Oriental medicine, including many types of acupuncture, Chinese herbal prescriptions, and numerous other healing techniques, has been growing in America since it was first introduced here in the 1970s. But in all this time, it has primarily been used to treat adults. In China it is common for children to receive acupuncture and herbs, and the treatments are very successful. It is becoming more common for acupuncturists in this country to treat children with various pediatric techniques, and parents will be happy to know that they do not necessarily include needling.
In general, treatments for children are shorter in duration and less complex than those for adults. This is because kids have much more growing energy than adults have. This excess energy runs quickly through the body allowing light treatment to have strong healing effects. So here are some treatment methods that acupuncturists can do for children.
Pediatric Tuina (pronounced “twee nah”) is a type of Chinese medical massage that is very effective for infants and young children up to age 6. Points or areas on the body are pressed, kneaded, or rubbed usually a number of times in quick succession. This can improve all kinds of childhood ailments – to name a few: cough, fever, constipation, diarrhea, and sleep problems. Treatments are very gentle and can be done daily while an illness is occurring. Practitioners who use this often show parents techniques they can use at home to continue treatment there.
Sho ni shin (pronounced “show nee shin”) is a Japanese pediatric treatment that uses a number of different tools to gently rub, scrape, and tap the skin. It is done all over the body. Then another tool called a Teishin (pronounced “tay shin”) may be used to press lightly on specific points that the individual child needs. This treatment is only a couple minutes long for infants and up to 10 minutes or so for an older child. For an acute illness such as a cold, a child could receive this treatment every day for a few days. More chronic illnesses are usually treated once or twice a week and for a longer period of time.
Some children receive needling if they are ready or simply do not mind. Babies lack the awareness and fear that some older children and adults have about needles. This type of treatment may differ among practitioners, but often in America, acupuncturists use extremely thin needles on children and do not leave them in for more than a few seconds to a minute.
Chinese herbal formulas are also very effective in treating many childhood disorders. Formulas are often similar to those for adults but often include fewer herbs and have lower dosages. Many forms are prescribed including pills, powders (get mixed in hot water or with food), and tinctures. Herbs are a powerful addition to clinical treatments and allow healing to continue at home. They are used to treat a wide range of problems including allergies, colds, digestive disorders, sleep problems, and bedwetting.
It is clear that there are many options for treating children with Oriental medicine, and Americans are fortunate to have more natural modes of healing kids than ever before. Now both practitioners and parents can take advantage of these methods and keep all kids holistically healthy.
Here is a list of acupuncturists who treat children in Austin and their pediatric treatment methods:
- Becky Peters, L. Ac. – sho ni shin, acupuncture, herbs
Blooming Lotus Acupuncture and Herbs
- Juliana Cumbo, L. Ac. – sho ni shin
Japanese Healing Arts
- Kevin Laux, L. Ac. – acupressure, acupuncture, essential oils, herbs
Healing Way Acupuncture and Herbals
- Michael Meuth, L. Ac. – noninsertion “touch” needling, herbs
Balance Point Acupuncture & Wellness Center
- YuPing Wu, L. Ac. – magnetic stimulation, energy work, herbs
Apple Care Acupuncture and Holistic Therapy