Allergies, Asthma and ADD are seen more often in children today. In TCM, we look to diet and nutrition as the connection between these three childhood conditions and the first line of defense in healing them.
Often children diagnosed with allergies, ADD and ADHD are simply having an allergic response to food that is causing their hyperactivity, difficulty focusing and their strong reaction to the environment around them. This can cause the runny, stuffy nose, mood changes, earaches, rashes and even asthma symptoms. Many foods today are over-processed, full of chemicals and preservatives that were never meant to be eaten; even adult bodies have difficulty knowing what to do with these food additives.
Children are profoundly affected by the wrong foods as their digestive system (the largest component of the immune system) is just developing. Their young digestive system needs to be introduced to one whole food at a time to determine if that particular food is acceptable for their constitution. Often too many foods are introduced at once and some are not whole, digestible foods. This injures the digestive system and lends to allergies, asthma and ADD developing or becoming more intense than it might otherwise be. Moreover, traditional cooking methods that maintain the nutrition in whole foods have been lost in our fast-paced lives and needs to be reintroduced — especially in regards to our children’s growing digestive systems so they are not damaged from the get go!
Parents who have children with allergies, asthma and ADD issues can begin by limiting refined carbohydrates (products made with flour, sugar, or high fructose corn syrup) to keep blood sugar levels more stable, eliminating artificial food colors and preservatives, testing for food sensitivities and avoiding caffeine in sodas and other processed drinks.
Get Outside! Children today are bombarded with multi-media which lends to an inability to focus, sit still, concentrate, relax and sleep well at night — it actually shuts down certain centers in the child’s brain. Many are suffering from “Nature Deficit Disorder.” Simply enjoying nature can have a calming effect. A study of some 400 children and adolescents with ADHD found that after school and weekend activities done in green outdoor settings were associated with fewer ADD symptoms. And a little hair of the dog in the form of the pollens in the air is good remedy and will not affect a child who is being properly fed as it affects one who is eating refined foods and sugars.
There are many Traditional Chinese Medicine remedies for allergy, asthma and ADD and ADHD problems. TCM practitioners don’t specifically treat allergy, asthma, ADD or ADHD as defined biomedically. We have been treating these types of problems for thousands of years, long before they were defined by modern biomedicine or psychology. Acupuncture is not high on my list for young kids, but acupressure is excellent for calming and clearing. Herbal medicines can also be added. National Acupuncture and Detoxification Association (NADA) treatments with gentle ear seeds is effective. And of course diet and nutrition is always the first line of defense.
TCM treatments can help patients get off their medications should they desire, alleviate allergy and asthma symptoms, symptoms of depression, sleep difficulty, poor focus, weight and hormone imbalance that accompany ADD and ADHD, and acquire a more balanced alertness.
Our future depends on the health, happiness and well being of our children — they are treasures beyond measure.
“…there is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children.” ~Anonymous