Renowned for its benefits in removing pain be it acute, chronic or sundry, acupuncture for pediatric healthcare does not seem to ring a bell for many people. At any rate, acupuncture is a proven effective treatment for pediatric asthma. First, we must ask the question what is acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese treatment procedure that uses hair thin needles inserted at specific points called acupuncture points or acupoints to stimulate a desired physiological reaction of the body to treat a condition or pain. These needles are inserted from less than half an inch to almost 80% of an inch deep and left in the skin for about 15 to 40 minutes.
Acupuncture works by stimulating both the sympathetic nervous and circulatory system to improve circulation and body functions. Acupuncture also enables the smooth flow of electromagnetic energy and blood throughout the body. This electromagnetic energy is called Qi or chi in Chinese and it travels through invisible energy networks called meridians. There are 14 meridians identified and they are connected to certain acupuncture points in the skin on one end and to the major body organs on the other.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is much interested in the symptoms associated with asthma since it partly formulates its diagnosis based on the physical symptoms of the asthma. Asthma in Chinese means xiao chuan, which in English is called dyspnea and wheezing.
According to TCM, The pathogenesis and etiology of pediatric asthma comes from 3 causes. The first cause is the infiltration of pathogens. Pathogens can carry heat, cold, and all sorts of allergens. To treat external pathogens, the most obvious choice would be to remove those allergens out of one’s environment. TCM states that there are two kinds of asthma – cold type and heat type asthma. The cold type is manifested by coughing out clear saliva, rapid labored breathing and cough among a few mentioned. The symptoms of heat type asthma are a sticky yellowish and full coughing among others. The second cause of pediatric asthma is diet. Large amounts seafood including shellfish, greasy foods and raw foods can make a child prone to asthma. Once foods known to cause asthma are removed, the frequency of asthma attacks will decrease. The third cause for asthma is energy deficiency brought about by prolonged weakness of the body or predisposition. Chronic energy weakness leads to the inability to spew out phlegm, which thus accumulates in the respiratory system causing recurrence of asthma attacks.
Acupuncture points that can be used are many when it comes to pediatric asthma and herbal medicines are very useful for asthma treatment; combined with acupuncture they tend to facilitate treatment. Different acupuncture techniques can be utilized based on the age and sensitivity of the child.