To boost their little ones’ immune systems, some parents may choose to go down the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) route instead of solely relying on western medicine. This is especially so as they prepare their kids for infant care and childcare where germs and viruses are aplenty and the chances of falling ill increases.
But how safe is TCM for the younger ones, or more specifically, babies under one year old?
To get the answers, we turn to Physician Na Yi Ting from Thong Chai Medical Institution for her expert views.
TCM is safe for babies after 6 months
According to TCM principles, health issues are caused by an imbalance of yin and yang elements in the body. When these are not in sync, it affects our organ functions and the qi (or energy) in our body fails to protect us from viruses, causing us to fall sick easily.
Alongside TCM treatments that are suitable for children, TCM herbs in powder form may also be prescribed to treat minor illness in babies. These are typically safe for babies after 6 months.
TCM baby massage is designed with babies in mind
To promote a smooth flow of qi to ensure the well-being of your baby, TCM physicians would typically recommend Paediatric Massage (or Xiao Er Tui Na – 小儿推拿). This combines TCM massage techniques and theory to regulate the flow of qi in a child to promote good health and boost immunity.
Paediatric massage is suitable for children of all ages and is used to treat common ailments such as indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, flu and poor sleep patterns. As there are many acupoints on the body, the TCM physician will choose appropriate acupoints to massage on.
Disclaimers on TCM for babies
While there are certain TCM treatments and medication that are suitable for babies, Physician Na emphasises that for serious conditions such as high fever, severe diarrhea and vomiting, parents should seek medical treatment from doctors and the hospital immediately. It is best to check with your TCM physician on the course of treatment that is suitable for your child.
Another point to note is that TCM treatment – be it paediatric massage or Chinese medication) – varies from one individual to another based on their body constitution and condition. It is advisable to seek treatment from a certified licensed TCM physician accredited by the Singapore Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board (TCMPB).
Read also: Colic in Babies: What Is It and What To Do