Paediatrics and Chinese Medicine
How can this help your child?
Chinese medicine has a very different way of looking at the body. It takes into account that our body, mind and spirit are interconnected. It looks at what is happening overall in the body and makes sense of that in an holistic way. For example, say your child gets constipated, plus itchy hot skin in the upper parts of their body and they don’t sleep well. This would be translated as stagnation in the intestines causing heat to rise in the skin. The skin and large intestine are connected in Chinese medicine, so clearing up the intestines will help the skin to be clearer, less hot and less itchy. So the focus would be on the intestines but there would also be attention paid directly to the skin.
The techniques I have available to me to use on your child vary according to whether they are diagnosed as being more excess or deficient in terms of their constitution. For more excessive children, quick gentle acupuncture is the best method for treatment where the pin is popped in and then pulled out almost straight away. It is left in longer the older they get but they don’t need to lie still, I follow them around the treatment room whilst they play with toys or sit you on your lap. When they can lie still, they do, it’s all age dependant and I work with where they are at.
For more deficient children, a warming therapy of moxibustion is more appropriate, this is applied directly to the skin via special Japanese tool called a Tiger Warmer. It feels good on their skin and it is well tolerated.
I often teach parents how to massage their child as this can help enormously with their overall wellbeing.
I look at your child’s diet and we tweak that to ensure they are having what they need to help them re-balance. I look at their sleep habits, lifestyle, day care schedule or school schedule, screen time and more to see what else we can tweak that will benefit your child’s physical and emotional health.
I often use Chinese herbal medicine for children too. It is administered in an already made up liquid that you can easily squirt into their mouth or another kind of drink. Herbal medicine has been used in China for Children for centuries and is well tolerated in the children I see.
The other interesting part of the equation is you, the parent. In Chinese medicine there is a saying: ‘The mother feeds the child’. This means literally, emotionally and spiritually. Often I see mums (and sometimes dads) who bring in their children for treatment but they aren’t taking care of themselves. It is important that you do take care of yourself and your needs, as this will always impact your children. So for those who are interested, I also offer treating mums (and dads), often with herbs as they are super busy, to help them re-balance at the same time as their child. It doesn’t need to be with me and you don’t need to use Chinese medicine to do it but it is something that needs consideration.
What kinds of conditions would you consider Chinese medicine for?
If you are wanting to try a natural holistic solution for your child’s health then this is something to consider. I would like to take a moment to say here that I often work closely with GPs and Paediatricians to effect the best results for my clients. I see myself as a support to your primary care givers and I encourage you to keep good relationships with them. I believe in integrative healthcare which is the best of both worlds, the West and the East.
Parents have come to me for the following conditions in the past: recurrent coughs and colds, weak immune system, digestive issues such as constipation, not sleeping well, red itchy dry skin conditions, recurrent ear infections, support with autism spectrum disorder, various complications such as inability to walk properly post viral infections, “my child has never been well since…”, “I don’t want to keep giving my child antibiotics, they’ve had so much in their short life, what are my options…?”, unsettled newborns with digestive issues, mums often come reporting of colic or reflux and more.
What actually happens in a treatment session?
The first treatment session is one hour and I ask lots of questions about every aspect of your child’s health but also about your pregnancy and delivery of them. The treatment part of the session is approximately ten minutes but this depends on what I am doing, acupuncture, moxibustion, massage…
After the first appointment, I will ask you and your child to return up to 2 times for 5 minute appointments and these are free. This is where I will simply do the acupuncture or moxibustion and you’ll be on your way very quickly. Children need regular hands on treatment, so this is the way I have found works best for them.
After those 2 five minute appointments are done, we schedule a follow up appointment of 30 minutes where again we catch up, go through their diet and lifestyle, tweak the massage, tweak the herbs and give acupuncture or moxibustion.
Then after this there is another 2 free short 5 minute treatments, then a follow up is booked for 30 minutes and so on until they are more balanced.
How long does it normally take to be effective?
This really depends on the nature of your child’s symptoms, how long they have had them for and how old they are. Generally speaking, the younger they are, the quicker the turn around but it depends on how many recommended changes you can take on board at once and it depends on their system’s ability to change direction. For many children though, changes happen quickly as they haven’t had as much time for things to go off track. It’s very rewarding for myself as a practitioner.
How old does my child need to be?
I have treated children as young as 3 weeks old.
Where else in the world is this practiced?
Germany, USA, Canada, China, England, New Zealand and Australia, to name a few
In the USA it is being practiced in many hospitals for children where they are integrating medicine more and more:
Getting to the Point, Episode 1, Children’s Hospital of Orange County (this shows how acupuncture is used in tandem with regular medical care in this hospital)
Boston’s Children’s Hospital: http://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions-and-treatments/treatments/acupuncture
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles: https://www.chla.org/acupuncture-program
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: https://www.chop.edu/services/acupuncture-program
UC Davis Children’s Hospital: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5Eh-56CLIk
The World Health Organisation officially recognises Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture. See this article for all the details: https://www.wphealthcarenews.com/world-health-organization-officially-recognizes-traditional-chinese-medicine/
Our Paediatric Acupuncture Practitioner
Rebecca Mar Young – Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Japanese Acupuncture, Paediatric Acupuncture - B.Hth.Sci TCM (UTS), Cert. TCM (Beijing), Cert IV R.M., B.Arts Comm (CSU), Post-Grad Cert. Jap Ac, Post-Grad Cert. Paed TCM, Certified Yoga Teacher RYTA 200
I support pregnant and post-natal women, couples seeking fertility and IVF support, babies and children, as well as all aspects of women's health. I use acupuncture and Chinese medicine to achieve improved health and wellness, which seeks to address the root cause of your issue.