Complementary and Alternative Medicinal Therapy (CAM), Are They Safe For Your Children?
A child with a healthy mind and a healthy body is a child of thousand cares. We as a parent tend to be more concerned about our children's health. We often panic at minor ailments like a sneeze, cough, or fever and rush to the nearest doctor to cure the illness. And almost invariably, the physician will prescribe a mix of medicine to relieve the symptoms, which is also called a standard or allopathy treatment.
Allopathy is a branch of medicine practiced widely all over the world. It is a westernized form of therapy where medical doctors and healthcare professionals treat symptoms using drugs, radiation, and or surgery. The drugs or the medicines are chemically synthesized in laboratories. They are also known as conventional or mainstream approaches.
The allopathy medicine works by suppressing any disease symptoms by attacking the natural defense of the body, whereas CAM modalities differ in their approach; they work holistically and try to cure the root cause of the disease.
In prolonged usage, allopathy has long-term side effects. Thus, it is considered more beneficial for acute diseases.
But is the treatment well-suited for kids? We as a parent make sure everything that comes in a way for our children should be natural, organic and safe.
Though we don't ponder upon this as the need for instant relief and quick fixes are given more importance than the therapy. So why are we still reading this? Because children are not merely smaller versions of adults. Their immunity is fragile, and they react differently to the medicine compared to a full-grown adult.
Therefore we need to consider a second choice, i.e., Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM), which could be used as either an integrated approach or individual treatment to cater to the trend of instant gratification and comprehensive treatment of our children's ailments and potentially could be less harmful as well.
The CAM modalities are not confined to a particular treatment of a disease but a wide range of disparate therapies that often consider different philosophies, beliefs, assumptions, and practices.
Moreover, the use of CAM is increasing in pediatric populations. About 20- 30 % of parents have opted to use one or more CAM therapies.
Here I have listed a few Comprehensive and Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages. You may always choose what is best for your child.
Ayurveda is an ancient form of medicinal practice. Ayurveda encompasses a holistic approach. It emphasizes three doshas of the person or primarily the functional energies of a person.
According to Ayurveda, if the doshas are imbalanced, the person becomes unwell. Its approach is generally to have a balanced state of mind, body, and emotions. Therefore, Ayurveda believes in healing the disturbed doshas.
The medications are primarily natural herbal supplements and take a few days to recuperate. It is a natural form of medicine that works slowly but helps eradicate the disease from its roots.
Homeopathy is another form of CAM branch. The National Institute of Complementary and Alternative Medicine defines "Homeopathy as an alternative medical system developed in Germany for more than 200 years of age".
It works on a principle "like cures like." Unlike allopathy, it does not attack but embraces the natural defense of a body. It postulates that substances that cause symptoms can help to heal.
The main advantage of homeopathy is that medicine is diluted at an enormous level. The doses are not high and are generally considered safe for children. However, FDA does not consider Homeopathy as safe and effective. But there are instances where Homeopathy is a preferred choice of treatment for dermatological, ear, nose, throat, and other respiratory disorders in children.
Reiki is a Japanese form of treatment. It works on the principle of energy healing. It involves the transfer of energy through Reiki's charged hands. The Japanese word Rei( universal) Ki( life energy) also means mysterious atmosphere, miraculous sign. It is believed that energy stagnates in the body with any physical injury or any emotional pain. These energy blocks can cause illness. With the help of Reiki, these energy blocks are removed, and energy flows unhindered.
Reiki in children helps to combat fear and anxiety. It promotes a feeling of calmness and a healthy sense of well-being. It enables relaxation, reduces pain, enables speedy recovery, and reduces symptoms of illness.
One more advantage is it doesn't have any medications, so there are no concerns about its side effects. It is more concentrated on energy healing which is an intuitive process in children.
Kids take Reiki naturally like a fish to water. They also absorb the therapy faster because they do not have emotional defenses like adults. Children's energy is less encumbered by energy blocks; therefore, the healing process is faster.
Well, these are just a few CAM therapies that have their shares of ups and downs. Again it all depends upon the children's response to the specific treatment; after all, every child is unique. The most challenging thing is to decide responsibly. Before making any decision, it is advisable to have up-to-date knowledge of how CAM works, which treatments are safe, and which are not.
Pooja Kulkarni is a mother of a two year old rambunctious kid. With her son a writer in her was born. What started as an obsession for fictional writing slowly morphed into freelance content writer. She has several corporate clients for which she provides newsletters and articles. She believes she is not merely a content writer but an idea generator who weaves words on the fabric of the reader's mind.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store.