Can Children And Teens Undergo Acupuncture Treatments?

Acupuncture is a holistic healing approach that has been practiced for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It involves the insertion of thin needles into specific points on the body to promote balance and healing. While acupuncture is often associated with adults seeking pain relief or stress management, it is also a viable treatment option for children and teenagers. However, there are certain considerations to keep in mind before deciding if acupuncture is right for a young person.

Benefits of Acupuncture for Children and Teens

Just like adults, children and teenagers can benefit from acupuncture in various ways. Acupuncture can help address a wide range of health concerns that young individuals often experience. Some of the benefits of acupuncture for children and teens include:

  • Pain relief: Acupuncture can effectively alleviate pain caused by injuries, headaches, migraines, and menstrual cramps. It can be a valuable alternative to medication for pain management.
  • Improved sleep: Many children and teenagers struggle with sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or nighttime fears. Acupuncture can help regulate sleep patterns and promote restful sleep.
  • Enhanced immune function: Acupuncture stimulates the immune system and helps strengthen the body’s natural defense mechanisms. This can be particularly beneficial for children and teenagers who are prone to frequent colds and infections.
  • Reduced anxiety and stress: Academic pressure, social challenges, and hormonal changes can all contribute to heightened stress and anxiety in young individuals. Acupuncture can help relax the mind and body, promoting a sense of calm and well-being.
  • Improved emotional well-being: Acupuncture can assist in regulating mood swings and emotional imbalances commonly experienced by children and teenagers.
  • Support for specific conditions: Acupuncture can be an effective complementary treatment for conditions such as asthma, allergies, digestive issues, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and more.

Considerations for Acupuncture in Children and Teens

While acupuncture can be beneficial for young individuals, it is essential to approach it with some considerations in mind:

  • Needles and fear: Many children and teenagers may have a fear of needles or a low tolerance for pain. It is important to find a skilled and experienced acupuncturist who specializes in working with children and uses gentle techniques to minimize discomfort.
  • Consent and communication: It is crucial to involve the child or teenager in the decision-making process and obtain their consent before proceeding with acupuncture treatments. Open and honest communication between the acupuncturist, the young patient, and their parents/guardians is vital.
  • Length of sessions: Young individuals may have shorter attention spans and may not be able to tolerate longer acupuncture sessions. The duration of the treatments can be adjusted accordingly to accommodate their needs.
  • Parental involvement: Depending on the age and comfort level of the child or teenager, parental presence during acupuncture sessions can provide a sense of security and support.

What to Expect During an Acupuncture Treatment

An acupuncture treatment for a child or teenager will typically involve several steps:

  1. Initial consultation: The acupuncturist will have an initial consultation with the child or teenager and their parents to gather information about their medical history, symptoms, and overall well-being. This consultation is crucial for the acupuncturist to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
  2. Needle insertion: The acupuncturist will insert thin, sterile needles into specific points on the child’s body. These needles are considerably thinner than those used for injections and are usually painless or cause minimal discomfort.
  3. Needle retention: The needles will be left in place for a predetermined period, typically ranging from a few minutes to around 30 minutes. During this time, the child or teenager may feel sensations such as tingling or warmth.
  4. Needle removal: The acupuncturist will gently remove the needles, ensuring the child’s comfort throughout the process.

It is important to note that children and teenagers may require fewer needles and shorter treatment durations compared to adults. The acupuncturist will customize the treatment plan based on the individual’s specific needs and response to acupuncture.


In conclusion, while acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment option for children and teenagers, it is crucial to approach it with appropriate considerations and find a qualified acupuncturist who specializes in working with young individuals. When administered by a skilled professional, acupuncture can provide numerous benefits and aid in the overall well-being of children and teens.