Based on folk medicine stemming from 2,000 years ago Traditional Chinese Medicine has evolved into a complex system of addressing the body’s complaints. Children respond especially well to TCM modalities such as Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs. They are also fond of pressure point therapies such as TuiNa.
A practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine will treat children differently than adults. Paediatric sessions may be shorter, use fewer needles for Acupuncture or milder herbs for Chinese Herbs. According to Acupuncture in the Treatment of Children [1999 Scott & Barlow, Eastland Press] Chinese medicine has viewed paediatrics as a “specialized subject in Chinese medicine since the Song dynasty (960-1279).”
Needle and Needle-Free Acupuncture Techniques
A paediatric patient of acupuncture has the choice between needles and needle-free techniques. The acupuncture needles are thin and very gentle.
Needle-free acupuncture treatments may include tools such as brushes, rollers and blunt probes. Infants and young children can easily transmit healing effects of meridian and point stimulation without requiring the skin to be pierced.
What to Expect with a Paediatric TCM Treatment
The parent or guardian can put his mind at rest with a practitioner that specializes in paediatric modalities. In many cases the mother will receive acupuncture as well as the child because Chinese medicine believes that the child receives energy from his parents in the first years of his life.
After the initial consultation and health history intake form the acupuncturist will conduct a series of testing to determine the energetic health of the child. The practitioner is making observations of the child’s:
- Face – coloring
- Brightness or dullness in the eyes
- Veins in the fingers and wrists
- The tongue – using Oriental tongue diagnosis
- The nose – observing any discharge or irritations
- The ears – noticing any discharge and size of the ear
Depending on the goals and needs of a child or teen the treatments may be shorter than an adult would receive. Acupuncture can easily be used alongside Western medicine, or as a standalone treatment for a multitude of childhood conditions.
Commonly treated paediatric conditions
Asthma, Anorexia, Attention Deficit Disorder – ADD, Bronchitis, Common Cold, Canker Sores, Convulsions, Chicken Pox, Diarrhoea, Epilepsy, Enuresis, Flu, Food Stagnation, German Measles, Infantile Jaundice, Jaundice, Mouth Sores, Mycotic Stomatitis, Malnutrition, Measles, Mumps, Pneumonia, Pertussis, Rickets, Thrush, Whooping Cough.