What am I doing up in the middle of the night? Giving myself a treatment. Normally, I don’t treat myself. I go to an acupuncturist. But, we’re in a new town and I don’t have one yet so, here I am, with a sore throat, writing a blog in the middle of the night as I sit on my couch and wait for the needles to help my body do it’s magic. Note to people who get acupuncture treatments: don’t be like me and mess around with technology during your treatment! Rest!
Anyway, since I had my baby, I hadn’t thought a lot about acupuncture. I’d been on maternity leave and I was focused full-time on mom-stuff. It wasn’t until my baby got a cough around the holidays last year that I began to think about it again.
by: Karen Bostock Estepa
The emotions that go along with being a mommy are intense! They may be especially so this morning because I’ve been up since 3 AM and was breastfeeding my growing baby all night before that. It could also be because we have two very special days in our family this month, one of them being the 4th anniversary of Kalis’ birth.
So many thoughts have been running through my head. As my sweet baby’s body curls into mine, I think of what I have and what I can no longer hold.
Does your kid never eat or sleep but seems to live off your energy instead? Is your kid out of control, but you don’t have the energy to do anything about it? It may be that your child has Hyperactive Deficiency. In Chinese Medicine this disorder can lead to behavior problems, frequent illnesses, and challenges in maintaining boundaries with a child but, also the necessity to do so - for the sake of healing. The good news is, acupuncture can help your child heal from this disorder and help you get your energy and control back!
What does Hyperactive Deficiency look like?
A child expressing Hyperactive Deficiency usually has lots of energy, frequent illnesses, poor digestion, and doesn’t eat much. He may also resist going to sleep. He is clever and can usually figure out how to get what he wants, even if he has already been told “no”. To him “no” means “maybe”. He may be hypersensitive or nervous but he may also be coy. He may have been a very sick baby that needed lots of attention and may still crave that level of attention, acting out to ensure he gets it.
Meanwhile, his drained parents cave to the child’s demands because they have no energy left to enforce clear boundaries. This could also lead to relationship problems between the parents. If one parent is a primary caregiver and the other is away from the family for several hours during the day, the one who is away more often may not understand why the exhausted primary caregiver submits to the "unreasonable” or “silly” demands of the child.
What to do about it
If you relate to the picture I just drew, you may not like what I’m going to say next, but if you gather your strength and courage, and do your very best as a parent, you will be helping your child, and your family, to heal. The most important thing you can do for your child is to set clear boundaries and enforce them.
You also need to make sure you’re setting boundaries with your own energy. When you lose your temper or bend to the will of the child, you give your energy away. You need to remain calm and grounded. Have you noticed your child gets more energy when you get worked up and meanwhile you’re left depleted and drained? Remaining relaxed will help you save energy and demonstrate to your child what you expect of him.
According to Stephanie K. Glassman, Psy.D., boundaries “begin to form in infancy through family and environmental interactions…We learn about our boundaries by the way we are treated as children, and then we teach others where our boundaries are by the way we let them treat us.” Children with unclear boundaries are more likely to give in to peer pressure or be treated inappropriately by another person. Conversely, children with unclear boundaries are also at risk of becoming the type of adult who lacks respect or takes advantage of others.
How to create boundaries
I cannot tell you how to create boundaries for your kid. First, no one knows your kid better than you. Second, I have never had the opportunity to create boundaries as a parent. My best suggestion: Let your "yes" be "yes" and your "no" be "no". I am very interested in the work of Marcy Axness. Her book, Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers, might be a good resource. I also loved the book Bringing Up Bebe in which an American mother, Pamela Druckerman, learns first-hand the French approach to the raising of children. I appreciated the French concept of giving children extreme freedom within well-defined boundaries.
What will happen next?
The next thing that will happen is that your child will freak out. I don’t want to scare you, but I think you already know this will be the case. Your child is used to thriving on your energy and getting his way. He may be shocked to find he is being asked to create his own energy (from food and sleep) and is no longer in control.
Your child will be more calm and relaxed
Soon, however, he will feel more calm and secure when he knows you are in control, where the boundaries are, and that food does provide the energy he needs. Boundaries set by parents and caregivers are vital to helping a child with Hyperactive Deficiency. Once caregivers are committed to enforcing boundaries, a pediatric acupuncturist can help the child heal from Hyperactive Deficiency. This includes regulating digestion, balancing emotions, and improving sleep.
Caregivers need treatment too
“Treat the mother to treat the child…” is a concept in Chinese Medicine. You can support your child by building your energy as well. If you, or another of your child’s caregivers, feel emotionally or physically depleted (which may show up as exhaustion, irritability, or impatience), acupuncture can help you recover from the exhaustion and overwhelm and find the balance and strength needed to provide boundaries for your child and healing for your family.
I attended a school board meeting this month during which they voted to support SB 277. A group of us went to speak on why they should not support this bill.
One of the women in my group asked me if I had any kids. I told her about Kalis (kah-Lease). I told her about our beautiful home birth and how Kalis was perfectly healthy during my pregnancy, but that her body couldn’t manage on it’s own because she had no kidneys. I told her how Kalis had a purpose and how she’d fulfilled that purpose before she left. This woman was amazed that I could think about the loss of my daughter in such a positive way.
I can do this because I made conscious choices for my little girl. My husband and I educated ourselves on, and believed in, every medical choice we made. The outcome was not what we wanted, but I believe that I made the right choices for her and that gives me peace.
That is what I want for every mom who brings her child into my office to see me. I want her to be confident and at peace with the health choices she makes for her little ones.
What I have learned from my own experience is that the death, injury, or illness of a child is not truly devastating. We live it, we grow through it, and somehow we come out better on the other end.
I believe that what is truly devastating is the illness, injury, or death of a child as a result of medical interventions that were performed from a space of fear, ignorance, or force. Every mom I have seen who has had birth interventions or medical interventions for their child that they did not believe was right, or they felt forced into, carries a guilt and sorrow that is truly devastating. This occurs even when the outcome is good.
One of the most important things parents can do for their children is to make educated and conscious decisions about their medical care. SB 277 takes the right of parents and pediatricians to make medical choices based on what a particular child needs and gives that honor to politicians and government. That is why I, as a pediatric acupuncturist, oppose SB 277.
Kalis would have been 21 months old today. I am still grateful for every medical decision I made for her. I am thankful for the peace I have. I pray that you can say the same for your children. I pray that you maintain your right to that kind of peace.
by Karen Bostock, L.Ac.
CALL TO RESERVE YOUR CHILD’S SPOT: 619-630-0802
Kids ages Newborn to 8 years old
From 9-11 AM on Friday, August 8th, 2014
My office: 3010 5th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103
Wellness treatments are $20 – Expect to be in the office for about 20 minutes.
In Japan it is common for acupuncture clinics to have children-only days. These occur once per month around the time of the full moon. All the kids in the neighborhood come and get a Shonishin treatment to boost immunity and support overall health.
In our society, people tend to ignore their bodies so they end up on several medications by their mid-50’s. We need to teach our children differently. Monthly wellness treatments are an opportunity for children to experience the fact that self-care is an ongoing process that continues for a lifetime! Couple that with the health support they’ll receive on a monthly basis and your child will be well ahead of the game!
This is not a time for children with chronic health issues to be evaluated. The wellness treatment will not include the extensive examination or diet and lifestyle counseling of a typical visit. If this is what your child needs, please set up an Initial Examination for your child.
CALL TO RESERVE YOUR CHILD’S SPOT: 619-630-0802
by Karen Bostock, L.Ac.
Does your child commonly wake with a soggy bed in the morning, even though he or she has been potty trained for quite some time?
Has your pediatrician offered your child electronic moisture alarms, DDAVP to boost anit-diuretic hormone (which has a side effect of seizures), anticholinergic drugs like Ditropan or Levsin (which may cause dry mouth and facial flushing), or antidepressants like Tofranil (which may cause mood issues, sleep problems, or death)? The information in this paragraph is from the Mayo Clinic website.
Are you looking for some less scary options?
Here are 5 Natural Ways to Address Bed-Wetting:
1. Reduce sugar. Reduce or eliminate your child's intake of sugary drinks (including 100% juice and milk), especially after 4:00 PM.
2. Reduce family stress. Children can feel and internalize their parent’s tension and stress. Find ways to manage family stress like acupuncture, couples or family counseling, or meditation. Turn off the TV and video games – especially if your child can see or hear programming that is geared to an older audience.
3. Provide familiarity when away from home. If the bed-wetting only occurs when your child is away from home, bring bedding that has been washed at home so the bed smells familiar.
4. Make sure your child is getting enough rest.
5. Acupuncture! There are many causes of bed-wetting that acupuncture addresses. See if acupuncture is right for your child. Call (619) 630-0802 to make an appointment for your child to have an acupuncture examination.
Would you like to find out more about bed-wetting and what you can do to help your child? You are invited to my free talk:
Thursday, March 27, 2014 from 10:00 AM - 10:45 AM
Location: Central Library (The study room location will depend on the number of RSVPs.)
330 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA 92101
Space is limited - RSVP on my website or call (619) 630-0802 by 03/26/14 to reserve your spot.
Are you coming to this blog a little late, but would like to hear my Bed-Wetting talk? You can arrange for me to speak to your group through my website. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and fill in the form.
When I was in practice in Rancho Bernardo, I put a picture of a “family tree” on my business cards. Very simply, I wanted to work with families and I felt that my tree advertised that pretty clearly.
I still love my tree, but I don’t resonate with it like I did before. So, for my new practice I have a new symbol, a hummingbird. After we lost Kalis, my husband and I kept seeing hummingbirds and we began to associate them with her. So when I was deciding how to represent my practice, a hummingbird came to mind. I don’t know much about animal symbolism so I looked it up and this is what I found:
Hummingbirds are about love and joy. They symbolize a celebration of life and an attribute of the hummingbird is being able to roll with the punches. Hummingbirds are creatures that open the heart and allow the heart to heal. I found that a hummingbird is the perfect symbol for www.FightingSpiritAcu.com. This is what my practice is all about. I strive to strengthen these qualities in myself and to support others as they do the same!
When your energy is out of balance, you may find it difficult to live with love and joy, to celebrate life, or to roll with the punches. When your energy is balanced, you have the mental and physical ability to embody the attributes associated with the hummingbird. Energy can become unbalanced due to physical, mental/emotional, and chemical stresses. Acupuncture and herbal formulas regulate energy to help restore that balance. If you’ve been under stress and feel that you could use support in regaining your energetic balance, call (619) 630-0802 to make an appointment.
by Karen Bostock, L.Ac.