Kids & TCM

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Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture for Children

Pediatrics has been an area of specialization in Chinese Medicine for a long time. Kids generally often respond very well – and very quickly – to treatments. From a Chinese Medicine perspective this has to do with the fact that children are just full of active energy that is ready to be redirected into a healthy pattern of movement.

Acupuncture is one of the safest, most effective medical treatments for children of all ages and for a vast number of ailments and conditions.

Any parent knows that their children are unique and special, and their medical treatment should reflect that uniqueness. One of the main benefits of acupuncture is that it is a personalized treatment, customized for each individual. And this applies to children as well.

No two bodies are the same, yet the Western medicine approach to treating children is to treat them the same by recommending pills and medicines that aim to temporarily mask the symptoms without treating the root cause. Many children’s medication comes with unwanted side-effects, while acupuncture can be a safe, painless way to treat the cause of the condition, lowering the chances that it will recur.

Common Conditions Treated in Kids

Pediatric acupuncture, massage, dietary therapy and Chinese herbal medicine can be used to treat and prevent a wide variety of childhood ailments including but not limited to:

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We encourage you to contact us for more information and an assessment for your child. Here are some of the common concerns with kids.

Autism

Parents who have a child with autism typically have concerns with the child’s behavior, their rejection of affection, food aversions at mealtime, toileting issues or sleep disturbances. Chinese medicine addresses all of the above concerns.

The treatment approach for children with autism will vary according to the defining symptoms. A typical pattern in autism is Shen disturbance and a deficient middle jiao, accompanied by impeded movement of Qi and blood resulting in blocks in the meridians and collaterals, and liver and kidney deficiency. For these children, toxins accumulate and sensory input is diminished. Herbs may be used to tonify the liver and kidney and strengthen the free coursing of the liver Qi.

As autism is a spectrum disorder, it should be expected that the western medical diagnosis of the child will shift as treatments progress. Children with autism have a simultaneous excess and deficiency pattern that involves multiple organs. It is not uncommon to see three or four patterns evolve as the child recovers. Chinese herbal medicine begins to address autism by engendering a healthy middle jiao, supporting proper circulation and clearing any Shen disturbance. Treatments may include massage and acupuncture, in addition to herbal therapy.

Eczema

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) sees eczema as a symptom of other diseases. If a person has eczema, there are imbalances in his or her body that affect overall health. These imbalances are caused by three main pathogenic factors: Wind, Dampness, Heat: ​Different combinations of these pathogens, or illness-causing elements, produce different forms of eczema.

For instance, acute eczema often results from damp heat in the lungs and spleen while chronic eczema is a more severe form of acute eczema and is aggravated by constant exposure to dampness.

Eczema in infants and children is caused by a combination of a weak spleen and stomach, damp heat, and wind exposure. Eczema around the eyes is caused by wind exposure, heat in the spleen, and damp heat. ​

Often a combination of herbs and acupuncture can offer significant relief.

Asthma

From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, asthma can be caused by Qi deficiency in the lungs, kidneys and spleen. Lungs open into the nose, Qi deficiency makes it harder to move air in and out of the lungs, which leads to one of most common asthma symptoms – shortness of breath. Qi deficiency in the kidneys will result in inability to receive or grasp air when breathing.

The spleen is also an essential organ in TCM. It is responsible for digestion and transforming food into essence, which transports to the lungs and other organs in the body. Qi deficiency in the spleen can cause asthma when it is unable to transform and transport essence to the rest of the body.

Asthma attacks can be triggered by many factors including allergy, infection, cold air, diet, emotional disturbances and pollution.

Our TCM practitioners will offer acupuncture treatment combined with herbal formulas to treat asthma. After identifying the cause of asthma and what triggers the attacks, an herbal formula will be prescribed based on your condition and constitution, along with a personalized acupuncture treatment plan.

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TCM Treatments for Children

TCM for Kids FAQ

Not all the herbs are safe for kids. As professionals, we put safety first to make sure there are no side effects on your children. All the herbs we use have passed Health Canada approval, and we exercise great care to offer only safe and appropriate treatments.

As parents of young kids, all the practitioners in our clinic have learnt a lot from little patients and their own kids. Also, because of the active nature of kids, we usually apply flying needles on them instead of regular Acu-needles for safety concerns.
A baby can receive acupuncture treatments from birth and continue them all through childhood. There is no fixed age to start to benefit from acupuncture and traditional chinese medicine which in some cases can minimize the need for medications and more invasive medical interventions.
The younger the child, the shorter the treatment. Note that children react very quickly and very positively to acupuncture. Their vital energy is keen at that age.

The number of treatments depends on:

  • The severity of the illness
  • The duration of symptoms
  • The child's vitality

Generally, relapses decrease dramatically, and if there are any, they are increasingly spaced out, e.g. 3 months, 6 months to 1 year. In the case of otitis or a flu caught early, sometimes one treatment is enough to restore the body's ability to defend itself against disease.

The needles are very fine and they are inserted with very little pain. The feeling is comparable to a mosquito bite. They leave no marks afterwards and the needles do not need to be retained or manipulated as much as adult treatments.
Until age 1, children rarely notice the needles and feel little pain. Once they get older, fear may set in. By explaining what's happening and by being very gentle, we guide them through the treatment and things go well. Parental experience of acupuncture is also helpful. After the first treatment, their fear disappears and everything is fine. In some circumstances, it is possible to use other methods, such as manual stimulation, heat or laser.
As soon as the symptoms start and for certain conditions, preventively. This decreases the number of treatments needed and, possibly, the amount of medications that the child will need to take.
This all depends on the diseases and the child. Often, in traditional Chinese medicine, several problems can stem from the same cause. The treatment can therefore deal with several symptoms at the same time. Several problems can also be treated simultaneously provided the child is not too young or too weakened by the disease.

Why us? We provide high-quality TCM and acupuncture services while always prioritizing the client’s comfort.