February 2012

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It is so hard to see your child suffer through the continual discomfort of allergies. You do your best to keep the worst symptoms of chronic conditions from flaring up and you always wonder if there is more you can do.

Many caring parents like you are coping with this issue. The number of individuals with allergies has increased dramatically over the last few decades. “Among children up to 4 years of age, the incidence of asthma has increased 160%, and the incidence of atopic dermatitis has increased twofold to threefold. Approximately 0.5-1% of the US population is affected by peanut allergy and the incidence has doubled in the past decade. These figures demonstrate that allergic disorders in children are a serious public health problem, and the need to find new treatments for these disorders. Current conventional medications for allergic disorders for children are not fully satisfactory. There are also concerns of known side effects of corticosteroids…”(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2770271/?tool=pubmed).

We understand the stress you feel dealing with chronic conditions. Traditional Chinese Medicine offers a lasting solution to allergies and chronic childhood conditions such as ear infections and respiratory illnesses by healing the imbalances that cause these conditions.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), childhood corresponds with Spring, a time of rapid transformation and growth. Children become sick easily but respond just as quickly to treatment. Gentle TCM techniques like point therapy and Tuina (an acupressure and massage technique) are very effective at balancing children’s energetic systems and can eradicate symptoms completely. The mother of one of our young patients shares her story:

I started bringing my son to Jen when he was one year old. His initial diagnoses of peanut and tree nut allergies had expanded to included dairy and soy and we were regularly struggling with digestive problems, sleep disruptions and eczema. Jen’s treatments helped relieve the digestion, sleep and skin issues. And within a few months our allergist’s diagnoses for dairy and soy had been reduced to the status of ‘minor irritant’. I’m so grateful for how much less stress I have in the care of my son and delighted at how strong his immune system has become. (ZML)

Because TCM treats the energetic system of the body, patients usually experience added benefits they hadn’t anticipated. The XiaoXiao clinic in Milan conducted a pilot study of 29 children over a period of a year. Most were treated for recurrent respiratory infections. While the 17 children who completed the study showed significant improvement with their respiratory issues, the doctors noted anecdotally that, “Something extraordinary also happened at home:  they started to sleep in their own beds. The parents reported that their children became more confident, assertive and secure. Other children, initially very agitated and demanding, became more relaxed, with better behavior and improved sleep…one can clearly witness how an improved circulation of Qi positively influences the mental and emotional aspects of a child’s development.”

Early or preventative treatment is ideal with children. The core of preventative treatment is understanding each child’s unique constitution and tendency towards specific patterns of dis-ease. Parent’s knowledge of their child’s patterns, along with the Practitioner’s TCM constitutional evaluation is a combination for success. With treatment, your child’s symptoms can be managed or eradicated altogether.

Questions about whether we can help your child?

Call The Nest for a free 10 minute phone consultation at 773.267.0248

Where Western Medicine Fails, Chinese Medicine Nails It!

“It’s not just you — seasonal allergies hitting early, hard”, MSNBC reported earlier this week. Due to the milder winters that much of the US has experienced recently, allergy season is starting earlier and lasting longer. This can really hurt those prone to sinus infection and chronic sinusitis.

Sinus infections usually start with a cold or allergies that cause sinus inflammation and mucus production. The mucus builds up and gets blocked because the sinus membranes are enlarged. Trapped there, the mucus settles into perfectly inaccessible pockets in the sinuses which provide a perfect bed for pathogens to breed. With a sinus infection or sinusitis you may have any of these symptoms: stuffy nose, headache, fever, sore throat, and painful pressure around the cheeks, eyes, and forehead.

Now we read in a just-published study that antibiotic use for sinus infections does not work! The findings show that individuals who have had a sinus infection for a week (but not as long as 28 days) fared no better than the group that received the placebo. Science News reports that James Gill, a practicing physician who heads Delaware Valley Outcomes Research, surmised that, “…even the correct antibiotic often fails to knock out a sinus infection because the bacteria ‘are socked into closed spaces’ in the sinuses, and the drugs just don’t reach them well.”

Luckily, Traditional Chinese Medicine is very effective at treating sinus congestion and infection through the use of both acupuncture and herbal medicine. Patients may come in unable to breathe through their nose but after receiving acupuncture (the Bitong point, translates as “opening up the nose”) they can breathe freely, even during the first treatment. There are also points that facilitate mucus drainage. It is important to get acupuncture and take prescribed herbs when we get a head cold or sinus infection –especially early on– so that the mucus can be drained before pathogens proliferate and cause the worst symptoms. Herbs are often used in chinese medicine to treat sinus problems. Gan Jiang (dried ginger) and Bai Zhi (angelica root) are especially effective at clearing up the sinuses at the onset of a head cold.

For preventative care at home, Wei Liu and Changzhen Gong with the American Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM) share some acupressure points for sinusitis:

Self-Acupressure Tips for Sinusitis (Do Three Times on Each Point Daily)

Bitong (Extra Point): Located on each side of the nose, at the bottom edge of the nasal bones.    Yingxiang (LI 20): Located in the groove on each side of the nostrils, at the widest point of the nostrils. Hegu (LI-4): Located at the highest spot of the muscle between the thumb and index finger on the back of the hand when the thumb and index finger are close together.

Hold each point firmly but not so that you feel pain. Hold for up to three minutes.

Source:  http://www.tcmpage.com/hpsinusitis.html

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