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The Magic of Pediatric Acupuncture

Can a child get acupuncture?

Yes, children can receive acupuncture as a form of treatment. In fact, pediatric acupuncture is often a safe and effective alternative to conventional treatments for many childhood conditions, such as headaches, digestive problems, allergies, and behavioral issues.

Acupuncture for children is performed using very fine, sterile needles that are specifically designed for use on children. The needles are placed at specific points on the body, and the practitioner may apply a toolbox of skills to enhance the therapeutic effect.

When performed by a licensed and experienced acupuncturist, pediatric acupuncture is generally considered safe for children of all ages. However, it’s important to discuss any concerns you may have with your acupuncturist before beginning treatment and to choose an acupuncture clinic experienced with treating children. At Indigo Healing Acupuncture, our clinic is child-friendly and our acupuncturists are trained to make your child’s acupuncture treatment full of fun and curious wonder.

In general, children tend to be more receptive to acupuncture than adults and often experience immediate benefits, making it an excellent choice for those who are looking for a natural and holistic approach to medicine and wellness.

Chinese Medicine for Diaper Rash

Earlier this week, my toddler came home from preschool with a terrible, angry diaper rash that made her waddle like she had just climbed off a horse. Her skin was bright red & swollen from her groin to her upper inner thighs.

After comforting her, my Acupuncturist brain took over to start treatment:

Step 1: Bath
Lukewarm bath with baking soda and oatmeal – I added 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of oatmeal to a filled bathtub. The alkaline nature of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) neutralized any remaining acidic residue and helped rebalance the pH of her skin. The natural phenols in oatmeal worked their anti-inflammatory magic to soothe her irritated skin. After her bath, the diaper rash was about 10% better.

Step 2: Salve
I gently patted her dry and applied a generous layer of Emily Hot Skin Soother* over the rash. This salve is all natural & cruelty free. It has an organic sunflower & beeswax base and several therapeutic Chinese herbs. Within minutes of applying, redness and pain had decreased by 70%.  
*Tip: Only purchase Emily Hot Skin Soother from a trusted source, like your healthcare provider. The jars are not sealed to prevent contamination from unscrupulous beings.

Step 3: Laser Acupuncture
I used a red Qi Pulse laser to activate specific acupuncture points along her Liver meridian and Large Intestine meridian to clear out the heat in her groin. I used the blue Qi Calm laser directly on the remaining red, rashy areas. The laser acupuncture visibly reduced the swelling and redness. The rash was about 90% gone at this point.

Step 4: Chinese Herbs
At bedtime I gave her a dose of Kan Gentle Warriors Fire Fighter, which is a Chinese herbal tincture formulated to treat heat conditions in the skin (such as rashes, eczema, psoriasis). This brand is only available from licensed health care practitioners and is a great addition to your at-home herbal apothecary. 

By the next morning, the diaper rash was 99% gone with only one very light pink area on her inner thigh.
​It’s now 2 days later and the rash has not returned. 

Want to learn more about how Chinese Medicine treats pediatric conditions? Contact Michelle!

A Look at Pediatric Abdominal Migraine

What is Pediatric Abdominal Migraine? 
Pediatric abdominal migraine is a condition that is both mysterious and scary, but Oriental Medicine has kid-friendly tools that can help bring relief.

Unlike adolescent or adult migraine which involve pressure and pain in the head, in young children it appears like a headache in the abdomen that can last a few hours or as long as a week.

​​Symptoms of Pediatric Abdominal Migraine:

​It primarily affects children who are three to ten years old and can show up suddenly with symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting, sudden loss of appetite, skin sensitivity, and pale complexion. These symptoms also appear in more serious conditions, like appendicitis, so if your child is suddenly sick with the symptoms listed here, it is best to immediately call your pediatrician and/or visit the emergency room.

Cause of Pediatric Abdominal Migraine:
Scientists have not yet identified all of the biomedical mechanisms or causes of migraine, but migraine is known to be hereditary, meaning it runs in families. If Mom and/or Dad suffer from migraine, their child is more prone to experience migraines in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.

Pediatric Abdominal Migraine Triggers:
One way to help your child is to become aware of specific migraine triggers, or things/activities that can trigger the start of a migraine. Common migraine triggers in children include:

  • Sleep: Not enough sleep, sleeping in too late, waking up too early, getting overtired
  • Meals: Waiting too long between meals, dehydration, high-sugar diet, or food allergy
  • Emotions: Stress or anxiety about something going on at school or home, anger or frustration (can be as simple as feeling anger towards a sibling over not sharing toys)
  • Environmental: Changes in weather, exposure to gusty wind, exposure to bright lights or flickering lights, too much TV or computer screen time, general overstimulation
  • Travel: Car sickness or motion sickness, jet lag

Treatments for Pediatric Abdominal Migraine:
When a child is suffering from symptoms that look like abdominal migraine, I advise parents to carry a small notebook to record the date, time, and events leading up to the abdominal pain, such as long car ride, up late last night, skipped a meal, etc.  Your pediatric acupuncturist or pediatrician can review the log to help identify specific triggers and patterns.

At Indigo Healing Acupuncture we treat pediatric abdominal migraine holistically by examining all aspects of the child’s mind-body-spirit to identify areas of imbalance. Lifestyle adjustments, needle-free painless laser acupuncture, and customized Chinese herb drops can reduce the frequency, severity, and pain of abdominal migraine attacks in children.