Be Like a Farmer and Add This to Your Pediatric Acupuncture Treatments
If you’re beginning to work with kids and you’re not feeling the confidence you’d like to feel about your treatments – it may be due to a lack of trust. I don’t mean trust between you and the patient. I mean a trust in your abilities, trust that the body can heal itself and a trust to bring those to factors together. Over the last year I’ve had a chance to talk to lots of pediatric acupuncturists and this issue is quite common. If you feel a lack of trust that your treatment is enough or that your treatment plan is adequate you are not alone. Many people feel that way, especially in the beginning. Looking back at when you were learning to treat adults in school did you feel self-assured and confident right away? I know I didn’t! Like me, you may have wondered if you made the right diagnosis, picked the right points or got De Qi. Fortunately, back then you had your clinic supervisors and teachers to reassure you that you were on the right track. After seeing enough patients get better under your care you began to instinctively trust that your treatments were enough and that you’d make the right decisions to help your patient get better.
Trust is Key!
When you’re starting out in pediatrics you may feel a lack of confidence or even intimidated by fussy kids or doubtful parents. It’s very similar to when you first started out as an acupuncturist except this time you may not have a teacher or mentor behind the scenes advising and reassuring you. Parents who don’t understand acupuncture and question your treatment may compound this feeling of uncertainty.
Ummm… Is This Enough?
I’ll never forget the first pediatric non-needle treatment I delivered to a 3-year-old girl with chronic pneumonia. I massaged her and used other non-needle techniques, but the treatment lasted only about 7 – 10 minutes. I thought, “Is this really enough to do anything?” As if reading my mind, I clearly remember her mother asking me “So… this is enough to help her pneumonia?” I felt at a crossroads – I could indulge the doubts or I could trust what my mentors taught me. I had to believe that chances were good I could heal her with such a short and simple treatment. I knew my teachers believed in me and I used that to cast out the doubts. I reassured the mother that it was enough and that she had to trust her child’s body to heal itself, but that it would take some time.
It's Like Planting Seeds
Trust can be like planting seeds (witness my attempt in the picture above). When a farmer plants a seed he knows that with the right care chances are most of the seeds will germinate. He takes daily action to nurture what he’s planted by watering it and making sure it’s getting enough sun. It may be days or even weeks before the first signs of life begin to appear. Does he get impatient when he doesn’t see sprouts after one day and dig up the soil to see what’s going on? Or does he stop watering the soil even though there aren’t any sprouts yet? No, of course not! He trusts that nature will unfold as it’s supposed to and that his seeds will sprout. He waits and soon the first sign of life springs forth!
I Believe in You!
I invite you to trust your medicine and yourself as you treat your pediatric patients. You’ve seen it help your adult patients so you know it works. Now you need to trust that it can work on kids even with shorter treatments. You may not have a mentor close by, but you do have me in your inbox from time to time! And I believe in you! I really do! If I can learn to work confidently with kids so can you! I know it’s stating the obvious but kids and adults are NOT the same. Less can be more when it comes to kids. They have so much yang energy that it really doesn’t take much to shift their Qi and restore balance. Chances are you can help the child in front of you. And if you’re in doubt I hope you can hear me cheering you on and saying “you can do it!”