Pediatrics and Chinese Medicine

Posted by Admin

Fall is here and for our family like so many, this means back to school. With school also comes exposure to germs and bugs and the resulting sickness. Many people do not know how effective traditional Chinese medicine can be for children and that there is more to acupuncture than needles. Chinese medicine has a long history in the treatment of children and has devised many techniques that are both effective and pleasant at the same time.

One of our approaches with children is to treat with either “tuina” (pediatric Chinese massage) and/or “shonishin” (Japanese style acupuncture without the penetration of the skin). We also use “cupping”, “gua sha” and “moxabustion” when appropriate. At times, I will also use needles if the parents and the patient are willing. In young children the needling technique is simply in and out, without needle retention and when done on the back it is often unnoticed by the child.

During my 10 years practicing, I have had great success treating children most commonly seeing ailments such as common cold, weak immunity, reoccurring ear infections, chronic cough, asthma, eczema, digestive problems including poor appetite and stomach aches as well as constipation and diarrhea. I also regularly treat my two daughters (ages 3 and 6) at home with acupuncture and herbal medicine always as my first and most often only therapy.

I have found children very receptive to treatments often to the surprise of their parents. Just last week my 5 year old patient fell asleep while on the table receiving treatment. Children also respond and change quicker to therapy then do adults.

There are two main approaches to treating children, one being the preventive approach where you come in before they get sick, the other treatment being focused on treating the acute symptoms once they become sick. When taking the preventative approach we recommend coming in with the change of the seasons when due to exposure to the elements or an abrupt change in temperature outside can increase the likelihood of falling ill.

We at Whole Family are committed to the health of your entire family and want to educate Canadians that Acupuncture and Chinese medicine is suitable in the treatment of children.

Currently we are involved in a research study at the University of Alberta looking at how acupuncture and massage can benefit children undergoing chemotherapy. It is the first research study of its kind in Canada and we are excited to be a part of it. We will update you on the details in a future blog post.

If you have any questions regarding the treatment of your children using acupuncture or herbal medicine don’t hesitate to call us at (780) 756-7736 or email us at

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