Pediatric Acupuncture: Dealing with Digestive Issues and Abdominal Pain


Pediatric acupuncture isn’t as well-known or widely explored as acupuncture for adults. However, acupuncture for children can be extremely helpful, especially in cases where children are unable to take necessary medications for any reason.


You may have some misgivings about subjecting your children to acupuncture. However, it may just be effective in addressing your child’s needs.


pediatric acupuncture


Common digestive health problems in children

There are actually a lot of things that can go wrong with a child’s digestive health. Babies can get colicky, and older children can have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), celiac disease, lactose intolerance, food allergies, and a host of other digestive issues. These issues can manifest in a variety of symptoms, such as stomach ache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and more.


Stomach problems may go away after a day or so, but some can persist and happen again sometime down the line. However, stomach problems can also affect your child’s attendance at school, as well as his or her participation in extracurricular and social activities. Acupuncture can be an effective complement to medications and remedies, and it can also be an alternative if your child can’t take these medications and remedies for one reason or another.


However, it’s important to remember that acupuncture isn’t a cure. It’s also best if you consult with your child’s pediatrician first to ensure that your child will benefit fully from pediatric acupuncture.



Stomach pain

Stomach pain is one of the more common complaints that children make. This usually isn’t a condition in itself, but rather a symptom of other issues. The child may be suffering from gas, acid reflux, food allergies, or mono. He or she may have also eaten something that he should not have.


Children’s digestive systems can be quite sensitive, so stomach pain may happen often. Certain triggers such as fear and anxiety can also lead to stomach pain. Still, there are times that stomach pain may not be serious. However. it can also be a sign that your child needs medical attention.


Consulting with your child’s pediatrician is usually your best bet. You can also talk to the pediatrician about how pediatric acupuncture can help your child manage his or her stomach pain.




Diarrhea is another digestive issue that children can be prone to. There’s also the added danger of dehydration due to diarrhea, and complications may arise if diarrhea isn’t dealt with properly. Things such as bacterial infections, antibiotics, food poisoning, food allergies, and celiac disease can all result in diarrhea.


While diarrhea should go away on its own in 24 hours or so, parents should monitor it especially when it comes to very young children. It’s best to consult with a pediatrician when your child begins having diarrhea to learn more about what you should watch out for.




Just as diarrhea can be a dangerous illness for a child, so can constipation. If your child is having difficulty passing stool, or he has been passing stool just three days or fewer in a week, you may have something to be worried. Your child may also experience a stomach ache, pain during bowel movement, or he may also have blood on his stool.


Your child’s constipation may have been caused by one of these causes. He may have fear or anxiety over going to the toilet, his routine may have changed, or he may be taking medications that can cause constipation. There are more possible causes, and taking your child to the pediatrician may be helpful in figuring out what’s causing his problems.


Sometimes, constipation can lead to more digestive problems, or can be a symptom of an underlying issue. Speaking to your child’s pediatrician will let you know if you have something to be worried about.


pediatric acupuncture
Pediatric acupuncture can help restore balance in a child’s body. Photo via Pixabay.



Pediatric acupuncture and digestive health

Digestive issues aren’t always clear-cut and straightforward, especially in children. A child can be perfectly fine when you put him to bed at night, and he can be curled up and crying because of abdominal pain in the morning. Finding the exact cause of the problem may take time, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other ways to help children manage the symptoms of digestive issues.


At the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic, you may be able to find the help you’ve been looking for. Tram Pham, our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, can help your child get past their digestive issues. Tram has a Master’s Degree in Chinese Medicine, and she also has years of experience in providing patients with holistic healthcare based on age-old modalities.



Acupuncture in a nutshell

According to traditional Chinese medication (TCM), we have an energy force called qi (pronounced “chee”) flowing through our body along markers called meridians. Qi influences our health and well-being. When qi gets out of balance or is concentrated around a certain meridian, this can result in illness.


In acupuncture, the insertion of fine needles into acupuncture points can stimulate the qi to return to its usual flow.



How acupuncture can help

Pediatric acupuncture can help children deal with pain caused by factors ranging from headaches to fibromyalgia, including pain in the abdomen. Some children may be unable to take pain medication for certain reasons, but acupuncture is an all-natural and low-risk remedy.


Research has shown that acupuncture can help resolve digestive problems such as IBS. It can also help treat abdominal pain, and other signs of a distressed digestive system. There have also been studies that have found that acupuncture can help stimulate the production of endorphins. Other than that, it can normalize the body’s pain matrix as well.


According to TCM, various illnesses are caused by an imbalance in the body’s energy. Acupuncture can help these issues by addressing the roots of the symptoms, such as disturbances in the spleen and stomach.



Is acupuncture safe?

If you’re not familiar with acupuncture, it may seem intimidating at first. It may seem even more intimidating to children, some of whom may also have a fear of needles. However, acupuncture needles are thinner than needles used in hospitals and clinics, and they don’t cause pain when inserted. However, patients are likely to experience a feeling of heaviness or some tingling in the needle insertion sites.


It’s also important that you stick to licensed and experienced acupuncturists operating in legitimate clinics. Acupuncture has little side effects, and side effects are usually mild. However, serious side effects such as infections may occur due to the use of unsterilized needles. Fortunately, licensed and skilled acupuncturists make sure that they use needles only once and on only one person.


acupuncture in Santa Barbara



Acupuncture at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic

Safety is a top priority at the Santa Barbara Herb Clinic. Here, you can be sure that your child will be in good hands. The clinic has been in the business of providing holistic healthcare since 1986, and it is still going strong to this day. Tram, our owner and Licensed Acupuncturist, is continuing the clinic’s tradition of providing age-old treatments to people in the Santa Barbara and Goleta area.


Book an appointment or schedule a consultation about pediatric acupuncture by calling us at 805-563-0222 or emailing us at Tram also conducts consultations over the phone or via video call, which comes in handy if you’re not within driving distance of the clinic. Contact us today to begin your journey to all-natural healthcare!