May 20, 2015

Why I Chose Acupuncture For My Daughter



Anytime you see your child limping and favoring one leg you’re concerned. As a parent whose child is rarely ever sick and has never injured herself I was immediately concerned that BabyGirl was hobbling when I picked her up at school. Sure she plays at recess and things can happen. Of course something could have happened in PE. But I figured someone would have called me if she injured herself. So why was she limping?

When you ask a 12 year-old to explain what’s hurting and where you may or may not get any actual or helpful information. It’s as if she’s trying to figure out what I’m thinking rather than just telling me what hurts. From the way she was limping I was thinking it was her heel or calf, maybe the shin area. But that was all speculation. It took about 20 minutes, a diagram of the foot, and some pointing to determine, well, not much. It was her foot, her heel, the front of her leg, and the back. Ugh! Really?

OK, so I went all Dr. Mom and used my trusty assistant WebMD and started the RICE method – rest, ice, compression, and elevation – to see if maybe that would help. On and off for two days we cycled through the RICE method and saw some relief. Still, she was limping.

At this point, my friend WebMD is failing me. And freaking me out. It could be nothing or it could be a Posterior Tibial Tendon Disfunction, which sounds terrible and from the pictures is not something easily fixed. Keep in mind, this all is happening about three weeks before her Bat Mitzvah trip to Israel. If you’re following along, I have a tween who can barely walk and we’re leaving for a 3 week trip to the Middle East in just weeks. Now you better understand why I’m freaking out, right? You’d be freaking out too!

After spending hours researching what it could be so I can figure out do we go to the pediatrician, a podiatrist, or an orthopedist, I figured none of them could actually do anything to fix her problem without injecting steroids or putting her in a boot. Neither of which would be the best way to spend a Bat Mitzvah trip to Israel. So I called my naturopath and asked if there would be anything she could do if it was some type of tendonitis. In the mean time we head out to the mall to get BabyGirl some sturdy shoes from The Walking Company because I’d read numerous times that heel and arch support are key to healing foot injuries.

The next day we go in to see the naturopath and find out, luckily, it’s just soft tissue damage and with a few treatments of acupuncture, some massage, and anti-inflamatory supplements BabyGirl should be on the mend. Phew! That’s good news, although the acupuncture part isn’t sitting so well with BabyGirl. After a few minutes and the promise to hold her hand we get started. To say it was like a miracle is telling the truth. Within 24 hours she was walking with almost no pain.

As a parent, you don’t want to see your child in pain. And you’d do anything to make the pain go away. And while I know acupuncture is not something many people consider, for us it was the best possible solution. Not only was it easy to get an appointment, but it didn’t require multiple appointments – and the associated co-pays – just to be told we needed to see someone else or go get an x-ray or MRI. And wait longer. While she’s still in pain.

I’m definitely one who believes in taking control of her health care. I spent too many years taking care of my mom and grandma to just go with the flow. And with such immediate results that acupuncture provides, it’s an easy decision. I believe in integrative medicine and treating the whole body. I also believe that I am the owner of my health care, which is why I like my naturopath. I realize alternative medicine isn’t for everyone. However, I will say that if you’re not getting the results you think you should be getting don’t hesitate to take your health care into your own hands.

As for BabyGirl, while she still does have some tenderness in her leg at times for the most part she’s fully recovered from the soft tissue injury. Does that mean she’s healed for good? Probably not. Then again, I’m sure that would be the same statement after any type of treatment. For now, though, she’s bounding around getting ready for the trip and looking forward to walking around Israel.

Do you use acupuncture? Are you a follower of alternative or integrative medicine? What’s your experience with taking control of your own health?



Kim May 21, 2015 at 6:46 am

Glad this seems to be helping. I’ve never tried acupuncture, though I know some folks who have. I hope you’re all in great shape and have a wonderful and safe bat mitzvah trip!

Laurel Regan May 21, 2015 at 1:14 pm

So glad your daughter’s treatment was successful! I’ve never tried acupuncture myself, but have heard from several friends and family members who have, and they swear by it. It’s definitely on my radar should I ever need to use it. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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