Our son hit his head on a slide at a local playground and was suffering from headaches and neck pain that wasn’t going away with children’s pain relievers.
An immediate trip to the primary care physician confirmed it was a concussion and protocol called for rest and a more intense regimen of pain medicine.
For days, he suffered from extensive pain with no end in close sight as calls back to primary care just repeated the original recommendations and specialists that we called had long waits.
Not knowing what else to do, I called Dr. Graves.
I didn’t even know if naturopathic medicine was an option, but we were running out of ideas to relieve his suffering.
Dr. Graves asked how we thought our son would do with acupuncture. He was nine so we had no idea but we (and he) were willing to try.
Surprisingly, our son very much enjoyed the session (it lasted about 5-10 minutes).
By bedtime that night, his pain was completely gone…and it never came back. A CBD capsule supported a good night’s sleep that night and from then on, he was back to his old self.
It made such a lasting impression on him that he recommends acupuncture to everyone (for everything from a cold to a sore muscle!).
Although there are definitely times in which modern western medicine is required to treat children’s health – particularly with acute sickness or pain, naturopathic medicine can be a helpful option for chronic issues and when “routine” just isn’t working.
Following are common questions Dr. Graves receives about children and acupuncture in order for you to consider if this direction is right for your family.
What issues do you frequently treat with naturopathic medicine and/or acupuncture?
A variety such as:
- digestive imbalances (stomach aches, diarrhea, constipation)
- skin irritations and acne
- low immune systems, frequent sickness
- mood and behavioral concerns
- pain and injury
- sleep issues
- hormonal shifts (puberty)
What ages do you treat?
Typically ages eight and older, but it mostly depends on the temperament of the child. For little kids, acupressure can be helpful while older ones may be able to handle acupuncture.
Supplements are also adjusted to the age and child as they can be delivered in oils, capsules, chewable, and swirls. I like to make sure it’s not a fight each day for kids to take supplements but rather something that is easy to get in.
Overall, I find it important for kids to take a quality multi-vitamin, omega 3 fatty acid supplement, and probiotic.
What are common supplements you prescribe for mental health issues?
Depending on the issue, I tailor each recommendation to the child I’m treating.
For anxiety and mood challenges, nutrients to calm the nervous system can do wonders and may include CBD or RelaxMax™ by Xymogen consisting of magnesium, taurine, GABA, and L theanine in powder form.
I also may prescribe dopamine and/or vitamin nutrients for ADHD.
In addition, our children’s art therapist, Tonja Graves, MFA, MPS, offers creative mental health counseling for kids with mood and behavioral challenges.
What do you do for digestive upset?
Kids can have a variety of digestion issues like stomach aches, diarrhea, nausea, and constipation in which I prefer to start by resetting with a clean diet and sometimes taking out certain irritants like dairy, gluten, and soy for a short period of time.
Food sensitivity testing is a helpful tool many times and treatment consists of supplements, acupuncture, and/or acupressure.
How about for sleep and pain?
Not just for adults, CBD can actually be helpful for certain sleep challenges as well as areas of pain. Small capsules, oil tinctures, and creams can make it easy to use as well.
How can a parent tell if a child could benefit from naturopathic medicine?
I always advise scheduling a free 15 minute phone consultation with me in which they can explain the child’s issue and we can discuss what my recommendations for next steps would be and if naturopathic medicine could help.
While nothing is guaranteed, an individualized approach to a child’s health care through the CNMA office can offer supportive, complementary, and/or alternative options to western medicine.
For more information and to schedule a call with Dr. Graves, please call us at (303) 688-6698 or click here to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation.
The CNMA office provides naturopathic care, acupuncture, testing, massage, and holistic counseling to those in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, and the greater Denver metro area. For those outside of these areas, virtual appointments are available.
Please note that the experience above is not a guarantee of future outcomes. Concussions and head injuries should be closely monitored by a child’s pediatrician.