Acupuncture For a Child



How does acupuncture work for children?


In children, acupuncture works in the same way as it does for adults, by stimulating a neurobiological process that has anti-pain effects. When endogenous opioid peptides are released such as endorphins and enkephalins, it stimulates inhibitory pathways, which help to reduce or stop the pain.  


The majority of children who come to the Acupuncture Specialists of Cherry Hill receive acupuncture for headaches, back pain, chest pain, and limb pain.  The Acupuncture Specialists also provide treatment for children with sickle cell disease, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, Crohn's Disease, and cancer. 


How old does my child have to be to receive acupuncture?


Infants as young as 3 weeks old can undergo acupuncture treatments.


What should my child expect during a typical acupuncture session?


Your child will lie on a comfortable flat table. The acupuncturist will insert very thin, solid, stainless steel sterile needles into strategic points on his or her body.  Most children typically feel no pain when the needles are inserted.

Our professional acupuncturists carefully explain the process and can demonstrate it on their own hand or on a child's toy animal so the child can gain an understanding of what the treatment entails.  Once the needles are in place, most children begin to feel relaxed and comfortable. Each treatment usually takes between 35 to 60 minutes.


How can I help my child feel at ease during his/her acupuncture treatment?


There are many tips and techniques acupuncturists use to help a child feel at ease during an acupuncture session.  The acupuncturists at the Acupuncture Specialists of Cherry Hill are thoroughly trained on how to communicate the details of a treatment with children and their parents.  We require parents to remain in the room with their child during the initial consultation and acupuncture treatment to help the child feel more comfortable.

If the child likes to read or play with a phone/iPad, you can give him a book or play device so he/she moves around less and feels more relaxed.
Some children have certain possessions that make them feel secure and comforted. If your child has a particular device, book, blanket, or special toy that they enjoy, make sure it is nearby for them.

You may want to hold your child's hand if they feel slightly nervous, but still want the treatment.
Use positive reinforcement – tell your child they are doing great!


Will the acupuncture treatment hurt?


Acupuncture is a painless and relaxing treatment when it is performed by an experienced acupuncturist.   


Is it safe?


Yes; the Acupuncture Specialists only use sterile and disposable needles for treatment.  There is no risk of acquiring transmissible blood borne diseases from the treatment.  


What if my child gets nervous and changes their mind?


If your child agrees to treatment, but during treatment they change their mind and become afraid or upset, the treatment is stopped immediately. 



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