What do the Holistic Baby Acupressure System workshops consist of?
The workshops are divided into four components. First, there is an explanation of general Chinese Medicine theory as it applies to pediatric health and wellness. Then there is hands-on instruction in the location and use of the 12 acupressure points using a plastic baby model and the individual workshop participants. This will be followed by a detailed explanation of how to apply the system to improve sleep using 5 different protocols which incorporate the 12 points. Finally, we will end with an explanation of how to apply the same 12 points for the alleviation of the 17 most common childhood illnesses. The duration of the class is approximately 90 minutes. Each workshop participant receives a copy of the Holistic Baby Acupressure System manual (which is the basis for the book that will eventually be published) and four weeks of online support as they put the method into practice.
Can I bring my baby/toddler to the workshop?
Sure! While it is not necessary to have your little one with you at the workshop to learn the point locations, they are certainly welcome to attend regardless of whether it is a scheduling issue or a personal preference to have them there. You will leave the class with a comprehensive manual complete with illustrations of all point locations so any details that you might miss in class as you attend to your child can be learned later.
Can I take the class while I am pregnant?
Absolutely! You do not need to have a child to practice locating the 12 points that comprise the Holistic Baby Acupressure System. You can practice finding them on yourself, your partner, your family and your friends. They are located in exactly the same place on everyone because Chinese point location is proportional and not based on inches/centimeters. So it is great to prepare yourself during your pregnancy by learning this method and then put it to use later after your baby is born. My only word of advice would be to not use the system for the purpose of sleep regulation until your baby is at least 3 months old to allow for greater neurological development to take place. Prior to that time, however, you could use the points for pediatric health conditions though.
Can the Holistic Baby Acupressure System be used for older children?
Yes! The ages who have had success with the system range from 4 months old to 5 years old, but there is no reason to believe that older children would not benefit from the method.
Are the points difficult to locate?
No! The twelve points are easy to locate and there is ample time in each workshop to practice point location. There are three points that require proportional measurement to locate, and an easy system is taught in the class to do just that.
Who teaches the Holistic Baby Acupressure System workshops?
All workshops are taught either by Jennifer Taveras, the creator of the Holistic Baby Acupressure System, or by a licensed acupuncturist whom she has authorized to teach the method.
You offer four weeks of online support upon completion of the workshop. What is that?
For four weeks after taking the workshop, we will be available via email to answer any questions you have as you put the system into practice in your home. This will allow us the opportunity to provide additional guidance, advice and encouragement in your use of the Holistic Baby Acupressure System. We are committed to everyone’s successful use of the method, and this individualized assistance will help maximize your experience and results.
Will the Holistic Baby Acupressure System solve my child’s sleep problems for good?
You may have to repeat the protocol from time to time. Babies will still wake up on occasion for a variety of reasons such as illnesses, teething pain and when they are at the threshold of major developmental milestones, such as sitting, crawling, and walking. Other factors such as travel, holidays, birth of siblings and the starting of school/daycare can also disturb your child’s sleep routine and pattern. There will also be sleep set-backs as your child enters new developmental phases, especially those characterized by separation anxiety. There are two periods in which separation anxiety is most present: the first occurs in the second half of the baby’s first year (it can vary from about 6 months to 11months) and the second is in the second year (it can vary from about 14 months to 21 months). Separation anxiety can profoundly impact a child’s ability to sleep independently, and sleep issues can manifest during these periods of development. There is no way to skip over these difficult, but neurologically necessary, stages of childhood development, but there are protocols within the Holistic Baby Acupressure System that can be helpful to calm your baby’s nerves and improve sleep. It is not a failure of the system if you need to repeat it periodically to address the new stage your child has entered. The Holistic Baby Acupressure System will support your child through each stage of their childhood journey.
What are other benefits of learning the Holistic Baby Acupressure System?
The system can be used for a multitude of pediatric health conditions. In a perfect world you’d have a pediatric acupuncturist on call, available for house calls at any hour of the day. But since that isn’t the case, what you’ll take away from this system are 12 acupressure points that you can use for many common childhood illnesses, whenever and wherever you need them. I’ve taken the 12 points that are used for sleep optimization and have configured them into different combinations to help treat 17 common childhood illnesses. Children, especially babies, get sick quickly and oftentimes in the middle of the night. So what most of us do is call the pediatrician who is on-call, describe the situation, and they’ll either recommend to go to the hospital or wait until the morning and bring the child in for an office visit. In the second scenario, they’ll often suggest things that you could do at home in the interim, like for example for the croup, they would suggest sitting with your baby in the steamy bathroom to help them breathe or for a fever to give the baby a tepid bath. Well once you know the Holistic Baby Acupressure System’s 12 points you will have another tool at your disposal. You will learn point combinations that can help alleviate your child’s distress until you can get in to see the doctor or that may make that morning trip to the pediatrician’s office not even necessary. The 12 points are easy to learn and simple to apply and you always have them with you, no matter where you are or what time it is. If your child starts screaming with teething pain at 1am at your mother-in-law’s house in another state, you’ll know what points to stimulate to help relieve that pain. The solution will be at the tip of your fingers. Just locate the point and press. Simple, but very effective! And you don’t have to understand why it works in order for it to work.
Do the Holistic Baby Acupressure System's sleep protocols replace other sleep training methods?
Well, first of all the Holistic Baby Acupressure System's sleep protocols are not a sleep training method. It is physiological support of the sleeping process using acupressure points in a systemized manner. The system doesn’t discount or even seek to replace all of the wonderful sleep support that is offered by such notable books such as the “No Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley and the “Baby Sleep Book” by William Sears. I agree that there are many beneficial behaviors that help to facilitate sleep maturity. These include the use of gentle bedtime routines, the gradual elimination of sleep associations that foster frequent night wakings, the recognition of your child’s “sleepy signs” before attempting to put them to bed, the ability to soothe your child to sleep in a variety of ways (patting, rocking, while being worn in a carrier, etc…), and environmental changes such as the use of black-out blinds and white noise machines. I recognize that each family has a unique “family culture” that they observe and parenting philosophies that they follow. Whether your child sleeps in your room (either in a bassinet, in a co-sleeper or in your same bed) or in a separate room, either alone or with a sibling, the Holistic Baby Acupressure System can work. In terms of the application and success of the method, families on all sides of the parenting fence have had good results using the system. It can work in concert with behavioral modification methods and improve their effectiveness.
What is the basis for the Holistic Baby Acupressure System?
The Holistic Baby Acupressure System is comprised of 12 acupressure points which correspond to the 12 main meridians, or channels, that run through the body. In a 24-hour period, the energy of the body travels through these 12 meridians, and for a two-hour period each meridian is dominant. This is what is referred to as the Chinese Clock. During each two-hour period there is one point on the meridian which is most active. This point is called the Horary Point. These are the points that, when stimulated in sequence, help to adjust the body's circadian rhythms.
I thought that in Chinese Medicine every patient was treated according to their own signs and symptoms. How can there be a one-size-fits-all point protocol?
Chinese Medicine is most effective when point and herb prescriptions are individually matched to the patient using tongue and pulse diagnosis as well as a thorough analysis of all symptoms and bodily systems. The Holistic Baby Acupressure System is a recommendation of general points to a large audience and therefore will not work for everyone, but use of it has shown that is works for many children. The intention in promoting this system is to give parents an opportunity to utilize the benefits of Chinese Medicine in their own homes to improve sleep or to help common childhood illnesses outside of the boundaries of a trip to their pediatric acupuncturist’s office. Through the use of this system, and through the recognition of the value that Chinese Medicine has in their child’s wellness, it is our hope that more parents will seek to have a pediatric acupuncturist as part of their child’s medical support system and utilize them when conditions fall outside the bounds of what is recommended in the Holistic Baby Acupressure System. It should be noted that we would never make any general recommendations for Chinese herbs for pediatric or adult patients. Herbal prescriptions should always be customized to the individual. It is our experience as both acupuncturists and as parents that acupressure points will cause no harm, even in the event that they have no effect. Acupressure is much more forgiving than herbal medicine, whereas an incorrect herbal prescription can sometimes exacerbate or worsen medical conditions.