Ban B. Wong, L.Ac., Ph.D., Dipl.
It is around 2 a.m. in the morning. Your child is
crying even though you notice the diaper is clean and you have just
finished feeding not too long ago.
The agonizing scream overwhelms your sense of hearing and strikes a
painful cord in your heart string. You then notice that your child is
pulling her ear. If this sounds familiar to you, then you are not alone.
Ear infection is one of the most common conditions that affect babies
For years, the standard Western medical treatment for children with
middle ear infections, also known as otitis media, has been antibiotics
and in some severe cases, ear tube surgery. Now, upon evaluation of the
child's age, history of recurrent ear infections, and other underlying
medical conditions, a growing number of pediatricians choose to first
monitor the progression of an ear infection before resorting to
antibiotics. In most cases, ear infections resolve on their own, and the
fact that antibiotics have been so widely prescribed in the past could
have overshadowed the child's self-healing potential.
The treatment of middle ear infections with Chinese medicine (TCM)
involves the use of herbal teas or tinctures that are tailored to both
your child's constitutional make-up as well as the specific condition
being treated. The therapeutic focus when treating middle ear infections
with TCM is threefold. First, the infection is treated using antiviral
herbs, and second, herbs are included to strengthen the immune system
and promote the body's own self-healing process. The third major focus
is to drain the excess accumulation of fluid that builds up in the ear
as a result of the infection in order to reduce or totally eliminate the
need for an ear tube surgery. The added benefit of using Chinese herbal
tinctures is that your child will not have to deal with the side effects
of antibiotics, which include gastrointestinal upset and mucus
production. While in some cases antibiotics have their place and are
necessary, you may still use herbal tinctures in tandem to help boost
the immune system and prevent future distressing episodes of ear
Besides herbal therapy, practitioners of Chinese medicine offer
nutritional and dietary advice as another important step in preventing
ear infections in your child. For instance, itís recommended to avoid
dairy products and sweets and to add more leafy greens and fresh fruits
to your child's diet. With your child having fewer ear infections, you
will have time to enjoy more affection.
Wong L.Ac., Ph.D., Dipl. Ac. Hb.
Ban B. Wong is a licensed acupuncturist in the
State of California and a board-certified practitioner of Acupuncture
and Chinese Herbology, holding diplomates from the National
Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He
graduated from Samra University with top honors. Besides growing up with
a father, a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine, he also
received apprenticeship training in Feng Shui, Mien Shiang, and
Reflexology. He furthered his studies of acupuncture, tuina, and qi gong
in Peking, Hong Kong, and Tokyo. He is a member of the Chinese Medical
Academy and National certification Commission for Acupuncturist &
Oriental Medicine Diplomat in Chinese Herbology.