As adult literature continues to determine the efficacy of acupuncture, the utilization and awareness of acupuncture in the treatment of pediatric conditions is also gaining increased attention. Through various examinations of 43 pain clinics in North American children’s hospitals, approximately a third offered acupuncture services. The findings focused on prevalence rates of children being referred for acupuncture as well as the acceptability of the children’s parents. Contrary to the mainstream notion that children are fearful of needles and that parents do not wish to subject them to additional stress and pain, research suggests that children along with parents report overall satisfaction following acupuncture treatment.
The most common pediatric conditions acupuncture can treat are as follows:
- Colic, Acid Reflux, Eczema, Ear Infections, Diarrhea, Constipation
- Cough, Cold/Flu, Upper Respiratory Infections, Asthma, Allergies, Digestive Problems, Pain, Sleeping Difficulties,Enuresis, Epilepsy
- Acne, Anxiety, Depression, Headaches, Migraines, PMS, Dysmenorrhea, Insomnia
Although, both adult and pediatric acupuncture is on the rise, it is critical as a practitioner to assess each pediatric patient on a case by case basis. Many practitioners that deal primarily with children recommend these five cornerstones of pediatric acupuncture:
As some children may be wary of acupuncture treatment, many practitioners will use gentle or non-invasive treatments such as low-level electrical stimulation, magnets, press balls, indirect moxabustion and warming skin salve to stimulate acupuncture points without penetrating the skin. With promising trends being reported in the current research, the relative willingness of families to engage in acupuncture and the low risk of deleterious side effects, acupuncture may serve to harmonize traditional western medicine and traditional eastern medicine as a means of promoting preventive care and symptom management for children.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information
- CJOM – California Journal of Oriental Medicine (pgs 11-12, 32)