Before getting a vaccination for your child, speak to your doctor if your child is ill, has a cough, runny nose or any other imbalance that you notice.
-A holistic treatment should be given before and after the vaccination and as close to the day of vaccination as possible.
-To support a child who has reacted to a vaccine it is important to provide a high quality diet which includes rich sources of vitamin A, B and C and folate. We want to heal their digestive system’s mucus membranes, assist elimination and detoxification while supporting the body’s whole structural system.
-The GAPS diet can often help with nutritional deficiencies. (See Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD for more information.)

Child Television

Is ‘SpongeBob’ Too Much for Young Minds?

4-year-olds did worse in thinking skills after watching the cartoon, study says
MONDAY, Sept. 12, 2011 (HealthDay News) — Fast-paced TV shows like “SpongeBob SquarePants” negatively affect children’s concentration levels shortly after watching them, a new study suggests.

“We found that young children who had just watched ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ were handicapped in what you could say is their readiness for learning,” said lead researcher Angeline S. Lillard, a University of Virginia psychologist.

“This included their ability to think and concentrate,” she said.

Lillard added that this effect is not confined to “SpongeBob SquarePants,” a cartoon set beneath the sea. “We have replicated this now with another fast-paced fantastical show,” she said.

Lillard said she got the idea for the study while watching “SpongeBob SquarePants” in anticipation for using it for a different study. “I found it difficult to think after having watched episodes of it for an hour,” she said. “That’s what inspired me to do the study.”

For children, such fast-paced, bizarre programming may be too taxing for their developing brains, Lillard said.

“When children have to process a lot of information very quickly, it is difficult to process because it’s unusual. In this case [SpongeBob episodes] a lot of things are happening that can’t happen in real life,” she explained. “We think it leaves them mentally exhausted — at least for a short time.”

How long these effects might last isn’t known, Lillard added. “We don’t know if these effects build over time and create long-term attention problems, but we do know at least immediately afterward they are compromised in their ability to function,” she said.

There have been other studies that show a connection between television watching and attention problems later in life, Lillard noted.

For the study, published online Sept. 12 in the journal Pediatrics, Lillard and her colleague, Jennifer Peterson, divided sixty 4-year-olds into three groups. One group watched nine minutes of “SpongeBob SquarePants,” another group watched nine minutes of the slower-paced public television children’s show “Caillou,” and the last group spent nine minutes drawing.

The children were then given four tasks designed to measure what is called the “executive function” of the brain. The tasks included delay-of-gratification where the children had to wait for rewards, and a mathematical puzzle game called Tower of Hanoi, which requires children to move disks from one peg to another. The tests measure concentration, memory and learning, Lillard said.

The children’s parents also were asked what programs their kids regularly watch and how much.

The children who watched “SpongeBob SquarePants” did significantly worse on the tasks than the children who watched the PBS program or drew. This finding held true even after taking into account how much TV a child typically watched, the researchers said.

Lillard advises parent to keep a careful eye on their child’s behavior after watching fast-paced cartoons. “See if the child is having difficulty functioning at their normal level. If they are, they [parents] should be careful when they allow their children to watch such shows,” she said.

Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, George Adkins Professor and director of the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at the University of Washington and author of an accompanying journal editorial, called the study a “significant contribution to our knowledge of the effects of media on children.”

“It is not all television that’s bad, it’s certain features of the medium that have potential adverse effects on children,” he said. “Parents need to focus as much on the content and quality of the show as on the quantity.”

Christakis said the young, developing mind can be overstimulated. Human brains aren’t designed to process things at the speed at which they sometimes occur on TV, he said.

“Everything our brains evolved to deal with takes place in real time,” Christakis said. “It’s not that we can’t process these shows, we do, but it may come at a cost — a short-term cost, so we can’t concentrate immediately afterward.”

And, he added, “potentially a long-term cost as you condition the brain to expect that high level of input, which makes the real pace of the world seem boring and that leads to attentional problems later in life.”

SOURCES: Angeline Lillard, Ph.D., professor of psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville; Dimitri A. Christakis, M.D., M.P.H., George Adkins Professor, director, Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, University of Washington, Seattle; Sept. 12, 2011, Pediatrics, online

Copyright (c) 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

For more information about Holistic Pediatrics, contact Dr. Sally Sherriff, DAOM, 320 River Street, Santa Cruz, California 831-295-6327


Child Suncreen

Should you put sunscreen on children?
Not usually! 

You’re at the beach, slathered in sunscreen. Your 5-month-old baby is there, too. Should you put sunscreen on her? Not usually, according to Hari Cheryl Sachs, M.D., a pediatrician at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The best approach is to keep infants under 6 months out of the sun,” Sachs says. What makes babies so vulnerable?

For one thing, babies’ skin is much thinner than that of adults, and it absorbs the active, chemical ingredients in sunscreen more easily, explains Sachs. For another, infants have a high surface-area to body-weight ratio compared to older children and adults. Both these factors mean that an infant’s exposure to the chemicals in sunscreens is much greater, increasing the risk of allergic reaction or inflammation.

The best protection is to keep your baby in the shade, if possible, Sachs says. If there’s no natural shade, create your own with an umbrella or the canopy of the stroller.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests dressing infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats that shade the neck to prevent sunburn. Tight weaves are better than loose. Keep in mind that while baseball caps are cute, they don’t shade the neck and ears, sensitive areas for a baby.

Summer’s heat presents other challenges for babies.

Younger infants also don’t sweat like we do, Sachs says. Sweat naturally cools the rest of us down when we’re hot, but babies haven’t yet fully developed that built-in heating-and-cooling system. So you want to make sure your baby doesn’t get overheated.

In the heat, babies are also at greater risk of becoming dehydrated. To make sure they’re adequately hydrated, offer them their usual feeding of breast milk or formula, says Sachs. The water content in both will help keep them well hydrated. A small of amount water in between these feedings is also okay.

Sun Safety Tips for Infants

Here are some things to keep in mind this summer when outside with infants:
– Keep your baby in the shade as much as possible. If you do use a small amount of sunscreen on your baby, don’t assume the child is well protected.
– Make sure your child wears clothing that covers and protects sensitive skin. Use common sense; if you hold the fabric against your hand and it’s so sheer that you can see through it, it probably doesn’t offer enough protection.
– Make sure your baby wears a hat that provides sufficient shade at all times.
– Watch your baby carefully to make sure he or she doesn’t show warning signs of sunburn or dehydration. These include fussiness, redness and excessive crying.
– Hydrate! Give your baby formula, breast milk, or a small amount of water between feedings if you’re out in the sun for more than a few minutes. Don’t forget to use a cooler to store the liquids.
– Take note of how much your baby is urinating. If it’s less than usual, it may be a sign of dehydration, and that more fluids are needed until the flow is back to normal.
– Avoid sunscreens, especially those containing the insect repellant DEET on infants and children, particularly on their hands. Young children may lick their hands or put them in their mouths.
– If you do notice your baby is becoming sunburned, get out of the sun right away and apply aloe vera to the affected areas.
– Use sunscreens which only contain zinc oxide on older children.

Remember that we do all need the healing rays of the sun, but avoid sun burns!

A version of this article appears on FDA’s Consumer Updates page, which features the latest on all FDA-regulated products. June 20, 2012



Ten Benefits Of Holistic Pediatric Care

Ten Benefits Of Holistic Pediatric Care

  1. Feeding your child an organic, whole-foods based natural diet reduces exposure to artificial coloring agents, pesticides and preservatives. A high-quality diet will help to prevent health problems like allergies, digestive problems and immune problems.
  2. Treatments based on the ancient wisdom of Traditional Asian Medicine are gentle and children look forward to the treatments.
  3. Reducing stress in your child’s life will help her to stay healthy. Getting enough rest and exercise? Spending too much time in front of electronic screens? Exercise and outside play can help to lower stress levels, as well as keep your child in shape.
  4. Learn how you can help your child through therapeutic massages and other natural techniques.
  5. If your child should suffer an injury or illness, Shonishin, Pediatric Tuina, Moxa, cupping and natural remedies help her to heal faster.
  6. Natural remedies are easily absorbed, to effectively aid in the healing process.
  7. Natural treatments and products are earth-friendly. They also reduce your family’s exposure to toxins.
  8. Preventative care: With holistic pediatric care, treat the source of imbalances and not just the symptoms!
  9. Save your budget by taking an active part in supporting your child’s health.
  10. Regular Holistic Pediatric care will support your child to live a long happy, healthy life.

Once you’ve started to use holistic pediatric care, you’ll see an amazing improvement in your child’s health, as well as prevent potential future problems.


Lunar Treatments


A holistic way to heal and help your child.

Each month near the full moon, children enjoy gentle healing treatments.

This ancient practice originates in Japan, where traditionally, children receive monthly treatments near the full moon. When the moon is waxing, or near full, it exerts an influence not only on the tides of the oceans but also on the ocean within our bodies.

Regular, monthly Lunar Treatments help your child in many ways:
*Balance your child’s developing meridian, organ and endocrine systems
*Strengthen their whole constitution
*Enhance the immune system – so your child gets well and stays well
*Nourish their mind & spirit – for depression, anxiety and hyperactivity
*Fortify digestion, rebuild the digestive fire & regulate bowel movement
*Enable deep peaceful sleep

Lunar treatments are painless, gentle and can consist of Shonishin or Tuina massage, moxa, cupping, essential oils, dietary and other recommendations. Children look forward to this nurturing care and parents are relieved to learn what to do at home!

There is an ancient saying:
“Treat Winter diseases in the Summer.”

This means that preventive treatments in earlier seasons help us avoid and heal illness in later seasons. Problems that arise due to weather, diet, emotions, or lifestyle will be avoided or alleviated with Lunar Treatments.

Decrease the intensity and frequency of colds or coughs in the Fall or allergies in the Spring with regular preventive monthly treatments!

Lunar Treatments emphasize preventive care.
Once introduced to Traditional Asian Medicine, children understand that the rhythm of caring for themselves is an ongoing process that continues throughout life!

A Check-Up for Success 

Taking your child to the doctor when they’re sick, for allergic reactions, ear infections or labored breathing is only one type of visit. Well Child Lunar Visits are a chance to raise questions and concerns about your child’s development, behavior, diet, sleeping, toilet training, social behaviors, attention and learning problems as well as general well-being — questions that are difficult to discuss during sick visits. Having regular Well Child Lunar visits is key to preventive care and helps the doctor know you and your child.

Making the Most of Doctor Time

Continuity of care helps build trust and better communication at each Well Child Lunar Visit. Creating a list is a good way to ensure you get all the information you need. Jot down three to five questions and bring them to the visit to help you focus on issues of concern and start the dialogue with the doctor. Any question that reflects your concern about your child’s development, behavior, sleep, emotions, eating or relations with other members of the family is appropriate.

*Research age-specific developmental skills and typical issues your child may be experiencing.

*Talk to others who care for your child and ask for their input. They may notice something different that offers a new perspective.

*Parents shouldn’t hesitate or feel embarrassed to share information that further opens the doors of communication. As your child’s most important advocate, you have valuable information that will help the doctor better understand your child and your family. Don’t hesitate to bring up issues such as safety in the home and at the playground, optimal nutrition, toilet training, and environmental concerns such as lead paint exposure. Feel free to ask about any and everything related to the care of your child — medical or not.

*Talk about what you see as either a special trait or a concern about your child. This helps the doctor get to know you and your child on a more personal level.  

A Healthy Future

Well Child care is so important. Taking your child to the doctor when he or she is feeling under the weather is simply not enough. The American Academy of Pediatrics recognizes the need for a schedule of visits. This supports a caring, holistic relationship with the doctor who can observe your child’s growth and development. When you know a visit is approaching, you can prepare topics of discussion. Starting the dialogue can lead to a healthier life for your child overall, and that is the ultimate goal.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine suggests how to make the most of these important visits:

*Be prepared with a list of questions about your child’s health.
*Write down what the doctor says about your child’s development, growth, health, safety, and nutrition.
*Keep a chart of your child’s milestones, and discuss with the doctor.
*Talk to your doctor about ways to keep your child at a healthy weight and a healthy state of mind.

Dr. Sally Sherriff, DAOM, L.Ac. studied in Japan for 6 years and Taiwan for 2 years. From the traditions of Asian Medicine she brings to our children the ancient teachings of the cultivation of Health. Dr. Sally teaches Pediatrics and Clinical Medicine at Five Branches University, and is founder and director of Healthy Dragon Healing Arts. She specializes in holistic pediatric care, family health, and relief of allergies, pain & stress.For more information about Lunar treatments and Holistic Pediatrics, contact Dr. Sally Sherriff DAOM, LAc. 831-295-6327. Book a Lunar Treatment for your child online.



Crystal was an easy going baby, until she hit the 6 month mark and her gums began bothering her. Her teeth hadn’t yet erupted through but they were causing her (and Mom & Dad!) a lot of discomfort. She had become fussy and irritable. Mom tried to comfort her by nursing her more frequently but there was no relief.

On their first visit, Catrina, her mom, mentioned that Crystal seemed more uncomfortable after eating and that her breath had turned a bit sour recently. I noted the pediatric vein on her index finger, her red gums and her discomfort when I lightly palpated her tummy. All these signs indicated food stagnation and heat.

After a gentle treatment of pediatric tuina massage and Shonishin, I recommended an herbal formula, a combination of Bao He Wan and Suan Zao Ren Tang. To accompany this, I suggested a soothing gum oil of chamomile and cloves steeped in olive oil. Crystal’s diet also needed attention. They changed to simple, bland foods such as rice porrige, steamed veggies and soups and avoided too many sweet, starchy or dairy foods like bread, cookies and cheese.

When they came in the next week for their follow-up visit, both Catrina and Crystal were smiling. Her irritability was gone and everyone was sleeping well and enjoying life again!

Crystal continues to come in once a month for pediatric Lunar Treatments and remains healthy and happy. She maintains a wholesome, nourishing diet of whole grains, soups and steamed vegetables and avoids too much dairy or sweets.

So why do babies and kids suffer so much, when they are teething?
And why do some kids seem to get sick when they are teething?

In our modern way of life, we often grab convenient, quick foods which can cause stagnation in our little one’s digestion. This can affect them, all the way up to their mouth and gums. Teething is a healthy process but when combined with food stagnation and heat, this normal transformation becomes one of agony and sometimes even affects the immune system.

So the next time your child is teething, reach for those bland and nourishing foods.

Information found on Dr. Sally’s website is not intended or offered as medical advice, diagnosis or endorsement of specific treatments or products in anyway. The information provided is for educational purposes only. We recommend that you always consult directly with a suitably qualified professional regarding specific issues you or your child may have.



Sleep Issues

Over the years, I’ve been asked many times, “Why is my child not sleeping?” This means that Mom and Dad aren’t sleeping well either!

Sometimes it’s digestive sensitivities that keep children up or life’s stresses, but other times it can be their constitution. Perhaps they are hot at night with sweating that interferes with deep sleep.

A few ways that we can help them to sleep:
*A gentle foot massage with sesame oil before bed can soothe their whole body and spirit.
*Having a bedtime routine, at the same time every night helps their nervous systems to wind down for sleep.
*In-depth look at their diet can sometimes reveal a deficiency in some minerals such as magnesium.
*Testing and treating for food and chemical sensitivities.
*Individualized herbal formulas designed for their constitution.
*Therapeutic Tuina Massage and Shonishin treatments

For more information about Holistic Pediatrics, contact Dr. Sally Sherriff, Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, 831-295-6327

Information found on Dr. Sally’s website is not intended or offered as medical advice, diagnosis or endorsement of specific treatments or products in anyway. The information provided is for educational purposes only. We recommend that you always consult directly with a suitably qualified professional regarding specific issues you or your child may have.