Acupuncture for Teens
The teen years are a time of significant change and transition, a time when it is easy for the body to become unbalanced as physical growth and hormone fluctuations contribute to both mental and physical disorders.
Concerns such as acne, ADD, depression, insomnia, body image, eating disorders, irritability and sports injury are common amongst our teens.
TCM has proven successful at treating these ailments and their symptoms and helping Teens transition into a healthy and happy adulthood. Because of their self-awareness and older age, issues with needle phobia rarely come up.
Examples of differential diagnosis and treatment for acne:
Spleen Dysfunction with Damp Phlegm
The spleen is unable to transport dampness, which turns into phlegm, which turns into heat. A dull, red complexion, deep eruptions and slow healing with heavy scarring result.
Lung Heat with Heat in the Blood
Heat upsurges to the face, causing pimples and heat and pain in a localized area. The effected zone will appear red with pus filled eruptions.
Damp Heat in Large Intestine and Stomach
Red, swollen eruptions will appear on shiny, oily skin. Pus, itchiness and pain will also be present.
Acupuncture for Kids, aka Honey Pokes
For babies, toddlers and very young children, acupuncture needles are not retained as in teen and adult patients. With a quick in and out motion, qi is activated to treat illness, rash, reduce fever, calm or strengthen a child. If acupuncture is begun early in a child’s life, it is natural and exciting for them to receive it. If beginning at a time when a child is already fearful from western medical treatments or vaccinations, we only have to convince them to try one honey poke before they quickly realize, it’s not so bad.
Needle Free Pediatric Care
Sho(little) ni(child) shin(needle) is a well suited treatment method for children and babies. It was developed in Japan but is based on TCM principles. It first came into practice in the 17th century, but in the last 75 years it has become the primary treatment method for little ones in Japan.
Acupuncture channels and points are stimulated with a light stroking or pressing technique with small tools made of jade, porcelain or metal. It can be used to treat all the typical childhood complaints such as colic, digestive problems, rashes, ear infections, colds, etc. Even more effective, is the use of monthly Shonishin on healthy young ones to help them maintain a state of wellness. It will calm them down, help them sleep better, and boost their immune function.
Children always enjoy playing ‘doctor’ with the tools during their visit. It is a safe, painless, non-invasive way to help our babies and children maintain good health.
Using sound waves to activate qi in the channels and muscles is another tool to treat needle phobic little ones. Using forks of 136.1hz and 68.05hz, we place the opposite end of the fork on appropriate acupuncture points.
Any teen or adult who has had acupuncture has felt the sensation of qi, a vibration of sorts. We create that sensation using sound.
Science tells us that everything in the universe vibrates, from cells to stars. Sound travels extremely well in water, and because the human body is largely composed of water, it is a great conductor and receptor of sound.
Children and Herbs
For our youngest pediatric patients, we exclusively use the ‘Gentle Warriors’ line from Kan Herb Company based in Santa Cruz, CA. These herbs go through rigorous testing and meet or exceed current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) set forth by the FDA. Once they have passed the initial quality control requirements, they are tested for over 250 types of pesticide residues, microbiological contaminants, and heavy metals.
Herbs should be administered each time the child would normally eat as well as upon waking and before bed. In general, it is easiest to give herbs as part of your child’s schedule so it becomes a natural part of their day. None of the herbal formulas are harsh in their actions. Vegetable glycerin is used as a preservative and enhances the flavor, making them palatable for most children. They can also be diluted in juice or food for those who are fussy about the taste.
Teens and older children are welcome to take pills if that is an easier method for them.
Common conditions treated in little ones include:
- Hyperactivity, ADD, nervousness, anxiety and fearfulness
- Digestive trouble: poor appetite, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, indigestion, stomach pain and ‘nervous tummy’
- Eczema, rashes
- Ear infections (both chronic and acute)
- The common cold and flu (including frequent and chronic bronchitis)
- Neonatal Jaundice
- Boost Immunity