Acupuncture & Herbology For Children

Chinese medicine has a long history of treating children’s issues effectively, inexpensively, and with no side effects to their physiology or their psyches. Children are extremely active, forcefully energetic, and tend to get sick rather quickly and recover quickly! However their immune systems are developing and still somewhat immature, therefore they are vulnerable to the possibility of chronic disorders if initial attacks from pathogens are not treated properly and thoroughly. The typical health challenges most parents are working through with their kids are digestive and respiratory disorders, passed around with great frequency in the daycare and school systems.

There are many pediatric protocols and herbal formulas designed especially for children at different stages of their development. These acupuncture prescriptions and herbal formulas aid in the children coping with and fighting off the various pathogens that they actually must come in contact with to develop their immune system. We all have to go through that process! The herbal formulas can be used by themselves, or in conjunction with acupuncture and/or magnet therapy. The treatments and herbology allow the children to go through the transitions more gracefully, can be used in conjunction with western meds if desired, and facilitates a more complete healing process while promoting a higher immune function down the road. The formulas come in powders, tablets, or liquids and can be mixed into flavored drinks, pudding, yogurt, or anything the child likes it in to get it down! Kan Herbs has a wonderful line of high quality pediatric herbs made with vegetable glycerine to minimize the taste factor that sometimes prohibits the kids from swallowing the formula.

Anytime the stomach and respiratory flus start making the go-around in the school systems, a lot of the patients I’m treating are coming in having already taken antibiotics, yet still have a residual series of symptoms, or the pathogen has re-emerged in a different form or at another level. With children there is often fear and the doctors and parents are sometimes uncomfortable without the antibiotics so the prescriptions really fly! Antibiotics are wonderful medications when needed and used in appropriate circumstances, yet unfortunately they are still over-prescribed. These medications are to rid the body of a pathogen or bad bacteria that’s trying to set up camp in the lungs or digestive tract. They are prescribed and administered to halt the growth and spread of the bacteria, however they destroy a fair amount of the good bacteria in the digestive system therefore leaving the child weaker after the application! Anytime antibiotics are prescribed the child needs to be supplemented with acidophilus or a probiotics product so the flora(good bacteria) in the child’s digestive tract regenerates properly. So much of our immune system is rooted in the digestive tract so a weakened digestion makes the child vulnerable and actually sets them up for the next flu or virus. Acupuncture and herbology used along with the nutriceuticals can help children resolve the pathogen completely, bounce back from bacterial infections and viruses, and make them stronger to prevent repeat illnesses and protect them from future attacks.

Acupuncture needles for children? Of course acupuncture for children! Considering the profound healing effect accessing the energy of the acupuncture channel & organ system has on children, it’s a missed opportunity to not follow through. Fortunately for not only the kids but for everyone, most acupuncture needles are infinitely thinner than injection needles, and the sensation is quite minimal, often painless. The needle-phobia issue many children develop is often a key factor in many parent’s considerations regarding acupuncture as a form of healthcare for their kids. Looking more closely at needles, they have different sizes, or what’s known as their “gauge.” Needle gauge traditionally refers to the size of the bore or hole in the needle, yet since acupuncture needles have no hole or injection capacity, we’re really just talking about needle thickness. The higher the number of the gauge, the thinner the needle. A 32 gauge needle is therefore thinner than a 30 gauge needle, which in turn is thinner than an 28 gauge needle. As comparisons, most medical practitioners giving intravenous or intramuscular injections are using 21 to 25 gauge needles, and the smaller needles diabetics typically use are 27 to 31 gauge needles, all of which can pack quite a powerful sensation for the kids! Children often relax knowing the needles I use are 36 and 38 gauge, closer to the thickness of a hair than to a 25 gauge syringe! For kids that are really needle-phobic I’m also using very powerful yet very small magnets combined with acupressure to access the energy and function of the acupuncture point, so the good news for these kids(or adults!) is that if they can’t tolerate getting poked they still have an effective treatment option without needles!

The treatment strategies of acupuncture and herbology effectively treat another challenging issue children and parents are often dealing with, the early overstimulation of the child’s senses and mind that can lead to various types of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder(ADHD). The chronic overstimulation of children offsets the delicate balance of their psyche and soma. The eastern mind traditionally believes that early on in life children need to be kept safe, comfortable, and stay relatively care free and playful. This is a tough issue because western culture consistently pushes parents and children via media and advertising towards television, graphic video games, computers, ipods, etc., like a fast-paced busy lifestyle is the way to be! Better Faster Longer Stronger with superior technology is a consumer driven dynamic and message communicated at an early age! Often parents feel the need to engage their children in too many activities so that the kids may have a competitive edge when they’re older, and it backfires. I’ve had patients in with a diagnosis of ADHD that have an after school activity 4-5 days a week, with little time and space to themselves and the free flowing imaginary time traditionally reserved for children to be child-like. These dynamics feed the fire and expand the possibility of ADHD like disorders to manifest, along with other behavioral problems, dyslexia, and chronic fatigue. Of course this is all taken into account with other factors like diet, environment, and genetic predisposition. Acupuncture/magnet therapy combined with herbology can help restore the integrity of the child’s mental, emotional, spiritual and physical balance, allowing them to feel more comfortable in their own skin and slow down, even relax! Having achieved liberation from the overstimulated pattern, their physiology shifted, new patterns are possible, allowing focus, concentration and “being” to emerge more gracefully. After all, there’s nothing quite so beautiful as a child that’s just “being,” as opposed to busily or frantically “doing.”

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