Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Reflexology and Earache in Children

The earache is back—as a topic for suggested guidelines from doctor’s organizations. A recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article presents virtually the same information as a WSJ article published in 2004: no more antibiotics for children with earache. The recent article, however, modifies the organizations’ stand to suggest antibiotics to treat ear ache in children under the age of 2 and those who are very ill. At issue is the widespread use of antibiotics and its long term impact on children. Doctors know the statistics: 80% of ear infections in children will go away on their own in a few days contrasted with 90% when antibiotics are used. But what’s a doctor to do when face-to-face with a concerned parent and an ill child? Many times the answer is: prescribe antibiotics.

While no known research explores the topic of reflexology’s impact on earache, anecdotal accounts note the effectiveness of reflexology to help children recover. Reflexology can (possibly) help on many fronts. In addition to aiding concerned parents and ill children, medical costs could be impacted. Earache is, after all, one of the leading reasons for doctors visits for children under the age of 5. Seventy-five percent of children under five will have an ear ache or recurring ear aches.

Newspaper accounts note reflexology’s effectiveness:
• Heather, age five, had been plagued by constant ear infections. Her treatments included: removal of tonsils and adenoids, tube put in her ears, hospitalization and medication. Her mother found relief for her through reflexology treatment. “'It was unbelievable,” Mrs. Ridenour said, “I would not have believed it had I not been there and seen it. I honestly believe that is what cleared it up.”
• Little Alexander had failed a hearing test at the age of 8 months. Tests revealed a blockage of the eustachian tubes and concerns were raised about problems that could result in speech development. After three weeks of work by a reflexologist, Alexander’s cold had not returned and he would turn his head at the sound of a whisper.
• Alistair faced a second round of adenoid and ear operations due to “glue ear,” the production of too much fluid in the middle ear that can not drain away because the tube that normally drains it away has become blocked, often caused by repeated middle ear infections. After a reflexology session, Alistair said his ears felt better and his parents noticed improvement after his third visit.

Such stories remind us of moms we have known and their ionclusion of reflexology to up-keep their family’s health. One mother has her reflexology book marked for easy convenice to apply techniques tailored to each family member. If you have such a story, write us and share with others.
(Mathews,  Anna Wilde, “When the Best RX is No Rx,” Wall Street Journal,  February, 16, 2010, p. D1 and “Groups to Urge No Antibiotics for Most Earaches in Children,” Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2004, p. D3)


Kevin Kunz


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