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Keep your Kids healthy – naturally (Part II)

From birth to adolescence, our children go through many complex stages in their physical and psycho-emotional development. They respond to their immediate environment and the larger world according to their genetic endowment and the support they receive from their caregivers. Along the way, children experience adaptive challenges that they express through a wide range of illnesses and behaviors. Christiane Siebert is an acupuncturist and herbalist licensed to practice in both New York and Germany. In this and a previous article she offers some guiding principles for parents considering naturopathic approaches to minor illnesses of their children. You can contact Christiane through CityKinder or her details listed below the article.

If your child is going through a difficult phase, you may be wondering what your options are to help him or her recover that innate sense of wellness, harmony and belonging. You already know that modern medicine does not always provide compelling answers. Treatments with pharmaceutical drugs often cover up or perpetuate the underlying issues rather than solve them. Homeopathy is a naturopathic medical system that originated in Germany over two hundred years ago and has evolved into one of the most widely practiced health care systems around the world. If you grew up in Germany, most likely your family doctor or a naturopathic physician (Heilpraktiker) treated you with homeopathic medicines during your childhood.

Homeopathy is based on an understanding of health and healing that is not widely understood or embraced by the medical establishment. In fact, the most prominent association of medical doctors in the United States was instrumental in essentially eliminating homeopathy as a treatment choice in this country in the early 20th Century. In recent years, homeopathy has experienced a resurgence and is again more widely used to treat many health concerns in children and adults.

The biggest challenge homeopathy poses to conventional medicine is that its remedies generally no longer contain a sufficient number of molecules of the original substance to explain a treatment effect chemically. The father of homeopathy, the German physician Samuel Hahnemann, found that a substance that can provoke illness in a healthy individual can also stimulate a healing response in a person, who naturally shows signs of this illness, when a highly dilute dose of this substance is given.

Our most important task as parents or health care providers is therefore to closely observe our sick child and note all signs and symptoms. Based on this information we paint a detailed picture of our child’s health to identify the proper remedy, which will guide our child back to wellness. This detective work is quintessential because homeopathic medicines are not selected on the basis of diseases or lab tests but according to a description of an individual’s health picture. Often, you as the parent are closest to your child and can gather most of the pertinent information if you look closely. Some guidebooks enable even a layperson to match health pictures with appropriate remedies. Often, however, you and your child will benefit from the advice of a knowledgeable homeopathic practitioner to select the correct medicine.

Homeopathic medicines are typically available in the form of tinctures or lactose pills for internal administration. Some can also be applied to the skin as gels or ointments. Generally, homeopathics are very safe and do not interfere with pharmaceutical drugs or complementary medicine treatments such as acupuncture, herbal prescriptions or supplements. Because homeopathic medicine is a very subtle form of medicine, however, it usually works best if you follow the instructions your homeopath has given you, such as taking your pills 30 minutes before or after food intake.

If you or your child have frequent colds, digestive troubles, skin disorders, mood swings or malaise, consider homeopathy as an approach to restoring good health and your sense of equilibrium. Check with your pediatrician to ensure that no serious health concerns are overlooked in the process.

Christiane Siebert, MS, LAc, is the owner of Serenity Health Arts, a complementary medicine practice on Madison Avenue at 40th Street. Visit their website for more information.

Phone: (718) 666-8613




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