The short answer is “We welcome kids”. The longer answer is we’re here if your child has a problem and you want to see if an integrative approach will help.
None of us is a pediatrician and we really would prefer that your child have a primary care pediatrician or family practitioner for general check-ups, required immunizations, school physicals, acute illnesses, and making sure he or she is reaching all the appropriate developmental milestones.
We like to think we’re most useful when your son or daughter has a chronic health problem and your intuition is telling you there’s something more than your doctor’s instructions to refill that prescription…something more than the assurance that your child “will outgrow it.”
Here are some examples:
• You’ve been told your kid is inattentive in school and may have ADD. The school psychologist diagnoses ADD and sends your son to a psychiatrist, who sees him for 10 minutes, writes a prescription, and hints that he may need to take the drug forever. Some children certainly do need to be on ADD medication, but it’s also possible that a few simple lifestyle changes can quickly produce a calmer, sharper, and more attentive child.
• Your child has a rash that goes away only when you slather her with a cortisone cream. Your doctor doesn’t know why the rash is there and hopes it will go away eventually. Until then, just refill…
• Your kid’s behavior has changed, and not for the better. Reluctantly, you see a child psychiatrist who diagnoses depression and suddenly your nine-year-old is on Prozac. This disturbs you (it should).
• Your daughter gets one earache (or sore throat or cough) after another. One shelf of your medicine cabinet is filled with antibiotics. You’re not happy about all these drugs.
• Your child has a stomachache after meals. She’s eating next to nothing or, even worse, nothing but junk. “Tests” are negative and now a doctor is recommending your daughter pop Nexium (again, disturbing).
• Your kid complains of headaches…of joint pain…of not sleeping…of pimples and acne…of being too fat. You feel helpless.
We’re here to help
WholeHealth Chicago has a nice team of practitioners who deal with conditions like these. It’s handy that they all genuinely like kids and kids really seem to like them back. If you click below, be sure to take a look at the photos. How could kids not like practitioners like these?
• Casey Kelley, MD, is board certified in family medicine and has had far more formal training in pediatrics than anyone else at WholeHealth Chicago. Her special interest is functional medicine, which investigates the why behind a learning disability, a susceptibility to colds, or too many tummy aches.
• Dr. Sujatha Mannal is our center’s homeopath. Children really like homeopathic remedies: tiny white pellets that melt in their little rosebud mouths. Read a brief synopsis of homeopathy here. You’ve probably seen the displays of homeopathic remedies in places like Whole Foods, but you might not have known where to begin, which remedy to select for your child. That’s why Sujatha’s on our team.
• Drs Paul Rubin and Cliff Maurer are our chiropractic physicians. Kids experience a surprising number of musculoskeletal symptoms, including headaches and back and neck aching, that are too often dismissed as “growing pains” until the kids finally start keeping the pain to themselves (my youngest fibromyalgia patient was nine years old and when she talked about her pain with her mother in the room, it got quite emotional when she said, “I didn’t want to bother you any more with it, mommy”). Pediatric chiropractic is useful not only for treating chronic symptoms, but also for preventing future musculoskeletal problems.
• And finally (and totally vital to our team), nutritionists Marla Feingold and Seanna Tully. If you had any idea how often I’ve heard the phrase, “No wonder this child has (fill in a symptom)…did you hear what he eats at home and for school lunch every day?” Marla and Seanna know you love your kid, but just because your family is vegetarian doesn’t mean Twinkies and diet cola are a good idea. Spoiler alert: expect the Wrath of Khan from your child when you start to clean up his/her unhealthy eating. But know that it’s possible.
• I’d certainly add our lovely and capable Mari Stecker to this list. She’d be delighted to work with children if only she were capable of generating some enthusiasm among them for acupuncture. That said, when my son Ben was about nine, he had something (I forget what) that I knew acupuncture would truly help. It took some good marketing on my part to sell him on acupuncture, but being a good kid he agreed to a couple of sessions, even falling asleep during the second one. I think one of the major benefits of young Ben’s experience, however, came with the playground bragging rights (“needles sticking out of my chest!”).
I rather like kids myself, and the rumor that I prefer them breaded and fried is unfounded. But with a team like this…well, I was trained to take care of grown-ups and I’m just not needed here.
David Edelberg, MD
PS: If you’re interested in a nice informal meeting with any of our practitioners I’d urge you and your children to attend our open house from 1 to 4 pm Saturday, Jan 21. Free snacks and—please note–free ear acupuncture, just in case your son or daughter wants to give it a trial run.