Wednesday, January 12, 2011

2 year old responds well to acupuncture

I have a patient who is just under two years old.  She has been diagnosed with "failure to thrive" because she does not eat enough.  She is very small and light for her age.  They also diagnosed her with acid reflux, although she has not been scoped to confirm it and she does not exhibit discomfort after eating.  She sees an occupational therapist, a pediatric GI specialist, and a swallowing specialist and often has multiple appointments per week.  Her mother heard that I treat pediatrics and decided to bring her in.

First I should explain how we treat children with acupuncture.  The trick is to not use acupuncture.  We use a technique called "touch-needling" where we touch the back of the needle to the point for 30-60 seconds and then move on to the next point.  Acupuncture is about moving the energy of a person; the energy of children is a lot less stuck than that of adults and requires less stimulation to affect.  In China, the stick needles into kids the same way they do to adults, but this is mainly a function of the time constraints.  When I am over there working in the hospitals, we are with doctors who see 80-100 patients per day.  They do not have the time to dedicate to touch-needling. 

So she came in last week and I evaluated her.  I was not convinced that she has reflux and I encouraged the mother to discuss the possibility of weaning the girl off the daily prevacid that she has been taking.  Then I performed touch-needling for about 10 minutes to the girl.

She came in today for a follow-up and mother reported that she has been eating like a champ ever since the first treatment.  For the first time in her life, she is eating amounts similar to normal children her age.    Her doctor has given the go-ahead to start weaning her off the medication.  The effects were most pronounced for 6 days following the treatment and are now starting to wane a little, so we will see her weekly for a few weeks and then taper the frequency. 

I love working with kids.  If we get them early, we can improve their whole lives.  I love helping older folks too, but later in life pathologies can be much more entrenched and difficult to remedy.

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  2. I am thrilled while reading your approach to this child and her mother! I changed my son's pediatrician around his 18 months visit, but I am still not satisfied with the approach that I am exposed to at every visit. My son will have his 2 years old visit in mid February. We don't have any urgent health concerns right now but I would love to have the help of an integrative medicine practice for our basic needs, do you offer such a service in your practice or can you recommend an integrative medicine family practice for our basic needs as a family? Thank you! Nazli

  3. I do treat children in my practice, but I do not also practice Western medicine. I would be happy to join the medical team that you utilize, but if you are looking for one practitioner that can do both Easten and Western medicine, I recommend Dr. David Miller. His info is found at