Canadian researchers find acupuncture safe treatment option if done by professional
Dr. Suntia Vohra, MD, Msc, professor department of pediatrics with cross-appointment in Public Health Sciences and studies lead author at the University of Alberta in Canada, had stated that when acupuncture is administered by “trained hands it seems safe for children”.
Researchers had examined years of information that had evaluated the problems linked to needle acupuncture in children. Among the information they had found 279 adverse effects; 25 serious, one moderate and 253 mild. Serious effects had included infections, intestinal blockage and only in one case fatal rupture of the heart. Mild effects included bruising, pain, bleeding and worsening of symptoms.
According to researchers their findings support those from adult studies that had found acupuncture is safe when it is administered by appropriately trained professionals. Researchers have also noted that the number of serious outcomes may have been due to substandard practice.
As researchers explained acupuncture is a very common treatment used throughout the world and is said to have originated in China thousands of years ago. Eastern medicine believes acupuncture opens the channels where a person’s life force (Qi) is blocked. Western medicine belief is acupuncture performs by stimulating the release of endorphins(body’s own natural pain killers).
According to a 2007 National Health Interview Survey which had included a comprehensive survey of CAM used by Americans, 3.1 million adults and 150,00 children had used acupuncture in the past year.
Acupuncture is growing increasingly popular today and due to the fact no specific studies had been done on the safety of acupuncture in children, researchers had wished to evaluate the available evidence for a determination if this treatment was safe or not in children.
The results of the study are published online in the December issue of Pediatrics.
According to Dr. Lawrence Taw, assistant clinical professor at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine in Los Angeles and not associated with this study had remarked acupuncture often used with pediatric patients for chronic pain, eczema, allergies and asthma based on literature.
Dr. T aw further notes that it is safe when done by a well trained experienced practitioner. Children could have problems following directions or just be uncomfortable with needles, making it dangerous since they have to stay still while the needles are inserted into the body.
Jeannie Kang, MS, DNBAO, DNBIM, Lac, president of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and licensed acupuncturist in Los Angeles, California, remarked that there are acupuncturists which specialize in children but most practitioners will have some pediatric experience. She further remarked needle insertion in children under eleven years old is uncommon. Instead of needles practitioners will use a tool that resembles a “spiky rolling pin” to apply pressure to acupoints.
In the state of Michigan acupuncturists must be licensed with the state.
Acupuncturists in Detroit area:
Detroit Community Acupuncture
4100 Woodward Avenue
Treatment Concepts Acupuncture
258 Eliot Street