Acupuncture For Kids
One of the things I love about acupuncture is that it embraces the complexity of people. Whether you have a uterus or a prostate, regardless of skin color or religion, or simply prefer dogs to cats, patients of every stripe and walk of life can benefit. And kids of course. They are fun to work with and certain treatment protocols date back to 1500 years ago. My youngest patient so far was a two-month-old who had a respiratory tract infection, and the parents weren’t keen on antibiotics at that age. A few acupuncture treatments later the fevers and coughing were gone and baby was back to nursing normally.
Infants (and toddlers) do well with acupuncture, but what about older children who might be scared of needles? In the beginning it’s a matter of building trust. They’re naturally curious, and even if they don’t want to try needles at first, once they discover acupuncture doesn’t hurt (I’ve never had a child cry) they often become enthusiastic about what we call “table time”. More than once kids have gotten so involved that after they watch me put the needles in they ask to take them out themselves when the treatment is over. It’s a great way for them to participate in their own healing.
Just like with adults, acupuncture treats diverse issues in children. Little ones have the same meridian network adults do, although their systems run differently. Parents already know that of course! Kids have extra Yang energy (that’s why they’re active, always moving, demanding attention) so it’s easy for them to get hot-type diseases that show up as fevers, coughs, colds/flus, skin problems, or headaches. They also have weak Spleens, the main organ that manages digestion. Sensitivities often show up as stomach ache, watery/sticky discharges, diarrhea or constipation, asthma, allergies, and tantrums.
Acupuncture has effective ways to address these issues as well as others, and as the Cleveland Clinic points out, there really isn’t a downside—unlike with medication there are very few side effects. If you want to dip your feet into it with your children, check out Kids Love Acupuncture and try incorporating the tips and simple acupressure massage techniques into your home health care repertoire. If you and your kids are ready for more, remember it’s a system with literally thousands of years of wisdom to offer. With a resume like that it’s no wonder acupuncture is good for you no matter your age.