How to Safely Vaccinate Your Child

Posted by Cecil Horwitz

At Whole Family Health, our team of acupuncturists and massage therapists work in conjunction with MDs every day. We recognize the need to combine Chinese medicine with Western care, especially when it comes to vaccinations.

Did you know that Chinese medicine has been using inoculations since the 10th century? Chinese doctors used to scrape small pox lesions and collect the resulting scabs to be made into a powder. This powder was then snorted up a child’s nose as an early form of vaccination.

Many parents have a fear of vaccinations, most commonly from being misinformed by celebrities that vaccines cause Autism or other adverse reactions. It is our goal at Whole Family health to walk our patients down a path of understanding vaccines, the role they play in overall health, and how Chinese medicine can be used to help safely vaccinate your child.

Vaccinations are not perfect, in fact we have worked with many people whose children have had adverse reactions that range from minor to life altering. Whether it was a result of vaccine agents, their carriers, or severe sensitivity, we strongly feel these reactions can be minimized with Chinese medicine. From our point of view, the primary concern with immunization isn’t the vaccination itself, but how it is given and how our patients are taken care of afterwards.

It is expected that there will be some sort of reaction to a vaccine, most commonly a fever. Both Chinese and Western medicine recognize this as the body bringing its immune system into action. In conventional medicine a child would be given Tylenol to offset the fever, but Chinese medicine believes suppressing the fever may cause the immune system to become weak and dysfunctional. There is also growing evidence that decreasing the body’s reaction to a vaccine may actually reduce the immunity it is trying to create. With Chinese medicine we strive to support the body’s response to the vaccine (not suppress it) reducing the risk of long term immunological compromise.

We recommend the following tips for parents looking to immunize their children:

  • Have a conversation with your pediatrician as to which vaccines are critical
  • Prepare your child with acupuncture and herbs prior to the immunization
  • Separate combination vaccines (such as MMR) so they are administered one at a time
  • If your child is sick, reschedule your appointment
  • Follow up vaccinations with rest, even if your child appears to be unaffected
  • Egg or Gelatin allergy? Discuss these sensitivities with your pediatrician, as they will likely lead to adverse vaccine reactions

At Whole Family Health we strongly believe that Chinese medicine is NOT an alternative to life-saving immunizations. It is however an integral part to safely vaccinating your child.