Many people are surprised to learn just how effective acupuncture treatment can be for children. Treatment response is often very quick, needing only a short course of treatment. Treatments are performed in a soothing, calm environment making the experience a pleasant one for both the patient and their family.
Pediatric conditions treated with acupuncture
Pediatric conditions commonly treated with acupuncture include digestive issues, skin rashes and disorders, allergies, ADD/ADHD, failure to thrive, asthma and respiratory disease, common colds/flu, injuries, and a host of others. Treatment also provides important support and tending during puberty and other normal phases of growing up during which we feel vulnerable and unsure of ourselves. Working with children provides them with a deep sense of ease as they cultivate confidence and self-worth in the person they are becoming.
Since acupuncture is a safe, gentle, and natural treatment modality, acupuncture treatment is well advised in most all circumstances and provides supportive therapy alongside your pediatrician’s recommended course of treatment.
Types of Treatment
The same sterile, single-use disposable needles that are used on adults can be used on children. Often times, thinner needles are used with kids to reduce sensation. Depending on the diagnosis, often times very few needles are needed (2-4) in a single session.
Many times, needles are not used at all in treatment; instead, the acupoints are stimulated with gentle pressure (Acupressure), by applying warmth directly to the points (Moxibustion or “Moxa”), or by application of essential oils (Aroma Acupoint Therapy). The moxa is held to the skin with a sticker and slowly produces a pleasant feeling of warmth, which children (and adults!) often find soothing and comforting. The essential oils tend to be a big hit with kids, as they get to pick and choose the ones they like, making treatment a fun and interesting experience for them.
In almost all cases, part of the treatment strategy for treating pediatric conditions will include advice and coaching for parents on how to best facilitate healing conditions for the child. This can include dietary advice, vitamin or supplement suggestions, and lifestyle changes (rest, exercise, specific activities, etc). Holistic healthcare takes the whole picture of a person into account to create the conditions necessary to aid the body in optimizing its natural healing process.