Coughing is when your child’s body is trying to sandblast the lungs and move debris out. Cough suppression keeps the gunk in, keeping the air pathways clogged and thwarting clearing and healing.

What about fever suppression? Bacteria are disrupted by a high body temperature, and the strong protein coat on viruses needs an even higher temperature. If we stop the fever, we stop the body from naturally limiting the infection. (For a great resource to help you get comfortable with allowing fever, check out Dr. Robert Mendelsohn’s book: How to Raise a Healthy Child in Spite of Your Doctor.)

Early intervention often prolongs an illness. It circumvents the body’s own intelligence in healing itself. The body then has to regroup, expend even more energy and make another attempt to heal. When you or a family member is suffering, it can help to remember that your illness can be short and intense, or prolonged over time by taking drugs. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather use my energy to heal than squander it.

When we try to outwardly control the body with medication, we stop it from learning what it can from an illness.

The internal environment of your kid’s immune system can change so dramatically with medication that certain cells and chemicals become inactivated and ineffective.


Our complicated immune system relies on the development of cell memory to grow and develop. Drugs interfere with this important process. (Keep an eye out for an upcoming video where I will totally geek out and teach you the basics of humoral vs. cell mediated immunity — you’ll love it!)

Allowing can be slow and Expressing can be uncomfortable. We just want to do something. And yet, there is a power in the process of patience. Often it’s just the waiting game for the symptoms to shift. Sure, there is aromatherapy, hot tea and maybe movies, but it’s the incremental allowing of process that really creates change (and growth). Many parents note that their kids are in a heightened state of neurological change after a fever — they are more articulate, make faster connections and act more mature.

The next time your child is sick, ask yourself, “Am I comfortable allowing the expression of these symptoms?” (And think about this blog post!)

Remember: Doing nothing is really doing something.

For practical ideas about what you can do for your kids during a fever’s expression, enter your name and email address below to get my eGuide,“How To Avoid The 3 Biggest Mistakes When Your Child Is Sick”


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Want to know my story? Check out the About section to learn more about the education and life experiences that inspired me to start a health revolution.

  • Gina
    Posted at 04:29h, 21 March Reply

    Great article. I totally agree with letting the high temperature fight infection and I am excited to check out the book you mentioned. Bravo!

    • Dr. Heidi Skye
      Posted at 18:33h, 05 April Reply

      You will love that book Gina! Culturally, we are not taught to support the healing processes of the body but to suppress them and it can go against the body’s wisdom. I love it that you are enjoying my material and thinking outside the box!

  • Colette
    Posted at 12:24h, 16 November Reply

    I agree with most of what you say but when my child is in pain (flu like pains)or pain from an ear infection I can’t resist pulling out the ibuprofen. I can’t watch my children suffer. I am new to you your site so apologise if you’ve covered pain management before.

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