Austin had been having trouble sleeping for the last three months when his mother, a patient of mine, brought him to my clinic. She thought he was having night terrors as he would awake screaming with fear in his eyes.
Austin is 15 months old. I have treated many childrenover the past 25 years and always welcome their sweet energy to my treatment room. It is not uncommon for little ones to have disturbed sleep as they have so much internal and external developmental growth going on.
Babies and young children up to 12 years of age have a tendency to run very hot. Their bodies are ‘yang’ in nature. Their ‘Qi’ work’s very hard to assist in the rapid mental and physical changes within their body. It is not uncommon for a child to spike a very high fever and appear listless, and then perk right up in two or three hours, as illness and discomfort moves quickly through their body.
Rather than using acupuncture needles on babies and small children under six, I will use Tui Na (twee-naa) Massage and Shoni ( sho-nee ) Shin Treatment. (This is a technique of gently tapping and scraping the skin with small metal instruments ) In the treatment of children, working to rectify the ‘Qi’ is very effective in treating illness and discomfort, since the ‘Qi’ is very close to the surface of the body. Tui Na Massage and or Shoni Shin treatment is an excellent way to restore the natural health and distribution of ‘Qi’, blood and oxygen.
The treatments are powerful, yet gentle in nature. They need be continued at home to fully elicit change. I assist parents to learn the massage routine I select for their child so they can apply the treatment in the comfort of their home to help in their child’s healing process.
When children are older than two, I will have them hold the Shoni Shin tools assisting me in their treatment, which they love to be a part of. When I send them home to continue their treatments, we choose everyday household tools for them to assist their parents in treating them, such as buttons, spoons, jar caps or pennies.
Children become very relaxed and will often fall asleep during their therapy, as the circulation of ‘Qi’ is very calming to their nervous systems.
Another important modality I use with children, in addition to herbs and a healthy diet, that works well -- also with animals -- but especially so with babies and adolescents, is Bach flower remedies.
Bach flower remedies are potent solutions of water, brandy (very, very scant amounts to preserve the flower essence), and flower essences. While there is no scientific efficacy found in clinical trials, Bach flowers have been found to work within the “ esoteric level” of each individual. When ingested, they pass on the energetic nature of the chosen flower essence. There are 38 remedies in which to choose from. I use no more than three at a time within each given tincture. Each remedy has a correlating physical, mental and emotional component.
Bach flowers have been a consistent ‘go to’ in my arsenal of natural, gentle methods to help alleviate suffering.
When I work with children older than two, I will teach them the beginning basics of “Belly Breathing”, another important and effective tool for anyone who wishes to begin a meditation practice. Deep breathing calms the central nervous system and helps to connect with ones center in a relaxing, safe consistent way.
**In my book, “Living the EnerQI Connection”, you can find the specific techniques I like to use.
Austin is now sleeping much better. In fact his mother reports that on a recent plane ride, while he was sitting on her lap, he was “ flirting” with an attractive dark haired women sitting next to them. Austin placed his entire leg on her lap. His mother apologized with a laugh; she knew he was waiting for her to give him his Tui Na massage treatment.