I know that many acupuncturists are reluctant to work with kids. This is understandable since many of us had little if any, training in pediatrics. Or maybe witnessed needles forced on a child – a traumatic experience for everyone.
However, with some extra training, appropriate pediatric techniques, and the right tools, acupuncturists can provide virtually painless treatments. Treatments can be done with ease and comfort. There is a potential to help millions of children with acupuncture, especially in cases where Western medicine hasn’t worked well.
Non-Healing Skin Wound
One of the most dramatic pediatric cases I have managed was an 11-year-old girl with a non-healing skin wound. Six months prior to her first acupuncture visit she developed contact dermatitis after using stage makeup.
This lead to a dry “sandpaper” rash on her right cheek, which didn’t heal and led to a staph infection. Initially, it was treated with topical antibiotic cream and resolved. However, the staph infection returned once she stopped using the cream. She was given oral Keflex and topical antibiotics, but it did not completely heal the wound.
Next, she was given oral Sulfamethoxazole antibiotics concurrently with topical 1% silver sulfadiazine antibiotics. This cured the staph infection but her skin was still pink, raw, sensitive and painful.
By the time she arrived at my office, she had been treated by four different doctors and taken six courses of antibiotics and creams. While the staph infection was gone, none of these treatments had completely resolved her wound.
She was unable to participate in PE because the wound worsened when she was in hot, windy or dry climates, if she got sweaty while playing, or swam in a chlorinated pool. She was also scratching at the itchy wound at night while sleeping, which was hindering the healing process.
My Treatment Plan:
Her treatment plan addressed the symptoms with the herbs and acupuncture. We also made changes to her diet to help heal her gut after repeated use of antibiotics.
Skin Balance from Health Concerns 2 caps 2x/day
Oregano Oil 500 mg 1x/day
Add 1 cup of homemade bone broth daily
Gelatin – in the form of homemade finger jello
Gluten and dairy elimination diet
The Basic Acupuncture Point Protocol:
LU 7, LI 11, SP 10 & g, ST 36 + Turtle Wound (aka surround the dragon) – 4 needles around the wound (see photo).
When working with kids it’s important to choose the right needle, especially on sensitive places like the face, hands, and feet. I prefer the Seirin J-15 ½” dark blue and dark green needles because they’re virtually painless.
Before inserting the needles, I gently but firmly press and rub the point to desensitize it. Then I put the tube on the point and swiftly tap it in.
She had a significant improvement after just one visit. She was initially treated two times per week for 3 weeks, then one time per week for 8 more weeks.
On her fifth visit, she had a relapse. The weather had gotten extremely warm (100° F/37.8°C) and her bedroom had been hot and increased the itchiness of the wound. It was discovered that she was scratching the wound in her sleep.
After putting a thin strip of gauze over the wound nightly, the healing process resumed unimpeded. By her fifteenth visit, the wound was fully healed.
The parents were so grateful to me and to acupuncture for helping heal their daughter. It’s cases like hers that inspire me to continue to work with kids of all ages.