East Meets West in Restorative Health Care
5 Must-Dos for a Whole & Healthy Child
It’s hard to enough to meet your children’s daily needs, as well as their educational and recreational pursuits, but when a child falls ill, or operates consistently below his or her potential, everything changes. A child who isn’t healthy cannot fully participate in school, play, sports, or daily life.
As parents strive to nurture whole and healthy children in an increasingly stressful world, YesPhonics™ presents how the best of Eastern and Western restorative health care can come together to serve a better whole. The five non-traditional must-dos, below, will help parents empower their children to their greatest health and highest abilities.
1. Stick Your Tongue Out
Believe it or not, when kids stick their tongue out at you, they’ve just given you important indicators of their physical health. Internal elements of heat, fluids, and pathogens, for example, manifest in the shape, color, texture and coating of the tongue, according to licensed acupuncturist Lynn Jaffee.
A strong proponent of Eastern and holistic medicine, YesPhonics™ President Cheyenne Joseph Adamson says, “Failing to look at your child’s tongue and recognizing unhealthy tongue symptoms, could lead to disastrous consequences for their future health, just as ignoring a physical bone injury would be very detrimental to a child’s health, in a Western sense,” he goes on to say, “recognizing an unhealthy tongue profile early on may be one of the most important things a parent can do for their child.”
Simply Supplements, one of the leading vitamin and mineral companies in the UK, writes that, “The connection between the appearance of the tongue and general health has been studied for thousands of years in Chinese medicine.” The health of one’s heart, liver, spleen, and kidneys can be indicated by these benchmarks of a healthy tongue: “…pink in colour, slightly moist, and smooth with no bumps or spots. The tongue should also be layered with visible taste buds that detect the five taste sensations – sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and savoury.” Simply Supplements also urges “… it is important to remember that this is not a definite diagnostic tool. If problems persist you should always consult a doctor.”
2. Pins & Needles
While traditional Western medicine offers tremendous advances in surgical care and pharmaceutical treatments, we still have much to learn from the East. Many of these non-traditional practices offer powerful restorative health benefits, and can often prevent the more radical treatments our Western society has so readily accepted.
According to the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, “Acupuncture is a method of encouraging the body to promote natural healing and to improve functioning. This is done by inserting needles and applying heat or electrical stimulation at very precise acupuncture points.” Applications of acupuncture include treatment of digestive, respiratory, neurological and muscular disorders, insomnia, fibromyalgia, weight loss, stress, pain reduction, and urinary, menstrual, and reproductive problems.
Proponents of acupuncture report treatments that are effective, restorative and free of many side effects common with pharmaceutical treatments. Because acupuncture has been practiced for over 3,000 years, it is deeply rooted in its information, wisdom and effectiveness.
While pharmaceutical companies – with more than 5 billion dollars in annual sales – can help keep people alive and alleviate symptoms, and traditional Western medicine offers healing for such things as broken bones and life saving surgeries, acupuncture can offer a wide array of restorative health benefits that a person simply can’t find in a traditional western medicine setting.
“Acupuncture is key for children,” says Caroline Burdulis, L.Ac. specialist in Women’s Health and Chronic Disease and co-founder of the Bitter Root Acupuncture and Wellness Center in Missoula, Montana. ”It can literally set their health profile in the right direction for the rest of their life.”
The ideal time to bring your child into a local acupuncturist in your area is at age five. At this age, it doesn’t take much acupuncture at all to cure any symptoms that may be ailing them and/or affect them later in life. By doing this you help set a solid foundation for your child’s health. This is likely to be one of the most important and beneficial things a parent can do for their child at this age.
3. A Rainbow on Your Plate
What to eat? What to eat? One of the basic principles in Chinese dietary therapy recommends putting a rainbow of color on your plate. “Studies have shown that a lot of colour on your plate not only looks good and perks you up but also keeps you fighting fit,” says Dr. Anjana Maitra on BoloKids.com. “Include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet and reap rich dividends. Most of the fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and other essential minerals.”
So … What to eat? “Some vegetables like yam, potato, sweet potato and tapioca, and fruits like mango and banana contribute energy to our diet,” says Dr. Maitra. What does color have to do with diet anyway? Dr. Maitra responds in one word: Phytochemicals. “These substances occur naturally only in plants and may provide health benefits beyond those that essential nutrients provide. Color, such as what makes a blueberry so blue, can indicate some of these substances, which are thought to work synergistically with vitamins, minerals, and fiber (all present in fruits and vegetables) in whole foods to promote good health and lower disease risk.”
4. Running Hot & Cold
How great does an ice-cold drink sound on a hot day? We, in the Western world, have a love affair with ice. We drink iced water, iced tea, iced coffee and iced pop. Yet, if you travel to the European countries you are hard pressed to find an icy cold drink. What do they know that we don’t?
The internal temperature of your body, influenced by what you eat – and most particularly drink – affects your ability to digest food and absorb nutrients. If your body temperature is below 97.3, your body cannot properly digest food, which leads to loss of nutrients from your food, which in turn creates sludge in your body, which can then lead to chronic disease.
Drinking an ice-cold beverage, especially with your meal, is the same as if you stood outside naked in the middle of winter and dowsed your body with cold water. This is the same thing people are doing to their digestion, which is one of the reasons Americans are so unhealthy.
The solution is to have a cup of hot tea with or after your meal, so that you’re heating up your digestive system, allowing it to function properly. Dr. Susan E. Brown, founder of BetterBones.com advises, “Drink hot water and hot herbal teas, particularly those that promote digestion. Hot water is an excellent way to detoxify the body and build digestive strength. Simmering a few slices of ginger root in boiling water makes a ginger root tea that stimulates digestion.
A great addition to this solution is to add warming spices such as dry ginger, curry powder, clove, cardamom, etc. to your meal. These spices enhance the warming effect and give your body additional health benefits.
You can also purchase a digital thermometer and check your temperature. This will show you whether or not you are properly digesting your food. Ideally, your body temperature should be at 98.6.
5. Your Own Health Profile
Your child’s good health begins with you. If you are a prospective parent reading this article, good for you for getting a jump-start. Your habits, philosophies, diet, exercise, and embrace of restorative health care will strongly influence the health of your child, from birth throughout their lives. If both parents have their health profiles in good shape before conceiving a child, these healthy traits will be transferred directly to their soon-to-be born child. Conversely, if prospective parents’ health is in poor shape, those unhealthy traits will be absorbed into your childs’ health profile.
Taking good care of yourself is the foundation for a healthy, happy family. If you already have children, making healthy well considered choices in what you eat and drink, and how you exercise, can influence and improve the health and well being of your child. The Center for Disease Control & Prevention offers planning tools, advice, and other resources to increase your chances of having a healthy baby.
One of the most amazing (and little known) things about acupuncture is that pregnant women who are receiving acupuncture reap the benefits not only for themselves but they also reap the benefits for their baby as well. It’s like getting a two for one deal for you and your child!
Soon-to-be mothers also receive great health benefits when pregnant while being treated with acupuncture. Some of the things that are addressed and remedied include; Psychological issues, Physical problems, Fatigue, Morning Sickness, Heartburn, Constipation, Hemorrhoids, Back Pain and Sciatica, Edema, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Rhinitis of pregnancy.
As more and more parents embrace the best of both Western and Chinese medicine, these two worlds have the chance to come together as person-by-person we co-create a universally better, restorative health care system.
- • “What does your tongue say about your health?” Simply Supplements,
- • “Understanding Tongue Diagnosis,” by Lynn Jaffee, licensed acupuncturist, for Acufinder.com
- • American Academy of Medical Acupuncture
- • Montana Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine, Missoula, MT
- • “A Rainbow of Color on Your Plate,” Dr. Anjana Maitra, BoloKids.com
- • What Color Is Your Diet? David Heber, MD, PhD
- • “Ten Benefits of Acupuncture,” Licensed Acupuncturist Pamela Peterson, for IntenseExperiences.com
- • “6 Science-Based Benefits of Acupuncture,” by Emily Main for Rodale.com
- • “Ten Steps to Better Digestion,” by Dr. Susan E. Brown for BetterBones.com
- • “Acupuncture may boost pregnancy,” USA Today