Our acupuncture journey started on November 22, 2016. At 5 minutes to 11 we pulled up to beautiful white house with a cherry blossom tree in the front and a white dog barking at us in the window. As I unbuckled Koa out of her carseat she flopped into my arms with weakness. Koa-Rae had just crossed her second year of life and she was anything but lively. She seemed helpless. Somedays, it was like she was physically in the room but wasn’t fully living. There was no engagement, no motivation, no light about her. At this point she looked the sickest she’s ever looked and I was running out of options.
It wasn’t antibiotics she needed, she wasn’t ill. It was that spark. That spark I knew she had deep inside her that was missing. She needed something else for help. She needed some kind of rekindling. My baby needed healing.
It was then I got introduced to Heiwa Acunpuncture Clinic by a very close friend of mine. I had my own doubts with acupuncture just because I knew nothing about it. There would’ve been no way I would have ever thought about approaching anything holistic, if it wasn’t for a friend educating me about the benefits. So here I am trying to do the same for who ever is reading this.
It was a late night, Kyle was away for football and I was six months pregnant with Knixon. I had just put my Rae of Sunshine to sleep in her bed when I had decided to send a message to Heiwa Clinic on Facebook.
Her name was Lyndsey Hori-Johnson and I could quickly tell that she had a passion to help. We confirmed the first appointment and I could tell she was eager to meet Koa-Rae and start her treatments.
As Koa flopped into my arms, we walked towards the side of the house where we saw Lyndsey smiling towards us at the sliding glass door of her office. She sat us down and asked me what was going on. We discussed Koa:
– Medical history – her squint eye, her eczema, her hyper mobility
– Diet – eats everything and anything, loved yogurt, she didn’t drink any milk since breastmilk, and a bit of cow’s milk just only in her porridge, she loved her fruit especially bananas, pears and oranges. She loved her cream cheese, peanut butter, and hummus sandwiches and pasta. She did eat eggs and veggies here and there. She ate, and ate, and ate with no pause button. As her parents we thought she had an amazing appetite.
– Immunisations – she had all her immunisations up to date
– Sleep patterns – woke up every night at 3am and stayed awake until about 5am. She had two naps throughout the day for about 1-1.30 hours each.
I also voiced my own motherly concerns of Koa-Rae:
- She was two and didn’t speak or make any type of sound at all, unless she was crying, and even her cry sounded weak.
- She only crawled, didn’t walk, or even care to climb up on the sides of the sofa.
- There was no type of interaction, eye contact or engagement with anyone else than me or her father.
- When she became ill, she became really ill and it took a long time to recover
- She seemed too weak to cry or get angry or scream
As Lyndsey sat there and listened to all my concerns she calmly said, “Right let’s move her qi and drain her phlegm.” If you could only imagine what my face looked like. Surely she was speaking a different language? I had no clue what she meant, but she just went right ahead and started to insert her needles into Koa.
Acupuncture. What even is it? According to the Heiwa Clinic:
Chinese medicine principles have been developed and refined for over 3000 years. Chinese medicine calls vital energy Qi (said like chee). One of the key concepts in Chinese medicine is the theory of Qi. Qi is understood to be distributed throughout the body in a network of channels (meridians) akin to the network of blood vessels. These channels are linked to organs. Different channels and organs may be deficient or in excess in relation to how much Qi flows through them. These imbalances cause signs and symptoms. Each individual has his or her own set of imbalances, and these vary from day to day.
Acupuncture uses needles to manipulate the flow of energy or blood, to relieve pain or for therapeutic purposes. Fine needles are inserted into specific points to regulate the flow of Qi in channels around the body to improve physical health and general well-being. In recent years medical scientists have discovered myofascial pathways that follow the channels. The concept of Qi itself may overlap with developing knowledge of how cells in the body communicate. The body id treated as a whole in Chinese Medicine.
While modern science is just starting to discover a more expansive view of acupuncture, there has long been cultural recognition for the approach. Modern medicine focuses the attention on the symptom primarily in the physical body and treats the signs which are present. Chinese medicine focuses on the whole body and looks for the root cause of the symptom.
As Koa was squirming in my arms, she pricked the needles in for a few seconds and then took them out. Koa was crying, drooling, and her face was covered in green snot. First treatment done. See ya next week.
Lyndsey’s diagnostic of Koa:
- Grey pale face
- Puffy limbs
- rough patches of skin
- Vacant eyes
- Thick Nasal discharge
- Placid child
- Thick ear wax
- Lingering cough
- Phlegm in stool, can be foul smelling (glistening stool)
- Unable to walk
Koa’s treatments started weekly with the main focus of removing the excessive phlegm from her channels and body. (read Cause and Effect for more info on excessive phlegm). Lyndsey also spoke to us about altering her diet if we wanted to see quicker results. She insisted on keeping her away from dairy; one of the main causes of phlegm and inflammation of eczema. She then went ahead and also told us to try and stay away from those bananas, oranges, and possibly gluten if we can. With the reason, that these types of food can also assist the phlegm build up in her tiny little body. Keep in mind, these types of food aren’t at all bad for you, but in Koa-Rae’s case they were slowing down her immune system even more so, at the time of her being really ill.
Making these types of changes when Koa was just getting settled with really good eating habits wasn’t easy. Koa-Rae ate and enjoyed most of these foods, but if I wanted my baby girl to get better it was my responsibility to make these changes. I mean what would be the worse that could happen? That she would miss these foods? That I would have to get creative with snacks and meals? There were so many other things she could eat. I was determined to do my part to help her healing process. So not only did I keep these foods out her diet, but I was motivated to keep them out of our diet as well. If we didn’t have these types of food in our cupboards we wouldn’t be tempted to give them to her out of a convenience. Therefore, not only we were already anti-animal in our fridge, but now we became a dairy free and gluten free house as well.
We started our acupuncture journey at the end of November and it was now New Year’s Eve coming into 2017. It was the day we had always hoped for but never saw coming. It was a little bit passed her bedtime and I was only a month away from becoming a mother of two. It was the day Koa stood up in the corner part of our sofa and took her very first steps on her own. I was overjoyed that I did not even know how to even react. My baby had finally found her feet. I remember sitting there while she kept crawling to the corner sofa then pulling herself up and walking towards me, laughing the whole way. We did it! Koa-Rae, you and I did it together.
After two years of asking for some kind of support and help from her paediatrician (NHS) and receiving so much as ‘your child has a duplicated chromosome and global delay she will walk on her own terms’ to only receiving five acupuncture treatments and a little bit of advice on a diet, Koa-Rae found strength in her legs. Some can call it a coincidence. Some can say she had hypermobilty. But as her mom I can say, Koa-Rae was slowly finding that light within her again and there was no stopping her now.
Acupuncture was the start of our holistic ways. Lyndsey had helped us open the door to a whole new way of looking at life. I sit here now, nearly 2 years later thinking about what Koa would be like without our encounter with Lyndsey and without acupuncture. To this day I am still convinced it was vaccines that have hindered her (read Cause and Effect ). I compare it to a lottery, most are not effected by it, then there might be a handful of reprecussions, and then that one, that one who lives that unexplainable life changing event that only a few will understand.
I knew there was something inside of Koa fighting to shine through. She is now the most healthiest looking Koa she has ever been, with her smile lighting up every room she walks into. As her mother, I thought it was my responsibility to help her be the best she can be. I brought her into this world, I want the best for her and I will do anything it takes. However, I was over here thinking that she was the one who needed a little guidance but at that time I was naive to the idea that it was Koa who was guiding me.
Sign, Squeal, Mumble,
The Bennett Babes