Preparing For Your Child's First Acupuncture Visit
Now that you have decided to bring your child in for their first acupuncture treatment, you might be wondering what you’re going to tell them about this initial visit. In order to help you explain the process and what to expect to your child, we’ve put together a few pointers to help you out.
BE HONEST WITH YOUR CHILD ABOUT WHAT THE VISIT IS FOR.
If your child is old enough to understand what is going on with their body, explain to them why they are coming in for an acupuncture visit. Is it to help them with their asthma? Their allergies? Or for their chronic ear infections? Let them know that you will be discussing their problem with the acupuncturist.
Acupuncture awakens the body innate healing wisdom to help the body heal itself naturally. While our bodies are designed with great self-healing powers, sometimes we get off balance and our bodies need a little help to heal naturally. A simple way to explain it to kids is that acupuncture is like the light switch that turns on their body’s natural healing powers.
Another way to help kids understand what acupuncture treatment will be like is to explain that the acupuncturist is like a detective, looking for clues as to the root cause of their health condition. By asking questions and doing a physical examination, the acupuncturist gathers the clues to form a (treatment) plan. The (treatment) plan itself will consist of tapping on special spots, called acupuncture points, to re-start the body’s natural healing process. It’s the way that we turn the light switch on.
AVOID WORDS LIKE PINCH, PRICK, POKE, PINS OR NEEDLES.
These words often sound scary to a child and may cause your child to be afraid of acupuncture before they even enter the treatment room.
TELL THEM THE ACUPUNCTURIST DOES “TAPS”.
In our clinic, we do not “needle” our pediatric patients, we “tap,” which more accurately describes what we are doing. Taps involves first locating the acupuncture point then using our finger to gently rub and tap the point prior to using a tube to quickly tap the acupuncture needle into the point. For children age 5 and under, we always take the tap (needle) out immediately. For kids age 6 and over, we may retain the taps (needles) in the point for several minutes. The older your child, the longer we may retain the taps (needles).
DON’T LIE TO THEM IF THEY ASK IF IT WILL HURT.
While acupuncture usually does not cause pain, there are some acupuncture points that are more sensitive than others. There are also some children who are inherently more sensitive to any pain stimuli no matter how minor. If your child asks what it will feel like, be honest. Tell them it may feel like a pressure, ache or soreness, but that the feeling will come and go very quickly.
TELL THEM ABOUT ACUPUNCTURE.