Despite its thousands of years of history as a proven healing modality, parents who have never tried acupuncture themselves (and even some of those who have tried it) might balk at the idea of having acupuncture performed on their children. In reality, pediatric acupuncture can prove safe, comfortable, and highly effective treatment.
If you wonder whether your child can benefit from acupuncture, you should understand some important basic aspects of this ancient, all-natural form of health and wellness care. Consider the following four points regarding acupuncture for children.
1. Acupuncture Can Treat Common Pediatric Ailments
In addition to the basic health complaints that can afflict anyone at any age, children frequently struggle with specific age-related ailments. For instance, smaller ear canals may lend themselves to ear infections, especially in public environments such as nursery schools.
Acupuncture has demonstrated an ability to soothe many common childhood health problems. It can treat pediatric bedwetting, constipation, and ear infections.
Acupuncture can also help kids with vision problems caused by lazy eye (amblyopia). One study showed that three months of acupuncture therapy, paired with the use of a corrective eye patch, improved amblyopia more effectively than the use of an eye patch alone.
2. Acupuncture for Children Involves a Gentle Approach
Although acupuncture employs the same principles regardless of the patient’s age range, acupuncturists adjust their approach when it comes to treating children, especially children who display a fear of needles. An experienced, caring pediatric acupuncturist will take pains to put young patients at ease and make friends with them.
Acupuncturists also use specific needling techniques when working with children. For instance, even though standard acupuncture needles rarely cause discomfort, pediatric acupuncturists generally use a Japanese method called Shonishin. In Shonishin, small, specialized tapping and scratching tools replace needles.
When pediatric acupuncturists do use needles, they may use fewer needles than adults would receive. In these cases, a typical course of pediatric acupuncture might call for just a few needles at first, with the acupuncturist gradually bringing more needles into play as young patients get more comfortable with acupuncture.
3. Acupuncture Can Complement Other Pediatric Treatments
Acupuncture counts as one tool among many in the world of Chinese Medicine. For example, pediatric acupuncturists will usually perform a traditional diagnostic evaluation (which includes inspection of the tongue) before administering acupuncture or other forms of treatment.
In addition to acupuncture, your child may benefit from other ancient healing techniques embraced by an integrative, whole-body approach to healing. Examples include herbal medicine, moxibustion, cupping, acupressure (which uses finger pressure instead of needles), and dietary changes.
4. Acupuncture for Kids Can Yield Results Quickly and Easily
Kids tend to respond to acupuncture treatments quickly and easily. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, young patients benefit from the manipulation of acupuncture points on the face, abdomen, and extremities. The fact that kids don’t have decades of accumulated health issues to overcome may also work in their favor.
Acupuncture & Holistic Health Associates can administer acupuncture and other aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine to children as well as adults, thanks to our caring approach and use of gentle Japanese techniques. Contact our office today for more information.