Although acupuncture has been a fundamental component of traditional Chinese medicine practiced for thousands of years, it seems to be increasingly popular as time goes on. More and more people are curious about its positive effects on both their mental and physical health.
Often utilized in conjunction with other therapies, acupuncture aims to treat a specific condition or simply promotes relaxation. While many believe acupuncture is strictly for adults, children may also benefit from this alternative therapy.
Here are three health conditions or illnesses that pediatric acupuncture could assist in treating:
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition characterized by difficulty focusing, and often, impulsive and disruptive behavior. It can be extremely frustrating, especially for children, as performing simple tasks are often very challenging. Simply sitting in a desk at school or finishing homework may seem impossible to children with ADHD..
As reported by The Washington Post in a September 2012 article, there are cases in which children and teens have experienced improvements in their ADHD symptoms, as well as asthma, after receiving acupuncture. In June 2016, acupuncture educational and news resource HealthCMi discussed additional evidence indicating this treatment could potentially aid in treating ADHD.
Pediatric acupuncture is also utilized to reduce or eliminate signs of autism spectrum disorder, commonly referred to as ASD or autism. Autism is a development disorder that can hinder a person’s ability to speak, communicate and/or socialize with others.
Research has been conducted in recent years to find out if acupuncture could help children with autism. According to an October 2017 article by health and medical news resource Medical Xpress, a branch of the Science X network, performing scalp acupuncture on autistic children may improve their conditions.
The clinical observation discussed in the article, which was conducted by the School of Chinese Medicine and included 68 adolescent patients, focused on five common symptoms associated with the disorder: “impaired social interaction, delayed verbal communication, behavioural problems, noise sensitivity and food selectivity.” Overall, the treatment had a 97 percent efficacy rate, with 75 percent of patients experiencing a “significant” improvement in their symptoms.
3. Ear Infections
Those who've ever had an ear infection, which probably constitutes most of us, know how uncomfortable it can be. Ear infections are often accaompanied by fatigue and a fever, as well, making symptoms even worse.
Studies suggest acupuncture may be an effective treatment, used in addition to others. According to a February 2017 article by Fox News Health, receiving a variation of acupuncture — acupressure — is one useful natural remedy for a child with an ear infection. Acupressure doesn’t involve needles, but instead, requires a trained professional to apply pressure with his or her thumbs or fingertips to certain areas of the body for pain relief.
In the case of ear infections, an acupuncturist would concentrate on areas both in front of, and behind, the affected ear.