5 Reasons Why Kids Love Getting Acupuncture April 5, 2016

If you have kids, know any, want some or are one, you’ll want to hear this.

Perhaps you think that kids and needles go together as well as ice cream and hot sauce. And if your only idea of a needle is the kind used to extract blood from your vein or inject vaccinations, then we get why you feel this way. We get why kids feel this way. Needles = pain = get me out of here!

As a child, I was the biggest needle-phobe you’ve ever seen. My anxiety surrounding needles was so large that it would make me physically sick. It took a team of nurses to hold me down at the doctor’s office to get a shot. I was probably 7 years old when my mom told me that she had to get a blood test in order to get her marriage license, a practice that has since been done-away with in most states. I made my mind up then and there that marriage was NOT for me.

Who would have thought I would have grown up to become an acupuncturist? Certainly not my family or my 7-year-old self. It took a decade and a dash of desperation for me to try acupuncture as a teenager, and I was shocked to realize that 1) I could easily handle it, 2) it was a relaxing experience and 3) my symptoms went away.

Nevertheless, that fear has shaped how and why I love treating kids. I talk to and comfort my scared 7-year-old self every time I work with a child who is initially terrified of acupuncture.

So, let me guess. You’re reading this right now because
1) You’re tired of bringing your child to the doctor and walking out with a prescription.
2) You’ve exhausted your options with western medicine and your gut says there has to be another option.
3) You had no idea that Chinese medicine was appropriate for kids.
4) All of the above.

PatIMG_3741ients are often surprised to see little people emerging from our treatment rooms with smiles on their faces, or showing up for an appointment eagerly asking for Dr. Jorge or Dr. Maggie. The truth is, kids ages 0 to 100 are excellent candidates for Chinese medicine. Some of the many conditions we can treat with kids include:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Rashes
  • Colds/flus
  • Ear infections
  • Frequent illness & low immunity
  • Seizures
  • Stress & anxiety
  • Behavior issues

While your little one might be hesitant at first, we’ll bet the farm that he or she will love coming to acupuncture once they realize what it’s all about. Here are just a few reasons why kids love acupuncture at Family Tree:

1) We don’t retain the needles
Kids are bursting with “yang” energy, meaning their bodies are very dynamic and they respond quickly to treatment. This means less needles are needed, often as few as one or two. We only need to leave the needles in for as little as a few seconds to effect change. In and out. Badda bing, badda boom! Done and done.

2) Kids call the shots
We never, and I mean NEVER force a child to get an acupuncture treatment during their session. Our job is to decrease their fear and earn their trust. We never come at them with a needle because how traumatizing is that?! Granted, we work for their consent and approval. Case in point: Ali, our Office Manager, moonlights as a bubble blower. If we can’t win a child over on the first visit, that’s ok. We achieve great results using acupressure, cupping and moxibustion to address many acute and chronic issues as well.

needlesize3) It doesn’t hurt
We don’t expect kids to take our word for it. To prove this point, we’ll do acupuncture on ourselves, on the parents, even on our resident teddy bear…who has now become the healthiest bear in the world. Never been sick a day in his life 🙂 We show kids how thin and bendy the needles are (only if they ask to see what the needle looks like). Did you know that 30-45 acupuncture needles can fit into the barrel of a hypodermic needle? Check out the size comparison chart to see exactly how minimal they really are.

4) The toy bin
We’ve got bribes…uh, I mean toys. Kids LOVE the toy bucket. And when they do something brave, they just may get to take home their favorite one.

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5) Herbs taste good
We have formulas designed especially for our little friends. These remedies are perfectly safe, exceptionally effective, and don’t carry the same, shall we say, “bite” as the raw herbal formulas we often send our adult patients home with. Here are a few of our most popular remedies that pack a punch but go down easy:

      • Our 7-star formula for tummy troubles is like sipping on southern sweet tea.
      • Fish oil gummies for immunity and development of a healthy brain, heart & eyes are tutti fruity flavored, and what kid would say no to that?
      • FloraBoost for digestive health is the master of disguises and can easily blend in with applesauce, smoothies or juices.
      • Our diverse line of herbal tinctures are sweet, tangy and super easy to administer.
      • Breathing herbs for stuffy noses go right into your humidifier at home.
      • ClearPop for ear aches looks and tastes like a lollipop and has been shown to eliminate the need for antibiotics if you catch the infection early enough.

What’s more, we make it easy for you to afford treatment for your kids. After the initial visit, we charge a flat rate of $35 per visit for kids under the age of 10, which is essentially the cost of a co-pay. And speaking of co-pays, you’ll be happy to know we accept insurance and we’d love to check whether or not your child’s plan covers for acupuncture.

There’s substance behind the name “Family Tree Acupuncture”. When we say we offer holistic health care for the whole family, we mean kids, grandparents and everyone in between. If you’re interested in a different approach or you’re at the end of your rope with conventional medicine, come let us make a needle-lover out of your little one. What we have to offer is safe, gentle and effective….and if you’re brave enough to try a new approach with your child, we’ll let you raid the toy bin too.


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  1. Doreen Hackett • April 5, 2016

    Love the article....if I had that 7 year old now, she would surely understand and accept acupuncture. We underestimate kids so we scare or surprise them into doing something that we think that they won't like. I think that your approach takes the "scare" out of acupuncture. By being up front about the process you put the child on an equal footing and open to understanding the procedure. I will surely pass the article on to anyone thinking about acupuncture for children. Reply

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