Children and the wind
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Children and the wind

Ask any primary school teacher and they will tell you that children go wild in the wind!  Last week we had some unusually windy weather, and some very excitable and irritable children.  In Chinese Medicine, we believe that people’s energy often responds to and reflects what is going on in the external environmental.  Wind is very yang in nature – it is quick, changeable, unpredictable, suddenly flares up and then dies down again.  And we often see children doing exactly this when they are out in the wind!  As I’ve mentioned before, children are very yang in nature anyway (compared to adults) and so they particularly resonate with the wind.  For most children, we hope that their response to the wind will, at worst, just mean their parents and teachers feel a bit more exhausted than normal at the end of the day.  But for children with chronic conditions, such as hyperactivity, ADHD, headaches and skin diseases, particularly windy weather can mean a temporary flare up in their symptoms.  We can’t change the weather, but there are a few things we can do to counterbalance the effect of the wind.  Reducing any activities that generally stimulate and excite children, making sure that children wrap up when they go outside (particularly protecting their head, ears and neck), and making sure we keep sugar and additives to a minimum can all make a difference.  Other than that, sit tight and wait for the wind to die down!

Rebecca Avern

I have been practising acupuncture for 15 years. As well as practising in Oxford, I am both a senior lecturer and clinical supervisor at the College of Integrated Chinese Medicine (www.cicm.org.uk) which is the biggest acupuncture training centre in Europe. I have treated both adults and children and whilst the benefits of acupuncture for adults are well-known and well-documented, fewer people are aware of how it can benefit children. I decided that I wanted more children to experience the benefits of acupuncture, and so decided to set up The Panda Clinic. I have to admit to having another motivation - I love being around children and derive great satisfaction when I see children recover from ill health. I am mother to 2 primary school age children. As well as being an experienced acupuncturist, as a parent I have a good understanding of the stress and anxiety that an ill child can induce. I will always do my best to communicate with the parent(s) of a child I am treating as thoroughly and clearly as I can.