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Research Update: Acupuncture Helping Children

A study conducted in an integrative medical center in the Midwest and published in the December issue of Alternative and Complementary Therapies, showed acupuncture can be a safe and effective alternative to treating pain in pediatric patients. Chronic pain is very prevalent in children and it can cause lifelong trauma if not dealt with. This study followed 55 participants throughout eight acupuncture treatments. The study surveyed the participants regarding pain, nausea and quality of life both before and after the acupuncture treatments. The results showed both the parents and the participants indicated decreased pain and nausea, as well as increased quality of life after the treatments had concluded. While more studies need to be done, this is a good indication acupuncture can be used to treat pediatrics with successful outcomes.

Most kids, as well as a lot of adults, are afraid of needles. So the pairing of acupuncture and kids might not be an obvious one. However, more and more parents are seeking alternative methods of treatment for their children. This is because our conventional medical system is faltering a bit. Pharmaceuticals are proving to be more harmful than beneficial for many individuals, especially children. And with their bodies and brains still being developed, who can really blame a parent for wanting to find an alternative to drugs with adverse side effects?

Acupuncture is part of an ancient medical system known as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It is commonly used to treat a multitude of ailments in adults and gaining popularity among pediatrics. There are licensed acupuncturists who specialize in treating children and they are in high demand. These pediatric acupuncturists are helping children where others can’t and for many, it is lifesaving.

Parents are turning to acupuncture because it provides a safe resolution of illness, while also preventing future illnesses. This happens because acupuncture and acupressure stimulate the body’s ability to restore and heal itself. Our bodies are fully capable of fighting off disease and healing injuries when the right tools are provided. Acupuncture not only stimulates the immune system, but also relaxes the nervous system and regulates the digestive and hormonal systems. All of these systems need to be in balance for the body to heal.

Many times parents are told by doctors that what their child is experiencing is just “a phase” and he/she “will grow out of it.” In many ways, this ignores the real issues at hand. Conventional medicine doesn’t work holistically and parents are usually sent to a dozen different specialists who don’t coordinate to find the best treatment for the child. This becomes frustrating and financially taxing for the parent, not to mention how the child feels. This is where acupuncture excels. A single acupuncture treatment can address pain, anxiety, insomnia and digestive issues all at the same time.

Not only is acupuncture more cost effective when it comes to treating children, but it also is a more logical approach. Why add in the stress of seeing multiple doctors when you can have everything addressed by just one? If your child is suffering from pain, asthma, ADHD or any other type of ailment, acupuncture might hold the answer.

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