Chinese Medicine for Babies and Kids- by Mari Kubota

Babies and kids are great, and so much more fun when they are feeling good!  Its back to school time and kids will be bringing home runny noses and all kinds of exciting treasures from the playground.

Here is a picture of my new baby Zo receiving some shonishin on lung and large intestine shu points to help him recover from his 1st diaper rash.  For Zo we use shonishin, acupressure, acupuncture, herbs and other natural remedies whenever possible before chemicals and drugs.   Zo gets hiccups almost daily and we use Pericardium 6, a point close to his wrist, and a point on his tiny index finger to help calm them down.

It’s exciting to share healthcare tips and to be empowered caregivers in making decisions to support our kids’ health and wellbeing. I feel so much passion for supporting other families with their little ones. Since having our baby we have received immense support from our community and it makes me want to give back. Offering Chinese medicine to the babies and children in the OAP community is a great way to help them have a healthy and happy start to the upcoming year. Since entering the realm of parenthood I understand more and more how much parents and caregivers need quality rest and relaxation too, so don’t forget to book an appointment for yourself!

What kind of childhood illnesses do you often see at OAP?
Most of childhood illnesses stem from poor digestion since children are born with an inherently immature spleen, lung and liver.  Babies and kids get lots of tummy aches, diarrhea, vomiting, and colic.  They also have lots of upper respiratory tract disorders that have some component of an accumulation of phlegm which also stems from weak digestion.

Chinese Medicine offers great insight into preventing and caring for ailments that our Western health care system has few or unsatisfactory answers for.  Here is the short list of the most commonly seen at OAP:

ADD/ADHD
Asthma
Allergies and Hay Fever
Colic
Conjunctivitis
Constipation, Diarrhea, or tummy aches
Diaper Rash
Ear aches
Eczema
Fever
Hiccups
Insomnia and Nightmares
Jaundice
Low Immunity, help prevent and cope with the symptoms of frequent coughs/colds/flu
Teething pain
Temper tantrums
Thrush
Vomiting

How do you approach kids with fears about needles?
I often find that kids have much less fear of pain than adults and are often more open to acupuncture treatment than their parents!  With all patients it is a dance, and I try to meet each person where they are.  There is a rare child who is terrified of needles.  In these cases I will first try press-seeds, or some shonishin (sho=little, ni=children, shin=needle) tools like tiny rollers to stimulate the meridians without poking the baby or child with a needle.  90% of the time by the mid/end of the treatment kids will warm up to the idea of acupuncture and at least try 1 if not 5 or 10 needles and find that its not so bad after all.  Mostly on the first treatment I like to get kids used to the idea of what is happening at OAP and feeling comfortable and excited for their next treatment.

What kind of success have you seen working with children with Chinese Medicine?
Children are highly responsive and sensitive to acupuncture, herbs, and shonishin.  Babies, toddlers and kids receive the medicine well and their bodies quickly respond to consistent treatment.  Adult illnesses often have many layers of complexity whereas childhood illnesses are oftentimes much more straightforward and healing each small thing as it comes up strengthens the child’s constitution and prevents more complex illness from developing.  Children’s condition tends to change quickly and with the help of Chinese Medicine it does so that much more easily.

Find out more about Mari by visiting them here at OAP or online @ www.marikubota.com. Mari is a contributor to the upcoming book: Grow Healthy. Grow Happy. The Guide to Natural Baby Care.