Pediatric Acupuncturist Robin Ray Green joins Vaish Sarathy for this enlightening podcast about how acupuncture helps with:

-chronic inflammatory dysfunciton


-gut health

and more, and this is sometimes possible WITHOUT NEEDLES, through a remarkable technique called Acupatching.


Audio Transcription: 

Hi and welcome. I’m your host Weiss and you are listening to functional nutrition and learning for kids. The only podcast that talks about neuro inflammation and neurodiversity, about presuming competence and precision medicine, about functional nutrition and focused learning strategies. Today, I’m thrilled to be talking about acupuncture with option and needles. Are you excited to? But before that, I have a question for you. If you have been searching for autism supports that work, not fad diets, not the latest and greatest protocol, but well research strategies that actually make an impact on focus mode and regulation. Go to www dot projects was thea.com forward slash autism support I have a freebie for you. Again, that’s projects was the Swa sth Why a.com. Forward slash autism supports and very excited today to introduce the robin Rae green.

Robin is the mother of two boys, a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist and a leading expert in the field of pediatric acupuncture. She’s been treating kids in her private practice for over 15 years, Robin was inspired to work with kids after she helped her son overcome a severe case of eczema that Western medicine was unable to treat. She saw the need for practical and accessible pediatric training and she is the founder of the Center of acupuncture pediatrics. She provides live and online pediatric acupuncture, training and mentoring to 1000s of acupuncturist and holistic practitioners worldwide. She’s also the author of a book released in 2016, which is called heal your child from the inside out the five element way to nurturing healthy happy kids.

She has a popular kids health blog on at Robin Ray green.com. And she also runs a directory to connect parents to pediatric acupuncture specialists at WWW dot kids love acupuncture.com You can reach Robin at acupuncture pediatric start calm. Welcome, Robin, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you so much for having me on your show. I’m really appreciate being here.

I’m just going to jump in right away and ask if you can briefly give us an overview of what childhood conditions acupuncture works for. Absolutely, acupuncture works for a wide variety of conditions. It can work for everything from respiratory issues like an acute cough, a chronic cough, children that are frequently ill. And it seems like every other week, or several times a month, they’re sick. digestive problems like constipation or diarrhea, skin issues like eczema. Things like ADHD, autism, anxiety, depression, any kind of emotional or behavioral disorders all respond really well to acupuncture therapy.

And I absolutely believe you because I’ve had only positive experiences with acupuncture. But one of the things that when I, I’m going to ask you what about the needles question in a bit, but first, in the world of, you know, external and alternative bodywork that we do here, and I’m sorry for lumping acupuncture into this broad category, but I’d like to include acupuncture, something like myofascial release, cranial osteopathy, and so on. Can you give us an idea of you know, how and when acupuncture stands out, and when you would consider that first area of work are non negotiable. Because oftentimes, for example, in my practice, I practice functional nutrition and I know that there’s some level of body balance to be brought.

I’m not always sure when to go for acupuncturist as opposed to when to go for cranial osteopathy or something like that. Right? Well, I think with acupuncture, one of the things that it can do is stimulate the body’s innate healing mechanisms. So a lot of the patients that I worked with in my clinic, they were either reaching a plateau and their other therapies, or whatever Western medicine or nutritional advice they were following just wasn’t taking them all the way. And so they needed more support to help their body move in the direction that that we were trying to go. And because we work on the energetic system of the body, and we look at the body a little bit differently oftentimes, when one thing one medicine like when if Western medicine isn’t able to do it, a lot of times Chinese medicine can come in and work on a level you know, before you are to help the body heal itself. And and begin the healing process or supplement the healing process in comparison to say myofascial therapy or osteopathy.

I think that it’s like acupuncture. And Chinese medicine just plays nice with all the different therapies because of the way that it works with the body and can support all the things that they’re doing. So I really feel like at any point, a child can come in for an acupuncture session, it’s going to benefit everything else that they’re doing. Right. So what So what you’re saying is that if you feel stuck, if something has stopped moving ahead, that would definitely be a consideration, but it could also be a supportive adjunct therapy with everything else that’s going on. Absolutely. And I think you’re also and you already answered partly, the next question I was going to ask, but I want to put it out there anyway. Because the general idea floating around is that acupuncture is used mostly for acute conditions. I was gonna say migraine, so migraines are not necessarily acute, they can be chronic as well.

You know, back pain, short term fatigue, and so on. It’s it’s got the short term wide, which may be very inaccurate, but in my mind, have you seen benefits to pediatric acupuncture with more chronic health conditions 100%. In fact, my sort of subspecialty in pediatrics was asthma and chronic low immunity, both are have acute aspects where if you have an illness or an asthma attack, you’re in an acute phase, but most of the time those types of illnesses are chronic and longer term. And I found that they responded so well, to acupuncture, I had one little boy that he had, every month he was getting sick.

Every month, he was having, you know, several episodes of asthma attacks. And after 12 acupuncture sessions, he was like the healthiest member of the family. He was it really turned his frequent illness and frequent upper respiratory infections and asthma exacerbations around to the point where they were almost non existent. Wow, wonderful. Is there? Is there a frequency that you recommend? Or does it depend on the person? depends on the person? Yeah, how severe the problem is, like, when I would say treat a child with asthma where they’ve been hospitalized several times, they’re going to need to come in probably two to three times a week, in the first couple of weeks to get the body back into balance quicker. But if they are in a state where the parents are just noticing we’re using the medications more often, and we want to want to, you know, stop that and try and get to the root of the problem, they may not need to come in more than once a week to deal with something like that. Okay, that’s, that’s good to know. So you’re saying that somebody that is just needing help with maybe learning or motor focus, and I say just but it’s not really adjust, but if they have emotional or Yeah, or physical regulation issues, and they could still come in for the regular acupuncture sessions, and it would still help them correct. Absolutely.

The, it’s able to work with the body. And the one of the most beautiful things we can do is the homecare techniques that we can teach parents, so that they come in for an acupuncture session, we give the body this catalyst to stimulate healing and balance and then the parents can then pick that up and keep promoting that balance with acupressure and acupuncture and other therapies that they can do at home. So it really supplements the treatment and helps the overall healing trajectory of the child’s program. I think this then is a perfect time to ask the question, What about the needles? How are you even doing pediatric acupuncture? It’s like the number one question, ah, kids meals, like that doesn’t make any sense. Yeah. And my son has a fight or flight response with needles where it’s impossible. There’s no use. I can’t rationalize it to him.

I can’t talk him through it. It just, it just won’t happen. He sees a needle and he’s out of there. So Right. And many kids are like that. The beauty of pediatric acupuncture is, it really depends on how you define acupuncture. Is it the insertion of the hair fine needle? Or is it the stimulation of the acupoint itself. And that’s what I believe is the real definition of acupuncture is stimulating the point. So that it activates the body’s healing mechanisms. So we can do we can do that with a needle and when it there are many, many children that will do pediatric acupuncture because we use the super super teeny tiny hair fine needles. It’s for those practitioners out there is a 46 gauge needle, so really, really tiny. And we use a special tube and we use pressure and we use techniques to to desensitize the point before we insert it. So like if you see me needle a baby like a 12 month old, they’re distracted.

The points been desensitized, so they they have no idea what’s even happening. When kids have that apprehension, right? They’re afraid of the pain. They have a memory or a bad experience with a shot or blood draw and now the thought of needle already gets the To fight or flight, then we just go to a completely non needle techniques. And that’s where we’ll use light therapy, we’ll use cold lasers, we’ll use acupressure, we’ll use magnets, we’ll use massage techniques. So there’s and we use Accu patching. So they’re all different ways that we can stimulate the point that are completely safe, painless, but also just as effective as acupuncture.

I was really excited to read about accurate patches in your website, because that what you said is the case for my son where the the visual of the needle is enough, it doesn’t matter if it hurts, or not just seeing something that looks like a needle, and he’s out of there. So, but accurate patches seem like something that would be a fantastic alternative. So do they. So they’re just patches that you put on those specific points, right, Aggie patching is a really interesting technique, because it’s combining acupoint stimulation with light photo therapy or light therapy, and your body emits infrared light and heat and the patches reflect back very specific wavelengths of light, that one stimulate the acupuncture point in to induce biochemical changes in the body. And that makes it like, a really nice like one to double treatment of the acupuncture points.

We can select the right patch based on what’s happening with the child. So for instance, if we’re talking about something behavioral, where you have, you know, the sympathetic nervous system is in overdrive and the child can’t Rest Digest, relax, we can use, say, an eon patch, which balances and reduces that sympathetic tone, to help them come out of that state so that they can get the rest of their body needs and help their body improve their digestion.

Equally, if a child has low parasympathetic tone, and we need to bring that up, we can use the SB six complete patch to stimulate parasympathetic tone. And therefore we can balance the nervous system using one patch on one point. And it’s I mean, it can literally I’ve seen it stop a tick in its tracks, you know, children, mouse ticking, and we get the right patch, whether you know, one child needed more, you know, to bring down sympathetic tone to turn off their tics and another one needed to improve parasympathetic tone. Right? So we can sort of dial it in based on what is happening with the child, and we use our Chinese medicine diagnosis techniques to figure that out.

Got it. And so you said one patch at one point. So when you’re actually treating something very specific, is that all it is, is it so it that is like the start of the treatment? Yeah. And then we might do stimulate other points with other other therapies, we might stimulate a few points with laser, we might stimulate a few points with acupressure or do some massage or do some auricular therapy where we use points in the ear. Right? And all of those two, depending on what the child needs. That’s, you know, that’s so hopeful for me to hear because this is this is one technique.

I remember I told you when we met last that I’ve been meaning to explore, and I have explored, and I’ve been in and out of offices, because like the needles came out, and then we had to come out to so this is. So this, this brings a lot of hope in. And especially when you said that something like ticks could actually be stopped. And I think you mentioned for your son that you actually visit acupuncture that helped him with eczema, or was it more than that? It was acupuncture was also herbal medicine and nutritional changes.

It was a whole it was a whole program. It wasn’t one thing, and that’s what I find. And I’m sure you find the same thing. children that have more chronic or more severe issues. It’s rarely like a one fix like, Oh, this is the thing you do and magically it’s it’s fixed. It’s typically a part of a larger program. Because we need a team of people working in sync but yeah, exactly. Exactly. So from from and I’m really interested in the acupuncture eczema connection, because recently I’ve been working with a few people that have had benefits from dietary changes to their eczema issues, but that has not been enough. And then I was exploring further means of, you know, what else can we do to support so can you tell us a little bit about what acupuncture does for eczema specifically? Yes. So eczema, of course near and dear to my heart because of what I went through with my son. And really, we heal eczema from the inside out, and it’s really about bringing balance in Chinese medicine.

We have a meridian system which is like the energy pathways in the body that are akin to the circulatory system or the nervous system. And when that those when the energy flowing in your meridian system is out of balance, health issues arise, whether that’s pain, or eczema or whatever it might be. So a lot of the parents that would come to me for eczema, their children had already eliminated gluten and dairy. And they’ve been, you know, they’ve changed their products, they’re washing their clothes in and doing a lot of things like that. But the missing piece was really helping to reduce the inflammation in the in the skin, and to also address the gut. So in, in Chinese medicine, the metal element, which is associated with the lung, and large intestine meridians, or energy pathways, this are akin, they represent our skin. And so a lot of what we’re doing is rebalancing the large intestine, so addressing the gut issues, and also balancing the lungs. So there’s usually an either there’s that overreaction of the immune system to harmful, you know, allergens or harmless allergens, right. And so it’s almost like we have to help reset the body’s reaction to the allergens while also balancing the gut and immune system. And we’re just taking a different approach to doing that, that helps stimulate the body’s own healing mechanisms to clear up the skin and help it heal. Yeah, thank thank you for that explanation.

You did mention that, you know, you mentioned nutritional interventions a couple of times in terms of you know, approaches being multimodal. So I’m guessing that you do find that results are different when people are able to not just do one, not just do acupuncture for anything, but they’re also able to bring in an anti inflammatory diet and lifestyle. Absolutely. But what’s really great about bringing in acupuncture is sometimes getting to that place with your child where they’re on the anti inflammatory diet, or they’re, you’ve gotten them all the way off of the gluten or the dairy or whatever it might be, they might have because of issues or imbalances in their gut, they might be addicted to certain foods, or they might have a very limited diet of what they will eat. And so while we’re fixing that we can work we can have acupuncture can come in and help bring the body back into balance.

You can improve the this, you know, in selective eating, so we can get rid of the pickiness, we can start healing some of the other things that are related to the changes that need to be made. So it’s sort of like by improving their body and their gut through with acupuncture points stimulation, we can improve the other facets of the therapies that they’re already already doing. And so it sort of that that’s where it really changes the trajectory of the healing audit. So how can do you have any advice on how parents can choose a practitioner? I think we can fairly assume that nobody listening to my podcast, none of the kids are going to take in needles, but Well, I think that the first thing you want to look for is someone who actually does specialize in pediatrics. So a general practitioner may have a list of 50 things they treat, and then one of them might be kids.

You want to call them up and find out how much experience they actually have in training with pediatrics, because having trained 1000s, of acupuncturist to work with kids is a completely different skill set. And it’s a completely different mindset when you’re coming into the treatment. So like for adults that have had acupuncture, you probably know you go in you talk, they look at your tone, they take your pulse, and then it’s 30 minutes of laying down a pediatric treatments totally different.

It might start out with like talking to the parents and tongue and poles. But the treatment itself may only take a couple minutes that children are typically not laying down for 30 minutes. That’s not happening until they’re like 12 or above to be great, right? And even then those children may be only having a five or 10 minute treatment. So it’s important to know that they have PD specialized pediatric training and have experience treating kids of the age that your children are so some acupuncturist may be great with teens or children 12 And up that’s a completely different skill set than working with a toddler or a child under the age of 12.

Right until I met you I hadn’t even heard of anybody working with the toddler so that’s that’s exciting. Yeah, there’s so much fun there’s so much fun.I bet so our do these sessions normally have to be in person that has always felt like a no brainer for me but acupuncture but now that you’re bringing in the whole accurate patching scenario can can you have a completely remote session or would you still need to see person in occasionally, no I, you can, you can do them in person and you can do them remotely, especially with the Accu patching. practitioners can assess where the imbalances are and instruct the parents to apply the patches. And since the patches are so easy, it’s like you can patch even over clothing. For kids that are really have sensory issues. It doesn’t even have to go directly on the skin, as long as you’re finding the right point and you’re applying the patches and wearing them the dosage that is needed to get the desired effect.

We can still work remotely. But you know, for some parents in the beginning, it’s nice to start out with that face to face interaction just to see and meet the practitioner and and know that maybe doing the right thing or the right points and so on. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you, Robin. But before we wrap up, could you do you have three pointers for parents three, that could be non negotiables. It could be things you’ve been dying to tell people to just start doing by themselves or anything like that, that you’d like to share.

I would say that number one, the easiest thing to incorporate right away is acupressure because you can do it anywhere. You can do it any time. It’s it’s free. And there’s so much great information out there. As far as points. In fact, if you if they go to Robin Ray green.com, I’ve got my eBook, seven powerful acupressure points for kids with complete instructions on how to do acupressure. And you know, the most common points for this stuff kids have going on. So Acupressure is a great place to start. If you want to use Chinese medicine, I would say that whatever’s going on with your child, they can benefit from pediatric acupuncture, and they can help overall help them you know, help them along their journey help Easy Ease your you know, symptoms and things going on. But most importantly, acupuncture spend a lot of time with their patients. So we’re able to offer a lot of support not only for the child, but for the parents.

It’s emotional support. And sometimes that’s just as important as the actual treatment and things that that the child needs. And for those that really want to take things to the next level. Definitely check out occupy watching I have been blown away by the results that I’ve gotten with this technique and parents can access and help stimulate healing in a similar way as acupuncture using the patches at home without any needles without any pain. So definitely check that out. I think you just said you said the keywords the magic words. So the place to check it out is Robin re green.com. Yes, and they can find out specifically information about Accu patching it Accu patching 360 five.com Awesome. Thank you so much, Robin, thanks for chatting with us today. Thank you so much for having me.

I appreciate being here. That was awesome. Are you excited to try occupa patching because I am. In the meantime, I have a freebie an e book waiting for you at WWW dot projects was there Swa STH ya.com forward slash autism supports if you’re frustrated looking for actually works to help move focus and regulation? If you liked this podcast, please please drop a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. See you next week. Bye.