8 Common Questions About Pediatric Acupuncture

1. Can acupuncture help with my child’s health?
In most cases, yes acupuncture and other pediatric techniques can help with
common complaints and conditions. Some conditions/symptoms that
acupuncture may help with are: allergies, acne, asthma, attention issues, bed wetting, constipation, coughs, depression, diabetes, developmental delays, diarrhea, digestive problems, ear infections, eczema, failure to thrive, hyperactivity, headaches, immune health, menstrual issues, obesity, physical injuries, seasonal cold/flu as well as prevention, sleep problems.
Your acupuncturist is trained to identify the “red flags” and will recommend
medical attention if needed.

2. How long is an average pediatric acupuncture treatment?
Initial consultation and treatment takes about 1-1.5 hours to address your child’s health history with the appropriate treatment. The parent and practitioner will discuss the condition of the child and overall health. This includes topics such as sleep, digestion, diet, emotional state, and daily living activities. The practitioner will give recommendations such as nutritional changes, lifestyle changes, herbs, and/or supplements if needed. They will discuss the treatment plan and strategy including what techniques will be used during the treatment. Treatments may include one or more of the following: tuina, gua-sha, acupuncture, shonishin, cupping or laser therapy. (See blog prior for more description of these techniques.)
– Follow up sessions are booked for 30 minutes including hands on
treatment and consult.

3. Why are pediatric acupuncture treatments shorter than adult acupuncture treatments?
The reason treatments are shorter is because children’s disorders are not as
deep rooted or chronic as an adult. Children respond more quickly to treatments than adults.

4. How frequent will my child need to come in for acupuncture?
This definitely depends on each child’s needs. The practitioner will take into
account the nature of the condition and if it is acute or chronic. Most likely the recommendation would be 1-2 times a week for a few weeks for an acute
condition and longer for a chronic condition. The parent and practitioner will
formulate the proper treatment plan together.
– For general wellness and prevention, it is recommended to bring the
child during a season change to support their immune system and overall

5. Is acupuncture safe?
Studies have shown that the use of needles during an acupuncture treatment, when performed by qualified practitioners, is safe. There is a study by the Academy of Pediatrics, December 2011 Volume 128/issue 6. In this study the objective was to identify adverse events (AE’s) associated with needle acupuncture in children. This was peer-reviewed research that included children 2-17 years old where needle acupuncture was involved and assessment of AE’s were done. They found that acupuncture, when performed by appropriately trained practitioners, was safe.

6. How will you get my child to sit still during an acupuncture treatment?
The treatment of a child is different than that of an adult. We go with the flow of the child. We use distractions and keep them engaged in something other than the treatment. We may use toys, preferably not electronic devices but if we have to we will. We will also give them one of the tools we use in treatment to play with. We will read the body language of the child and adapt to their needs. Gentle touch and non-force between the parent and practitioner usually eases the child to relax during the treatment.

7. How does acupuncture work?
The acupuncture needles stimulate the body’s immune system to overcome
illnesses and conditions by correcting imbalances in the body. The needles also signal the brain to release endorphins to decrease or eliminate the sensation of pain. There are over 350 acupuncture points on the body and 14 major meridians (energy pathways). The energy that runs through these meridians is called qi (chee). When the qi is disrupted or blocked then this will lead to pain and disease if this blockage becomes chronic. Acupuncture can correct these blockages and imbalances to promote the free flow of qi allowing the body to heal itself. Inflammation, pain, swelling, phlegm, constipation, fevers, rashes, are all signs of imbalance.

8. What does a typical acupuncture session entail?
During the initial consultation, we discuss with the parent in depth the health
history of the child and details of their condition. The practitioner will give
recommendations and the treatment plan. During this time the practitioner will be building a relationship with the child in order to create trust. The initial session will include a treatment using needles or non-needle techniques depending on the child. During follow up appointments, the parent and practitioner discuss progress or changes. The child will receive a treatment with needles or non-needle techniques and the practitioner will give new recommendations if needed.

Feel free to call if you have any questions and let’s start your child’s health and wellness support early!