Pediatrics and Chinese Medicine

Abigail Ballaban at ASK Acupuncture in Portland, Oregon, offers pediatric treatments that do not use needles to treat babies and children with typical childhood ailments. Abigail treats children of all ages, infancy through young adulthood, with conditions such as the common cold, allergies, asthma, ADD, ADHD, Tourette’s, juvenile-onset rheumatoid arthritis, sleeping problems, digestive complaints, puberty support and others.

Abigail completed post-graduate training with Soma Glick on treating children with Oriental Medicine and healing with Shonishin. Shonishin stands for pediatric acupuncture and is translated as “sho” – little, “ni” – children, and “shin” – needle, though typically no needles are used and nothing actually penetrates the skin. Shonishin offers a viable alternative to pharmaceuticals in the treatment of childhood health problems – everything from behavioral and emotional to many physical conditions. It has been used with some success in treating infants and children afflicted with a wide variety of conditions, including colic, indigestion, GERD, constipation, and diarrhea. It has even shown some success in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), allergies, asthma, eczema, hives, bedwetting, and stuttering. Children as young as one month old have been effectively treated.

Abigail wrote an eBook to help parents with feeding their babies from ages zero to two.

Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture for Children

Acupuncture for children has helped with a wide range of  childhood issues. Parents choose acupuncture and Chinese medicine because it is gentle, safe, and works without medications. For too many issues, medications may not work or have undesirable side effects. Many pediatricians acknowledge that Western medicine is limited in solutions for various chronic and recurring issues. Abigail will always consult with your pediatrician regarding treatment and care.

Coordination with Pediatrician

Treatments are coordinated with your pediatrician and customized to each child’s temperament and specific needs. All aspects of your child’s health are considered: physical, nutritional, environmental, mental & emotional well-being.

Chinese Medicine Without Needles

It can be hard to imagine children wanting to receive Chinese medical treatments for their various ailments, because so many children strongly associate the word needles with shots. Shonishin’s gentle, mostly non-invasive treatment techniques involve non-inserted needles, or rounded tools, including rods of stone, shell, silver, or gold. Sometimes a press sphere–a tiny round ball–is taped in place and left for a few hours to stimulate an acupuncture point. These techniques serve to harmonize and boost a child’s vital energy. Abigail loves to offer pediatric patients the experience of autonomy and independence in a medical setting by allowing them to choose their method of care – be it acupuncture, or a needle-free modality.

What To Expect In a Pediatric Visit

After a thorough examination and discussion of the child’s health history and current complaint, one or more of the following treatment methods may be used:

  • herbal medicine,
  • pediatric acupuncture,
  • other non-needle techniques,
  • massage, or
  • dietary shifts.

After the initial appointment to gather a complete health history, pediatric appointments are typically thirty minutes long. While initial treatments are administered only by a skilled acupuncturist, many Shonishin procedures can be performed by the child’s parents at home (for example, a silver teaspoon makes an ideal home-based Shonishin tool). The techniques are quickly and easily learned, allowing parents to perform daily treatments between visits.

Pediatric Conditions Treated with Chinese Medicine

Childhood Illnesses

  • Allergies and Asthma
  • Common colds
  • Earaches
  • Rashes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis

Sleep or Digestive Issues

  • Helping babies sleep
  • Digestive complaints
  • Colic
  • Teething
  • Night terrors
  • Bed wetting

Pediatric Mental Health

  • ADD or ADHD
  • Tourette’s Syndrome
  • Puberty support

Contact Abigail Ballaban

Contact Abigail at (503) 389-8938 for more information on how pediatric Chinese Medicine treatment can help your child.