Acupuncture for Children: Studies, Treatment and Health Benefits


According to a peer review study by Jindal, Ge and Mansky in 2008, there is some efficacy and low risk associated with acupuncture for pediatric health cases. Also, parents are resorting to acupuncture for children due to its natural, holistic, low risk and effective results. Moreover, a National Health Statistics report in 2007 stated that there were around 150,000 children in the USA that underwent acupuncture treatment for a variety of health concerns.


acupuncture for children
Photo Source: Thiago Cerqueira, Unsplash


The thing about acupuncture is that it might take some convincing for children to go along with the treatment. There are also acupuncturists who don’t need to make the child stay still in order to perform the treatment. This is because most of the time, the needles will just be inserted in and out quickly. Thus, there can be a quick relief of symptoms experienced by the child.


If the child has anxiety around needles, he or she can go for acupressure. This is because acupressure doesn’t have needling and would only require pressing certain acupuncture points in the body. Also, some acupuncturists can even teach children how to do acupressure on themselves. Parents can also learn for themselves in order to help their children.


One-third of the pediatric pain centers in the USA now offer acupuncture for children as part of their healthcare services. More and more pediatricians are recognizing the value of acupuncture as a valid and helpful treatment option.


Here are just a few of the health issues that acupuncture for children can address:




Is Acupuncture for Children Safe?

acupuncture in Santa Barbara


Dr. Sunita Vohra from the University of Alberta states that pediatric acupuncture is safe under the trained hands of licensed acupuncturists. Similarly, results from peer-reviewed studies show that most adverse effects of acupuncture are only about 11% of cases, and most of it are mild. Another study also showed that the adverse effect occurring from acupuncture therapy is the same as taking penicillin. However, it is advised that acupuncture treatment should be delayed if the child has overeaten, experienced weakness, or is over fatigued.


Acupuncture treatments are also relatively pain-free. Because acupuncture needles are as thin as hair strands, they can be barely felt at all. Treatments done on children also doesn’t need intense needling, as the needles can just be inserted in and out quickly. Thus, the most that children will experience after an acupuncture treatment is numbness, dull ache, or a slight tingling sensation around the base of the needle. There are instances that a child may cry during the treatment, but the sensation will go away quickly.


The acupuncturist may give a little massage to the parts that the needles were inserted to lessen the numbing. As a result, young patients can experience relief of symptoms after one or two treatments of acupuncture therapy.


Establishing a friendly and calm environment before children go through with acupuncture treatments is important. Practitioners, with the assistance of the children’s parents, have to reduce the anxiety of children before acupuncture sessions. The use of toys, puppets or pictures can also help relax kids. Some children also have an increased acceptance of acupuncture when they try acupressure first.



Take the Next Step By Consulting with a Licensed Acupuncturist

Acupuncture is a natural, safe and effective treatment for children, and it has holistic health benefits that your child can experience for a long time. Book an appointment now with our licensed acupuncturist to get a consultation and treatment which are specific to your child’s health concerns. If you’re in the Santa Barbara or Goleta area, come by our clinic to start your journey towards holistic health.


Our acupuncturist, Tram Pham L.Ac, also conducts phone and video consultations for those who can’t come to our clinic. We also ship herbal prescriptions from our in-house pharmacy to wherever you are in the world.





Acupuncture For Kids | Cleveland Clinic Children’s Health Team –


Acupuncture For Kids, Children | Red Tent Health Centre –


Is Acupuncture Safe For Kids? Catherine Pearson –


Safety and Efficacy of Acupuncture in Children A Review of the Evidence. Vanita Jindal – Adeline Ge – Patrick Mansky –


The Benefits Of Acupuncture For Children | PCOM –