Not just needles!
When I speak to parents and carers about acupuncture for children, their initial response is often that their child won’t tolerate acupuncture needles. In reality, most children are actually not phased by them and will happily allow me to use needles.
Really little children are surprisingly unbothered by needles. As they get older, it is a case of being sensitive to how the child feels. For them (and for very small babies for whom needling would be too powerful), there are other techniques I can use, such as massaging acupuncture points and other areas of the body (using tui na massage), press seeds that stick on acupuncture points or using a micro current machine to stimulate points. Oftentimes, a child will come round to the idea of needles after a few sessions. Even if they never do, using other point stimulating or massage techniques can still make a big difference to how they feel.
Which children benefit from acupuncture?
All children, from very tiny babies to teenagers can benefit from treatment. As I said above, I won’t necessarily use needles, particularly if your child is nervous of the idea. My view is that it is better for your child to receive a few sessions of another kind of treatment, than have one session with needles and never come back!
Treating children with acupuncture and other techniques can be incredibly rewarding, as children often respond really quickly to treatment. There hasn’t been the time for illness and imbalances to get really stuck.
Chronic conditions are a real issue for children today, and many are dealing with such things as recurrent coughs, colds, earaches and sore throats, food allergies, asthma, stomach aches, headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep disturbances and behavioural problems, to name but a few. These conditions are rarely fatal but can have a real impact on a child’s life, keeping them from going to school, stopping them from socialising, having a negative effect on their emotions and on family life. Acupuncture can really make a difference to these kinds of conditions, and one if its many benefits is that it can reduce a child’s need for medication and so lessen any potential side effects.
I may send you home with some lifestyle suggestions and some massage techniques to do at home. This reinforces the treatment and helps to get your child better more quickly.
It is important that treatment is a collaboration between the three parties involved: me, your child and you.