Natural Approaches To Anxiety In Children

By Trudi Rumball, Registered Acupuncturist 

I remember being a kid. Fun memories of playing with the children in my neighborhood, going to Girl Guides and taking piano lessons. I wasn’t in competitive sports or was I overly academic, but I still enjoyed school for the most part. I also remember Junior High and High School, with the intense pressure to make friends with the “in crowd”, make the cheer leading squad, the rugby team, and to just be accepted. Those are the more difficult memories of school. I recall crying in my room and feeling like I wasn’t good enough, thin enough, and popular enough. Often feeling sick before I had to go to school, hiding in the bathroom to avoid seeing certain people. Looking back, I’m sure I had a form of anxiety that hadn’t yet been diagnosed. Life is seemingly so tough when you’re trying to find your place in this world, and this was much before social media even existed! Now as a mother myself (of a 6 & 8 year old), I see how affected my kids already are by pressures in our society.

The prevalence of DIAGNOSED anxiety disorders among adolescents is 31.9%. This is heartbreaking; our children are suffering so much. In my practice, I see an alarming number of children and adolescents whose parents are bringing them in for acupuncture treatments, to try to alleviate some of the symptoms associated with anxiety. I have treated kids as young as six years old that are struggling with anxiety. Acupuncture/acupressure points for pediatric clients are so effective. Most children are open and receptive (even when coming in with anxiety) to the new tools I can share with them, and therefore have amazing results.

Recently I have discovered (and been trained in) a modality call Access Bars. This is a hands-on, light touch modality that focuses on 32 points on the head. By touching these points during the treatment, you activate “the bars” of energy that can help reprogram negative thought processes and patterns. By treating clients who come in with anxiety, through a combination of acupressure, Access Bars, and craniosacral therapy (CST), I have seen huge shifts, especially with pediatric clients.

We need to protect and support our kids through the tough process of growth, social situations, pressure to succeed and achieve their goals. Introducing natural therapies to our youth gives them tools to cope, and is an alternative/addition to pharmaceuticals and western medicine. A combination of an Eastern approach, hands-on bodywork, dietary suggestions and coping tools to take home (learning acupressure points/crystal therapies/aromatherapy) have been very effective in my practice.

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