April L. Schulte-Barclay

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November 1, 2012
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HEALING HORIZONS: Is integrative medicine a good health care option for your child?

As parents, nothing seems more important than creating and maintaining optimal health for our children. While Western medicine certainly provides excellent pediatric care for severe and acute illnesses, integrative, holistic and natural medicine can round out general health care for our children.

At Healing Horizons Integrated Health Solutions we offer natural pediatric care that can be used alone or in conjunction with Western medicine. Common conditions we address include asthma, skin conditions, bed-wetting, infant acid reflux, teething pain, digestive problems, allergies, seizures, chronic respiratory and ear infections, anxiety, ADD and more. In developing treatment plans, we draw from multiple holistic and natural modalities and work together with Western medical professionals.

Let's consider the case of a 4-year-old boy we saw for eczema, allergies and asthma which he had been experiencing since shortly after birth. In assessing the toddler's system, we first determined his Chinese medicine diagnosis. Because the skin, lungs, sinuses and the immune system in Chinese medicine are collectively considered the Lung organ system, his primary diagnosis was Lung Qi Deficiency.

During the boy's intake with his mother, she shared that her son suffered acid reflux as an infant and also regularly had diarrhea. These symptoms lead to the secondary diagnosis of a weak digestive system which we call Spleen/Pancreas and Stomach Qi Deficiency with Dampness. In developing a treatment plan, the following was prescribed:

1. Acupressure and pediatric tuina targeted at strengthening the lung and digestive organs was taught to the parents to be administered at home.

2. Specific dietary recommendations were made to eliminate dampness and strengthen digestion.

3. Cupping (a suction technique often applied on the back) was applied to the upper back of the child to help open lungs and relieve skin conditions.

4. Chinese herbs in a tincture form were prescribed to strengthen the boy's immune system.

5. A homeopathic remedy was prescribed based on a detailed intake from the boy's mother.

After four weeks of following the treatment plan, the boy's skin cleared by about 75% and his need for his inhaler decreased from 1x/day to about 1x/week. We recommended he continue with the same treatment plan and return in three weeks. He returned and symptoms had dissipated almost completely. Furthermore, Mom mentioned how surprised she was at how much energy her youngster had gained. That was not a surprise to us as we know that strengthening the lungs boosts qi.

One reason we enjoy seeing children is how quickly they respond to treatment. Their young bodies are quick and ready to adapt and restore balance. Because of this, a small amount of intervention goes a long way.

When finding a pediatric health care provider, be sure to inquire regarding the provider's experience and training regarding pediatric care. Also, evaluate the practitioner's knowledge regarding your child's specific health condition. Finally, attempt to find a team of health care providers who are willing to work together to integrate therapies in order to provide the best care possible for your child.

April L. Schulte-Barclay is a doctor of acupuncture and Oriental medicine and is a licensed acupuncturist. She is licensed by the Colorado Board of Medical Examiners and is certified by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. She is founder and clinic director of Healing Horizons Integrated Health Solutions, located at 2139 N. 12th St. #7. For more information, call 970-256-8449.


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The Post Independent Updated Nov 1, 2012 03:32PM Published Nov 1, 2012 03:30PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.