Did you know that acupuncture can help to calm worried children, enabling them to spend more time carefree and relaxed, in the present, and participating regularly in family life?
A few months ago I worked with Christine, a nine year old girl with a pattern of excess worrying. Although her parents were currently going through a divorce she had a long-standing history of worrying about everything from school projects and tests to athletic events, family gatherings, and issues with friends. While she slept pretty well she frequently had butterflies in her stomach and had worried thoughts looping through her head regularly.
I used Chinese pulse diagnosis to determine that her nervous system was off-kilter — highly nervous and stressed all over, with particular emphasis on her digestive system. Christine’s digestive system was not functioning to its full potential and her overall energy was lower than it should have been for her age — both likely due to the excess worrying.
We started with an acupressure massage — a pattern of massaging down the arms, legs, and back to help relax her nervous system. I gently pressed on acupressure points for minutes at a time to restore her digestive energy, provide her with more overall energy, and relieve the anxiety. I followed that up with a specific tui na (Chinese massage) approach on the forehead that is used for calming. I then used small silicone cups over her upper back to relieve tension and to stimulate acupressure points that help to relieve anxiety and worry. Lastly, we placed two hair-thin acupuncture needles in acupuncture points on her upper back that are calming.
When we finished the treatment Christine felt calm and pleasantly sleepy. She was eager to go read a book and relax for the afternoon. I advised her and her mother to continue with these treatments approximately weekly for a month or two so that her body could continue to reset from a worried state to a calm state. In my experience, regular treatments like this make a significant difference in how children experience life, helping to calm repetitive thoughts and ease transitions.