Preventative medicine can benefit children greatly and preventative TCM provides the same positive results. TCM has treated children for centuries; pediatrics is one of the medicines best specialties (since the Song Dynasty – 960-1279).
Because TCM is a holistic medicine, healing focuses on balancing the qi of the internal organs by taking into account both physical and emotional symptoms. Children are usually more susceptible to getting sick, but are also quicker to heal. For most common pediatric complaints, healing can come through herbal medicine, dietary changes. The goal of all pediatric treatment is to restore balance and harmony to a child.
Some parents are nervous about bringing in their child to get acupuncture because of its association with needles, but surprisingly many children do not have a problem with the needles. Also, not all treatments need to use needles.
Part of the treatment could be following dietary guidelines, cutting out foods that Chinese medicine looks at as difficult to digest, such as greasy and fried foods. Another treatment could be taking herbs. Many of these treatments have been used in China for thousands of years and many children and adults have had impressive improvements.
Oriental medicine views the treatment of children to be extremely important, and usually the most important system to treat is the digestive system in children. The focus of the digestive system in Oriental medicine consists of the spleen and stomach systems.
According to Chinese medical theory, children’s spleens and stomachs up to about age six are immature, because they are still developing. That means the level of function is not the same as in a healthy adult. With the digestive system being weak and overworked, it is common to hear children complaining about various digestive problems.
TCM can also help reduce the overuse and misuse of antibiotics as well as serve as an alternative to antibiotics. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that one-third of the 150 million prescriptions written for antibiotics each year are not necessary, which results in bacterial strains that become tougher than the antibiotics being used against them. Children are among the patients most susceptible to the antibiotic resistant super bugs.
Herbal formulas can be effective in the treatment of illness as well as in preventing illness when there is a history of chronic infections and antibiotic use. Chinese herbs are used to treat conditions ranging from colic in babies to frequent colds, asthma, and ADD in older children.
The organs that are commonly affected in most typical childhood illnesses are the spleen, lung, and liver. Damage to the qi of these internal organs results in such problems as digestive complaints, respiratory illnesses, and temper tantrums.
Children tend to outgrow many common pediatric diseases as they mature and develop and the qi of their lung, spleen, and liver becomes stronger.
Common childhood conditions treated with Oriental Medicine: