It doesn’t always happen this way, but Pete* got off my table after his first acupuncture treatment and immediately felt better. So much better that I didn’t see him again for a couple of months. Pete is 15 and a good cross country skier. During the cross country season, he was having some serious back pain that was waking him up at night. Pete and his mother decided to go the natural route and try acupuncture.
The acupuncture worked so well for Pete for a couple of reasons. First, he was healthy and in really good shape. Second, he hadn’t had the pain for very long. Third, he was a kid.
In Chinese medicine, kids are considered to be very Yang in nature. Yang is a way of describing things that are active, warm, and constantly changing – exactly how I’d describe most kids.
Kids are growing and changing so fast that you can watch them heal right before your eyes, which is why acupuncture is really effective for most of them. The down side is that because their organs are still growing, they are also considered delicate. Children don’t tolerate wide fluctuations in temperature, and because they are so Yang, they tend to run really high fevers when they do get sick.
Also, because their organs are continuing to develop and grow, kids need especially nutritious food. Ironically, because children’s organs are still developing, they can’t always handle densely nutritious food or food in large quantities. In fact, for many children who are suffering from health issues from attention disorders to allergies and sinus problems, the source of their problem is related to food.
Treating children with acupuncture can be a little bit tricky because needles are involved, but I’ve had some kids in my clinic who have begged their parents to bring them in for acupuncture. I’ve also had many who were hesitant. In most cases, I let a child try one needle and then decide if we’ll proceed or not. With children, a minimum number of needles (2-4) can be really effective. For those children who need a treatment, but don’t want to be needled, acupressure can be a good alternative.
*Names and identifying details have been changed.