Discover Health

Integrative Family Medicine & Naturopathic Doctors located in North Beach, San Francisco, CA & San Mateo, CA

Acupuncture, a therapeutic practice rooted in traditional Chinese medicine, is primarily thought of as an alternative pain-relief technique. Although it does promote the release of pain-suppressing endorphins, acupuncture has a wide range of potential benefits. What you may find even more surprising, however, is that the practice can also greatly benefit kids with health issues. At Discover Health in San Francisco’s North Beach area, Dr. Oded Herbsman and Dr. Jon-Michael Castelli offer acupuncture treatments for pediatric patients. Call or book your appointment online today.

Acupuncture Q & A

What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the stimulation — or in some cases relaxation — of particular areas of the body through the insertion of ultra-thin needles into the skin at strategic points.

Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners believe that the technique helps balance the flow of energy through the various pathways of the body.

Many medical doctors view acupuncture as a way to stimulate nerves, muscles, and connective tissues. This stimulation is thought to promote the release of the body’s natural painkillers — endorphins — while increasing blood flow.

How can children benefit from acupuncture?

For children with certain health issues, acupuncture can be a safe and effective treatment option. It’s ideal because, unlike medication, it doesn’t come with side effects. A single treatment can also address multiple symptoms, which often means fewer doctor visits for kids.

Dr. Herbsman and Dr. Castelli use acupuncture to help children affected by a variety of issues, including:

  • Sleep problems and fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Reflux, nausea, and stomach pain
  • Asthma and allergies
  • Bedwetting
  • Drooling

By selecting local, regional, or body-wide points, Dr. Herbsman and Dr. Castelli can achieve different effects. They may choose to stimulate a particular area or calm it, depending on the type of symptoms they’re aiming to reduce.

What is acupuncture treatment like?

Dr. Herbsman or Dr. Castelli will let you and your child know what the treatment plan entails, including the location of the acupuncture points that correspond to the problem at hand. The procedure has three parts:  

Needle insertion

Because acupuncture needles are very thin, their insertion is gentle and causes little to no discomfort. A typical treatment uses 5-20 needles. Your child may feel a brief, mild aching sensation when each needle reaches its proper depth.

Needle manipulation

Dr. Herbsman or Dr. Castelli may stimulate or calm each acupuncture point, either by gently moving or twirling the needles, or by applying heat or mild electrical pulses to the needles.

Needle removal

Acupuncture needles usually stay in place for 10-20 minutes; during this time your child can simply relax. Needle removal doesn’t usually cause any discomfort.

If you’d like to learn more about how acupuncture can benefit your child, call or book an appointment online today.