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Acupuncture for Children

Pediatrics has formed a specialist subject in Chinese Medicine since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Chinese Doctors recognised the difference between children and adults in diagnosis and treatment and skillfully adapted their methods to the treatment of children.

Pediatric acupuncture treatments, especially for children age 6 and under are very different than treatments for adults. Although treatments are around 30 minutes long, most of this time is spent discussing the problem, observing the child and offering solutions. The acupuncture part is very brief and painless, lasting from a couple of seconds to 10 minutes depending on the age of the child. Babies and children usually respond very quickly to acupuncture treatment.

Children are not forced to have acupuncture if they don’t want it. We can use other non-needle methods of treatment in particular Paediatric Tui na massage. These methods are very effective and help the practitioner to develop a trusting relationship with the child. Eventually almost every child who comes for treatment will try acupuncture at some point. To their amazement, they find it is painless!

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Treatments for babies, toddlers and young children typically take place while they are being held by Mum or Dad or sitting on their knee. Most of the time the needle insertion goes unnoticed by the child as they are being entertained by their parent. In the typical toddler visit, after a thorough discussion of the child’s health, the acupuncture takes about 2 minutes or so to complete. The needles, which are extremely fine, are inserted and immediately removed.

As children get older they often have memories of pain from vaccinations and acupuncture can be a harder sell. This is when we use non-needle based techniques. Once children are little more mature, around age 7- 12, the needles are retained for around 5 – 15 minutes while the child rests quietly.

Children can respond very quickly to both needle and non-needle treatments. They may experience a significant relief in symptoms immediately or shortly after treatment. In our experience once children start to make the connection that treatments are helping them feel better, they gladly come back for more. Once trust is built, they allow stronger treatments, more needles and in many cases they become braver than adults!

We see children most commonly for sleeping problems, allergies, constipation, diarrhea, coughs and colds and ear ache. We see a lot of chronic conditions such as asthma, eczema, bronchitis and sinusitis. We typically see babies for sleeping problems, colic, teething issues, and failure to thrive.

Paediatric acupuncture treatments are very well tolerated by children and are effective for a wide variety of common childhood ailments. Treatment works with the child’s body to heal the underlying imbalances and to prevent future illnesses.

There are many studies coming out of China and Germany proving the effectiveness of acupuncture treatments for children. It may be only a matter of time before pediatric acupuncture and Tui na become mainstream treatments.

To book an appointment

Please contact the centre Reception 02082935380 : Monday & Tuesday 9:30-16:00; Wednesdays 9:30-12.30 & 16:30-20:30; Thursday 9:30–1.30pm; Friday 9:30–15:00pm;  you can leave a message on our voicemail outside of these times or email


Contact direct for bookings:
Bernadette: Flexible appointments - 07960 147 643