"It is easier to build strong children, than to repair broken men"
Many people don't realize that acupuncture & Chinese medicine are an amazing treatment option for children. Our body is naturally designed to self-heal and self-regulate. At a young age, children tend to heal very quickly because they have incredible blood flow and receptive energy. In fact, children tend to respond quicker than adults to the treatments for that very reason! Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about pediatric acupuncture. We hope that this dispels some of the myths and inspires some of you to give it a try for yourself or someone in your family!
1. What age groups do you treat with pediatric acupuncture?
Treatment with this style of non-insertive and gentle insertive techniques are for newborn to age 10. Of course, this is a general rule and sometimes exceptions are made for some older children. Generally, children age 10 and up can be treated in our group space with more traditional acupuncture.
2. Does my child need to have something wrong with them in order to receive acupuncture?
One of the basic tenants of Chinese medicine is that prevention is always better that needing a cure. Some parents choose regular acupuncture treatments to keep their children healthy through the normal process of growing. Others schedule acupuncture to help their children through various illnesses or health issues.
3. What are some of the conditions acupuncture can treat?
4. Will needles be used during my child’s treatment?
In some cases, very small needles may be used on your child. However, in many cases, we begin with non-needle treatment strategies. Some of the methods used are gentle stroking of the acupuncture channels and points on your child’s head, back, belly, legs and arms for an overall balancing of your child’s body. Specific acupuncture points may then be treated with magnets, small metal balls (press balls), lasers, gentle electro-stim or acupressure.
5. What happens during my child’s first treatment?
The initial consultation & treatment is 45 minutes to give enough time for connecting with your child and learning everything we need to know about their health history. We will gather information on your child’s overall health, sleep, appetite, mood and energy, check their pulse, look at their tongue and discuss goals for treatment. Then an acupuncture treatment will take place. Usually a treatment takes 10-15 minutes since children respond more quickly than adults. We also encourage them to rest for a few minutes after the treatment if they are able. We will provide recommendations on a treatment plan and may also discuss suggestions for diet, acupressure or other remedies that may be used at home.
6. What are follow-up visits like?
Follow-up visits for children are 15 minutes long and take place in our stretching area. This allows for a one-on-one treatment in a semi-private setting that won’t disrupt the ‘grown-ups’ in the group treatment space. We will have time to check-in with both parent and child while giving their treatment.
7. How much do treatments cost?
The initial consultation & treatment is 45-minutes long and costs $75. Follow-up visits are 15-minutes long and cost $50 if you pay as you go, or $195 for a package of 5-visits ($39.50/each).
8. How does acupuncture work in children? What’s the science?
Modern scientific research has shown acupuncture to have specific biological effects: Acupuncture promotes the release of endorphins and enkephalins, which are pain blocking biochemicals. When these hormones are released, blood flow in the body improves carrying with it beneficial nutrients, hormones and oxygen to the tissues and organs. It also activates the parasympathetic nervous system to move the body into a balanced state known as homeostasis.
Treating acupuncture channels and points is different in children than adults. Their bodies are working very hard to grow and develop and their energy (qi) is much closer to the surface of their bodies. Therefore, we can treat them using these non-invasive techniques more easily.
9. How many treatments will my child need and how often will he/she need to come?
Since every child is different, each plan will be customized to them. However, as a general rule most children respond very well to acupuncture and will see some response within the first few treatments. We usually start with 1-2 treatments per week and re-assess after 5-10 treatments.
10. Do you practice Chinese herbs or make supplement/self-care suggestions?
We’re so glad you asked! We are very passionate about helping to find all of the tools that are going to get your child feeling better. Often it takes a comprehensive approach including herbs and/or supplements, dietary changes, mindfulness practices etc. to truly bring about lasting change. Again, since each child is unique, we will custom these suggestions to each of their needs. We carry a complete line of pediatric herbal tinctures as well as some key supplements that can benefit your child’s overall health.
11. Are siblings allowed at the treatment?
In order to limit distraction for the patient, we strongly encourage one parent and one child to come together. Of course, we know this isn’t always possible, so if a sibling needs to join you, we ask that they remain in our waiting area during the session. Because we want to create a space of healing for your child, we also ask that the parent puts away their cell phones during their session.
We would love to explain more and answer any other questions you may have, so call us at (508) 393-1212 or email firstname.lastname@example.org!
Melissa is a self described 'nerd' about all topics relating to health and wellness. She is a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist and co-owner of Open Circle Acupuncture & Healing.