According to a study published in the February issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the rate of chronic health conditions among children in the United States increased from 12.8% in 1994 to 26.6% in 2006, particularly for asthma, obesity and behavior and learning problems. These statistics are an alarming trend considering that this may indicate an increase in long term prescription drug use in children which can have long term health impacts. Also, childhood illnesses often set the stage for adult health problems.
More parents today are seeking out alternative care for their children than ever before. Safety is always the first concern for parents when choosing medical care. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been seen as a safe and viable alternative for parents and their children. In 2011, a review paper published in Pediatrics found that acupuncture is safe for children under 18 when performed by appropriately trained practitioners.
Pediatrics is one of the oldest specialties within Chinese medicine with some of the original texts written over 1,500 years ago. TCM offers valuable tools to support the physical, psychological and spiritual health of children at all developmental stages from newborn to adulthood. TCM takes into account the child’s constitution, developmental phase, strength of digestion and immunity, their current condition and any lingering pathogens from previous illnesses.
TCM is great for both preventive and remedial treatment of illness by helping the child’s body heal itself. Pediatric acupuncturists are trained in a variety of modalities to allow easy customization of treatments for every condition and child’s temperament. There are four primary methods for treating children: Nutrition, Herbal medicine, Pediatric massage/Tuina and Acupuncture. TCM can treat a variety of childhood ailments such as colic, constipation, eczema, ear infections, colds, asthma, developmental delays, behavior and learning problems, anxiety, sleep issues and pain.