Inflammation Causes, and How To Use Diet To Improve Health

Inflammation Causes, and How To Use Diet To Improve Health

 Written by: Karen Moreland L.Ac., Generations Acupuncture LLC

Many medical conditions involve some kind of inflammation in the body. Some examples include: pain, sciatica, asthma, allergies, fibromyalgia, arthritis, eczema, headaches, depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, emotional disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, irritable bowel, and many others. If you have had any of these problems you know how your quality of life can begin to decrease quickly, and you start to feel like nothing works and you have nowhere to turn.

Where does all of this inflammation come from? One of the biggest contributors is your diet. Everything you put into your body plays a role in how healthy you feel. A healthy digestive system can go a long way in reducing inflammation and improving symptoms. Many studies have been done on the relationship between the gut and the immune system. Studies have shown 70% of the immune system resides in the gut. If the gut is inflamed due to a poor diet, the immune system can become hyperactive and cause things like autoimmune problems, emotional disorders, and allergies.

To begin to heal, several things are important to include. First you need to decrease inflammation quickly. There are many different natural treatments that can be done to decrease inflammation. Acupuncture works very well. Depending on what’s wrong, laser therapy, massages, ion footbaths, Epsom salts baths, western or Chinese herbal treatment, cupping, and many other therapies also work well.

Often inflammation has been building up in your body for so long that it will take some time to bring it back down to a level where your symptoms will decrease. The time it takes depends on how long the inflammation has been there, and how deep it is in the body. For most people inflammation has been building up their entire lives. Symptoms appear when the body is in a weaker state and cannot deal with the inflammation, like in the very young, or very old, or after a traumatic event, disease, or many years of high stress. This is often why children with asthma see it go away when they get older, and then come back many years later.

Next, changes in your every day life can go a long way in helping the treatment you are getting work faster. Diet changes are extremely important. If you drink alcohol, smoke, use drugs, or chew tobacco, it’s a good time to stop. When the time is right incorporate physical therapy, exercise, Yoga, Tai-Qi, Qi-Gong, Pilates, or other forms of physical movement. These help circulate good stuff into the tissues and move inflammation out.

After inflammation in the body has been decreased to the point where the symptoms are gone, it is an important time. You need to keep diet changes going, so the inflammation does not build up again, and your symptoms come back. At this point you may notice your symptoms return for a short period if you slip up on your diet, or go out drinking one night.

Guidelines For A Healthy Diet

Listed here are some general diet changes that would go a long way in improving your health. (This is a general recommendation for most people; if you suspect you have a food sensitivity or allergy, don’t eat that food.)

  • Remove as much sugar, and artificial sweeteners as possible. If you must use a sweetener, use stevia.
    • Small amounts of honey and dark chocolate are ok. Consuming local honey that has not been too processed, is best for people with allergies and will help with nasal symptoms.
  • Remove white breads and pastas.
    • Instead replace them with whole grain breads and pastas.
    • If you eat potatoes always eat the skins too, or switch to sweat potatoes. The skins include fiber that will help stabilize your blood sugar.
  • Remove alcohol and soda (soda water without sodium added is ok to drink)
  • Remove high fructose corn syrup. It goes by many names: corn syrup, natural sweetener, etc. so be careful. It’s also in many things, so check your labels.
  • Remove artificial dye. This is especially important for kids.
  • Remove foods that are highly processed or have lots of preservatives.
  • Wash all veggies and fruits, even if it has been prewashed.
  • Remove fried foods
  • Drink more water. In general men need about 3 liters per day (12 cups), women need about 2.5 liters per day (10 cups), and women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need 3 to 3.5 liters per day (12-14 cups).
  • Include more fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds (unless you are allergic), and legumes. Veggies should be about 50% of the diet, fruits should be 9%, nuts and seeds 4%, and legumes 9%.
  • Keep red meat in your diet, but eat it in moderation. Protein should be 17% of the diet normally. It should be higher for kids, or someone doing a lot of exercise. Pregnant women need 80-90 grams of protein per day.
  • Remove trans fats. These are in hydrogenated oils like margarine, canola, vegetable, corn, and peanut oil.
  • Eat plenty of healthy fats like butter, coconut oil, ghee, macadamia nut oil, sesame oil, avocado, salmon, and olive oil. These help a lot to decrease inflammation.
  • Add in hot tea. Green tea, black tea, herbal tea, etc. Green tea helps to stimulate your metabolism. These also contain anti-oxidants.
  • Reduce dairy or remove it, especially dairy that is served cold like milk or ice cream.
    • Dairy creates phlegm in the body, and increases mucous in the sinuses and lungs; or can create other problems like cloudy thinking.
  • Reduce ice cold drinks.
    • Drink beverages at room temperature or warm. If you must have cold drinks have them slightly chilled. If your digestion is at all weakened this is very important. When you put cold food or drink in your body, then your body has to put more energy into it to warm it up so it can be processed. This further weakens your digestion.
  • If your digestion is weak, reduce raw or uncooked foods like sushi and salads. This is for the same reason mentioned above.
  • Start taking a pro-biotic supplement every day. Get one with 6 different strains of beneficial bacteria or more.
  • Eat organic when you can.


Written by: Karen Moreland L.Ac., Generations Acupuncture LLC


Pitchford, Paul, Eating with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books 2002.

Schmalzriedt, Jake, DOM, General Dietary and Nutritional Guidelines. Herbal Medicine Press 2015.

Winter: The Yin Time of Year

Generations Acupuncture, Colorado Springs acupunctureWhen some eastern countries think of the different seasons of the year they use yin and yang to describe their characteristics. Winter is the season of the most yin; meaning it is more cold, more dark, and everything is more consolidated. They also assign different acupuncture meridians to the different seasons. They made these assignments based on their observations of the seasons and how the body reacts to them. The meridian of winter is the kidney meridian. The kidney meridian is named this because; it does connect with the kidney organ. In oriental medicine the kidney meridian is in charge of the function of the kidneys themselves, but it also governs the function of the ears, the structure of the bones, reproduction, and the vital energy of the body.

Some eastern countries believe in eating and doing activities that are appropriate for the season. This way a person can be healthier, because they are in harmony with their environment.

During this time of year it is important to get more rest. To eat foods that are warm and cooked. Also to do activities that are more introspective like meditation, journaling, reading, and qi-gong exercises. While energy-conserving activities are important, you do still need to move enough to keep the spine and joints flexible and supple. Tai ji forms or yoga done daily work well.

Things to eat during winter include hearty soups that have bone broth, whole grains, beans, and veggies. Salty and bitter foods are also good as long as you don’t overdo it.

Great choices for salty foods are miso, organic soy sauce, seaweeds, millet, and barley. Great choices for bitter foods include: asparagus, quinoa, turnip, alfalfa, amaranth rye, and oats.

Signs you might have a kidney meridian imbalance include: problems with your knees, low back, and teeth, urinary problems, reproductive problems, premature aging, excess anxiety or fear, poor growth or development in kids, hearing problems, and premature graying or loss of hair. During the winter you may find your problems increase. Acupuncture and herbs can help you rebalance the kidney meridian and regain your health.

Dealing With An Injury?

Dealing With An Injury?

Written by: Karen Moreland L.Ac. Generations Acupuncture LLC

Knee Injury, Colorado Springs AcupunctureDuring this time of year everyone is getting out and enjoying the outdoors. If you injure yourself somehow while playing sports, climbing, running, or cycling keep several things in mind.

First, to help you learn about the way injuries work, there are four stages of tissue damage. The First stage is called the Acute Stage. It lasts 0-3 days after an injury has occurred and includes inflammation, swelling, and bruising at the injury site. The second stage is called the Sub-acute Stage; it lasts 4-14 days after an injury. During this time there is less inflammation and pain, but more stiffness as the muscles contract to immobilize the injury. Also, adhesions may form in the muscles, called Trigger Points. The third stage of healing is called the Healing Stage. This begins about 14 days after an injury, although more severe injuries may take 6-8 weeks to get to this stage. During this time pain, stiffness, and bruising reduce, and function is better. With some injuries exercise can be resumed slowly now. The fourth stage is the chronic stage and starts at 3-4 months after an injury. Not all injuries reach this stage, but they can if there was improper treatment of the injury, not enough rest, not enough movement, constitutional weakness already present in the body, older age, improper nutrition, and excessive application of cold and compression. This stage includes overstretched ligaments, adhesions in the muscles, scaring, impaired circulation, and nodules or grinding in joints. If this stage is not treated properly it can lead to more severe problems.

Western medical doctors usually recommend a treatment protocol called RICE (Rest, Ice Compression, Elevation) for injuries. This is now beginning to change. Too much ice, compression, and elevation, after the first 3 days of an injury, are often counterproductive to healing. I often see people using too much ice or compression for too long, or going back to activity too soon and re-injuring themselves and making it worse. These people end up spending many months or years getting back on their feet.

In Oriental medicine the goal for the Acute Stage is to reduce swelling and stimulate circulation with acupuncture, cupping, bleeding techniques, herbal plasters, very light movement, and ice applied for no more than 15 minutes at a time. During the Sub-Acute Stage the goal is to improve circulation and move swelling out so the body can bring healing nutrients in. Treatment includes acupuncture, cupping, tui na (Chinese medical massage), gentle movement (but avoid anything vigorous), compresses, soaks, moxibustion (a heat therapy), and herbal formulas. At this time ice is counterproductive to healing, unless you have a prior medical condition, like Gout, that brings lots of chronic heat and swelling to injuries. During the Healing Stage there is still some potential for re-injury so it is important to resume exercise very slowly. If your injury is more severe (including injuries to tendons, bones and/or ligaments) it will be longer before you can start to slowly resume exercise. If you resume exercise too soon you will re-injure the area and have to start over again with healing. In Oriental medicine the goal during the Healing Stage is the same as the Sub-Acute Stage and treatment continues. It may also be the time to start to apply strengthening exercises, and to include tonic herbal formulas to help promote sinew and bone repair.

Cupping, just like what was recently seen in the Olympic Games, is very effective in treating sports injuries. Cupping pulls the lactic acid and other toxins in the deeper tissues (like muscle) to the surface of the body where circulation is better. This allows the body to remove the toxins easier and faster. It also pulls blood and nutrients into the area. This improves and speeds up healing time for people and athletes after workouts or injury.

If your injury has reached the chronic stage and beyond, it is best to stop using ice and compression and come for regular Oriental medical treatments right away. We want to help improve healing and circulation, this will help prevent development more serious conditions like Compartmental Syndrome, which can be very painful and scary.

Depending on the severity of your injury you may need more serious medical intervention like diagnostic imaging and possibly surgery. In that case coming in for regular Oriental medical treatments will still help you to speed up healing and get back on your feet. The results of using Oriental medicine for healing injuries after surgery can be profound.

For at home treatment, until you can get in to see your licensed acupuncturist, I recommend using the RICE treatment for only the first 2-3 days after an injury occurs. This protocol is to keep too much swelling from moving to the injury, but after the acute stage of an injury your body will not be swelling as much anymore. After 48-72 hours you want to improve circulation to the area so the body can bring resources in for healing. To improve circulation you use heat, Epsom salt soaks, gentle massage, warming herbal rubs, and gentle movement. Be careful not to go back out and start exercising again too soon. If you do you can re-injure the area and greatly increase the time needed for healing.

This information is not intended to over-ride the recommendations of your doctor. If you have been injured please go and see your doctor first.

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Written by: Karen Moreland L.Ac. Generations Acupuncture LLC

Allergies, Asthma, and Chinese Medicine

Allergies, Asthma, and Chinese Medicine

Written by: Karen Moreland L.Ac., Generations Acupuncture LLC

Allergies, Asthma, Chinese Medicine

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With pollen and smoke in the air, many people are having trouble with allergies right now. Allergy symptoms include: sneezing, asthma, runny nose, post nasal drip, stuffy nose, red eyes, itchy and watery eyes, scratchy throat, and possibly headaches. Allergies happen when your immune system is over-reacting to irritants in the environment. 80% of your immune system is in your digestive system. Often poor diet or problems with digestion  can contribute to allergy symptoms. If there is inflammation in the gut, your immune system will be on hyper alert status.

Since there is no way you can control what is in the air outside, the best way to help your allergy symptoms is to decrease inflammation in your body and change how your immune system is reacting to the outside world. Regular acupuncture treatment is excellent at reducing inflammation, resetting your immune system, and helping with symptoms. Chinese herbs can also help to reduce symptoms and address the root cause of the problem. A completed course of treatment will often keep allergy symptoms away for at least a year or more. Kids suffering from allergies can also benefit greatly from acupuncture and herbs. A Japanese needle free technique called Shoni-shin is used for them; along with herbal tinctures easy to give, and that taste good. Until you are able to get in for treatment, here are some other things you can do:

  • Take all sugar, alcohol, fried foods, spicy foods, and dairy out of your diet. These foods are very good at triggering allergic response in the body and producing phlegm. This is not something you want if you are trying to reduce allergy symptoms.
  • Get plenty of sleep. You body restores and rebuilds itself during sleep, including your immune system.
  • Try to reduce stress. Stress is a major contributor to allergies. Some suggestions to help include: yoga, meditation, tai chi, and qi gong exercises.
  • Do moderate exercise every day. Strive for a heart rate 50% higher than your resting heart rate, sustained for 30 to 60 minutes. So if your resting heart rate is 80 beats per minute your target heart rate would be 120 beats.
  • Drink plenty of water. You should be drinking 1/2 to 1 once of water per pound of body weight. The water should be room temperature or warm and not ice cold. If you drink cold water all the time your body has to put the energy it has for digestion into warming up the water. If you are having trouble with digestion and allergies this is a bad idea.
  • Take vitamin C. It is a good antioxidant that will help with allergy symptoms (Ester C is a form of vitamin C that is pH balanced and better absorbed in your body) take 4000 to 6000 mg/day.
  • Eat foods like: scallions, onions, local honey, pineapple, kiwi, and green tea (which is not only good for allergies, but also for your metabolism).
  • Take a probiotic every day. Choose one that has several different strains of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillis.
  • Chrysanthemum tea with a little fresh ginger added can help with itchy, red, and burning eyes due to allergies. It can also help your head feel less stuffy.
  • Use acupressure:
    • Take the tip of your tongue and press against the roof of your mouth while at the same time pressing the spot right between your eyebrows with your finger. Hold this for a few minutes and it will help your nose clear.
    • Press along your eyebrow. Start at the center of your forehead and move outward to the edge. Hold the inner most point, the middle point, and the outer point the longest. Do this several times to clear the upper sinuses.
    • Massage your head. Press with your fingertips all along your scalp moving from the forehead to the back of the head.
    • Massage and press all along at the base of your skull where it meets your neck.
    • Massage and press the area of skin between your thumb and first finger. This will help any congestion to drain out of the nose and face.
    • For a sore throat massage along the radial edge of your thumb from your wrist to the nail.
  • Get an air purifier for your bedroom and let it run at night while you sleep.

Allergies can be tough to deal with, but there are natural options to help. Don’t forget to make an appointment with your acupuncturist!

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Written by Karen Moreland L.Ac., Generations Acupuncture LLC

Helpful Insomnia Ideas


Helpful Insomnia Ideas

Written by: Karen Moreland L.AcGenerations Acupuncture LLC

Acupuncture For Insomnia, Colorado Springs AcupunctureRight now it’s spring. With daylight hours increasing and everyone becoming more active, it’s a good time to remember good habits for sleep. So many people are having trouble with insomnia. One in 3 Americans suffer from some form of insomnia. There are 80 different sleep disorders identified in the medical world. I get asked all the time if acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help. Acupuncture resets the nervous system on a deep level and herbs help restore balance to internal organ function and hormones. Herbs combined with acupuncture reset the body’s internal clock to be tired at night and awake during the day. Many people find acupuncture with herbs very helpful for insomnia. They find it works much better than medications, without the side effects. Until you can get in to see an acupuncturist there are some helpful insomnia ideas, tips, and tricks you can easily do at home that might help.

  • Start your day with a good breakfast. A good breakfast triggers cortisol levels to increase in the morning, and helps to regulate cortisol throughout the day causing it to drop at night. This nighttime drop is what promotes restful sleep.
  • For breakfast you need to have protein and warm water within ½ an hour upon waking. Try warm water with fresh lemon, this will stimulate the adrenal glands. Once you start this routine it takes about 30 consecutive days to regulate your cortisol level.
  • Do some meditation in the morning for 5 minutes or more. It helps to bring awareness into the body.
  • Stop eating or drinking anything with caffeine by noon. The half-life of caffeine in the body is 6 hours, so it takes 6 hours for its effects to be decreased by half. Some people have a defective gene that makes them very sensitive to caffeine. These people will need to give it up completely. Consume no more than 2 cups of coffee a day, or switch to green tea. Green tea contains more antioxidants and is more supportive of metabolism than coffee.
  • Limit naps in the afternoon to ½ an hour or less. Keep them between 12:00 and 3:00 PM.
  • Exercise before 5 or 6 PM and don’t overdo it. Moderate exercise helps with insomnia. Vigorous exercise can create it. If you have been overdoing it, try walking and/or a yin yoga practice for 1-2 months to help get your cortisol levels regulated again. Don’t do hot yoga too close to bed time.
  • Don’t have that alcoholic beverage late at night. Alcohol has a rebound effect. It may help you fall asleep, but then it causes you to wake about 3-4 hours after consumption. It also causes restless sleep.
  • Remove all devices like phones, pads, TVs, etc. from the bedroom. Cover any bright digital clocks with a cloth. Clean up your room. Clutter creates stagnation and can make sleep more difficult.
  • One hour before sleep put all electronics away, no TV either. Blue light from devices makes the brain think it is still daytime.
  • When it is time for sleep drop the room temperature to 60-68 degrees. Then, warm your hands and feet. Maybe take a shower or bath, but keep the water temperature cooler, not too hot. Try adding essential oils. Helpful ones are: Lavender, Marjoram, Chamomile, Nutmeg, Benzoin, Clary-Sage, Vetiver, Hops, and Valerian. A good blend would be: 3 drops of Clary-sage, 2 drops of Vetiver, 1 drop of Valerian, and 2 drops of Lavender. Add 3 drops of this blend to a bath, or to 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and rub into your hands and feet.
  • Get a journal and give yourself 15 minutes of worry time right before bed. Write down everything on your mind. Then, write solutions you can think of and put it away. You can worry about that stuff tomorrow.
  • Get up in the morning at the same time each day. Go to bed when you are sleepy.
  • For some with seasonal insomnia. A specific spectrum light may help. Sit under it in the morning.
  • If you do wake up in the middle of the night and cannot go back to sleep. Rather than allowing anxiety or fear to take over, get up and go to a different room. Meditate or read a book with a blanket over you. Then try to go back to bed after about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Ambien is only approved by the FDA for short-term use, about 12 weeks. It’s not meant to be taken long term. After awhile it can cause insomnia instead of help with it. There are also many other medications that can interfere with sleep, check with your doctor or pharmacist about which ones.
  • Melatonin supplements help some people, but for most Melatonin works better for jet lag than insomnia.
  • Valerian and Passion Flower are helpful for insomnia. Magnesium and B vitamins can also be helpful if your levels are low. Check with a Naturopathic Doctor (ND) for doses that are safe.

Remember it’s not about how many hours you sleep, it’s about how rested you feel in the morning. Little improvements mean a lot. Don’t get discouraged, it may take some time to get your sleep regulated. Multiple solutions are available to you.

If you liked this article and found it helpful, please share.

Written by: Karen Moreland L.Ac. Generations Acupuncture LLC


  • Damiana Corca DOM, Sleep Specialist.
  • Murray, Michael ND; Pizzorno, Joseph ND “Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine Revised 2nd” Three Rivers Press. New York, NY. 1998. Pp. 602-608.
  • Worwood, Valerie Ann. “The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy.” New World Library. Novato, CA. 1991. Pp. 285.

Tips for Managing Constipation in Kids

Suggestions for Managing Your Child’s Constipation.


Written by: Karen Moreland L.Ac. Generations Acupuncture LLCConstipation, kids, Chronic

Chronic constipation in kids can be a debilitating and limiting illness for a child and their family. It is really difficult as a parent to know what to do. My intention for writing this article is to give suggestions to help you when you are dealing with a young child with chronic constipation.

In no way is this advice intended to override the advice of your doctor or other medical professional. If your child is experiencing severe bloating, urging for long periods of time without producing stool, having severe abdominal pain or cramping, vomiting with the constipation, or having bleeding from the rectum, stop reading this article and call your doctor right away.


  • Take your child to the doctor. Constipation could be a sign of a more serious problem. If left untreated, chronic constipation can cause many serious health problems later on.
  • Take your child to an acupuncturist who is also trained in Chinese herbs. Acupuncture and herbal medicine is often very helpful with kids who have constipation.
  • Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids. Dehydration is a major cause of constipation, but it is not something people first think about.
  • Remove all or almost all dairy from your child’s diet. Dairy has been shown to cause constipation, especially in young kids who have underdeveloped digestive systems. Sometimes one meal containing dairy such as mac and cheese or a glass of milk can be enough to cause severe constipation for many days.
  • Increase your child’s fiber intake. It is difficult to get kids to eat their fruits and vegetables sometimes, especially if you have a picky toddler. One way you can increase their fiber is with fiber gummy candy. They make many different brands for kids and you can find them at the grocery store. Kids often love them and they can be an easy way to increase fiber. Another option is to add a powdered fiber like Benefiber to your child’s juice drink. Other options include helping them to eat more fruits and veggies, especially bananas, pears, apples (with the skins), and grapes. Kids need at least 6-8 grams of fiber per day.
  • Give your child pear, pineapple, prune, and/or aloe juice. Make sure the juice is not from concentrate and is organic. The aloe juice that you give should be the kind made from the inner filet of the aloe leaf and not the whole leaf aloe juice. The whole leaf kind is too harsh for kids. Aloe juice doesn’t taste very good by itself, but you can mix it with one of the other juices.
  • Be wary of soy, almond, cashew, and any other kind of nut milk. Nut milks cause constipation in many people. A good substitute for milk that will not cause constipation is coconut milk.
  • Add oils to your child’s diet. Flax oil is a good one for constipation, and Barleans brand makes a good one that is strawberry flavored. You can find it in a health food grocery store like Wholefoods, Vitamin Cottage, or Sprouts. Start with 1 teaspoon a day and then you can increase it if you need to.
  • Give your child abdominal massage once per day. See future blogs about how to do this.
  • Give your child a bath. Sometimes, getting a warm bath will help some kids have a bowel movement about 30 minutes to 1 hour later.
  • Increase your child’s exercise. Even getting them to play on the playground or run around the yard for 15 minutes can help.
  • Give your child a probiotic. I recommend a brand that contains at least several different strains of bacteria, including Acidophilis strains and Bifiobacterium strains.
  • Use caution with Mirilax. If your doctor prescribes Mirilax for your child’s constipation, make sure you are taking your child back for regular follow up visits. Mirilax was not designed for kids to be on long term without a doctor’s supervision. If your child has been on a high dose for a long time without supervision, it could be causing damage to your child’s digestive system. Work with your doctor to get your child managed with as low a dose of Mirilax, for as short a time as possible.
  • Use caution with Magnesium. Be careful of using over the counter Magnesium to soften stools long term. If your child is overdosed with Magnesium it could cause serious complications to their health. If you would like to use more natural supplements like Magnesium to manage constipation, go and visit a Naturopathic Doctor (ND). They have the most knowledge about supplements and the appropriate doses.
  • Use caution with giving too many enemas too close together. If too many enemas are given, they can very quickly cause dehydration and severe electrolyte depletion in young kids. If one enema does not produce a stool, call your doctor. To be safe, it is best to let medical professionals administer enemas.
  • Glycerin liquid suppositories can be used. If a stool is not produced in 5-10 minutes check with your doctor before you administer any more.
  • Use caution with stimulant laxatives. Be careful with giving stimulant laxatives long term, like Senna leaf. They work great in the short term, but giving them consistently long term can cause intestinal damage.
  • Use acupressure. You can do some acupressure at home that may help with constipation. Points to try are: SJ 5 and 6, located on the top of the forearm about 1-1.5 inches back from the wrist. Also: ST 36, 37, 38, located on the lower leg about 1/3 inch lateral to the shin bone, 2-7 inches below the knee. LI4 located on the web of skin between the thumb and the first finger of each hand. LI 10, located on the forearm on a line connecting the tip of the index finger to the lateral side of the elbow about 1-2 inches from the elbow. Massage each of these points for a couple minutes, starting closer to the body and moving out to the hands and feet. Two other places to massage are around the belly button and down the lower back and sacrum.
  • Give a vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D has been shown to be important in the development and health of the digestive system in growing kids.
  • Consider that your child may have a food sensitivity. Unfortunately due to your child’s developing digestive and immune systems it is difficult to do a test for a food sensitivity until they are older. A Naturopathic doctor, starting at 5 years old, can do a blood test for this. If your child is still having problems at this point you may need to remove these foods completely from their diet. The biggest culprits are eggs, dairy, gluten, wheat, nuts, and citrus fruit.
  • Try Homeopathy. Many Naturopathic Doctors and some Chinese Medical practitioners are trained in homeopathy. These remedies are often effective, very safe for kids, and they work quickly.
  • Follow Chinese Medicine dietary guidelines. In Chinese medicine we recommend you do not give any food with artificial dye, refined sugar, pesticides, preservatives, artificial sweeteners, or foods that are highly processed. Do not introduce dairy produced by cows until your child is older (2-3 years old). Try to offer your child organic foods, I know it can be expensive, but do the best you can. Give them food that has been cooked and is not raw. If foods are eaten without being cooked first, the body has to put more energy into them to digest them. This can be more difficult on a person with weak digestion.
  • Try to breast feed as long as possible. Kids who have been breast fed tend to have better digestion and stronger immune systems. Try to breast feed until your child is at least 1 year old.
  • Keep in mind that many children with chronic constipation will have trouble with it long term. In some cases it could be years, or their whole life. They may have a relapse if there are sudden changes in the household, a new stress of some kind, or diet changes. You may need to go back to the doctor and give laxatives for a little while again to get it back under control.
  • Be patient with your child, especially if they are experiencing fear and trying to hold it. If you lose your patience, you will make it worse. This is really tough on them; they need your understanding and love.


This can be difficult for the entire family. If you need help don’t hesitate to reach out and ask. All medical professionals are here to help.


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For more information on what Chinese Medicine can do for kids,

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Written by:

Karen Moreland L.Ac.

Generations Acupuncture LLC



Welcome to Generations Acupuncture

We are a board certified (NCCAOM) clinic located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

At Generations Acupuncture we work with families helping each member to feel happy and healthy, to celebrate the family bond at its best. We offer safe and gentle treatments for everyone in your family in a comfortable and friendly healing environment. We will do everything we can to help you find a healthy balance and maintain your health. You can expect a holistic approach to your health and a friendly smile. We don’t just treat the disease; we treat the whole person, body, mind, and spirit.