Paediatric Acupuncture and Massage have developed to a very high level in China and Japan, with paediatric massage (xiaoer tui na = small person massage) developing in China and Shonishin (little person needle) coming out of Japan. It is a very safe and extremely effective treatment method for children with minimal side effects. Herbal formulas specifically formulated for children are also available in Australia, although many parents are wanting to steer away from medications for their children, so are tending to lean toward the manual therapies such as acupuncture and massage.
Acupuncture for children
Acupuncture can be performed on children from the earliest age onwards, and depending on the child, can be either performed with traditional Chinese acupuncture needles, which are extremely fine, sterile single use stainless steel needles, or without needles using needle free massage, gua sha, or micro-current. Micro-current involves a hand held device that puts a tiny electrical current on an acupuncture point to stimulate the child’s energy, there is no insertion, and typically the children barely feel it.
Commonly treated paediatric ailments in Chinese Medicine include; Bed-wetting, insomnia, coughs and colds, middle ear infections, digestive disorders, and behavioural disorders such as ADD and autism.
An initial consultation will involve meeting the child and you the parent, and getting to know each other to discuss the problems the child is having. Often diet and lifestyle will be discussed, as well as issues surrounding the condition.
Depending on how comfortable your child is, a massage treatment may be conducted, usually on the arms and legs and you will also be provided with massage information that you can do at home on your child. The massage information is geared at specific areas of the body that treat your child’s condition and can be a helpful way for you to treat your own children’s condition. This is also often a gentle method to introduce acupuncture later on, and is a lovely way to bond with your child.
Treatments for children typically don’t take as long as those for adults, and if needles are inserted, they are generally only retained for seconds to minutes depending on the age of the child. Most children, once they get used to the clinic and their environment, have no issues with treatments, and often come to enjoy them.
One of our practitioners, Shell Brodie, is currently undertaking a six month mentorship program in paediatric acupuncture, with the view to holding a specific Children’s Clinic once a fortnight on Saturday afternoons later in the year.
Please also find below a very useful link on children and acupuncture:
Please contact us if you have any further questions about treatments for children.