Acupuncture for Kids

When western medicine isn’t enough or is just not working at all or needs some extra help, acupuncture can be the go-to pediatric therapy. Numerous studies (see some in Sources & References below) have found it to be safe and efficacious. There are many types of inflammatory conditions affecting our children today that would benefit from acupuncture treatments. Even babies can do acupuncture without being in distress!

Acupuncture is a safe, alternative, non-invasive and effective treatment with few side effects not only for adults but also children as well.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine that has been practiced for centuries. It’s based on the theory that energy, called chi, flows through and around your body along pathways called meridians. Acupuncturists believe that illness occurs when something blocks or causes imbalances in your chi energy. Acupuncture is a way to unblock or influence chi and help it flow back into balance. In other words, it is a great way of getting your electrical system all connected and working again.

Local, regional or global (body-wide) points can be treated to achieve different affects; points can be stimulated and points can be calmed down. The beauty is that multiple symptoms may be treated simultaneously with just a different point selection.

Many people assume acupuncture is just for pain because treatment can help release endorphins which are the body’s natural painkillers. However, acupuncture can help adults and children with many diverse conditions.

Is Acupuncture Painful for My Child?

Acupuncture can also be done without needles in an easy painless treatment which makes this therapy much more attractive to children who are afraid of needles. Pediatric acupuncturists are trained to use very fine needles that are like the size of a strand of hair.

They are also trained in a special needling technique called rapid needling; the needle is inserted and taken out immediately. This way babies, young children and autism spectrum disorder children do not have to sit still for any length of time and can have a virtually painless quick treatment.

What Would a Pediatric Acupuncture Treatment Be Like?

All acupuncture treatments are individualized and tailored to each child’s needs. Acupuncturists might check the child’s pulse to determine what organs need attention. They will also check the following:

  • Physical health
    • Digestion
    • Sleep
    • Energy
    • Immune function
  • Diet
  • Environmental and toxic load
  • Emotional well-being

What Are Possible Protocols?

  • Herbal medicine
  • Pediatric acupuncture
  • Gently inserting needles
  • Rapid Needle Technique
  • Laser stimulation
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Acupressure (gentle massage of acupuncture points)
  • Non-needle techniques
  • Chinese pediatric massage
  • Dietary modifications

What Conditions Can Acupuncture Assist With?

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Sources & References

Bower, W.F., et al. Acupuncture as a treatment for nocturnal enuresis. Auton Neurosci. 2010 Oct 28;157(1-2):63-7.

Jindal, V., et al. Safety and efficacy of acupuncture in children: a review of the evidence. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2008 Jun;30(6):431-42.

Libonate, J., et al. Efficacy of acupuncture for health conditions in children: a review. ScientificWorldJournal. 2008 Jul 13;8:670-82.

Lin, Y.C., et al. Acupuncture for pediatric pain: The trend of evidence-based research. J Tradit Complement Med. 2019 Aug 17;10(4):315-319.

Yang, C., et al. Efficacy and safety of acupuncture in children: an overview of systematic reviews. Pediatr Res. 2015 Aug;78(2):112-9.