Acupuncture is becoming a familiar word in medicine and healthcare, but it is not yet as common in Pediatrics. Chinese Medicine has been a family medicine from the start, treating pediatric and geriatric patients, as well as adults. Thompson Family Acupuncture Clinic embraced this history in its name so as to encourage all members of the household to seek care. We treat pediatric patients with great success and are dedicated to long-term health for all members of the household.
Needles Not Required
Fear not, scared ones, entire treatments can be performed without the use of needles at all. With younger children, needles often are not necessary. Sometimes points are stimulated with teishin instead of using needles. Teishin are small, handheld metal objects brushed against the skin in a certain way to stimulate the energy movement in the channels. Similar to using acupuncture needles at specific places in a specific manner, teishin tools access body regulation via the meridian system but without piercing the skin. On the other end of the spectrum, some children actually like the experience of receiving acupuncture, looking forward to their appointments and the feeling of relaxation that comes with it.
Chinese Herbs for Kids
Herbal formulas come in glycerin tinctures for small patients, which tend to be mild tasting and slightly pleasant compared to most medications children are used to. We see good compliance with herbal tinctures and small ones. With older children and adolescents, we use the same custom herbal powders that we give adults. Compliance can be tricky (as you might imagine if you’ve tasted a custom herbal formula), but encapsulating the herbs is a common solution. On occasion, we will see an older child who actually likes the taste of their herbs, but they are usually the rare ones who have a sweet and mild tasting combination. In general, children respond very quickly to herbal formulas and do not usually have to be on them for as long as adults.
Pediatric Ailments treated by CM
There are some pediatric health ailments that are very responsive to Chinese Medicine. As with adults, each person responds differently and treatment plans vary depending on the health concern, the chronicity of the ailment and compliance. However, children often respond very quickly and do not usually have the same length of treatment required as most adults. Some common pediatric ailments treated with Chinese medicine:
- GI upset (IBS, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, chronic tummy aches)
- Enuresis (bed-wetting)
- Feelings of Anxiety & Panic Attacks
- Painful Periods
- Back pain
- Knee pain
If you and your child are curious about Chinese medicine and its ability to treat whatever may be going on for them, I encourage you to call your local Chinese Medicine practitioner. First appointments include an in-depth health history and time to discuss treatment strategies, methods and concerns. The patient also receives a treatment at this time. Many children have acupuncture benefits through their parent’s insurance policy. If you are not sure, simply call your local acupuncturist and ask if they take insurance. Our office does accept most insurance and our billing specialist is happy to take your information and call to find out the specifics of your policy.