Today is the final installment of the pediatric acupuncture series. If you missed the other posts, they ran on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Many thanks to Jessica Gross, Licensed Acupuncturist, for taking the time to share her expertise in this subject …
In my treatments, acupuncture needles for children are generally quite small and the needle retention time is around 10-15 minutes. I tend to do most needling on the back so the child will not be frightened by the sight of the needle.
An example of points that I use is below*:
Du – 15: Located in the middle of the neck about a half an inch from the base of the external occipital protuberance (the small bump you feel on the back of your head at the base of the skull). Usually, it is just within the hairline. This point is used for stiffness of the tongue with inability to speak, loss of voice and flaccidity of the tongue, amongst other things. It is located just opposite to the base of the tongue, hence the correlation. This point is also located on the channel that runs through the spine and into the brain.
UB – 13: Located 1.5 away from either side of the spine, level with the T3 vertebrae. This point is used to nourish the lungs.
UB – 20: Located 1.5 away from either side of the spine, level with the T11 vertebrae. This point is used to nourish the digestive system, specifically the spleen.
Heart – 5: Located on the inside of the arm, 1 inch from the base of the wrist to the side closest the pinky finger. This point is used for sudden loss of voice, inability to speak, stuttering, stiffness of the tongue and other heart related disorders. The effectiveness of this point requires more extensive information regarding the theory of the acupuncture channels.
If you are not ready for acupuncture, or want something to try at home, you can massage these points for your children. I like to recommend a tapping or light “bird pecking” with the fingers along the spine. Or you can imagine that you are typing or playing the piano really quickly over the area. This way, you are more likely to find the correct area (even if you miss!) and there will be a lot of blood flow that is stimulated. Tapping and “bird pecking” is usually not as ticklish as actually massage as well.
Chinese herbs are of course an option but should be inquired about with a practitioner that is familiar with your individual health history.
*Acupuncture Point information cited from A Manual of Acupuncture by Peter Deadman.
Thank you again, Jessica! As with everything, finding the right professional that is educated, experienced, and “clicks” with your child is key. I am currently in this exploration process since Jessica has recently moved and I’m learning it’s just like anything else – there are lots of different personalities out there with different styles of treatment.
As I mentioned in Wednesday’s post, Jake is now getting acupuncture for allergy/inflammation purposes. When we were with Jessica, acupuncture was a supplemental therapy that was done in addition to speech therapy with a licensed speech-language pathologist.
If you live in the San Diego area and/or if you would like to learn more about Jessica’s services, please visit her website at http://jessicagrosslac.com/.
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