Children bring us such joy. Watching them play, learn, and drink in life with such zeal is a benefit to our heart qi. It is so painful for us to see them sick. As a mother, I have found this to be true, and I have seen it in the parents of my pediatric patients.
Children Can Benefit from Chinese Medicine
When our children suffer, there is no reason we can’t help them with acupuncture and herbs. Children’s bodies change so fast, they respond quickly to treatment and require very little to step onto the road to recovery. With small children, needles are inserted and removed quickly. There is no need to retain needles for the usual 20-30 minutes, since the qi of children is so close to the surface and very accessible. In addition to this quick needling technique, medical massage, called Tui Na, and acupressure can be used, particularly when a child is afraid of the needles. I have found that parents tend to be more worried than their children about having needles inserted. Children are usually more curious than anything, but will pick up on the fear of their parents and then decide they do not want to be needled. When this happens, acupressure and massage techniques can still be very effective.
Herbal medicine is as safe for our children as it is for us. There are a few companies making Chinese Herbal formulas in liquid form specifically for children. These are easy to administer, either directly into the mouth with a quick squirt, or mixed in with drinks or soft foods such as yogurt or oatmeal. My own daughter takes hers directly into her mouth without complaint, but as the daughter of an herbalist, she has had many years to get used to the taste of chinese medicinals. With older children, the same herbal pills that we take ourselves can be given in smaller doses.*
Moxibustion is another technique that is very useful for children. Even newborns can benefit from a little moxa to warm the belly and aid in digestion.
What Pediatric Disorders Does Chinese Medicine Treat?
Children suffer from some of the same disorders that adults do. There are also some things to which children are more prone and below is a list of the most commonly seen things in the pediatric Chinese Medicine clinic.
Colds, Flus, Allergies
Skin rashes, viral, eczema, or acne
Constipation, Diarrhea, Vomiting or Gas
Failure to Thrive, Low appetite
Insomnia, or Night Terrors
Irritability or Agitation, Anxiety
*Always seek the advice of a trained herbalist before administering herbs to children.