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Off with the coat...in with the cold!

It's hard to convince children to stay wrapped up out of doors at this time of year. They run around, feel warm and ditch their coats. That night you 'll be wakened at 3am to a bout of coughing. Sound familiar? In Chinese medicine, the aetiology of common cold is that the wind has literally invaded the acupuncture channels of the upper neck and shoulders....wind-cold invasion. We often get to see this process in action, whether through being exposed to wind by not wrapping up well enough, or through sitting in a draught or in air conditioning. Doctors have recongnised for some time that antibiotics are not the answer to common cold. And since most over-the counter medications are unsuitable for children under 12, what is available to relieve symptoms, and quiten the dreaded hacking night time cough? Acupuncture. Safe, side effect free, and children are very quick to recognise how much better they feel after a treatment. Children bounce back very quickly, and even one acupuncture treatment will reduce recovery time significantly. When acupuncture needles are used on children, they are not retained, but used to stimulate  the points very quickly and then withdrawn immediately. For children who don't want to be needled in this way, pyonex needles are a great option. embedded in a plaster, these are very short, like the tip of a needle, and can be worn overnight for effective relief of cough. The central image below shows a typical point presciption for a child with common cold and cough. On one hand the point Hegu is used, the principle point for relieving conditions affecting the head and for expelling anything which has come in from the exterior i.e. wind-cold. This is balanced with Kongzui, a lung point which clears heat and moistens the lung, effectively softening hard hacking coughs and giving great night time relief. With every cough comes phlegm, and it is always essential to keep phlegm moving, preventing it from gathering in the lung lobes. Cupping is an excellent therapy for stimulating the circulation qi and blood, and encouraging the body to cough and clear the lungs. During a bout of cold it is wise to reduce your child's intake of sugar as much as possible as it inhibits immune function. It is also a good idea to avoid dairy products, as they encourage accumulations of dampness and mucus. Paediatric Acupuncture treatments take half an hour, and cost €30 at Aran Acupuncture. 

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Aran Acupuncture
Baile an tSéipéil
Inis Oírr
Oileáin Arann
Co. na Gaillimhe

Aran Acupuncture
Renmore Holistic Centre
1 Renmore Road
Galway

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