Growing number of parents turn to alternative medicine
More and more families are turning to complementary, integrative or alternative medicine to treat their children. In fact, it was reported by the National Institute on Health that about 12 percent of all children ages 17 and younger were treated using alternative methods in 2007 and the number has steadily grown since.
Alternative therapy is distinguished by using holistic methods, which means the practitioner treats the whole person and not just a disease or condition. We treat the immediate condition but the goal is to educate the patient, or the parent in this case, to make a conscious shift to practice wellness.
Rather than turn to medicine, and therefore prescription drugs, to treat common conditions such as colds, ear aches, anxiety or insomnia to name a few, the family practices wellness.
Cold and Flu
Colds and flu can be treated by first building the immune system. To build the immune system, use various herbs and minerals to stimulate the immune system. You also can use chiropractics and acupuncture to help stimulate the immune system in lieu of treating the symptom with an antibiotic. Taking too many antibiotics and inappropriately using them can cause serious side effects, including creating bacteria that is more resistant and more dangerous.
Unfortunately, because food is so over-processed, the amount of allergies in children is on the rise. The loss of nutritional foods decreases the body’s ability to process the chemicals and additives added to foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables. Most people are unaware that there is a natural way to both test and treat allergies, especially for children. It is called ASERT, an ancient practice that uses muscle and food response testing to find out what causes allergic reactions. It can effectively test for all environmental and food allergies – no painful needles, no drugs and no dependency on shots and antihistamines.
Pain and Sports Injury
Neck and back pain also are commonly treated with alternative care. Chiropractics, acupuncture and cold laser therapy are effective especially when it comes to sports injuries. Sports massages can treat injuries related to physical activities such as high school football and baseball. This massage works to increase or repair range of motion and focuses on intense stretching. Various herbs can treat inflammation rather than using aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications.
Cold laser therapy uses no heat and is noninvasive. It reduces swelling, pain and inflammation by increasing microcirculation and stimulating the mitochondria, which then produce energy and heal the cell from the inside out. Cold lasers are used to treat sports injuries, gastrointestinal problems, cartilage and disc issues and acne.
Alternative therapy is becoming more widely accepted for anxiety and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The use of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication for children is a startling statistic. Every year, thousands of kids are becoming dependent on antidepressants, a vicious cycle that rarely has great results. Unfortunately, stress is common for children, stemming from everything from school bullying to learning difficulties to stress at home. It also can be hard to diagnose stress in children since the signs are very similar to normal adolescent behavior. Some children exhibit physical symptoms such as stomach aches, headaches and bedwetting. Others show emotional and mental difficulties, including having a hard time concentrating or becoming moody. Unless parents learn ways to help their child process the stress and alleviate the anxiety, drug therapy becomes the treatment of choice. Besides stress relief techniques and talking to your child, there are alternative treatments such as light therapy, laser therapy, nutrition and chiropractics.
Obesity and Diabetes
Obesity and diabetes are affecting children in the U.S. in staggering numbers. About 32 percent of children and adolescents are considered overweight or obese and that number is rising. These issues so early in life can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes later in life, if not sooner. Most diabetes is a result of being overweight or obese. By controlling the intake of sugar and carbohydrates and using nutritional supplementation, children can reverse the damage being done to their bodies.
Learning wellness techniques young translates into a dedication to wellness. This means being less dependent on drugs, less dependent on the health care system, less time out of school, less time off work and leading a productive and healthy life.
Remember, when looking for a wellness practitioner, research the practitioner’s education, licensing and experience.
Dr. William LaTorre is the founder of the LaTorre Wellness Center in St. Petersburg and has been a chiropractor and holistic wellness practitioner for 40 years. Visit www.latorrewellnesscenter.com to learn more.