Pediatric Acupuncture Shonishin & Chinese Medicine
Acupuncturists have been treating the world for thousands of years, and this “world” includes children. Santiago Sifre has been providing pediatric acupuncture and Chinese medicine for children during his entire career. He has treated children from the age of 3 months to adulthood. Dr. Sifre’s little patients have grown up and now he treats their children. As a father, he understands very well the importance of instilling the value of good health, exercise, joyful nutritious eating, joyful habits, right direction and wellness. As a medical practitioner he appreciates greatly the importance of helping the young be well and develop an appreciation of the responsibility of tending to one’s health: Health is not something that someone does for you. Health is something you do to yourself.
Pediatric acupuncture relies on the same diagnostic principles of Chinese medicine. That is, to achieve homeostasis (balance) in the physiological processes of the human body by stimulating the meridian system, organs and neuro-endocrine mechanisms in order to increase the innate healing signal. All the standard ARM (Acupuncture-related modalities) tools such as Tui Na masage, cupping therapy, et cetera are utilized in pediatric medicine. However, the difference is that needling is done primarily with non-insertive devices. That is, devices that stimulate circulation but do not penetrate the skin. This is a tradition of Japanese acupuncture called Shonishin. Loosely translated as “Kid’s needling”. Once the child has reached a certain age and/or comfort with the practice, “baby” needles are introduced. These needles pierce the skin. They are however extremely thin. Even thinner than the normal filliform needle standard to acupuncture. And they are all One-Use, disposable needles. Low level lasers are also a very practical tool to use with kids: they are safe, painless and effective in reducing inflammation.
Treatments for children are normally short. These may last from 20 minutes to half an hour. What is more important is the dosage of treatment. Kids with recurrent, chronic disorders will need at least 10 treatments and a number of follow-up “booster” sessions. Evaluation of the progression of treatment is the basis to determine continued treatment or not. Also adjustments and modifications in the diet and stimulative practices of the child may be necessary. Meditation training and the martial arts might be part of the mix for kids, particularly in the treatment of ADD.
Herbal medicine is also one of the most important tools available to TCM, especially when treating kids. Pediatric herbal medicine is a well established practice in TCM. This is because herbal medicines can enhance physiology. These are used short or long term, ancient prescriptions that have been used empirically with kids for thousands of years. So we know they are safe and effective. Most come in easy to take, liquid form. We utilized patent formulas made by Blue Poppy Pediatrics, Health Concerns and Little Treasures, by Giovanni Maciocia. These are guaranteed to be free from additives, artificial ingredients, chemicals and metals. Conditions treated include chronic recurrent infections; anxiety; digestive disorders; seizure disorder; ADD, ADHD, chronic ear infections; night terrors; sleep disorders; eneurisis; scoliosis; bronchitis-asthma espectrum, etc.. . These are all conditions that Santiago Sifre has treated successfully in many children over the years.
Establishing the appropriate therapeutic relationship with the child is important. The length and tools used in each treatment are positively related to the level of bond developed between practitioner and child. Often parents come to our clinic because conventional medicine alone is not working effectively to improve the child’s health. This is why you are probably here. So we can not apply the same strategy to the problem at hand. At the beginning, and due to many subtleties in the practice of pediatric TCM, the parent might think that not much went on during treatment. This is normal.
No amount of success can be guaranteed in treating any condition. It may take between eight and twelve sessions for consistent therapeutic improvement to manifest. We know there are no side effects or dangers with pediatric TCM. However, we do not provide health care services to replace allopathic-pediatric care. You should let your pediatrician know that we provide a complementary medicine pediatric approach. We work to improve your child’s health but as an added approach to what you are already doing, so that your child will have the two main branches of medical knowledge in humanity (Eastern and Western medicines) at his/her service.