Health is in the palm of your child’s hand

Since the coronavirus pandemic began, I have been contacted by parents who are anxious about the impact the situation will have on their child.  Many children will be off school for months, unable to see friends or partake in most of their usual activities.  There is no getting away from the fact that this time is throwing up enormous

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The yin and yang of adolescence: WHAT is going on with my child?

I hear the same story time and time again in my paediatric clinic.  The basic theme is – one moment a parent felt connected to their child, needed and loved.  Suddenly, they feel as if their child hates them, doesn’t want to be around them and that they have lost their connection with them.  When listening to heartbroken and concerned

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Now is the perfect time to take a deeper look at your family dynamics

It was Tolstoy who wrote that ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way’.  Much as I hate to argue with one of my literary heroes, I would say that no two families are alike, whether happy or not, even if they appear to be on the surface.  The dynamics within a family are as unique as the

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Net of Knowledge free webinars: featuring Rebecca Avern talking about teenagers!

Net of Knowledge have put together a fantastic resource for practitioners during lockdown.  They have organised a free webinar a day throughout April.  I am delighted to be giving one of them on Wednesday 15th April, entitled Supporting Teenagers During An Extraordinary Time.  Please click on the link to register: https://netofknowledge.com

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Easy and effective massages to promote good sleep in your child

Many parents have told me recently that their babies and children are not sleeping as well as usual.  This might be due to a combination of heightened anxiety in the household due to the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, the longer days and the rising yang qi which is resonant of the arrival of spring. There are as many reasons

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What do young children most need from their parents during this extraordinary time?

For most kids in the UK, this is the start of the second week when they would have been in school.  There are, most likely, many weeks ahead.  So, as parents, how can we best help them to adapt to this time? Primary school children are, developmentally, still very much focussed on their parents and family.  The world of what

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Are your teens now at home for the foreseeable future? What will be important to them and how can you support them?

Yesterday I watched the excitement and elation of five pre-teens and young teens as they heard the news that school was going to be out for the next few weeks at least.  One of the first things they did was to download apps to make sure they could easily communicate as a group if they were not able

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The Panda Clinic and paediatric acupuncture feature in BAcC film ‘To The Point’

Yesterday, I went to a parliamentary reception at the Houses of Parliament, for the launch of the British Acupuncture Council’s To the Point film and the Scope of Acupuncture 2020 report.  This is to raise awareness of acupuncture as an effective treatment for a variety of health conditions.  I am delighted that paediatric acupuncture played such a prominent role

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When teething is a tyranny – and what you can do about it

There is a view that we blame everything on teething.  When a baby or toddler is grouchy, not sleeping or not eating, it is all too easy to say ‘ah, she must be teething’.  But whilst there are, of course, other reasons for our little ones to be unhappy or lose their appetite, the reality is that teething can be a

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Eating disorders: how can we help guard against them in our young people?

This week (March 2-8th) is eating disorders awareness week.   It is both sad and shocking that eating disorders amongst young people in the western world seem to be on the rise.  Whilst many in the developing world are starving, more and more children and teens in the developed world are starving themselves.  If they are not starving themselves, many have

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You love your child, but does your child feel loved?

It is a curious fact that nearly all parents love their children dearly, yet so many children (either during childhood or later on in adulthood) say that they did not feel loved during their childhood.    In the clinic today, I saw a 15-year-old boy who talked of how he felt nothing he did was good enough in his

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‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ and why to avoid asking kids this question…

A sixteen-year-old came to my clinic for treatment yesterday and said she was feeling anxious.  As we explored the reasons for her anxiety, it became clear that the nub of it was connected with her fears of the future.  Specifically, she was anxious that she did not know what kind of work she wanted to do.  What struck me most

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When a tummy ache has little to do with the stomach…

In my clinic today, I noticed a theme.  Several children came in with symptoms that had arisen or become worse after an emotional upset.  A ten-year-old girl developed a painfully sore throat after a sleepover which went badly.  A thirteen-year-old girl, who suffers from chronic fatigue (post-viral) syndrome, deteriorated when her mother went away for a few days.  The symptoms of

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Children need to be bored sometimes

Children in affluent societies are often perceived as having everything. Playrooms bursting with toys, technological devices that keep them entertained for hours, and streaming services that mean there is always something to watch.  But does this material abundance mean these children want for nothing or have we as a society misunderstood what it is children really need? One

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BAcC Film featuring the Panda Clinic!

I am really excited that paediatric acupuncture takes a lead role in the BAcC’s new film, ‘To The Point’, which highlights the diverse and high-level work of acupuncturists working in different settings throughout the UK.  The BAcC and their film crew came to the Panda Clinic for a day in the Summer and filmed a variety of

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Children and exercise: can they have too much of a good thing?

Conventional wisdom says that exercise is good for children.  Period.  With rising obesity rates, and leisure time increasingly being filled with screen-based activities, it is understandable and right that children are encouraged to exercise.  Having a range of different physical activities is a crucial prerequisite for healthy growth and development.  But how much and what type of exercise is right for

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The hidden link between sleep and digestion in babies and toddlers

There are as many different reasons why babies and toddlers don’t sleep as there are approaches to help them to sleep better.  I have seen parents losing their minds trying to work out why their baby sleeps well one night and not the next.  I have seen strong, capable and calm mothers and fathers cry in desperation at yet

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Is there a therapeutic element to thumb sucking?

The perceived wisdom is that children suck their thumb in order to feel secure and as a way of soothing themselves.  For many children this is obviously true but there may be another reason why certain children are drawn to sucking their thumbs. From the perspective of Chinese medicine paediatrics, the thumb relates to the digestive system.  There is

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Snow plough parenting – what is it and what is its effect?

It’s official.  Snow ploughs are the new helicopters!  Until earlier this week, I was aware that parents could be described as ‘helicopters’ (when they have a tendency to hover over their children) but I didn’t know they could be snowploughs.  Let’s be clear.  None of us get parenting exactly right and that’s OK.  We should hold on to Winnicott’s concept of the

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What is the unspoken harm of screen time for children?

There are many documented reasons why excessive screen time may be harmful for children.  Those most commonly cited are its negative impact on sleep and its contribution to rising obesity levels, as well as educational and/or behavioural problems.  While these are all valid issues, a far more detrimental effect is rarely mentioned.  When children spend a lot of time

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Are you missing the signs of tiredness in your child?

The simple fact is that growing and developing is extraordinarily hard work.  For this reason, children very easily become tired.  Yet I believe that we often miss the signs of tiredness in our children.  Many physical symptoms, emotional patterns and behavioural tendencies arise from or become exacerbated when a child is tired.  I have seen many children in my clinic whose

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Why we need to slow down the pace of our children’s lives

Many children today live extremely busy lives.  Term time, especially, is often a blur of activities.  After a taxing day at school, many children then have hours of after school and weekend activities.  I hear many parents talk about their children ‘hanging on in there’ or ‘just about holding it together’ as they near the end of a term at

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Is your toddler a ‘robust’ or ‘sensitive’ type?

It barely needs stating that every single child in the world is a complete individual, with their own unique combination of traits, tendencies and quirks.  It is important to be mindful of this fact whenever we start talking about types or categories of children.  Although I am about to describe two broad categories of young children, please bear in

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Nurturing the Young webinar: coming up this Saturday

I wanted to alert you to my upcoming webinar this Saturday.  It is a three hour webinar for practitioners, but also interested parents, titled “The Importance of Nurturing the Young to raise healthy, happy children.”  This short introduction interview with Lorne Browne, of Healthy Seminars (who are hosting the webinar) will tell you all you need to

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