I’ve treated a lot of pregnant women with acupuncture. Acupuncture is well known (and even supported with some good research now) for a range of infertility and pregnancy related conditions.
But something that most people don’t know is that babies and children can also be treated with acupuncture. Yes, with needles. Very fine ones.
During my studies in China I observed the treatment of many children with acupuncture. In the hands of a well-trained acupuncturist this form of therapy can be beneficial to a child and her parents alike.
But doesn’t it hurt them?
For the most part babies and small children barely even notice the needle going in and rarely show signs of pain.
We use very fine needles on children and usually only up to about six insertions or points, although a ten year old who is comfortable with acupuncture may have more insertions if necessary.
Treatments on children are usually shorter than those on adults. We use a technique called ‘non-retention needling’. This means that we pop the needle in, give it a tiny twiddle and remove it immediately. The treatment time is therefore very short. Older children may have a lie down with the needles still inserted if this is comfortable for them and relevant to improving their treatment outcome.
Here’s what acupuncture looks like on babies:
The biggest factor for keeping children calm during an acupuncture treatment is having a relaxed parent come along to assist with familiarity, comfort and distraction methods. I’m happy to needle children while they are getting cuddles from their parents. We can easily get to the points that we need if we work together as a team.
If a child really does not want to have needles inserted then we can stimulate the acupuncture points with a laser or by applying pressure with massage techniques. There is always a plan B to ensure that the patient is comfortable with treatment.
Children may gain many of the same benefits from acupuncture as adults do. Often children are treated for digestive disorders (eg. colic, chronic diarrhoea or constipation, reflux), respiratory conditions (eg. coughs, recurrent colds, phlegmy chests) and symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness and poor concentration.
To ensure the best outcome for your child sometimes I may vary a child’s (or breastfeeding mum’s) diet, lifestyle or prescribe herbs or supplements in addition to the acupuncture if necessary.
To book an appointment at the clinic or further information on Chinese Medicine contact Dr Sarah George (Acupuncture). Sarah is a practitioner of acupuncture (AHPRA registered), massage therapy and natural health.
My brilliant friend, Antonella Gambotto-Burke, has just launched her latest collection of interviews and articles titled, Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love.
As many of you know, I have a special interest in using Chinese medicine to optimise male and female reproductive health, and assisting women with pregnancy care, and pre- and post-natal support. So I love to read and learn about everything from personal experiences to birthing traditions to the latest evidence based theories in this area.
Inspired by her own experiences of pregnancy, birth and motherhood, Antonella sought out a wide range of experts in the field to bring us this beautiful collection of interviews, articles and even some pages of motherhood tips.
The book is beautiful to look at. But it’s the information shared within that celebrates motherhood (in its glory and challenges) that is the real treasure here. Inside are interviews with Sheila Kitzinger, Laura Markham, Steve Biddulph and Gabor Maté with a forward by Michel Odent. Antonella and her guests discuss among many topics: difficult births, parenting theories, bonding with a new baby and the experience of fathers.
So in addition to just telling you all about this book, I have two pieces of good news:
Antonella will be speaking in Brisbane at Riverbend Books on Friday 27th June, 6.30pm. Tickets are $10 and you can book here.
You can save $5 on Mama: Dispatches from the Frontline of Love by clicking here (Arbon Publishing) and using this code – SGMama. (This is exclusive to you, The Wellness Ninja readers!)
I’ve already given a copy to a friend just before she gave birth to her beautiful little girl. It was gladly received!
The Woodford Folk Festival 2012-13 programme has been announced and once again naturopath Kathleen Murphy and I will be speaking at the Blue Lotus health stage. We had a ball last year with our practical sessions on health, herbs and acupressure, and then entering the cooked v raw food diet panel discussion. This year we’re back with some great topics that we get asked about all the time in our clinics:
Bath Time, Soothe Time
Learn some relaxation techniques for babies at bedtime including acupressure and aromatherapy. This talk will be held in the Children’s Festival and will be a fun hands on session for you and your baby. Some of the ideas will be great for big kids who can’t sleep too!
Gluten And Grain Intolerance: What Does It Mean For You?
We’ll be shedding some light on what it means to have food intolerance and why so many people can’t eat certain grains. We will look at our modern Australian diet and how to make the most of each meal. I’ll discuss what this means in Traditional Chinese Medicine terms and how to manage a weak digestive system.
Vegetarian Or Omnivore: How To Make The Most Of Your Diet
Whether you choose to eat meat, or exclude animal products from your diet altogether, it’s important to make the right choice for you. We will talk about common misconceptions, frequent queries and overall benefits for each. I’ll bring in how Traditional Chinese Medicine views these diets and how food can be used to bring balance to the body.
The Woodford Folk Festival is an incredibly great way to spend the week around New Year. There is always so much good music to soak up, dancing to be done, artistic things to create, speakers to inspire you (on health, the environment, music, creativity and living) and new people to meet. It has all the makings of a positive start to your new year. We hope to see you there.
Recently, I started my Master of Chinese Medicine at the University of Western Sydney, kicking off the study with a Women’s Health unit. As many of you know, I have a special professional interest in working with women’s health and reproductive medicine (which yes, also includes men’s health – after all it takes those first two cells to tango). Already I find this subject fascinating with endless possibilities for chinese medicine research.
In giving a talk about the application of acupuncture on pregnancy and birth to a roomfull of midwives (through the lovely people at Capers Bookstore) on Friday, I remembered this wonderful video that was shown to us during the masters workshop on women’s health.
If you are not feeling incredibly clever right now, the mathematician Alexander Tsiaras will leave you with no doubt that the way you were formed in your mother’s womb was nothing short of brilliance.