Excerpt from Natural Baby and Childcare
The holistic traditions of Chinese medicine and acupuncture span over 2,500 years, predating modern medicine by millennia. Both are based on the theory of chi, the vital energy which courses through channels in the body. Obstructions to chi or imbalances in energy result in discomfort and disease, and the aim of Chinese medicine and acupuncture is to restore the flow of chi through the body.
Practiced extensively in China in rural communities and major hospitals, these disciplines make use of acupuncture (needle treatment), acupressure, cupping, moxa (warmed herbs), and Chinese herbal medicine to help relieve a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. Diagnosis is made after an extensive interview that includes an evaluation and treatment of one’s chi energy flow in the body based on pulse, tongue diagnosis, and other factors.
In the United States, acupuncture is perhaps the most widely practiced therapy from this tradition. Children can benefit from acupuncture, though it may be difficult to get a young child to cooperate with the use of needles. Acupressure and Chinese herbal medicine, without the use of needles, is more suited to younger children, although the taste can take some getting used to!