Abstract ID: 3848

Primary Topic: Clinical skills-building
Secondary Topic: State of the science/evidence base for integrative modalities

A2 B2 4 KIDS ( Aromatherapy, Acupressure, and Breathing to Balance for Kids)
Melanie Brown, MD, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, United States; Kathleen S Farah, MD, , Minneapolis , MN, United States; Maura Fitzgerald, APRN, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota , Minneapolis , MN, United States

Late Breaker: No


This is an experiential workshop designed for the participants to leave with tools  they can use upon return to their practice and with their own families. The co-presenters have extensive experience in using these skills at Childrens Minnesota, and in populations of various backgrounds in the community.  Evidence based use of aromatherapy will be introduced, with opportunity to try out those we find most useful for common symptoms such as nausea, pain, anxiety and sleep issues.

Acupressure is a child and teen friendly alternative to acupuncture, and  the participant will  gain an understanding of easy to use acupressure points.

How to teach breathing to kids and teens of various ages will be introduced, using fun props. The  importance of these skills to balancing the nervous system will be reviewed.

We look forward to sharing our knowledge and experience with the participants.


Interest in Integrative Medicine is increasing in popularity and significance across the US and globe. Practitioners and families are looking for practical alternatives to pharmaceuticals for their children.

This experiential workshop will focus on three key skills that have been widely and successfully used by the presenters at Children's Minnesota, in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. This workshop will provide evidence based background combined with practical skills.  We have chosen to focus on these three areas to allow ample time for the experience.

Aromatherapy is easy to use, and a great tool for common symptoms such as pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia.

Acupressure is a wonderful self help tool and easily learned by practitioners and parents.

Breathing to relax is the basis of many relaxation skills, and is easily taught to children of many ages and cultures.

The participants will find these skills helpful personally and professionally.


1. Understand the use of aromatherapy in the Pediatric population for common symptoms.

2. Understand the use of acupressure  for common Pediatric symptoms.

3. Understand how  breathing is of use in balancing the nervous system ( stress response)  and learn how to teach to children of all ages.

4. Review the literature supporting the safe use of aromatherapy, acupressure, and diaphragmatic breathing.

Methods/Session Format


   A. Evidence based background on aromatherapy, brief power point and take home handouts (10 mn)

   B. Experiential learning lab - try the essential oils we have found to be most helpful( 20 mn)

2. Acupressure

  A. Evidence based background on Acupressure/ Acupuncture, power point and take home handouts ( 10 mn)

  B. Experiential learning lab- practice identifying and using acupressure points on self and others using visual aids. ( 20 mn)

3. Breathing for Balance

  A. Evidence based background of the autonomic nervous system, stress response and use of breathing to balance this response. (power point 10 mn)

  B. Practice and teach breathing skills  using child friendly props such as bubbles, pinwheels and Hoberman's sphere (20 mn)


Introduction- Why is Integrative Medicine important for children, their care givers and their practitioner?

1. Aromatherapy

  a. Brief history of aromatherapy

  b. Sources of essential oils and methods of application

  c. Selected research and research challenges.

  c. Essential oils and Pediatrics - common essential oils, safety, and management of symptoms such as anxiety, nausea, pain and poor sleep.

2. Acupressure/Acupuncture

   a. Brief background on how acupuncture / acupressure works

   b. Teach acupressure points that are useful for common symptoms, such as headache, pain, nausea ...

   c . Selected research and research challenges

3. Breathing

  a. Review of the autonomic nervous system, stress responses,  and the importance of breath in the body .

  b. Teach several breathing techniques in child friendly ways using props such as bubbles, pinwheel

  c.  Selected research  using breath and breath based skills.


Materials to be Distributed


Aromatherapy samples

Breathing props - pinwheels, bubbles