A girl lying on a treatment couch having acupuncture. 10 Oct 2023

BY: Sunny Jaspal

Acupuncture / Blog / Conditions

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A girl lying on a treatment couch having acupuncture.


Treating children’s mental health is something I am particularly passionate about having had firsthand experience. 1 in 6 young people in England (aged 5 to 16) experienced a mental health problem in 2020, increasing from 1 in 9 in 2017 (NHS Digital, 2020).

Have you ever considered acupuncture treatment for children? Perhaps the idea of using needles on your precious one is a worry for you. However, acupuncture has been found to be safer than many drugs and other procedures used in the treatment of children (Jindal, et al 2008). 

As a mother of a 5 year old with a needle phobia, I can assure you that a) the needles are painless and gentle and  b) needles aren’t always necessary. We can use alternatives such as tapping and stroking of acupuncture points with special devices developed for the treatment of children.

The following case study refers to 8-year-old Kiera, treated by acupuncturist Sahar Hooti BSc (Hons) for anxiety. Kiera presented to her GP with debilitating digestive issues, which after several clinical appointments and investigations left her GP and paediatrician confused. She was diagnosed with IBS – although as a child she is considered too young for this formal diagnosis – and advised that she would grow out of it.

Kiera’s mum Louise was desperate to help her daughter as the condition was affecting school attendance and many areas of her life. Louise’s sister suggested she try acupuncture. Kiera’s paediatrician was also an advocate of acupuncture.

Louise says of their acupuncturist: “Sahar seemed able to identify, unpick and ultimately, treat, the emotional aspects of Keira’s condition. So, as well as helping to ‘clear’ her anxiety issues, we started to see real improvements in her physical symptoms, too.” 

Of her treatment Kiera says, “For me, it has definitely changed my life.” 

You can read the full case study here: Anxiety case study.

As the above case study shows, anxiety and many other mental health issues can have a physical component too. This is something that acupuncture is great at identifying and treating. Individual symptoms are part of a bigger picture, involving many aspects of health.

As a mother I understand how to engage and listen to a child; how it can be scary for them; how to speak to them with empathy, respect and with language they can understand. I treat my children’s sleep problems (difficulty falling asleep, night terrors), tummy aches linked to constipation and loose stools and teething pains to name but a few. I have treated children in my clinic for digestive issues, anxiety and pain. 

Can you think of anything acupuncture could help your children with? Do you have any questions about treatment?

For a free no obligations phone consultation please email or call me to book a time. You can find more information about paediatric acupuncture here.