Do you know that pediatrics is the oldest specialty in Chinese medicine? For over 2,000 years Traditional Chinese Medicine has been providing solutions to children’s health problems. And it isn’t just herbal medicine—Traditional Chinese Medicine includes acupuncture, Chinese massage, herbal medicine, and dietary therapy.
Chinese Medicine approaches healing through noninvasive treatments that focus on an entire individual, not just a specific problem. Doing so brings back that body’s natural ability to heal itself by restoring harmony and balance.
When treating children, Chinese Medicine practitioners look at children not as little adults, but they recognize the immaturities in children, both physically and functionally. These immaturities result in inherently weak systems throughout the body making children more susceptible to:
Western medicine often looks at the symptoms of these medical issues and diseases and prescribes medication and treatments to eliminate the symptoms, but not necessarily looking to eliminate or discover the root source.
Where western medicine is reactive, Chinese Medicine aims to eliminate the pathology of the disease instead of controlling or suppressing symptoms.
4 Traditional Chinese Medicine Modalities for Children
Children are treated with four main modalities within Chinese Medicine:
- Herbal Medicine
- Dietary Therapy
- Pediatric Massage
Herbal Medicine for Children
Herbal medication is prescribed by a licensed professional based on each individual child and their unique bodily makeup. Remedies are a combination of herbs, varying from as little as three to 15 different types of herbs, compounded into a pill or powder form.
Working as a preventative, antibacterial, and antiviral, these remedies work towards treating acute illnesses and preventing those who have a history of chronic infections.
Many of the diseases children are inflicted with are due to their diet. Unfortunately, Western diets aren’t always conducive to optimal health for children. Eggs and dairy should be limited in adolescence meals, focusing instead on fruits, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates.
A properly trained Chinese Medicine practitioner will work with you to create a proper dietary plan to prevent digestive issues and keep your child free from dietary diseases.
Unlike traditional acupuncture, pediatric acupuncture does not break the skin. Instead, the acupuncturist uses a set of metal tools designed to bring qi to the surface, help it move by “spreading” it along the channels and stimulate specific acupuncture points.
Pediatric acupuncture is often done for children suffering from:
- Respiratory issues
- Digestive ailments
- To increase circulation
Typically a 20-30 minutes session, pediatric massage is performed on fully-clothed children by licensed pediatric massage therapists. Massage is a very effective treatment for a host of issues:
- Chronic abdominal pain
By focusing on specific pressure points, pediatric massage is successful in children young to old.
Alternative Methods for Treating Childhood Diseases
Looking into an alternative treatment method for children is becoming increasingly popular. Our culture has a history of over-medicating, but there are alternatives. By starting a Chinese Medicine treatment early for your child will allow your practitioner to focus on preventative measures and maintaining a good balance of bodily harmony.