Over the last 20 years, the amount of research into acupuncture has grown at an extraordinarily rapid pace. In this period alone, there have been over 13000 studies carried out in 60 countries. The Acupuncture Evidence Project has found evidence of the beneficial effect of acupuncture for 117 conditions. The project also concluded that acupuncture is a safe treatment when carried out by a well-trained practitioner.
Whilst most of this research has been on treating conditions in adults, there is also significant research to support some of the many benefits of acupuncture in children. A recent review of the evidence of acupuncture in paediatric conditions stated:
“Various reviews have found acupuncture and acupuncture-related therapies to show particular promise in the treatment of paediatric pain, cerebral palsy, nocturnal enuresis, tic disorders, amblyopia, nausea and vomiting, digestive disorders, autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), and respiratory disorders. Furthermore, acupuncture is considered safe and well-tolerated with a very low risk of serious adverse effects.” (Evidenced-based acupuncture: paediatric summary. p. 3)
It is also worth comparing the use of acupuncture for children with other paediatric medicine. Approximately half of all medicines prescribed to children are insufficiently labelled for paediatric use. This means there is insufficient evidence regarding their safety and efficacy. Conversely, acupuncture has been used over many centuries and has proven safe and effective for children of all ages.
If you would like to read the complete summary of evidence for paediatric acupuncture, please click here.