Pediatric Acupuncture Clinic
The Pediatric Acupuncture Clinic is open two afternoons a week at Kosair Children's Hospital. It is the only physician-based acupuncture practice in Kentucky that focuses on children and is covered by insurance.
Information and appointments: (502) 629-4900
Information About Acupuncture
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a treatment originating from China that has been practiced for over 2000 years. It employs the use of hair-fine needles inserted into selected acupuncture points throughout the body. These points work together with one another and are interconnected by systems called "meridians." The goal of the treatment is to normalize the flow of energy, known as "Qi" (pronounced "chi"), in the body and to restore balance to the entire system, helping to resolve the medical condition.
According to a 2008 report published by the National Center for Health and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, more than three million adults and 150,000 children have used acupuncture for ailments like headaches, back and neck pain, anxiety, and ADHD in 2007. It has gained significant acceptance and popularity for the treatment of various conditions, despite the lack of complete physiologic understanding. Acupuncture is increasingly being integrated into pediatric care. One third of pediatric pain centers in the US now offer acupuncture as a part of their services.
What are the adverse effects of acupuncture?
One of the most positive things about the acupuncture is that there are virtually no adverse effects. Sometimes a small amount of bruising, redness, or swelling might occur around the needle site. We use only sterile, disposable, stainless steel needles in our clinic. There is no risk of acquiring transmissible, blood-borne diseases from acupuncture treatments.
Does the insertion of acupuncture needles hurt?
Acupuncture needles are very different from injection needles. They are solid and smaller in size (0.14-0.22 mm). Injection needles have a hole in the center (that allows the blood to be drawn or medication to be injected), so during placement they cut the skin causing pain. Tiny, solidacupuncture needles can be placed in the body with almost no disruption to the skin and the soft tissue beneath it. Before beginning with acupuncture, our physician will place the needle in his hand to demonstrate that it doesn't cause any significant discomfort. Most patients feel no pain, and some feel minimal pain as the needles are inserted. Once the needle is in place, no pain is felt. It is common during the needle placement to experience a peculiar feeling, known as "the arrival of Qi." This sensation is produced by the stimulation of the acupuncture point and resolves after treatment. The needles are left in place for 20-30 min.
What will the child experience during an acupuncture treatment?
The physician acupuncturist will first speak to both you and your child about the child's condition and medical history. After the physical exam, the needles will be placed. Patients should not have a full meal two hours prior to an acupuncture treatment.
How many treatments will my child need?
The number of treatments depends on the patient's condition. For chronic, long-standing conditions, one or two treatments per week for several weeks may be needed.
How do I know if my child's condition can be treated with acupuncture?
The primary focus of our clinic is on chronic pain conditions in children such as musculoskeletal pain, headaches, fibromyalgia, functional abdominal pain, complex regional pain syndrome, and non-cardiac chest pain. The World Health Organization has listed the conditions they recommend for acupuncture treatment on its website.