Is your child sick all the time? You could say "permanently ill"? Are you secretly wondering if there is something wrong with his immune system?
If you've ever spoken to your pediatrician about your concerns, chances are you've been told there's nothing to worry about.
In fact, according to Western medicine, it's totally normal for a child to have 12 to 14 infections a year.
I have to agree with conventional medicine on one point: being permanently ill is normal for many children these days.
But from my point of view as a TCM therapist, the word "normal" really has no place here.
In this blog article you will find out why I see it that way and how you can spare your child this martyrdom.
How many infections are "normal"? The view of conventional medicine.
As mentioned earlier, modern medicine considers it totally normal and not alarming that a child may experience 12 to 14 infections a year.
When I imagine that apparently many children really have to feel this way in order to come to this conclusion, I really shudder.
This means that as soon as one infection has subsided, the next one knocks on the door. And the drama starts all over again.
But let's take a look at the development of your child's immune system to fully grasp what's going on here.
How does the immune system develop?
After birth, a baby is protected by its mother's antibodies for the first few months. This is affectionately referred to as “nest protection”.
Of course, the baby already has its own immune system, but it still lacks experience.
It learns, so to speak, through practice with every infection that the small body overcomes itself.
This does not mean that contact with a pathogen inevitably leads to symptoms such as a fever or a runny nose.
The body fights off many infections without you even noticing and can still learn from them.
For this reason, it is also important that children have contact with different pathogens. Only then do they develop antibodies that are necessary to build a strong immune system.
Raising them under a glass dome would be counterproductive.
Incidentally, breastfed children still receive antibodies from their mother's milk throughout the breastfeeding period.
Unlike nest protection, however, these are no longer directed against a specific pathogen.
They act more as a kind of boost for the immune system in general.
Not least because breast milk optimally supports the development of the bacterial flora in the intestine. And this intestinal flora plays an absolutely important role in the immune system.
The immune system from a TCM perspective
As is so often the case, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a slightly different approach.
In one thing, however, she at least partially agrees with conventional medicine: the strength of the immune system after birth is directly related to the inherited constitution of a child.
So if the parents have a strong immune system, the child that goes with it is also ahead of the pack when it comes to fighting off pathogens.
However, in TCM one does not speak of the immune system, but of the Wei-Qi or defense-Qi. This keeps guard on the body's surface to prevent intrusion of baddies.
If the Wei-Qi is strong, it can do this with ease. If it is too weak, this shows up with frequent illness and pronounced symptoms.
In children, the immune system is not yet fully developed or not as strong as we would like it to be.
This means it is easier for the pathogens to penetrate the body.
Although children's Wei-Qi is generally weak, they tend to recover faster than adults.
Their body is still full of fresh Qi and regenerates faster.
Nevertheless, we do not want our children to catch colds frequently and develop complications such as ear infections, bronchitis, chronic coughs or sinus infections.
And indeed, there are many things you can do to ensure that your child's immune system develops optimally from the start. Even if it may not have been sent into existence with the strongest constitution.
How do I strengthen Wei Qi?
It is true that getting sick is part of a child's normal development, as this is how their immune system learns for the future.
So it is completely normal for a child to get sick from time to time.
But if your child is actually permanently ill, i.e. barely recovered from one illness, slips into the next or does not fully recover between infections, then for me as a TCM therapist, that is a clear sign that you should strengthen his immune system .
Strengthening your child's immune system and supporting it in its optimal development is really very easy.
You can start right now by seeing your child as a whole, meaning body, mind and spirit.
The 5 health areas of TCM for body, mind and soul
The basics of a healthy immune system start with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Period.
TCM knows 5 areas of life that have a direct effect on body, mind and soul and thus also on your child's immune system:
Taking a close look at these areas of your life and your child's life can give you clues as to why your child's immune system is not as strong as you would like it to be.
Bringing about change is sometimes very easy.
However, there will always be areas that cannot be optimized overnight.
Here is my immune system support plan based on TCM's 5 Health Domains.
It will help you to quickly strengthen your child's resistance.
3-step health plan to strengthen the child's immune system
Stage 1: Optimizing nutrition – use the power of food as medicine
Stage 2: Optimizing lifestyle – ensure moderate exercise in the fresh air, reduce stress and environmental toxins
Stage 3: Use targeted alternative therapy methods such as massage, acupressure and herbal therapy
If you want to go further into detail on my 3-step health plan to strengthen your child's immune system, then check out the related article.
By the end of this blog post you are going to walk away with an action based process to strengthen your child's immune system.