Paediatric Acupuncture

victor fenech paediatric acupuncture

Children are delicate and incomplete beings and understanding the nature of children is important in relation to Chinese Medicine and to treating children and teenagers with acupuncture.

Some things to consider are:

  • Children have inherently immature digestive systems.
  • Children have an abundance of yang energy for growth and development, and their yin energy being the other half of growth and development is insubstantial.
  • Young children are not able to self-regulate.
  • According to Chinese Medicine the channel system of children is immature, and their qi energy is not free flowing during development.
  • Children’s spirits are highly influenced by their environment.

How children grow

Chinese Medicine understands that children have what is referred to as foetal heat and toxins, hence children experience fevers and skin rashes etc and these are an important part of their development.

The first seven or eight years of life are connected with gathering resources like food, experiences and maternal connections, and the years from eight to puberty are concerned with consolidating these resources. The changes between these cycles of energy and growth are called ‘Jing’ and are key times in children’s lives.

Children have intense phases of growth known as bianhua je zhengzhu in acupuncture meaning ‘transformation and steaming’.

Diagnosing children with Chinese Medicine

When diagnosing children, the practitioner will make the following observations and examinations, and depending on the child’s age may take a detailed case history.

  • Initial observations – whether strong and outward (excess) or weak and internalised (deficient)
  • Body movements – fast or slow
  • Facial colour
  • Skin colour on the body
  • Eyes – are they lacking sparkle?
  • Lips – are they dry or pale?
  • Tongue – body, colour coating etc
  • Observing the child’s back – is it strong or weak?
  • Palpitation of the abdomen for various signs and symptoms
  • Limbs – soft, squishy, puffy
  • Pulse (used more from the age of 3 years)
  • Smelling – odour of stools, urine, or vomit
  • Hearing – loud, quiet, or high pitched
  • Developing rapport with the child

Treating children

There are friendly needle techniques that have been adapted to children of various ages and sizes, and other treatments including:

  • Tapping the skin surface with the needle
  • Paediatric Tui Na (massage) developed from mother’s instinct to stroke her child
  • Using 100 points on the body
  • Teaching parents at home treatments
  • Kneading (Rou Fa) massage with the finger or tip of thumb
  • Tapping (Kou Fa) with tip of finger
  • Straight pushing (Tui Fa) with fingers or thumb
  • Round pushing (Yin Fa) circular motion
  • Pushing apart (Fen Tui Fa) a variant of straight pushing
  • Circular rubbing (Mo Fa) use of palm of hand or fingers in a circular motion on the abdomen
  • Pinching (Nie Fa) lifting and releasing the skin
  • Strong rubbing (Ca Fa) using the palm surface to rub vigorously

Treating adolescents

Treating adolescents and teenagers involves building rapport and using various acupuncture needle techniques and strategies. Herbal formulations can be used for various health issues, for example emotional issues, skin conditions or other physical symptoms.

Treatments are shorter and they are all natural, guiding the body to help itself – no drugs are prescribed.

Paediatric acupuncture on the Central Coast NSW

Experienced acupuncturist, Victor Fenech, offers paediatric acupuncture treatments on the NSW Central Coast. Contact Victor to discuss whether acupuncture may be suitable for your child.