It is with great excitement that I introduce our expert for this Ask The Expert series – Robin Green, L.Ac. (that’s Licensed Acupuncturist). She has also earned a Masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (MTCM)! Robin is well-trained and experienced in the healing arts, and she is passionate about working to optimize the health of children.
Robin has been practicing for over 15 years (looking at her photo, she must have started when she was 10!), and she is the Owner of Morgan Hill Family Wellness in Morgan Hill, California – near San Jose and Gilroy.
Robin is familiar with the latest evidence-based support for the clinical uses of acupuncture, and is one of those who regularly treats children – yes, children – with acupuncture!
This is Part 1 of 2 parts:
Breathe Easier with Acupuncture
By Robin Green, MTCM, L.Ac.
The rhythmic unconscious flow of breath is something most of us take for granted. Those who suffer from asthma know how precious breathing is and how easily it can be disrupted.
Asthma is one of the most common causes of chronic childhood illness accounting for numerous hospital visits and missed days of school. Briefly, here are some asthma facts: There are 20 Million Americans diagnosed with asthma right now; 9 Million of those are children. Children miss more than 12 Million days of school per year due to asthma.
Eleven people die from asthma every day in the U.S.
Many people can manage their asthma adequately on medications, but what do you do if medicine is not enough?
Complementary and Alternative Remedies
What if the medications aren’t tolerated well?
Then it’s time to look for answers in the world of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), particularly acupuncture.
Due to acupuncture’s modulating effect on the immune system and its ability to help the body heal it can be used to treat a wide variety of health complaints in adults, children, babies and even newborns.
According to the 2007 National Health Statistics Report, head and chest colds are one of the most common reasons for using CAM. Acupuncture can be used to treat a wider array of upper respiratory conditions including asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, ear infections and allergies.
When medicine is not enough, many asthma sufferers turn to acupuncture because it’s effective. If you have asthma, chances are it can work for you too.
What Does Acupuncture Do?
Simply put, acupuncture stimulates the body’s innate ability to heal itself. In the case of asthma, acupuncture helps reduce inflammation, and preliminary studies suggest that acupuncture reduces the bronchospasm response causing airway constriction — two components that cause asthma.
Considering disorders beyond asthma, the symptoms associated with most of the respiratory disorders in children – otitis (ear infections), tonsillitis, adenoiditis, rhinitis, sinusitis, esophagitis (from reflux, or GERD), laryngitis, lymphadenitis (inflammation of lymph nodes) – result from inflammation.
Clearly, inflammation is one of the fundamental ways that these disorders of the Unified Airway are connected, so acupuncture may be helpful for these other disorders also.
Whereas we need more, larger randomized clinical trials to define the mechanisms, and to tell us how we can use acupuncture optimally to help these children, acupuncture has clearly been shown to reduce inflammation.
In sum, acupuncture can help reduce symptoms while working to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma overall. Because it can help reduce inflammation, acupuncture will undoubtedly find a place in the treatment regimen for these other respiratory disorders as we learn more about it through clinical trials.
Come back for Part 2 of this article: What to expect during your acupuncture session, and: Will my child really tolerate NEEDLES???
- Barnes, Patricia. National Center for Health Statistics. 2 April 2011. National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, National Institute of Health. 10 Dec. 2008 <http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr012.pdf>
- Loo, May. Pediatric Acupuncture. London: Elsevier Science, 2002.
- Anti-inflammatory actions of acupuncture. In the journal, Mediators of Inflammation, 2003:
- Devitt, Michael. “Survey Confirms Safety of Acupuncture.” Acupuncture Today 12 Mar. 2011. November 2001 <http://acupuncturetoday.com/mpacms/at/article.php?id=27856>.
- Vanita, Jindal. NIH Public Access. 12 Mar. 2011. National Institute of Health. 22 Aug. 2008 <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2518962/>.
- CDC Asthma Facts: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/asthma.htm
- Kemper et al. On Pins and Needles? Pediatric Pain Patients’ Experience with Acupuncture. In the journal, PEDIATRICS Vol. 105 No. 4 Supplement April 2000, pp. 941-947.
Have YOU ever used acupuncture?
For your child(ren)?
If so, please leave a comment and tell us about your experience!
Image Credits: Robin Green, L.Ac.
Thanks for visiting.
I appreciate your comments and questions. Keep ‘em coming. Please, “be excellent to one another.”
I invite you to subscribe (it’s FREE) to this blog for weekly updates – you won’t be swamped by updates, I simply cannot write for the blog everyday.
Type in your best email address (the one you actually use).
Your email is safe – will never be shared or sold. Ever.
When the confirmation email from boogor doctor arrives, click on the link to give your okay to receive free weekly updates, occasional book reviews or product reviews, occasional discount-coupons for products that I use (not affiliates), all without needing to visit the website.
It’s free, it’s convenient. No ads. No spam. You can un-subscribe at any time. How cool is that?
Best of health and success to you and your families.
Until next time, remember … you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose (unless you’re a boogor doctor :~D)