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Naturopathic Pediatric Care

Naturopathic care for children is ideal. One of the basic tenants of naturopathic medicine is Prevention.

There is no better time to begin preventative medicine than in childhood.Children have a very strong "vital force", which means that in addition to having lots ofenergy, they tend to bounce back quickly from illness. Often times, all they need toovercome sickness is a "nudge" in the right direction. This could be in the form of asimple home hydrotherapy treatment, a homeopathic remedy, a flower essence or adietary change. Working with children is so rewarding for this reason: a little goes a longway. In addition to acute ailments which respond quickly to naturopathic therapies,working with children from a young age is effective in preventing future disease.Prevention starts in childhoodStudies have shown that children with arterial plaque formations have a much higherincidence of heart disease as adults. Plaque deposits are formed from cholesterol, fat,calcium, and other minerals found in the blood. When blood cholesterol levels areelevated, there is a greater chance plaque will build up on the artery walls. In mostpeople, this process begins when they are children or teenagers. Plaque formations canbegin to adhere to the arteries in young children and steadily worsen as the kids get older.After many years the plaque can buildup to such a degree it leads to arteriosclerosis.Naturopathic physicians (ND's) work with children and their parents to understandhealthy food choices and meal routines, and to develop plans that fit into the family'slifestyle.Identifying the cause of illnessThe health of a child is determined by a number of factors including genetics, diet,exercise, sleep, daily activities and stress level. In addition, many children haveenvironmental or food allergies that may go undiagnosed. When a child becomes ill, hisor her body is using its inherent healing ability to return to a place of balance. Someconventional therapies may help quickly resolve the current illness, but pave the way formore serious problems. For example, chronic otitis media (ear infection), has beentreated for years with multiple doses of antibiotics. Conventional physicians are nowrealizing the error of this treatment, as it creates antibiotic resistance and is largelyineffective. In actuality, chronic ear infection may be a symptom of allergy, often todairy. Stopping the dairy intake, along with other supportive naturopathic treatments willresolve the problem. By finding and treating the cause of illness, the child feels better,and future problems (with the same cause) are prevented.Individualized treatmentMany of us accept that heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or other serious disease isinevitable. In actuality, most of these diseases are preventable, through simple lifestyleand diet changes, and through treatment of the root cause of disease. This is essential tonaturopathic philosophy: to see each child as an individual. As parents, we know that notwo children are the same. A naturopathic doctor gives each child individualizedattention, recognizing their uniqueness. This is truly the gift naturopathic doctor gives topediatric care. The time, attention and care given to each child leads to a healthy, vibrantchild who grows into a healthy, vibrant adult. Julie Brush, ND is available to see children and adults of all ages at 2BWell. She maybe reached at 503-655-0044 or at Julie@2bwell.net.