Congratulations!  You’ve decided to invest in your child’s health and well-being through the transformative process of pediatric acupressure, acupuncture and Chinese herbs.  I look forward to working with you and your family!

Here is some information that you may find useful to review before your child’s initial pediatrics session.  Please review the checklist below.  Read on to learn more information about each of the instructions listed.  If you have questions, please contact me via email or phone.

 

Preparing for Your Child's First Visit Checklist

□ Fill out paperwork as early as possible. It take 20-30 minutes.
□ If you have young children, bring an engaging project or toy to your first visit.
□ If you have older children, forewarn them that we will be discussing their health and that they are welcome to chime in if they like.
□ Be prepared to discuss your child’s diet and lifestyle. Know ahead of time that you may receive advice or suggestions in this topic.
□ If your children are curious about what the treatment will be like, provide them with the information that is provided in the “Treatment” section (below).
□ Be prepared for the smell of moxibustion. Help your child understand that this is a normal and expected smell in an acupuncturist’s office.

And if you’re interested:

□ Read more about what these treatments are like in these articles:

 

Paperwork:

Please fill out the required online paperwork as soon as possible after booking your appointment.  This includes the:

  • Pediatrics Initial Intake
  • Initial Intake (recommended, but not required)
  • LDA Mandatory Disclosure and Consent to Treat
  • LDA HIPPA Forms
  • LDA Arbitration Agreement
  • Update the Contact information on your Patient Portal Account

All of this takes about 20-30 minutes (possibly 45 minutes if you choose to fill out the Initial Intake form, as mentioned above).

The sooner you’ve filled out this paperwork, the more effective and efficient I can make your first treatment.  I enjoy spending extra time with a patient’s intake paperwork to go through their various Western medical diagnoses.  As I imagine how these symptoms and experiences may have impacted their Eastern medical diagnosis, I can prepare questions for you and your child ahead of time.

In some circumstances, it is challenging to complete paperwork in person when children present as they require our full attention and energy.  Completing paperwork ahead of time ensures a smooth, easy first visit.

You can find all of the information about how to fill out online paperwork in the confirmation email you received when you booked your appointment.  If you have any trouble with our Patient Portal or the process of completing forms, please contact me via email or phone (contact information provided below).

 

Initial Consultation

If you have young children, please bring an engaging activity or toy for them to play with while we discuss your intake paperwork during the first session.  The more engaging the project or activity, the more easily we can discuss and address your concerns around your child’s health.  I’ve had kids bring paints with a coloring book, movies, blocks, etc.

Older children often sit patiently as we chat and contribute to the conversation.  You may want to provide them with a heads up that we are going to be discussing their health.  During our discussion, your child may provide input at any time.  This is not a discussion about them in front of them, but rather, a team effort to identify what is causing some of their discomfort, frustration or illness.

One of the important topics to discuss in this consultation is your child’s diet and lifestyle.  Dietary and Lifestyle suggestions are one of the 5 Tenants of Traditional East Asian Medicine (T.E.A.M).  I am trained and board certified in providing dietary and lifestyle suggestions to families who are open to them.  This can be a confusing and controversial topic to navigate.  If there are suggestions I can make to ensure that future flare ups or illness do not occur, I will offer them, whether or not you choose to take them.

  • Not the Goal: It is not my goal to criticize your dietary choices, your ability to find the time to cook healthy meals or your knowledge of what healthy meals are comprised of.  I also do not aim to offer you advice that doesn’t fit in your schedule, your budget or your energy level.
  • The Goal: The goal of this discussion is to make sure that the diet and lifestyle your child is engaged in will help to prevent further illness and injury because preventative medicine is key to decreasing healthcare costs and eliminating illness.  My goal is to help busy families navigate the challenges of providing healthy meals to their kids – to be a sounding board for ideas about how to overcome these obstacles.

 

Treatment

Since you have not yet witnessed a pediatrics treatment, you can explain to your child the following information about their shonishin/acupuncture treatment:

  • You are not 100% sure what the treatment will look like because you have not seen a treatment like this one. (Feel free to add in any information about your own experiences with acupuncture, despite the fact that adult treatments look different than pediatric treatments.)
  • If the child does not like the treatment they do not have to return. (I have never had a patient decide not to return, but there’s a first for everything!  There is no use forcing a patient to receive a treatment they are uncomfortable with – that would not end well!)
  • The acupuncturist will not do anything that child doesn’t like.
    • In the first session, I demonstrate each technique before I perform it on the child.  I check in with the child before every treatment modality and acquire their permission to use that technique. I also let the children try doing the shonishin techniques on themselves, on me and on their parents if they like.  When a child is uncomfortable with a technique, I don’t use it.  There are a lot of treatment modalities for us to choose from (i.e. shonishin, acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, etc.).  Children inevitably love some of them and sometimes do not like others.  The session can be effective no matter what treatment style I am using.  Let your kids know that they are in control of the treatment and that we will work together as a team to address their health concerns.

 

The Smell of Moxibustion

Moxibustion (also known as Artemesia, Mugwort leaf or Moxa) is an herb that is used in Eastern medicine to warm and nourish acupuncture points.  Moxa grows on the bottom of a leaf and has a soft, pliable texture.  The kids I work with often point out that it looks like Kinetic sand!  This plant has been used medicinally for thousands of years and it is still used today in treatment for both kids and adults.

If you notice a strange smell when you enter our office, it may be moxibustion.  Some parents have mentioned that it smells like marijuana, while others think it smells more like incense.  Moxa is an herb, hence the similar odor to other herbs such as patchouli and marijuana.  It does not exhibit hallucinogenic properties, and it is not ingested during treatment.  Instead, this herb warms acupuncture points, nourishes the body’s internal organ systems and calms and relaxes the patient.

Please don’t be alarmed upon smelling this distinct scent when you enter.  If your child mentions the smell, I will explain what it is and show it to them.  The smell of moxa is strong on days when we use it a lot and faint or non-existant on other days, so you may or may not notice this upon entering. Typically, children are curious about this fragrance.  Once a parent assures them that it is supposed to smell that way, the child usually has no problem or discomfort upon noticing the smell, including those with a sensitive sense of smell.

 

Questions

What other questions do you have?  I am happy to answer them for you, so please feel free to reach out to me at lightanddarkacupuncture@gmail.com or at 720-441-4382.

 

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