According to a 2007 National Health Statistics report, some 150,000 children in the U.S. used acupuncture that year. Current statistics show that most treated conditions are for the pains of headaches and migraines, abdominal pain, musculoskeletal problems, as well as for anxiety. Even endometriosis in teenage girls, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy (when pain becomes chronic after an injury) often will respond to acupuncture treatments.
Concerning Children’s Fears
Despite the fact that acupuncture can be helpful to young children, they hate needles.
Because they experience bleeding or fluid oozing from small cuts or scrapes, common to many young children is a fear that if their skin is punctured something under their skin, or their “insides”, will leak out. Children need to be assured that this can not happen.
Dr. Yuan-Chi Lin of Boston’s Children’s Hospital helps to reassure his young patients by demonstrating first on their parents.
Concerning Parents’ Fears
In a 2011 article in the journal Pediatrics, the University of Alberta analyzed 37 peer-reviewed studies. Dr. Sunita Vohra, director of the CARE Program for Integrative Health and Healing at the university concluded: “Based on [the] available data, we are comfortable saying that in trained hands, pediatric acupuncture is safe.”
Is Acupuncture Really a Helpful Therapy for Children?
The NationalCenter for Health and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health reported for 2007 that 150,000 children used acupuncture that year. Ailments included headaches, back and neck pain, anxiety and ADHD.
The Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis reports that their acupuncture unit treats many children with migraine headaches, anxiety and depression.
A study by Dr. Yuan-Chi Lin of the Children’s Hospital in Boston included 243 youngsters ranging in age from six months to 18 years who were being treated for headaches, back pain, stomachaches, and other chronic complaints. Their average pain level on a scale of 1 to 10 was “8”. At the end of a year their average pain level was “3”, and they reported missing less school, sleeping better, and able to participate in extracurricular activities that they had to pass up before. Some 30 percent of pediatric pain centers nationwide now offer acupuncture for children, according to Dr. Lin.