Acupuncture is the last thing that most people think about for their child’s health but Traditional Chinese Medicine Practice understands that for many of us, poor health begins at childhood and intensifies as we age.
If your child is the picture of health, then that’s great news! However, if there are health concerns that you feel are not being successfully addressed at present, then it may be worth having a conversation. With very simple treatments and techniques, newborn babies to teenagers can improve conditions such as allergies, digestive problems, bed-wetting, chronic bronchitis, growth problems, emotional or behavioral issues, insomnia, pain and skin conditions, to name a few.
As much as I enjoy introducing parents to Traditional Chinese medicine diagnosis and treatments for their children, I like introducing kids to Traditional Chinese Medicine healthcare just a wee bit more. Why? Because kids get to experience a different kind of healthcare, one that gives them a sense of control over their own body and encourages them to get involved in making choices for their own health.
During a pediatric acupuncture session, when age allows, I explain how acupuncture needles are very different from the hypodermic needles that their regular doctors use. I explain that hypodermic needles are designed to break the skin in order to put something in (like a vaccination) or take something out (like a blood test). I then explain that acupuncture needles are very different — they are super thin (like a strand of hair!), and they don’t break the skin because they are made to gently slide into the skin.
I then explain, in age-appropriate terms, how acupuncture works. So we may have a chat about it. If they are then open to proceeding, depending on the age, we agree on how many needles they are comfortable using or what areas we should work on for that particular day. If they aren’t ready yet, then that is perfectly fine as I have other non-needling tools and acupressure/massage which can be just as effective. The most surprising thing is that so many children love acupuncture that they truly look forward to coming back for their next session!
And it gets even better because, although the same healing principles apply for children as they do for adults, kids’ treatments can be much faster and use fewer needles, because their bodies heal more quickly than do the bodies of adults. For example, in a treatment for an infant, the needles may stay in for as little as 1-2 seconds! Ah, to be young again…