I love passing on heartening news about the results of simple five element treatments. And this latest anecdote, from the practice of a friend of mine, encouraged me to think a little more about our approach to treating children.
An 11-year old girl suffering from severe migraine came for
treatment. The practitioner felt that
her element was Fire, and this is the first treatment she was given:
AE drain (great deal of AE on Lung, Heart Protector and
Source points of Outer Fire, VI (TH) 4 and V (HP) 7
The migraines stopped completely the day after treatment,
and have not recurred since. She will be
given one more treatment in a few weeks’ time (summer seasonal: VI 6 (TH 6) and V 8 (HP 8)), and will come
back for occasional top-up treatment if necessary.
The migraines started after she moved school, leaving many of
her close friends behind. She was also
now being bullied by another child. All
this meant that her Fire element was suddenly placed under a great deal of
stress with which it could not cope.
Hence the migraines and hence, too, the Aggressive Energy.
This made me think about the treatment I have given
children, and why I have always, without exception, found Aggressive Energy to
be there, and often a surprising amount of it for such young children. This then set me thinking about AE in general, and what its presence signifies. So why so much AE in children, when very sick
adults may not have any?
I like to think that this may be because in children the
imbalances are usually still at a fairly superficial stage, and have not had
time to infiltrate deep within the elements.
We were always told that AE was the result of one element under stress
flinging the negative energy which is weakening it across the K’o (Ke) cycle to
its grandchild element in an attempt to avoid harming its own child element. If the element under stress (which does not
need to be the guardian element) has sufficient energy to get rid of negative
energy in this way, it is still strong enough to maintain a good level of
energy. An AE drain may therefore help
to deal with the first attack on the elements, and it may be that it is only
when elements are deeply weakened that more sustained treatment at a deeper
level is required.
When we treat children, we use exactly the same five element
protocols as for adults, but we use less of them and treat far less often. We don’t need to treat children more
frequently than once in two weeks, even at the start of treatment, and then
only for a few treatments, spreading treatments out more quickly than for
adults. We also use less moxa on the
points (though children will be fascinated by moxa if you show a cone being
heated on yourself first to calm them).
We also needle on one side of the body only, to reduce the stress for a
child, except in the case of the AE drain and Entry/Exit blocks.
We also have to get used to needling a struggling
child! I use short needles, and always
hold the needles carefully covered by my hand so that the child doesn’t see
them. It is important to needle quickly,
and not delay things by trying to talk a child through its fear, as you would
with an adult. With the AE drain, if the
child is young enough I ask the parent to take the child on their lap, and hold
the child very firmly as I insert the needles.
The needles often fall out when the child struggles, so have a good
supply to hand.
And pulse-taking in these circumstances is also quite
difficult! So we do our best with
whatever information we have. Obviously,
too, we have to learn about the child not only by observing it ourselves for as
long as we can, but by talking to the parent(s)/guardian. Again, obviously, this should if possible be
done when the child is not present. A
phone call or meeting before the first treatment, in which we ask the
parent/guardian the kind of questions we would ask an adult at the TD
(Traditional Diagnosis) is essential to give us a picture of what is going on
with the child and the family’s approach to this.
What is interesting, though, is that children themselves
respond very quickly to the effects of treatment. Though they may shriek or struggle a bit, the
little child who makes a terrible fuss about the actual needling will often be
the one who rushes into the practice room and greets me with a kiss, as though
it knows I have helped them.
The important thing is always to bear in mind that the reason
why a child needs treatment is, as we know, not simply because of something
physical, but, as with any patient we treat, inevitably has a deeper emotional
cause. All those terrible cortisone
inhalers now lined up on primary school shelves which the young children are
told to take for their asthmas could be thrown away if only people realized the
stress their children’s Metal elements are placed under in this modern
world. When we are asked to treat
children, therefore, we must always look beyond the child first to the
parent(s), and then beyond the parent to the world in which the child lives.
Usually, unfortunately, we are not asked to
treat the parent, although we can clearly see that this is where the trouble
lies. In the case of this young girl, it
seems that her parents may not appreciate how much the change of school and the
bullying is affecting their child, and are not acting to support
the child’s Heart Protector in a way that will help it protect itself from the
bullying. As we know, bullies always
pick on a child which shows weakness, so the stronger her Heart Protector
becomes, the more it will be able to stand up for itself.