Kids and needles might not seem like a likely pair, but when it comes to Acupuncture, they are the PERFECT candidates (in some ways, even more than their parents!). I’ve had the opportunity to treat many children through the years, usually ranging from age 8 to age 15. That said, Acupuncture sessions can begin as early as 3 weeks old! In my experience there are a few benefits to treating this demographic:

Children respond to Acupuncture much faster than adults 

Think about it. Children don’t have years of poor lifestyle choices, or decades of chronic illness to work against them. Their bodies are in the optimal state to heal and return to balance.

Children respond well to gentle treatment

Children generally need fewer needles per treatment than adults (as well as lower dosages of herbs, shorter needle retention time, etc.) The general rule of thumb is the younger the child, the shorter the treatment. We obviously can’t expect a toddler to sit still on a treatment table for 20+ minutes. In infants and toddlers we often do very quick needle insertion, followed by other techniques like moxibustion, or Tuina (Chinese Massage). 

There are little to no side-effects

Acupuncture is minimally invasive, and has little negative side effects, making it a worthwhile choice for medication-sensitive children.

It gives your children a holistic view of their health from a young age. 

We can teach your kids to live in harmony with the world around them, teach them how to eat best for their constitution and the season of the year, and get them excited about their health! Knowledge they can take forward with them for life. 

We often ease children into treatment here. Rather than incorporating a full set of points right away, we’ll often do a few points to get them used to the idea, and use Acupressure (manual stimulation of the points with our hands) on the rest. If you are worried about how your child will respond to Acupuncture needles – one of the best ways to introduce them to the process is to let them sit in on one of YOUR treatments! If they’re able to witness their parent go through the process in a calm fashion, it makes them much more likely to go along with treatment. 

When it comes to the types of things we treat in children, Acupuncture has the same scope as it does for adults. That said, there are certain things we see more often in the younger demographic, such as:

  • Earache (Otitis Media)
  • Toothaches
  • Diarrhea 
  • Bed-wetting
  • Transition into puberty
  • Childhood Migraines
  • Early Onset Asthma/Allergies
  • Sleep Problems
  • Lack of Attention / Focus
  • Eczema / Psoriasis 

And more!

One thing I will stress though, especially as parents search for more “natural” options for their children: Acupuncture does NOT replace traditional western medical care. It exists to support Western Medicine, and work alongside it. 

So what are you waiting for? Book an appointment for you AND your little one today! Or shoot us an email at info@meridianhealthcentre.ca (or if you’d like to contact me personally jon@meridianhealthcentre.ca

by Jon McDonell, R.Ac

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