Watch Corinne wax poetic about pediatric acupuncture on KGW's Portland Today.
Why might I take my kiddo in for acupuncture?
The short answer is - lots of reasons! The longer answer is that acupuncture and shonishin treatments are great for nervous system challenges, like ADD/ADHD and anxiety; gastrointestinal distresses like constipation, diarrhea, colic, and reflux; dermatological concerns, like eczema, dermatitis, and acne; musculoskeletal problems like sports injuries, whiplash, and general muscle pain; gynecological issues like PMS and dysmenorrhea; and vascular dysfunctions like headaches and heart palpitations.
How do acupuncture and shonishin actually work?
Acupuncture works in a few different ways, but one of the most important effects that it has on the body is via the circulatory system. Once a needle is inserted, the body responds by getting blood flowing to that area. Blood is filled with yummy nutrients, hormones, the body's natural anti-inflammatories, etc. Similarly with shonishin, small tools are used to tap, scrape, and brush certain areas of the body that contain high concentrations of sensory fibers, blood vessels, and mast cells to stimulate the body's natural healing process. Acupuncture also stimulates the release of the hormone oxytocin, which in turn helps to regulate the parasympathetic nervous system, our "rest and digest" center. This helps kids to feel more calm.
How many treatments will my child need to feel better?
This depends on how long your child has had the condition and what your child is doing when they are not at the clinic (e.g. are they getting adequate nutrition, sleep, exercise, and time outdoors). In general, we would like to see noticeable improvement within a few treatments. If not, we will help to find a practitioner that can help. For each child treated, Portland Pediatric Acupuncture provides a treatment plan with estimated number of treatments necessary for betterment of symptoms or full recovery from disease.
What does a treatment actually look like?
This little guy loves getting some shonishin in Mama's arms!
Pediatric acupuncture often looks very different than acupuncture for adults. Your child's initial appointment will be one hour, where we will review their health history and discuss the parent or guardian's health history, if appropriate. We will then spend the rest of the hour introducing the possible modalities, providing a general treatment and, of course, having a few giggles. Following the initial appointment, treatments will be 30 minutes. Depending on your child's age and comfort with needles, there may or may not be needles used during these treatments. Babies and small children can stay in their parent or guardians's arms or on their laps for the duration of treatment. For our teen population, they have the option to rest quietly with needles during a private treatment or participate in our teen-only community acupuncture treatments. Here, teens are invited to pick a comfy chair, recline, and receive their treatment in a group of their peers all healing together!
Is acupuncture safe for my child?
Most definitely, however as with many medical procedures, there are always risks. With acupuncture, the primary possible risks are bruising, bleeding, and soreness at the acupuncture site. At Portland Pediatric Acupuncture, great care is taken to ensure a safe and effective treatment is always provided to your dear one.
Do you take insurance?
Portland Pediatric Acupuncture does not accept insurance. The reason for this is twofold. One is that most insurance companies will only cover acupuncture for pain and have stringent regulations around what kind of pain. The second reason is that most insurance companies will only reimburse for needle insertion. Because it is of the utmost importance at Portland Pediatric Acupuncture to create a customized plan for each child and to have flexibility within that treatment plan to use different modalities when necessary, treatments do not often fit into the insurance model. Insurance limits the possibility of what you can bring your child into acupuncture for and what we can do to help. Instead, Portland Pediatric Acupuncture offers discount packages for prepayment of services to help make services more affordable. We will also gladly provide you with a superbill that you can submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.
Is your building ADA accessible?