Before having children of my own, I never considered giving tiny people Chinese herbs. It did not occur to me that if, and when, I should ever treat a child it would be different from treating an adult. In school we were introduced to pediatric medicine and the proper dosing for herbs, but not once do I recall a class on how to get these (mostly) vile tasting decoctions into the bellies of tiny, irrational, people.
This all changed after my daughters were born. Suddenly I was faced with the responsibility of keeping two young children healthy. Being a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioner, my preferred method of treatment is herbs and so my journey into pediatric medicine began. At the age of 18 months I started training them on how to take medicine. I started with tea pills (which are about the size of a lentil) and slowly graduated to them to capsules covered in coconut oil and washed down with juice. In doing this, I was able to establish a protocol for health and can now choose from a wide range of medicine to treat them with.
Initially, it was a struggle (this may be an understatement); a lot of herbs ended up on me rather than in my kids; however, by the ages of 3 and 4, my daughters take capsules easily. Due to the efficacy of Chinese herbs, neither child has ever been on antibiotics and I am able to rely on Chinese medicine and diet to treat each and every ailment that invades our home.
Pediatrics, along with Women’s health, is one of the oldest specialties within Chinese Medicine. It is extremely effective in treating children while being gentle and free from dangerous side effects. It works incredibly well for all age groups, including infants. There are Chinese herbal formulas available for just about any complaint a child (or parent) may have including gastrointestinal upsets, behavior problems (ADHD or restlessness), bad dreams, insomnia, allergies, asthma, eczema, tummy aches, sinus infections, ear aches, colds and fevers.
All children are born with weak digestive organs, thus most pediatric formulas focus on strengthening the child’s ability to process and metabolize food. And, because an immature gastrointestinal track is the root-cause of most childhood ailments, diet plays an important part of any treatment plan. Ensuring that the child is eating foods that are appropriate for his or her condition and constitution is crucial to regaining (and maintaining) health.
Michelle Luiz earned her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in Chicago, Illinois in 2006. She is state licensed and is certified by the NCCAOM in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine.
After her first two pregnancies, Michelle became very familiar with symptoms of post-partum depression and post-partum OCD. She sought out treatment with Chinese herbs and was impressed by their efficacy; she has since become passionate about helping other women recover emotionally and physically after child-birth. To learn more about Michelle and her work at YAO Company where she treats women and children, visit www.yaoclinic.com.
You can also attend a presentation on Post-Partum Imbalance offered on June 2 at Mountain Midwifery Center. REGISTER HERE