It doesn’t have to be SCARY! 5/5 (40)

Do you treat kids in your office? If you don’t, you really should. A week or so ago, I had an 8-year-old child come into my clinic for constipation. The mother informed me that he is afraid of needles and wanted to know if I could still treat him. Luckily, I had multiple options for treatment–so of course I said YES. As it turned out, the chief complaint was constipation, but he also had ADD. Have you ever had a kid come into your office with ADD? It can be a little bit difficult.

Let’s take a look at this case study.


I wound up using several tools for treatment.

how to treat kids

#1: iPad:

I let him play with my iPad while I did the initial evaluation. Yeah, I know… This isn’t a typical treatment tool but it stopped him from walking from room to room in my clinic, touching needles and asking questions.

#2: AcuGraph:

First, I graphed him. Once I knew what points to treat, we played around with a point locator to find the points that needed to be treated. Of course, I knew where these points were, but the real fun for him was having me find them on his body. After the points were treated with electric stim., I put tacks on each of the points and then added a Band-aid for added security. He went home with the job of touching each spot three different times before morning and then removing the Band-aids when he woke up. He liked taking this responsibility.

This is what his graph looked like:

The points that I treated were the basic treatment protocol listed in AcuGraph along with a few extra body points specific for constipation.

  • Low Large Intestine: LI 11
  • High Spleen: SP 5 is the called for point, but I used SP 8 instead because this is the Xi-cleft point. (Xi-cleft points can also be used to sedate a channel.)
  • High Gallbladder: GB 38
  • High Stomach: ST 45
  • Split Heart: HT 5
  • Split Small Intestine: SI 7
  • Constipation: ST 25, TE 6, Ki 6, and CV 12 (chosen directly from the reference section under treatments for constipation)

#3: Auriculo:

Next, we treated his ears. There is a protocol in the Auriculo 360 program for constipation. He had a lot of fun looking at the 3D ear. I showed him where the points were located and how I could manipulate the 3D ear on the computer to see points deep inside the ear canal. He was quite impressed. In fact, he had questions about old-fashioned acupuncturists and new, modern acupuncturists like me. I told him that if he lived 1000 years ago they would kill animals and make needles out of bones and put them in his ears. He said that he was glad that he knew me.

Then I pulled out the iPad again so that he could see the points on the ear and tell me where to treat. It wasn’t quite as nifty as Auriculo 360, but he liked being in control of his treatment. Next, we used a “a very cool” point detector to find electrically active points in his ear. He was especially impressed that the point detector would make a noise when I found the points for Rectum and Abdomen on his ear.

#4: Special ADD Point

Finally, before he left, I put a seed on the ADD point. Have you heard of this point? It is amazing! It’s actually not called the ADD point, but that is how I was introduced to it. It’s official name is Shen Men (Posterior). It is located on the back of ear opposite the front Shen Men point. When a child (or even an adult) has ADD, this point will have a protruding vein which extends to the point location. His vein was definitely protruding.


He came in for a follow-up visit one week later. This time I didn’t let him play with the iPad because he was only scheduled for a 30 minute visit. His mom whispered in my ear as I began graphing him: “I didn’t notice a big difference in the constipation yet, BUT his behavior was AMAZING. Could you put that “special” point on the back of his ear again?”

His original ADD symptoms were rated as a 7-8/10 for difficult behavior and becoming easily distracted. After treatment the previous week, she said that he was now a 4/10 and holding steady.

This is his second graph.

Notice what a nice change we had in only one week–WITHOUT any needles.

When he came in the second week, he asked about the iPad the moment he walked in the door. I didn’t let him play with it before treatment, yet he sat right down and waited quietly. This, alone, was impressive!

The second treatment proceeded as the first, but without the complication of having him running around my office.

I’m excited to see how this little boy progresses over the next few weeks. How many families do you know who have children with ADD and could benefit from acupuncture treatment? Our opportunities to help these kids are unlimited.

This medicine continues to amaze me. Let’s take the word SCARY out of the vocabulary–whether we are referring to kids being AFRAID of acupuncture needles, or practitioners being AFRAID to have kids with ADD running around their office! With this patient I put the “special” ADD point on his ear at the end of treatment. Next time, I think I’ll put it on first.

I hope that your week is amazing!

Kimberly Thompson, L.Ac.

Acupuncture Research Analyst

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Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac.

Dr. Kimberly Thompson, DACM, L.Ac. is a US licensed acupuncturist in the state of Idaho and certified in the treatment of acupuncture, Oriental medicine and Chinese herbology by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Kimberly wears multiple hats in the acupuncture community. She owns her private clinic, Meridian Family Acupuncture. She has spent the last 10 years working for Miridia Technology as an acupuncture Research Analyst–where she helps plan, develop, and integrate modern diagnostic and treatment tools for the ever-evolving scientific world of acupuncture. Kimberly is a world-renown teacher, blogger, columnist, and mentor in the acupuncture community.

4 Replies to “It doesn’t have to be SCARY!

  1. Thank you Kimberly for this article. Two questions:
    1) How did the boy who was afraid of needles go along with
    being “tacked”?
    2) When you use electro-stim, were you using tonifying and sedating techniques? How do you do that? What current did you use and for how long?

    1. He didn’t have a problem with the tack at all! I have really good results with kids and tacks. They are really tiny and if you didn’t call it a tack, it wouldn’t have any impact whatsoever. Maybe we should just call it a “prickly Bandaid!”

      For the electro-stim, I don’t have a really fancy piece of equipment. I was using the Stimplus Pro and I simply treated him with 10 hz of electricity. I didn’t use a specific tonification or sedation technique, instead I just treated the tonification and sedation points.

      Best regards~


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