Children and Anxiety

As summer draws to a close and September begins, it’s a busy time as the children head back to their regular school schedules and our work life returns to normal too.

For kids, this can often be an exciting time as new school teachers and classrooms are introduced, old friends are seen again, and regular routines and activities are re-established. However, for some it can also be a time of worry and anxiety in trying to cope with all of these new stressors.

In Traditional Oriental Medicine, a close connection can be seen between the physical body and the emotional state of a person.

For example, the 2,000 year old Chinese medical textbook Huang Di Nei Jing (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine) describes how “over-worrying about many things or obsessing about one thing” can lead to an imbalance in the digestive system (known in Traditional Chinese Medicine as the Spleen-Pancreas system)

It is interesting to note then that Western medicine is also coming to similar conclusions. For example, in one recent study published by the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, it was found that children who suffered from functional abdominal pain experienced a significantly higher incidence of developing anxiety and depression as adults.

A specialized form of pediatric acupuncture, known as Shonishin, can be very useful for helping to treat both anxiety and digestive problems in children. The focus is to strengthen and improve the child’s overall health and vitality, especially when their body type tends towards having a constitutional weakness in the digestive system. Parents can often be shown how to do some simple treatments at home and sometimes dietary recommendations might also be suggested to help out as well.

As the Spleen-Pancreas digestion system is brought back into a healthier state of balance, children usually show an improvement in symptoms such as better appetite and fewer stomachaches as well as report feeling calmer and less anxious – which sounds like a much more enjoyable way to face another new school year.

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