When I first tell someone that I'm a pediatric acupuncturist the response is always something like "Really?! Wow." Most people aren't aware that acupuncture can be used for kids and ask a lot of questions about what I do. I've listed the most common ones here because chances are if you haven't been in yet for a treatment than you probably have the same questions.
What is Acupuncture?
Acupuncture is one aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that has been used in China for over 2000 years. It is based on the theory that when there is balance in our body's Qi, we experience optimal health. Qi is the force behind all biological functions and when Qi is unbalanced, lacking, or blocked, symptoms arise. Acupuncture uses very fine needles to balance Qi, allowing the body to heal itself.
What can acupuncture treat?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has an extensive report on the many diseases and conditions that can be addressed with acupuncture. Chinese medicine is very successful in addressing children's issues. I interpret each individual's unique set of symptoms related to their diagnosis and treat accordingly. Pediatric health concerns that can be addressed with acupuncture include ADD, ADHD, sleep disorders, eating disorders, digestive problems, bed wetting, asthma, allergies, sinusitis, skin disorders, chronic ear infection, growing pains, Autism, and more.
Does it hurt?
Commonly, there is no pain or only brief discomfort. If there is any discomfort, it is often compared to a “mosquito bite.”
Do children really get needles?
Yes! Needles used for acupuncture are much smaller than needles used for blood tests and vaccines. Pediatric acupuncture needles are smaller than the width of three hairs, and insertion is quick and gentle.
What if my child is afraid of needles?
At Healthly Littles I call needles "taps" and if a child is old enough to approve or disapprove the use of taps, I only use them with their permission. It does take a bit of persuasion but parents are often pleasantly surprised with how willing their child is to try taps for the first time. 97% of my patients agree to try it at the first visit and afterwards the response is always, "that's it?!"! For those who are not yet ready for taps, there are several other effective non-needle techniques that can be used.
What if my child won’t sit still?
Treating littles with acupuncture is very different than adults and it is not necessary that they lay still for an extended time. Needles are inserted quickly and then immediately removed. I expect littles to move around a bit, and I often just move with them. For older littles, and for littles who are more experienced with taps, they may retain the taps for a couple minutes.
Does insurance cover treatments?
Healthy Littles is considered an out-of-netowrk provider and payment is due in full at the time of treatment. For your convenience, we will file a claim for you with your insurance for them to reimburse you directly.
How long is each visit?
The initial visit involves an extensive intake along with treatment and these visits are 60-75 minutes. Follow up visits usually are 15-30 minutes.
How many treatments are needed?
Most patients should expect to have 4-6 visits. It varies depending on how severe the problem is and how long it has been going on. This can be discussed during your first visit. After the symptoms are resolved, parents are encouraged to continue to bring their littles in for regular wellness visits to manage stress and maintain their good health throughout the year.
Does my child need to be sick to get acupuncture?
No. At Healthy Littles I offer wellness visits from birth on. Chinese medicine looks for subtle imbalances and corrects them before they become more deeply rooted. By getting treatments for your littles early on and regularly, you are helping them maximize their potential for good health.
If you are wondering if your little could benefit from acupuncture feel free to contact me