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Dr. Sally Sherriff L.Ac., DAOM

Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine

Healing in Santa Cruz, CA



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 is recommended 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.
-The GAPS diet can often help. (See Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD for more information.)

For an individualized healing program for your child and info on Lunar treatments, contact Dr. Sally at 831-295-6327. 320 River Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060

Click Here to Schedule Appointments 

Sunshine and sunscreen safety

Should you put sunscreen on children?
Not usually! 

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

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. For another, infants have a high surface-area to body-weight ratio compared to older children & adults. Both these factors mean that an infant’s exposure to the chemicals in sunscreens is much greater, increasing the risk of toxic reaction or inflammation.

Be aware of the toxicity of some sunscreen ingredients.

The FDA says there isn’t enough data to determine whether ingredients are safe and in particular, raised concerns about oxybenzone, its potential to affect hormone levels and the increased absorption susceptibility of children (FDA 2019). In lab studies, it is a weak estrogen and has potent anti-androgenic effects (Krause 2012, Ghazipura 2017). According to the agency, “sunscreen ingredients” … (including oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and avobenzone,) …”have limited or no data characterizing their absorption.” Drawing on the available literature, the agency also classified aminobenzoic acid (PABA) and trolamine salicylate as unsafe.

The Danish EPA reviewed the safety of  ingredients in sunscreen and concluded that most lacked enough information to establish their safety (Danish EPA 2015). In the case of 16 of the 19 ingredients studied, there was no information about their potential to cause cancer. The published studies suggest that several chemical filters interact with human sex or thyroid hormones, and there was not enough information about any of them to determine the potential risks to humans from hormone disruption. (

Sunscreen ingredients also affect animals and our environment

Sunscreen ingredients have also been shown to damage coral, accumulate in fish and the environment, and disrupt hormones in fish and amphibians (Buser 2006, Danovaro 2008, Giokas 2007, Kunz 2004, Kunz 2006, Weisbrod 2007).

Do babies need to be out in the sun at all?

Studies have found that 70 percent of breastfed one month old babies were deficient in vitamin D (Wagner 2010). This is a serious problem because vitamin D plays a key role in growth and development. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that Mexican Americans and African Americans are two to three times more likely than Caucasians to have low levels of vitamin D (CDC 2011). So we do want to make sure our babies get some sun exposure.

Summer’s heat presents other challenges for babies.

Younger infants don’t sweat like we do. Sweat naturally cools us down when we’re hot, but babies haven’t yet fully developed this natural cooling system. So we want to make sure our babies don’t get overheated.

In hot weather, babies are also at greater risk of becoming dehydrated. To make sure they’re adequately hydrated, offer them extra breast time, formula or water in between their usual feedings.

Sun Safety Tips 

– Keep your baby in the shade.
– Make sure your child wears clothing that covers and protects sensitive skin.
– Make sure your baby wears a hat that provides sufficient shade.
– Watch for warning signs of sunburn or dehydration such as fussiness, redness and excessive crying.
– Hydrate! Give your baby extra feedings or a small amount of water between feedings if you’re out in the sun.
– If your baby is urinating less than usual, it may be a sign of dehydration, give more fluids until the flow is back to normal.
– Avoid sunscreens, especially those containing possible toxic ingredients or the insect repellant DEET, particularly on our babies 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.

Remember that we all need the healing rays of the sun, but we want to be sure to avoid sun burns!

For more information on holistic health for your baby and children, contact Dr. Sally at 831-295-6327. 320 River Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060

Click Here to Schedule Appointments 

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.

You’ll see an amazing improvement in your child’s health, as well as prevent potential future problems.

For an individualized healing program for your child and info on Lunar treatments, contact Dr. Sally at 831-295-6327. 320 River Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060

Click Here to Schedule Appointments 

Lunar Treatments

Child and moon

A holistic way to heal and help your child.

Each month, children enjoy gentle healing treatments. This ancient practice originates in Japan, where children traditionally receive monthly treatments near the full moon. When the moon is full, it exerts an influence not only on the ocean tides but also on the ocean within our bodies.

Children who come in for regular Lunar Treatments each month, at the Full Moon, don’t get sick as often as their peers, and when they do get sick, they recover quickly.

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 include Shonishin, Tuina massage, moxa, cupping, essential oils, nutrition, herbal medicine and other recommendations. Children look forward to this nurturing care and parents learn home care methods to support their child’s health!

Lunar Treatments emphasize preventive care. There is an ancient saying: Treat Winter diseases in the summer.  Preventive treatments in earlier seasons help us avoid and heal illness in later seasons. Problems that arise due to weather, diet, emotions, or lifestyle can be avoided and alleviated with monthly holistic care. Decrease the intensity and frequency of colds or coughs in the Fall or allergies in the Spring with regular preventive monthly treatments!

A Check-Up for Success 

Bringing your child in to see Dr. Sally when they’re sick, for allergic reactions, ear infections or labored breathing is only one type of visit.  Preventive visits are a chance to raise questions and concerns about your child’s development, behavior, diet, sleeping, toilet training, social behaviors, attention and learning issues. Having regular Lunar visits is key to preventive care.

A Healthy Happy Future

Children learn that the rhythm of caring for themselves is an ongoing life process leading to a healthier, happier life – the ultimate goal!

Book a Lunar Treatment for Your Child Online

For an individualized healing program for your child and info on Lunar treatments, contact Dr. Sally at 831-295-6327. 320 River Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060

Click Here to Schedule Appointments 


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 and a gum-soothing oil of chamomile and cloves steeped. Crystal’s diet also needed attention. They changed to simple, bland foods such as rice porridge, 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.

For an individualized healing program for your child and info on Lunar treatments, contact Dr. Sally at 831-295-6327. 320 River Street, Santa Cruz, California 95060

Click Here to Schedule Appointments 

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