Needles ease pain for kids with stomach pain

Dr. Arthur de Lorimier placed a firm hand on 9-year-old Moncerrat Torres’ left ankle, looking into her brown eyes as he pushed an acupuncture needle into the top of her foot, just a few inches from her big toe.

Her mother, Maribel Torres, stood in the corner of the room for moral support, but the girl didn’t wince. The long, thin needles used in the traditional Chinese medicine cause discomfort, Torres said, but it’s a small price to pay for relief from the irritable bowel syndrome that once plagued Moncerrat day and night.

De Lorimier, a pediatric gastroenterologist at UC Davis Children’s Hospital, was searching for pressure points on Moncerrat’s body that he hoped would ease the pain in her abdomen. He’s one of the only physicians in his field using acupuncture on children with functional abdominal disorders.

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