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Acupuncture for Kids: What is Pediatric Acupuncture?



In 2009, several researchers scoured the scientific literature for studies involving acupuncture for children. In particular, they found studies where acupuncture was used to address chronic pain, migraines, stress, bed wetting, constipation, epilepsy, allergies, neurological disabilities, side effects from extubation and anesthetic used in surgery, and side effects of cancer treatments. They concluded that “[g]iven the promising trends in the current research, the relative willingness of families to engage in acupuncture and the low risk of deleterious side effects, acupuncture may serve to harmonize Traditional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine as a means of promoting preventive care and symptom management for children.”


Despite what you may think, the study authors noted that most children view acupuncture as a positive experience. I certainly found this to be true in my time observing the fantastic team at Seattle Children’s Hospital while in acupunctures school. The study authors suggested that acceptance of acupuncture by kids may be, in part, because many pediatric acupuncturists often use non-invasive treatments such as “low-level electrical stimulation, magnets, press balls, indirect moxabustion and warming skin salve to stimulate acupuncture points without penetrating the skin.” A skilled acupuncturist with experience working with children will use various techniques to explain things to the child and help them to feel comfortable with receiving treatment.


Another commonly used, very kid-friendly acupuncture modality comes from the Japanese tradition: Shonishin. One of the premier practitioners and academic minds of Shonishin, Steven Birch, has a great video if this is something you’d like to investigate for your child. (Having been trained in this modality with classmates practicing on me, I can tell you from first hand experience it is very soothing.


Acupuncture: Not just for Adults anymore!


If you are interested in exploring how acupuncture treatment could help your child and you’re in the Olympia, WA area, give me a call today at (360) 999-1683 to discuss and let me answer your questions about pediatric acupuncture.

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