This informative article was contributed by acupuncturist Kevin Doherty and offers some valuable insight into how this traditional treatment modality can help both with treating our children and ourselves as parents…
Acupuncture: An Effective Treatment Option for Both Adults and Children
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine have been practiced for at least 2,500 years throughout the Asian world. In the past 30 years, acupuncture has finally begun to surge in popularity here in the West. Literally millions of people have benefited from this form of medicine for a variety of health concerns including headaches, back pain, allergies, depression, anxiety, fatigue, menstrual cramps, and digestive problems.
In my work as an acupuncturist, I have noticed that there are many people who are curious about acupuncture, but are apprehensive to pursue treatment because the practice involves the use of needles.
One of the most widespread misconceptions that people have about acupuncture is that it is a painful or traumatic procedure. To the contrary, most of my patients find acupuncture to be a deeply relaxing and restorative experience. Any time there is discomfort, I see it as a problem that needs to be adjusted.
Honestly, this is exceedingly rare because the needles are so fine that little more than a subtle prick is felt upon insertion. So, if you are concerned with the potential pain of treatment, rest assured that acupuncture is a safe and gentle procedure if performed by a skilled practitioner.
I am also often asked if acupuncture is useful for children. I have treated children for a multitude of health issues and have found Chinese medicine to be very beneficial.
For kids, I use a technique called shonishin that involves the use of steel tools that stimulate acupoints without actually puncturing the skin. Shonishin is very gentle and most kids really seem to enjoy it. In my practice, I have steered away from treating a lot of kids and am focusing more on adults. But it is certainly worth pursuing if your child has health concerns that haven’t responded to conventional treatments.
Acupuncture is often combined with Chinese herbs and nutritional intervention. In my practice, I also teach offer my patients the option of combining these approaches with stress reduction techniques such as meditation and yoga. This combination of therapies can be highly effective for so many of the stress induced imbalances that plague us in the modern world.