Now that the weather is consistently warmer here in California (you know we natives are only comfortable when it’s 75-85℉!), my family is spending more time at the pool. I know, it’s easier to not think about things like the hazards of chlorine and just try to have fun. But the dangers extend far beyond uncomfortable red eyes, stringy green hair, and smelly swimsuits. For your family’s health and wellbeing, you’ll want to learn how to reduce exposure to chlorine.
Why the Need for Alternative Health Care?
Every engaged parent wants to do what is best for their children to help them grow and thrive. However, many parents are finding that their children are not as well as they could be, despite following their Doctor’s advice faithfully. In fact, there’s been dramatic increase in chronic childhood diseases in the United States, with no signs of it slowing.
Parents are searching for safe, natural, and effective alternatives to current treatments for chronic illnesses such as eczema, asthma, attention disorders, autism spectrum disorders, digestive issues, persistent coughs, food/seasonal allergies, and more.
Why should you consider Chinese Medicine for kids?
1. It treats the root cause of disease
With standard biomedicine, most treatments manage symptoms only, or just mask them.
Chinese medicine practitioners can hone in on the root cause of illness. This could be harmful environmental influences affect one’s health. They can also determine if it’s a deeper physical, energetic, or emotional disharmony that is causing the disease symptoms.
The focus of treatment is to remove harmful influences, balance any internal disharmonies that then resolve disease symptoms, and actively work to maintain wellness. It makes sense that once the root cause is dealt with, complete healing is possible!
2. It can effectively treat chronic conditions
Managing chronic illness is where Chinese Medicine practitioners shine. Many Medical Doctors are starting to refer patients to Acupuncturists for conditions that are not responsive to conventional treatments.
Parents who have successfully treated their own chronic illness with Chinese Medicine know that it’s a great option for their children as well and are getting wonderful results for the whole family.
3. Side effects are minimal
Mild bruising is really the only side effect a child might experience with acupuncture from experienced practitioners. The smallest needles are used and quite often there is absolutely no pain.
With regard to herbal formulas, they are extremely safe and effective compared to antibiotics, steroids, immune system inhibitors, petroleum products, and behavior-altering drugs that maybe relied upon with standard medical care.
4. Kids respond quickly to treatment
It’s so satisfying to treat children because they respond so quickly. Since children are so new (and don’t have the longterm effects of a poor diet and harmful environmental influences that many of us adults have), they often bounce back to wellness fast.
5. There are many treatment options
Many people assume that acupuncture is the only Chinese Medicine treatment and that it’s not possible for children. They assume most kids are afraid of needles. They also assume the needles need to be in for a long time, and can’t image their energetic child would participate.
Acupuncture basically stimulates points along mapped channels in the body that balance vital energy (Qi) & blood flow and initiate a healing response. However, these channels are not clearly mapped in babies and it takes a few years for them to fully develop. So simple massage is all that’s really needed to stimulate Qi & Blood flow in babies.
As the child gets older, stronger stimulation is needed and acupuncture will be suggested. Young children are often quite receptive to acupuncture. It usually doesn’t hurt and young ones are so sensitive that retention of needles is not needed. The needles go in, and they come right out. No big deal, and it works!
Around 4 to 8 years of age, kids may become needle shy. But a skilled Pediatric practitioner who values building relationships with the kids and respects their body autonomy, will not force the issue or try to trick them. Acupressure, cold lasers, micro-current probes, and stronger massage are effective alternatives to acupuncture too.
Herbal remedies prescribed are usually tolerated well. There are several brands made specifically for children (with just a little added sweetness to help it go down easier).
6. It’s relaxing
Once older kids become accustomed to TCM treatments, they will find that it actually feels good! Kids these days are more stressed out than ever, with social & academic pressures at school, rushed meals, and numerous after-school commitments. A TCM treatment gives them a much needed opportunity to rest and restore. They learn that self care is a priority.
7. Kids learn about the importance of a balanced lifestyle
When treated with Chinese Medicine, kids learn about their body’s amazing potential to heal. How empowering is that?! They’re also set up with great education on how to eat well and live in harmony with nature. It takes adults decades to figure this out, if at all! It’s such a gift for a child to receive these messages early on.
Hopefully you see how wonderfully supportive Chinese Medicine can be for kids. I hope you’ll consider it for your young one. Please let me know if you have any questions in the comments! I can also help connect you with a pediatric Chinese Medicine practitioner in your area.
Well wishes to you all…