Many acupuncturists shy away from treating children, but in doing so, they could be missing out on a huge, untapped resource. Treating kids with acupuncture is a fantastic opportunity, both to build your practice and to promote acupuncture now and for future generations.
Acupuncture has become extremely popular for supporting fertility and nurturing women through pregnancy. Many women have now experienced the magic of acupuncture first-hand and benefitted personally from its effects. Many of these women now have kids and would be overjoyed to let them share these benefits too.
Attracting children to your practice will also increase your referral network greatly. Mums love to talk to each other about new things they have tried that work, and acupuncture could easily become one of them. Children also often have large families with parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who could all become engaged in treatment too.
Another great reason to treat children is to rectify imbalances at an early age. In this way, acupuncture can act as a true preventative medicine and reduce the likelihood of suffering later on in life.
Furthermore, childhood illnesses such as allergies and asthma are on the rise. As many as 35% of children now suffer from allergies alone, and daily exposure to environmental toxins and irritants can only make matters worse.
In the past, these conditions would have been treated with drugs such as corticosteroids, but as many parents become more aware of the side-effects of these pharmaceuticals, they are increasingly sceptical about their use.
As a result, more and more parents are seeking natural, holistic alternatives for their families. Statistics suggest that in the United States alone, as many as 11.6% of children have been treated with some form of complementary therapy in the past. That’s a lot of parents who would potentially be willing to send their kids through your clinic door.
Specialising in paediatric acupuncture is one way to ensure that you are ready for this increase in demand, and will allow you to help many families to cope with the effects of childhood illnesses great and small.
One of the most satisfying things about treating children is how quickly and how well they respond. Young children are far more sensitive to the effects of acupuncture than adults, and this means that you can see really significant results in a relatively short space of time. And you will not only be helping these children to recover from their ailments, but also comforting their parents through what can be a worrying and challenging time.
Treating children with acupuncture is also a chance to impart some ancient TCM wisdom onto parents in the form of dietary advice. You might be shocked to learn how many parents are not well educated about nutrition in general, and raise their kids with unhealthy habits that stick with them into adulthood. By nipping these poor lifestyle choices in the bud, you could potentially prevent a lot of pain and suffering later on.
When treating kids, one concern for parents and practitioners alike is safety. While it is true that children need to be treated in a different way to adults, some basic training in paediatric acupuncture will equip you with all of the skills you need to do this both safely and effectively.
If you need to reassure parents, one review of the safety and efficacy of acupuncture in children found that acupuncture is safe and well-tolerated by children. The overall incidence of adverse effects was 1.55 per 100 treatments, with the risk of severe adverse events estimated at 5.36 per 10,000. The most common side effect was found to be sedation, so if you are worried about excessive squirming during treatments then you needn’t be. Most children find acupuncture just as calming as their adult counterparts.
Treating children with acupuncture is highly rewarding and offers a fantastic way to help others and grow your practice in the process. So if you are thinking about studying paediatric acupuncture, don’t delay. You will be benefitting families and safeguarding the future of our profession for many years to come.
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