Acupuncture for babies and children Paediatric acupuncture london

Acupuncture is suitable for children of all ages, from newborn to teenage years.  They are sensitive to their surroundings and respond to any unusual conditions in their lives. New food that is hard to digest, change of school or childcare, conflicts with siblings etc. can easily cause imbalances, that if unresolved can quickly develop into health problems. Acupuncture and other modalities of Chinese Medicine (moxa, cupping, tuina, guasha, acupressure, laser pen) aim to resolve those imbalances and provide a smooth transition into an adult life. It can also be used as an adjunct to conventional paediatric care.

Treatment

The first visit last about an hour. After establishing the general nature of child's complaint, careful observation and asking various questions, I will make a diagnosis in terms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The treatment itself is very different than treatments for adults, it is much quicker and can last from few seconds to 5-15 minutes, depending on the age of the child. Most time is spent gathering information and making sure child is comfortable.

I use a special needling technique and offers smallest silicone coated needles (size of a strand of hair) for my young patients.  As a paediatric acupuncturist, I understand that not every child will undergo acupuncture.  A child is never forced to have acupuncture treatment and there are several other non-needle treatment techniques that I may use. They are easy, painless and have a similar therapeutic effect to acupuncture. Moxa - a method of gently warming specific acupuncture points, Tuina massage and acupressure can also be used, some techniques can be taught to parents to carry on at home. I also offer laser pen to perform treatment on acupuncture points (a needle free alternative).

Babies and children usually respond very quickly to the needle and non-needle treatments like Shonishin. They may experience a significant relief in symptoms immediately or shortly after the treatment. If child presents with chronic condition it is expected that a gradual improvement in the condition is achieved.

Number of treatments required varies from child to child and depends on many factors: condition treated, TCM diagnosis, child's constitution. For simpler patterns it can be one to ten treatments, ten to twenty for others, while some deeply rooted conditions may require many more treatments. Treatment is suited to child's individual needs and adjusted with the progress.

Shonishin Paediatric Acupuncutre

It is a Japanese form of treating children, sho=little, ni=children, shin=needle. Using Shonishin focuses on gentle, specialised, mostly non-inserted treatment techniques that children find comfortable and even pleasurable. Dramatic results can be obtained even with very light treatment. Shonishin techniques involve rhythmic stroking, tapping, and pressing the skin to give different kinds of gentle stimulation. These techniques harmonize and fortify the child's vital energy, and strengthen the child's constitution. Depending on the patient, treatment are carried once or twice a week. Parents will also be tought how to use certain techniques between sessions to enhance treatments. 

Paediatric Tuina

It is a powerful form of medical massage which can be used either preventatively or to help a child through chronic or acute illness.  It can be used in the clinic and also taught to parents.

Much of the treatment is applied to the infant’s hands, forearms, back and abdomen. The massage treatment is gentle and simple to apply and makes an excellent alternative to acupuncture. It is also commonly used alongside acupuncture treatment. Paediatric Tui Na is generally suitable for children below the age of 14.  However, it is most effective on children below the age of 6, including newborns, infants and toddlers.   For children above the age of 9, a combination of Paediatric and acupuncture are typically used to achieve optimal results

In China treatment is given in courses of daily treatments for 5-10 days with a few days break in between courses. Practitioners in the West teach parents how to apply the treatment once a day in between treatments from the practitioner.

Here is a simple Tuina massage routine to improve sleep, and to help with constipation by Leonid from Tui Na Centre, London.

Robin Green, L.Ac. MTCM has prepared  a very helpful and easy to follow Tuina  massage guide for treating cough in children, as well as a video of Tuina Massage and guasha to boost immunity in children.

Acupuncture therapy using a laser.

Laser Acupuncture is a gentle and effective alternative to traditional acupuncture and as such is particularly well suited for use on the young, elderly or simply nervous. 

I apply exactly the same principles and laws of Traditional Acupuncture, pulse and tongue diagnosis are taken, acupuncture points are carefully chosen but instead of needles laser is being used, which has some positive advantages, being:

  • Aseptic

  • Non-invasive

  • Painless and with

  • No reported side-effects

Low level cold laser is pain free, it works from the infra red spectrum. It penetrates up to 3cm into the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body. Once the treatment site is targeted the laser light stimulates the mitrichondria of the cell (cell body) within muscles, tendons or ligaments causing them to oxidize and duplicate accelerating the cell division and increasing healing at twice the normal rate.

Low level lasers are not like the higher energy medical devices used to remove tattoos or cauterize wounds, that can cause significant tissue heating. Low level lasers are safe since the amount of laser energy delivered over time is high enough to give a biostimulatory effect, yet low enough that heating of tissues cannot occur.

What does the treatment involve?

After diagnosing a patient and deciding wich points would be the most suitable, each point is then stimulated with a laser pen for around 20 seconds.  Usually patients feel virtually nothing during the session because the pure wavelengths of the lasers create no heat or friction. The treatment is very safe and non-invasive.

Is Laser Acupuncture for me?

Laser Acupuncture is good for many of the same conditions as traditional acupuncture, though there are still some situations in which a needle is very much the recommended method.

If you or your children would prefer a needle-free option, please let the me know and we can discuss a course of treatment. The range of disorders that can respond to Laser Acupuncture are immense, from migraines to arthritis, from addictions to menopausal issues. All  acupuncture patients will be given oriental diagnostics before any treatment begins.

Paediatric conditions treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine

WHO suggests benefits from acupuncture for:

  • Digestive problems: tummy aches, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting

  • Earache

  • Weak immune system

  • Respiratory disorders: cough, tonsillitis

  • Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections

  • Broken sleep

Please have a look at my Blog and Research papers for some interesting facts.

Various reviews have found acupuncture and acupuncture-related therapies to show particular promise in the treatment of paediatric pain, cerebral palsy, nocturnal enuresis, tic disorders, amblyopia, nausea and vomiting, digestive disorders, autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), and respiratory disorders. Here is some good research results prepared by Evidence Based Acupuncture.

Dietary & Lifestyle advice

It is very common that simple changes in child's diet can make a huge difference in how they feel. With some conditions I would ask to cut out some foods for the duration of treatment

Very often adjusting child's sleep routine, or regularity of meals can have a tremendous difference. With some children, introducing some regular exercise or on the other spectrum, reducing the overload may help.

Acupuncture tends to be far more effective for someone who is healthy and able to heal quickly, as opposed to someone in their seventies or eighties who has been ill for a long time, that is why it is so effective on children. 

© 2012 created by Holistic Therapy Ealing