• Laura Allison Iler Kaufer

Back to school jitters? Chinese Medicine can help.


As we approach September, children begin to wrap up their daytime summer activities and start to think about the new school year ahead. Not all children welcome this transition. With any change, there will be emotional and physical responses. You may notice some stress and anxiety creeping into your child(ren)'s behaviour. This could manifest as trouble sleeping, emotional outbursts, headaches, even stomach pain.

Chinese Medicine is effective at helping children reduce their stress, anxiety and accompanying symptoms. It helps calm the mind, reduce tension and reset the nervous system. One of the ways it does this is by reducing the 'fight or flight' state of body (also known as the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system) where heart rate has increased, stress hormones are high and normal digestion is altered.

Chinese Medicine is safe and enjoyable for all ages, from toddlers to teenagers. Treatment options include both needle and non-needle modalities. One option is acupuncture, which uses very fine needles to stimulate specific locations on the body to restore a balanced state of the nervous system. Often with children, the thinnest needles (or 'taps' as I call them - they are a lot smaller than any needle used in their doctor's office!) are inserted and removed very quickly. Children are often surprised at how painless the process was.

Of course, these 'taps' aren't for every child, as some children (and their parents) are fearful of the idea of needles. Fortunately, Chinese Medicine has several non-needle techniques that can also calm the nervous system including acupressure, microcurrent and cupping. Acupressure is a great type of bodywork that stimulates the acupuncture points and meridians with gentle pressure. Microcurrent delivers a micro amount of electrical current to specific acupuncture points to stimulate them. Cupping involves the use of suction to relieve tight muscles in places where the child is holding stress.

Going back to school is a big deal for children, with each year ushering in unique social and academic challenges. This year, consider Chinese Medicine as a tool to support your child through this transition.


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