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Supporting Children’s Health
in a Challenging World

The “global village” we live in is a toxic one, in the view of Dr. Bhavna Vaidya-Tank, founder of Regenesis MD in Raleigh, posing a number of health challenges for young and old alike. “Our critically toxic environment,” she says, “plays a crucial role in causing harm to the human body—on so many levels.”

Daerr Reid, right, explains to Dr. Vaidya-Tank the approach she is taking in providing acupuncture therapy to a patient.

Dr. Vaidya-Tank established Regene-sis MD to offer an equally multi-faceted approach to counter those threats. Doing so required assembling a diverse group of practitioners who offer serv-ices ranging from preventive medical care to aesthetic treatments to nutri-tional IV infusions.

“One of the things I value most about what we have created at Regenesis MD is this amazing collaboration among practitioners that allows us to assess and treat our patients from many points of view,” she says. This synergy allows her and the team to offer a much deeper level of investigation and care for their patients. And now that team includes the recent addition of Daerr Reid, who brings expertise in acupuncture and Chinese medicine to the mix. She and Dr. Vaidya-Tank shared their views on the health issues confronting today’s children.

Health&Healing: What do you see as the top health threats to our children today?

Dr. Vaidya-Tank: Diet and environmental toxins are certainly among the top ones. Collectively, we eat such a poor diet that we’re getting more diabetic—even pre-diabetic—kids, even as young as eight, nine, and ten. And we’re seeing increasingly younger girls with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) because everyone is insulin resistant.

Introducing Daerr Reid

Dr. Vaidya-Tank uses energy and experience to build and main-tain a knowledgeable, collabor-ative, integrative treatment team. And, she points out, “the addition of Daerr Reid brings even more expertise to our collection of healers at Regenesis MD.

Ms. Reid is a licensed acupunc-turist with a master’s degree in Chinese medicine and 19 years’ experience in practice. She notes that for the master’s degree in Chinese medicine, 40 percent of the education is in herbs. “And it’s not one herb— they’re formulas; they’re recipes in how you can know how to combine the herbs. That makes an effective herbalist.”

Dr. Vaidya Tank agrees that success comes from the right combination in her practice, as well. “Having different modalities of treatment is a key to success. I always tell my patients, ‘There’s not one pill or supplement that will solve your health problems. Our problems are often complex. and we need different paradigms to restore and maintain good health.”

Ms. Reid: In addition, girls are menstruating very early due to hormone disruption; this is a serious problem. We have a lot of hormonal disruptors in the environment and in the food we consume. We flush all our unused pills—even birth control pills—into the water supply; the meat and dairy industries use growth hormones, which become a part of our diets; hormone disruption can even be caused by products we put on our skin.

And more gluten is added in our food and we’ve switched from regular sugar to the point where everything has corn syrup. All of these substances are going into our water and our food—and into our bodies, which do not know how to process these items in a healthy way.

Dr. Vaidya-Tank: We see the effects of these things in the increase in diabetes and weight issues, of course. But I believe the impact is much broader. I see a lot more children these days dealing with anxiety; there is a lot ADHD, and sleep issues and allergies as well.

H&H: What is your approach with children dealing with weight problems?

Dr. Vaidya-Tank: You have to have the parents involved because it’s not just the kids. If the parents aren’t healthy, there’s more likelihood of the child also being unhealthy. Often, changing behavior is not just for the child, it’s for the whole family. Kids are actually sometimes easier to work with than adults because they’re honest. They tell you for the most part everything they eat and do, and we build a relationship of trust with them. If they form a bond with you, they will actually listen and follow health-giving advice.

Then you have the picky eaters, which you will many times see with kids that are autistic or on the spectrum. They come in and they’re nutritionally just really in poor shape. It’s affecting mood and mood affects behavior. Often, we’ll put these children on the correct supplements and definitely nutrition helps— but we need and use an all-over approach, building mental, physical and emotional health, step by step.

Ms. Reid: And the parents are key. I always tell parents, one of the greatest gifts you can give a child is to teach them how to eat well.

Dr. Vaidya-Tank: Yes. I thank my parents for that every day, because when I was young, we always cooked. And people who cook have healthier children.

H&H: You mentioned anxiety. Besides nutrition, how do you help with that?

Dr. Vaidya-Tank: A number of my patients are reporting that their children are complaining of anxiety—not just stress about school—anxiety. And some of it is the shootings in schools, and a lot of it is profusion and content of social media. This is a new world for everybody, with the constant drum beat of social media along with bullying on-line and such things. No wonder they’re anxious.

Ms. Reid: And anxiety has many consequences for physical health. So, when we work with children whose health issues include anxiety, we always get a qualified therapist involved, because we need to get to the root cause of anxiety—as well as working to adjust the diet and treat them medically.
We’ve found, as well, that acupuncture can be very effective for coping with anxiety, as can Chinese medicine treatments. Typically, I work with a combination of herbal treatments and acupuncture “seeds,” to address anxiety issues. The “seeds” are small metal bumps that I place on acupuncture points to apply a subtle therapeutic pressure.

H&H: Tell us more about the challenges with hormone balance and cycle disruption for adolescent girls.

Ms. Reid: Pain is one of the consequences of the hormonal disruption. With young girls beginning to menstruate, if there is any dysfunction in their cycle, we like to try and correct that as early as we can so that they don’t run into problems later. We can do that typically with herbal medicine, rather than acupuncture.

Typically, even in adults, herbal medicine becomes extremely important for regulating the menstrual cycle. So, that is how I have worked with children in the past. And interestingly enough they are pretty open. They’ll drink the teas, because they feel better. Herbal medicine for a woman’s cycle is key, no matter what the age.