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.
The following is a story that many acupuncture parents relate to. It illustrates the struggles they experience in the process of finding the help their children require to heal and be healthy.
A happy, healthy child gets sick
Once upon a time there was a happy, healthy little girl. One day she got very sick. Her doctor ran many tests but didn’t know what was wrong. He gave her some medications to reduce symptoms. The little girl felt better on these medications, but when she didn’t take them, the symptoms came back.
Her parents worried about the medications
Her parents were very worried. A paper came with each medication explaining all the problems it could cause. The parents worried that if they continued to give their little girl these medications, she might get side effects. But they hated to see her feeling as badly as she did without them, and she seemed healthier when she was taking them. They decided to keep giving them to her; however, they continued to worry about whether they were doing the right thing.
The medications came with side-effects
Over time, the little girl developed unusual symptoms. Her scared parents took the little girl back to her doctor, who agreed one of the medications might be causing these new problems. He changed the prescription to a different one with “fewer side effects”.
The cycle begins again
The parents got the prescription and read the side effects associated with the new medication. They realized that this cycle of medications and side effects might keep happening if they continued the way they were going.
A new option
They decided that there must be a different option, something that would help their little girl get better. They found a website about pediatric acupuncture. They’d never heard of that before. They knew that acupuncture had something to do with sticking a bunch of needles in people, but how was that possible for kids?
Acupuncture helps the body heal itself
But the website said that acupuncture helps the body heal itself. That’s what they wanted for their little girl! They longed for her to be happy and healthy and not have to take any more medications. If their little girl’s body could heal itself, then she wouldn’t need the medications anymore.
A better understanding of the child’s health
They called a pediatric acupuncturist to find out if acupuncture could help their little girl. The acupuncturist explained that she would have many questions about the little girl’s health starting from even before she was born. This would help her figure out why the little girl was so sick. She explained that healing takes time, but she would do her best to help the little girl’s body function at its very best.
What the child will experience
The acupuncturist explained that acupuncture treatments for adults and children look very different. She said that children often play on the floor or walk around the room during the treatment. During treatments, she goes with the child’s flow and lets the child guide the treatments so no force or restraint is needed. Her goal is for acupuncture to be a good experience for every child.
Special tools to help children
She said that she uses needles (which she referred to as “taps”) on children, but she also has other tool like the “little fishy” and the “spaceship” that she uses to deliver gentle and fun treatments to babies and children.
Parents can help their child heal
The little girl’s parents prepared her for treatment just as the acupuncturist suggested. The little girl was shy on her first treatment, but by her third treatment she was asking when she was going to come again. The parent’s homework was to help their little girl heal. They were taught to give her special massages, change some of her routines, and even change some of the foods she was eating.
The little girl gets better
The little girl improved, slowly at first. She began to feel a little happier and enjoy playing a little more. Then she started to eat and sleep better. Eventually she was able to recover and return to being a happy and healthy little girl who didn’t need any medications.
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.