Archive for the ‘Acupuncture’ Category

My father is Chinese and has always been a fan of acupuncture and its eastern methods of relieving certain ailments or pain and focusing on your “qi” (pronounced chee). So I am not sure how I missed this article before Thanksgiving, but after reviewing 60 years of research, the American Academy of Pediatrics has given acupuncture the green light, reporting that the practice is “generally safe for children when performed by appropriately trained practitioners.” Would you consider it, if your child were ill and not responding to conventional medical treatment? A surprising number of parents have. Large studies in the past have generally focused on acupuncture in adults…is this how adults used to rave about yoga 15 years ago and now there are toddler yoga classes? Will child acupuncture be all the rave in 10 years? Maybe…

The report looked for evidence of side effects from 37 studies of needle acupuncture on children from birth to age 17. The researchers found 279 adverse events from acupuncture, 253 of which were mild, 1 that was moderate, and 25 considered serious. In the findings, 1,422 children were successfully treated with few exceptions of mild adverse effects dominating the reports.

The take-home message is that it is absolutely safe in both the adult and pediatric world, but you have to go to somebody who is trained. Acupuncture is sometimes used to treat headaches, migraines, back and joint pains, cramps, and chemotherapy-induced nausea. Estimates show 150,000 U.S. children undergo acupuncture each year.

Acupuncture is a treatment that is said to have originated in China thousands of years ago. In Eastern medicine, acupuncture is believed to open the channels where a person’s Qi (pronounced chee), or life force, is blocked. In Western medicine, it’s more commonly believed that acupuncture works by stimulating the release of the body’s natural painkillers, according to the U.S. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

The main concern I have is how do you know if you have an acupuncturist who is properly trained, or even has the experience to work with children? What would you do?


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acupuncture7As I approach my due date, I have become more and more anxious to start labor and meet my new baby (and, get my old body back – oh, how I miss laying on my stomach!) I have heard lots of ways to start labor, such as:

  • eating spicy foods
  • getting a foot massage
  • getting a pedicure
  • taking long walks
  • having sex

But one I haven’t heard much about is acupuncture to induce labor.

A friend of mine (from Santa Cruz, CA) swears by it! Her labor with her first child was so painful and long: four hours of hard labor with back-to-back contractions, and two hours of pushing! When she became pregnant with her second child, she had to find a way to make her labor easier. Alas… she discovered acupuncture. She scheduled an appointment with a local acupuncturist a couple of days before her induction date. (She needed to be induced because of preeclampsia.) The first needle that was inserted into her body instantly started her labor! Her labor was shorter, her contractions were more manageable, and she only pushed for 23 minutes!

With a story like that, how can I not consider acupuncture! I wish I could see her acupuncturist in Santa Cruz, but it’s just too far from my hospital. I’d probably end up having my baby on the freeway! So now I start my search for an acupuncturist. Wish me luck!

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