Acupuncture for your kids…yay or nay?
You may have experienced the benefits of acupuncture yourself. Or perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to never have to seek it out as a treatment, but have a friend or family member who swears by it. But when you’ve tried everything else to manage your child’s chronic headaches, stomachaches, common cold and more, you hesitate. Can acupuncture really be safe for my kid? Won’t sticking needles into them totally freak them out?
It’s understandable that parents would be at first apprehensive about bringing their child to receive acupuncture treatment. But the good news is that there’s no reason not to: acupuncture is safe for children.
"Disorders that are common to children such as common colds, cough, flu, allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, anxiety, depression, and adolescent-related hormone imbalances are all treated very successfully by acupuncture," says licensed acupuncturist and mom Jill Harrison to mindbodygreen.com. "When my daughter was an infant and she had a fever, I used needles and successfully lowered her temperature. Now that she is 6, I use acupuncture, herbal medicine, and cupping to help her treat all of the common ailments that kids get."
Not only is acupuncture totally safe for children, it’s also preferable to giving them medications to treat all sorts of illnesses and disorders. The side effects and addictive properties of many stronger medications can be even more harmful to children than they are to adults.
Many children understandably don’t love needles, so they might be scared of receiving acupuncture. Every child is different, but one general positive is that in children, acupuncture needles don’t need to be in as long as they do to treat adults.
"When they see how thin they are and that they look nothing like the hypodermic needles given with shots, it puts them at ease," Harrison says. "The other thing I do is ask if I can do one quick needle on them before they lie down on the table just to see how it feels. At that point they can see for themselves that it doesn't hurt. In fact, oftentimes they don't even feel the needle go in."
Before you seek treatment for your child, so make sure that the acupuncturist is licensed to treat children. As long as they are, the next time your child is in need of a safe treatment, there’s no reason to be worried that acupuncture won’t be incredibly helpful. And it just might help them get over their fear of needles, too!