Despite not being widely known Acupuncture for Children is becoming a more widely used treatment for headaches, stomach problems, joint pain, depression and other frequent health issues. Children are often apprehensive to have acupuncture as a treatment because of the stereotype of large needles being used but in reality the needles are extremely fine and often you cannot feel them at all.
There has been a recent study carried out by an anaesthesiologist Yuan-Chu Lin, M.D. to explore the effects of acupuncture for children. The study involved 243 children between the ages of 6 months and 18 years old. All of the children in the study had sought acupuncture therapy for headaches, stomach pain, back pain and a variety of other chronic illnesses and complaints that had caused them to be absent from school. On average in the study, the children rated the pain they experienced as an eight out of ten with ten being the worst pain they could imagine. The study was a year long and it found that on average the children who received acupuncture therapy reported having less pain than before their treatment, rating their pain with a three out of ten. They also reported that they had an increase in school attendance, improvement in sleep and were more willing to participate in extracurricular activities.
Another earlier study involved 47 children with 15 participants being 12 years old or under and 32 participants being aged between 13 and 20 years old. The study showed evidence that at least 70 percent of the children treated with acupuncture benefited from pain relief, with the majority of parents agreeing with this. The conditions for which the children were treated for vary but consisted mainly of migraines, RSD and endometriosis in young females.
A more recent study has also provided research to suggest that acupuncture may be beneficial for children suffering with a lazy eye, also known as amblyopia. The study consisted of 88 children who were between the ages of 7 and 13. all of the children who had to wear corrective lenses because of amblyopia proved to have success with 42 percent of the children who received acupuncture reporting that there was an improvement in their lazy eye within 3 months.
Many parents often worry about giving their children medication prescribed either by their doctor or over the counter because of the uncertain effects it can have. However, with acupuncture serving to help children with countless ailments it is becoming a more widely used, safer alternative to pharmaceuticals.