Paediatrics and Traditional Chinese Medicine
16 Sep 2015
Paediatrics is among the oldest specialties within the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The practice of treating children using oriental therapies can be traced back to the early years of the first millennium. In China, different modalities of TCM have been used for more than 2000 years in order to resolve the health problems in children. According to TCM, the body of a child being immature and weak, is more vulnerable to a large number of diseases like colds, coughs, asthma, allergies, colic, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach aches, indigestion, etc.
In TCM, there are four main therapies for treating children. They are acupuncture, herbal medicine, Chinese massage and dietary therapy.
Generally, this method is used for addressing the health issues of children older than six years using a specially developed technique known as Shoni-shin. In this technique of acupuncture, which is meant only for children, penetration of the skin is not involved. Instead of the usual fine needles, small metallic tools are placed at certain acupuncture points. These tools are meant to help Qi spread along the channels throughout the surface of the body. Duration of a session normally depends on the child’s age and asperity of the sickness. This treatment often works wonderfully against common digestive and respiratory illness.
Chinese Herbal Medicine
Chinese herbal medicine is the most popular modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Northern Beaches. Each formula is customised as per the needs of a child and generally consists of 4 to 15 herbs. Some of the herbs have anti-viral or anti-bacterial properties, while others are for strengthening the immunodeficiency system. The formulas are made into pills, tinctures, teas and powders. Herbal formulas are effectively used for treating acute illnesses and preventing chronic infections.
Paediatric Chinese massage, also known as Tui Na, is highly effective against a wide range of diseases in children such as constipation, cough, asthma, dermatitis and abdominal pain. Tui na can be safely administered to children below 8 years of age. It is usually relaxing and soothing for the child, and causes no discomfort or pain.
TCM practitioners often state that digestion plays an important role in dictating the overall health of infants and youngsters. A proper diet can help the child’s body to combat with a wide spectrum of diseases. Practitioners of oriental therapies recommend that the diet of children should include whole foods with lots of fruits, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, grains, and small quantities of eggs, dairy products and meat.