Acupuncture and Children

Please take note that Chinese medicine Children and acupuncture cannot take the place of standard western medical therapies and protocols like vaccinations to prevent serious life altering diseases or antibiotic treatment when there is a real need for this therapy. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Acupuncture for Children can act as an adjunct to but not a replacement for these treatments. Acupuncture can help keep you and your child happy and health.

Children are all Yang an abundance of energy and when most children get sick is a quick onset with a short duration and finally a quick remission this is seen in most cases and there are the exceptions to this.

In Oriental Medicine there are internal and external causes of disease. The external causes are linked to natural phenomenon termed external evils. These external causes are classified into categories of wind, cold, dryness, heat, and dampness.

Internal diseases occur when external diseases lodge within disrupting the natural harmony of the body namely the movement of the Qi and Blood. If these factors are in excess and the body is deficient illness can be brought on.

A child’s constitution is a determining factor as to how severe these illnesses are if the child has a weak constitution they are more vulnerable to illness this is the same for adults.

All life is derived from Congenital Qi and the Acquired Qi. Congenital Qi also known as ancestral, primary, or Yuan Qi is the qi we get from our Mother and Father (DNA), the Acquired Qi is the qi we get from the nutrition we receive and is composed of Zong Qi the air we breathe, Ying Qi is the blood, and Wei Qi is our immunity.

The Congenital Yuan Qi is the material foundation upon which the acquired Qi is formed and the acquired qi nourishes the yuan qi in a cyclic relationship each nourishing the other in a homeostatic balance.

Chinese medical experts believe that the majority of illnesses are caused by emotional factors. Emotions are usually not a cause for illness in children, as they do not hold back from expressing their emotions as adults do but this is not always the case.

If children do go through emotional problems at home this can lead to illness and some examples of illness arising out of emotional disturbances are asthma, insomnia, urogenital disorders, and a number of mental illnesses.

Diet is large cause for illness in children. Dietary problems that may cause illness are eating more junk foods versus eating more healthy nutritional foods, excessive eating, irregular feeding, early weaning, and food allergies, inappropriate antibiotic use reduces the natural probiotics found in our digestive systems, and some authorities believe milk products.

Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of illnesses, including ADHD, otitis media, arthritis, back pain, asthma, allergic rhinitis, fever, upset stomachs, constipation & diarrhea, bedwetting, depression, and anxiety.

The number of sessions needed varies depending on the disorder. For a temporary condition like diarrhea or fever, only one or two treatments may be needed. Other problems like an eating disorder or depression may require 10 sessions or more.

What treatment techniques are used to treat Children?

Parents are usually weary of bringing in their child to get acupuncture because of its association with needles. Many children I have treated usually do not have a problem with needles but the adults do. Treatments can be designed with other modalities or a combined approach may be best utilizing western medication Oriental herbal medicine and acupuncture.

In adult acupuncture the needles are usually retained but with children the needle is inserted quickly manipulated then removed no retention is necessary. Other methods that do not use needles include acupressure, micro-current stimulation and cold-laser treatments and these techniques.

Herbal medicine has been used for centuries in China and in the treatment of Children. Antibiotics are not always necessary and with herbal medicine you can bypass the side effects experienced from taking medication. Herbal medicine is used for a short period of time when treating acute conditions and longer when treating chronic diseases.

Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of issues, including ADHD, arthritis, back pain, asthma, upset stomachs and depression/anxiety.


Further Reading, References, and Current Research:

On Pins and Needles? Pediatric Pain Patients’ Experience with Acupuncture

Pediatric patients with chronic, severe pain found acupuncture treatment pleasant and helpful. Additional, prospective studies are needed to quantify the costs and effectiveness of acupuncture treatment for pediatric pain.

Efficacy and safety of acupuncture in children: An overview of systematic reviews.

Pediatric Acupuncture: A Review of Clinical Research

Acupuncture Kids Teens Chronic Pain WebMD

Seventy percent of the young people and 59% of their parents reported improvement in pain symptoms. Some also mentioned that acupuncture seemed to help with relaxation.

Consequences of Antibiotics: Alternative Medicine for Children By Jake Paul Fratkin, OMD Published on 07/28/2004

Western medicine, brilliant and advanced in diagnosis and crisis management, seems to limit itself in therapeutic choices for common illnesses and injury. 

Protocols: Treating Children

Disorders of the mind and spirit frequently appear early in life. According to traditional Chinese medicine, the inborn problems are said to be due to essence deficiency, while the other potential causes are basically the same as described in modern medicine, even though they may be visualized differently.

Pediatric ADHD, Chinese Herbal Medicine & Acupuncture by Bob Flaws, Dipl. Ac. & C.H., FNAAOM

Chinese medical protocols in tandem with Western medicine might allow for smaller doses of Western drugs with less adverse side effects and even better overall treatment outcomes.

Safety and efficacy of acupuncture in children: a review of the evidence.

Through our review of pediatric adverse events, we found a 1.55 risk of adverse events occurring in 100 treatments of acupuncture that coincides with the low risk detailed in the studies mentioned previously. Nevertheless, it seems acupuncture is a safe complementary/alternative medicine modality for pediatric patients on the basis of the data we reviewed. Jindal V, Ge A, Mansky PJ. Division of Intramural Research, National Center for Complementary Medicine, National Institutes of Health, DHHS, Bethesda, MD, USA. Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2008 Jun;30(6):431-42.

Laser acupuncture in children with headache: a double-blind, randomized, bi-center, placebo-controlled trial.

We conclude that laser acupuncture can provide a significant benefit for children with headache with active laser treatment being clearly more effective than placebo laser treatment. Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, University Children’s Hospital, Saarland University, Kirrbergerstr, 66421 Homburg, Germany. Pain. 2008 Jul 15;137(2):405-12. Epub 2007 Nov 19 Gottschling S, Meyer S, Gribova I, Distler L, Berrang J, Gortner L, Graf N, Shamdeen MG