Complementary Therapies for Children

March 2015

Is your child anxious, struggling in some way or frequently ill? In addition to visiting your GP you may be interested in finding out a little more about what complementary healthcare modalities have to offer for your child’s wellbeing.

Most parents, as well as those who work with children, have experienced the worry and helplessness of seeing a child going through a difficult time, and not knowing how best to help them. Helping a child to manage their emotions healthily and maintain their self-esteem during tough times is something we would all love to do. However, many children and young people find it uncomfortable and intrusive when some adults attempt to talk them through their problems.


EFT, sometimes called “tapping”, is an easily learned technique which children can use for themselves. When guided by an experienced practitioner like Sarah Naylor in Stow, they quickly get to the heart of what is bothering them and begin to clear negative emotions away, helping with sleep problems, low self-esteem, food issues and self-harming to name just a few. EFT is non-intrusive, and involves following the child’s own words and experience rather than trying to “analyse” them, Most young people take to it easily and enjoy the process of their “bad feelings” disappearing!


Bodywork can be another route to achieving emotional and mental stability for children and adolescents. Reflexologist Fiona MacDonald explains: “In a recent study, Lambeth Council in South London has decided to spend £90,000 on a Reflexology program for unruly children at school aiming to support vulnerable children to improve their quality of life. The children concerned were aged 13 and under, and had been labeled as “badly behaved. Another study worked with ten children with ADHD from first through seventh grade, each having ten Reflexology sessions over a five week period. The study concluded that there was a 40% improvement in sleeping patterns, a 60% improvement in self-confidence and a 20% improvement in school work. Not only can regular reflexology treatments be used as a calming measure but also as a preventative measure for other more common conditions such as for children who suffer from lots of colds.”


For parents looking to boost their children’s immune system naturally, learning the simple hand healing art of Reiki may be of interest. Jikiden Reiki, a Japanese style of Reiki unaltered by Western New Age influences, can be used as a simple home remedy to help with small injuries like cuts and bruises, recovery from colds and viral infections, and if used frequently, can also help with conditions such as asthma and eczema. It is also great for relaxing young children as well as anxious adolescents and naturally encourages bonding with young infants. “How wonderful to have the means in your own hands to support your child when they are unwell. I wish all parents had Reiki as part of their family’s wellbeing toolkit,” says Jikiden Reiki practitioner and teacher Gisela Stewart, who as a mother of three has learned to appreciate the benefits of using Reiki at home.