As an adult I had received acupuncture throughout the years. When I became a parent, I didn't automatically think of having my children treated with acupuncture. I am forever grateful to a friend who suggested pediatric acupuncture, as it has truly changed my children's and my life. Simple, gentle treatments are used for a wide variety of pediatric conditions including: respiratory, digestive, sleep, immune system, colic, skin conditions, allergies, psychological/behavior problems, muscular-skeletal symptoms, some neurological, cardio-vascular, or congenital conditions.
Children quickly respond to treatment, and they become much more aware and involved in their health with East Asian medicine treatments. If children are in balance when they are young, they will head off a lot of potential long term and chronic issues later in their life. Acupuncture treatments harmonize and regulate the health-giving qi in their bodies.
Shonishin, or child's needle, can be used up to age 12, however it has proven to be very beneficial in all ages. The following are the tools I most often use with children for Shonishin acupuncture treatments:
These tools are used on the surface of the skin and are very comfortable and enjoyable to the child. In addition press balls, zinc and copper discs as polarity agents, very fine gauge insertion needling, press tack, tuning forks, and cupping are sometimes used during treatments. In general, needle insertions are done from around age 7, but this depends on the condition, the type of needling being performed, and of course the trust and willingness of the child and parent. If there are to be needle insertions, they are rarely left in to rest and relax with. This is because treatment follows the child's energy and activity level.
I encourage parents to be a part of the treatment as I teach both parent and child points they can use for acupressure and ideas for home self-treatment. If you have any questions regarding acupuncture treatments for children, please do not hesitate to ask.
Andrea Weber, LAc
Staff Acupuncturist, 2bwell Clinic