A new study by researchers from the University of Alberta in Canada that combined data from 37 different international studies found that Acupuncture is safe in children. The study aimed to cast a wide net of data, pooling from randomized high-quality trials for a large scale review. Overall, the studies supported the idea that Acupuncture, when administered by a trained practitioner, can be an option for treating children with different symptoms.
The head of acupuncture pediatric pain program at the University of California, Los Angeles, Michael Waterhouse says that there have been some small studies on migraines showing that Acupuncture can be helpful in “reducing their frequency and increasing endorphin levels”. He explains that while the amount of research done with children is still minimal, the results he’s seen in children “are as good as the results we see in adults.” It also seemed that while some children began with some anxiety and misgivings about Acupuncture, they developed a positive attitude over the course of treatment.
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This press release was basically an advertisement for the The College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine (CAOM) at the Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU), a “pioneering a fundamentally new and integrated way of educating Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine practitioners for the 21st century.” So of course they are going to say acupuncture works. It works the same in kids as it does in adult because it appears to be predominantly placebo according to studies. Most CAM studies consider “as good as placebo” to be a positive effect. It’s not. Try telling your kids you want to take them to have needles stuck in them to relieve pain, see how they react. Or, you could give them a “magic lollipop” or similar mumbo-jumbo that would likely work just as well.