Acupuncture and Children

With every passing year, acupuncture becomes an increasingly accepted practice in our society. Less discussed but just as available is the positive effect of acupuncture on children. Because of our desire to protect children from harm, it’s not even considered in most circles. Kids are taught to tough it out through growing pains or are given pills as a first response. But there’s no need for your child to suffer. When it comes to acupuncture for your children, the risks are low and the gains couldn’t be higher.

The first question is obvious: won’t it hurt? Acupuncture needles are finer than a hair. With their eyes closed, most people can’t tell when the needle is in or out. Beyond that, Pediatric acupuncturists are trained in a special needling technique, where the needle is inserted and immediately taken out so that children or even babies don’t have to sit still for more than a few seconds at a time. There is also acupressure, a non-needle practice for children who are too afraid of needles. Because while all children should enjoy the benefits of acupuncture, no child should be forced to experience needles if they are not yet ready.

The second question is how to know if acupuncture is right for your children. A recent Harvard study conducted by Yuan-Chi Lin, M.D. revealed that children who received acupuncture wellness reported less pain, on average, than before treatment. The children in the study were treated for a range of ailments from headaches to asthma. And for a child going through the pangs of growth, there is nothing better!

Acupuncture As A First Resort

The truth is that even among those who accept the benefits of acupuncture, it remains a last resort and not a first one. For treating children, it should be the other way around. This is especially true for children suspected of disorders like ADHD or anxiety and depression. No parent wants to misdiagnose or overmedicate his or her child. Patients of all ages who receive acupuncture wellness report a shift in emotional health. Even if it doesn’t become the entire solution, acupuncture wellness should be part of it.

One of the challenges of parenthood is that there are no crystal balls. Kids don’t know their body well enough to inform you of their needs, so it’s all prevent defense. But when it comes to your children, there’s no better player on your team than acupuncture!

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