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Treating a child for constipation


#1

I am a fully trained, but only recently graduated/ licensed acupuncturist. I have now been asked by a friend to treat her little girl who's only two years old for severe constipation. She's been treated by western doctors ( hospital) but they cannot do any more for her than to describe more laxatives for her. Horrible at such a young age! Ofcourse I am anxious to help this family but I do hesitate since we did nog get any training in school on treating children. Nor are there any experienced acupuncturists nearby. Now what to do... Should I keep my hands off her or try and start carefully with some massaging for example. (Ofcouse I am now studying the books on pediatrics and browsing articles from the internet. But there's not so much to be found... ( strange?)

kind regards, Eline


#2

Honestly I wouldn&#39t over think it very much, children respond very favorably to acupuncture with minimal treatment. Just diagnose and treat using the regular diagnostic procedures and you should be fine. Children often respond much better than adults.

The key, as always, is to figure out the underlying cause(s) for the constipation and this will vary considerably. Some of the common patterns are on our acupuncture for constipation page. As the child has already seen many doctors you can probably rule out the more rare causes such as anatomical issues. If there is excessive dairy consumption this should probably be limited and I would consider removing any medications they are currently trying if there have been no results - particularly those for any gastro issues as they can cause constipation.

More than likely some minor abdominal needling along with points such as LI 10, ST 36/37, etc. followed by some light tuina in the lower abdomen to improve circulation and possibly in the lower back around the large intestine huatuo L4, L5 area... possibly with some dietary changes and they will be fine. Some of the commonly used points are listed at the bottom of our constipation treatment section.


#3

Thank you for your reassurance!

Eline


#4

On the pragmatic level, is the child drinking plenty of water? What is her diet like? Do you know how to test substances, foods, etc with kinesiology? Perhaps there is a food sensitivity involved.

There are a number of self administered techniques that can be shared with the child, and that she might enjoy participating in herself. This simple qigong exercise was taught by a Qigong master who was in China during the cultural revolution. It&#39s worth a try:

With hands outstretched, palms facing down, thumbs facing inward, twist the wrists rapidly until palms are up and thumbs face out. Gently return them to the start position, and again flick them out, turning at the wrists. (For Montezuma&#39s revenge, reverse the emphasis, flicking the thumbs in instead of out).

You can test to see if the ileocoecal and Houston valves are working rhythmically using kinesiology. Placiea palm over first the right side of the abdomen inside the pelvic bone, and then the left side, and check an outstretched arm for strength. This takes some practice as it is not a test of muscle strength but of energy flow. It won&#39t hurt to do the corretion in any case. Oneself, one starts in a stance with knees bent slightly, which allows a deeper massage. Starting at the corners of the pubic bone where it meets the pelvic bone, massage up from pubic bone to waist, repeating 3 times. Then trace down with the thumb along the path of the pelvic bone from the waist to the pubic bone. This can be repeated daily, or morning and evening, to reset the rhymic opening and closing of these valves.

Massage the Large Intestine neurolymphatics: either side of the base of the spine, and down the outside of the upper legs. They will probably be tender, especially the outside of the thighs, but the more pressure she can stand, the better off she&#39ll be. Also massage LI 4.

Try flushing the Large Intestine Meridian - be tracing it backwards once, and then forwards three times - on each side.

Remember too that Large Intestine is about letting go, not merely on the physical level but also as a metaphor. Further, there are reflex points to all the organs and glands in the body, all along the wall of the intestine. Does she complain of pain or tenderness, and if so where is it located? That could give a clue as to where the problem actually lies. Information about the location of the various reflexes located in the large intestine is part of Chi Nei Tsang, as taught by Mantak Chia.


#5

Thank you all for your kind advice! Big help!

i just read in the Julian Scott book ( Acupuncture in the treatment of children) that M-UE-9 should do the trick ( in all cases of constipation) in children under 4 years old of age....

Did I misread or misunderstood?? Anyone experienced this in practice?


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