What do you do when your teenager needs medical help? Well, it generally depends on
the type of help they need. If you have a child who’s been injured playing sports, do
you want them on heavy duty pain killers? If you have a teenager who’s having some
behavioral problems, how do you feel about putting them on mood altering medications?
Are the treatments solving the problem or masking the symptoms? Have you been made
aware of all of your options? It’s hard to answer any of these questions and, what’s more,
the answer is most likely different for each child. Parents always want to do what’s best
for their children but knowing what that may be isn’t easy.
Teenagers, and younger children too, are amazingly resilient, as most parents know. They are still so young and vibrant that their energy seems limitless and they usually heal very quickly. Typical problems teenagers have, from acne to menstrual cramps, are the sorts of things we assume will pass with time and only look for help if the problem is very severe. It’s this in between space, where a problem exists but not so badly that it demands medical attention, that parents can feel lost. From an Oriental Medicine point of view, any problem, no matter how mild or severe, indicates a disruption of the Qi (pronounced “chee”, meaning energy) flow of the individual. Can Acupuncture help young adults?
Children, and especially teenagers, are considered very “Yang” in Chinese Medicine.
Most of us recognize the Yin and Yang symbol. The Yang corresponds to all that is
hot, fast, energetic, movement oriented and full of energy, while Yin represents all that
is cool, slow, substantial, like tissue and blood, and is more sedate. These two ideas,
along with Qi, form a very basic core of balance between themselves and everything that
happens in our bodies. When you consider the intense growth period that is childhood,
and the maturation that is adolescence, it is easy to see why teenagers are considered full
of Yang energy.
Acupuncture can definitely help teenagers, and in fact they usually respond far better
and more quickly than adults. I believe this is primarily due to the fact they have yet to
accumulate as much waste in their bodies from lifestyle issues such as drinking, smoking,
and eating poorly. Hopefully, they also haven’t yet built all the psychological walls adults
build to protect our points of view and identity issues.
Whether it’s a simple sports injury that needs help healing, even after serious surgery, or
functional problems like digestive and gynecological issues, or delicate emotional issues
like depression and anxiety, Acupuncture can offer very effective treatment for young
adults without introducing pharmaceutical medications that may have undesirable side
effects on their developing systems. Truly, the gentle and natural approach to health care
that is available through Oriental Medicine can benefit the entire family, so it’s important
not to forget the kids!