Acupuncture and Chinese medicine have been used to treat a variety of ailments in people of all ages for thousands of years. Alternative treatments like acupuncture may be an ideal solution for addressing health issues in children without the use of harmful, and often addictive, pharmaceutical drugs. Often, alternative therapies such as acupuncture and massage can even be used to complement Western medical treatments under the supervision of your child’s pediatrician.
It may not be mainstream yet, but Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy have slowly been gaining popularity in the West. These non-invasive, holistic medicine therapies can be used to support your child’s health from conception all the way through adulthood.
In fact, therapies like fertility acupuncture and prenatal massage can be used before your baby is even born to improve your chances of carrying your baby to term, which is, of course, ideal for a healthy baby. Once your baby is born, acupuncture and infant massage can be beneficial to your newborn in a number of ways as well, including improving weight gain and achieving developmental markers more quickly.
Chinese Acupuncture For Pediatric Care
A pediatric acupuncturist will create a treatment plan that’s customized just for your child’s needs and temperament. Often, the treatments will help with problems you may not even realize that your child has, such as allergies, anxiety, or insomnia. The acupuncture physician will use a whole-body approach that usually includes acupuncture, massage, and Chinese herbs, as well as lifestyle changes as needed.
If you are concerned that acupuncture treatments will be painful, rest assured that’s not the case. Although most people don’t experience pain with acupuncture, there are also other alternative therapies available for children that may be less intimidating. Cold lasers are an option to consider because they use a machine to stimulate the skin without the use of needles. Another option, called Shonishin, is a form of Japanese pediatric massage that also stimulates acupuncture points. And of course, Chinese herbs that have been specially formulated for children can also be safely incorporated into the treatment.
Let’s take a look at how acupuncture, massage, and Chinese medicine can help with some of the more common childhood ailments.
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs are quite popular for the treatment of anxiety in adults, and they can be just as effective for anxiety in children. Every child handles stress differently, and stress levels will fluctuate as the child grows. Acupuncture treatments can induce a calmer state of mind in your child that can be maintained indefinitely with consistent treatments.
Behavioral Problems and ADHD
Behavioral problems in children, such as ADHD, are generally treated with mind and mood-altering drugs in Western medicine. Acupuncture combined with Chinese herbs is a much safer and very effective alternative. Often, an acupuncture physician will even recommend changes to the child’s diet to make a lasting change in his or her behavior. This alternative to traditional ADHD treatment is worth looking into.
Childhood insomnia can sometimes be an underlying cause of other issues. Lack of proper sleep will affect your child’s memory and ability to focus, lead to behavior problems, and eventually cause lethargy and lack of energy. Since many other ailments can also induce these symptoms, parents may not even realize their child isn’t sleeping well and look for more serious problems when insomnia has been the issue all along. Insomnia in children can be safely and effectively treated with acupuncture and Chinese herbs by finding the root cause of the problem without the use of dangerous and addictive sedatives.
One of the more common problems children have during potty training is wetting the bed at night. Bedwetting can cause stress in the child as well as the parent. Most children develop effective bladder control by the time they turn five, but not always. Every child is different, and hormonal or even neurological problems can be the cause. Chinese herbs and acupuncture can be used together for an effective and safe treatment for bedwetting issues.
For children suffering from asthma, acupuncture can effectively relieve wheezing and loosen phlegm. When combined with Chinese herbs, the treatment is even more effective. An acupuncturist will also look for the underlying causes of asthma, including allergies.
Unfortunately, babies are born with weak, undeveloped digestive systems. Issues such as food allergies, acid reflux, and colic can be uncomfortable for babies and possibly disrupt their sleep. Acupressure, pediatric-safe Chinese herbs, and acupuncture can work together to help fix minor digestive issues and allow your child’s digestive tract to develop properly.
Because children’s immune systems are still developing as they grow, they are especially vulnerable to allergies. Many other ailments are the result of allergies, including asthma, eczema, digestive issues, and insomnia. All of these underlying ailments can be helped with acupuncture and Chinese herbs to bring fast and effective allergy relief. Although children generally do very well with acupuncture, acupressure and massage can also be quite effective for treating allergies.
Colic is usually described as a condition where an otherwise healthy infant cries inconsolably for hours each day. It often starts when the baby is around two weeks old. When a baby is bothered by colic, it can be very distressing for both parents and child. The condition can be greatly relieved with acupressure and acupuncture therapy. An acupuncture physician can also work with the mother to determine if a possible food allergy or sensitivity to something in her diet that ends up in her breast milk could be causing the colic. Results are usually seen very quickly when treating colic with acupuncture.
As you can see, acupuncture can benefit your child in a number of ways. Whether your child is still a baby in utero, a tiny newborn, or an adolescent, Chinese medicine and acupuncture offer a safe, gentle, and effective solution for your child’s pediatric care. Finding a qualified practitioner is key to the success of treatment, and often the right practitioner will be happy to work alongside your child’s regular pediatrician.
How have you used Chinese acupuncture in your family?