Pediatric Acupuncture: An Alternative Medicine Without Needles? (Summer 07)

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Have you found yourself talking with another parent, sharing medical histories of your children’s ear infections or inability to control quick onsets of fevers? It seems like the antibiotics aren’t solving the problem, and maybe the pediatrician isn’t too sure what to do either. Now you’re getting worried. This is a great time to try pediatric acupuncture! Most parents would back away slowly from whoever suggested this but for thousands of years, Traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine successfully treated pediatric conditions. Small copper, silver, and gold non-insertive instruments are used, touched lightly on the skin of the child. All the instruments could fit in the palm of an adult’s hand and are shaped like brooms and rakes and springs! Children enjoy playing with them first, to acclimate to the idea of these tools touching their bodies. Then, once we’ve touched them and given our favorite toy/animal their own acupuncture treatment, we treat the child. From the head, to the back, to the topside of arms and then the topside of the legs is the usual map for a treatment. Depending on what the condition is, and its’ severity, one of the tools may be used at specific places on the body called acupuncture points. Finally, a home program is given to the parent and the child: to wear “stickers” for a few days on the child’s body. These stickers are placed on acupuncture points and consist of little balls or magnets to solidify the treatment’s medical message. The entire treatment averages about 15-30 minutes in length and the parent(s) is encouraged to participate. The most important point to remember is the treatment goes with the speed and desirability of the child. Conditions that respond the best are ear infections (acute and chronic), digestive issues, bowel/urinary disturbances, bedwetting, decreased attention, sleep challenges and overall wellness! Most parents are surprised by the success rendered after a few acupuncture treatments and continue to utilize this style of medicine throughout their child’s life!