We now have dedicated pediatric shifts twice a week for needle-free treatments. Our resident pediatric practitioner, Alexandra Garcia, answers some of the most common questions here:
You can treat kids!?
Yes! Pediatrics has been an area of specialization in Chinese Medicine for a long time. Probably one reason that it’s been around for so long is that kids often respond very well - and very quickly - to treatments. From a Chinese Medicine perspective this has to do with the fact that children are just full of active energy (aka, qi or chi) that is ready to be redirected into a healthy pattern of movement.
Do the kids sit still?
Nope, they’re usually squirmy, chatty, and distracted. Of course it totally depends on the child. As children get older (ten years and up) they often look forward to the quiet time of a treatment. But for the younger ones, treatment happens wherever the little one is - which often involves everywhere from the table to the floor and up into a parent’s loving arms.
How old do children have to be to come in for a treatment?
Chinese Medicine is appropriate for children of all ages. Infants respond especially well to Tui Na (a needle free massage-like treatment). Toddlers usually enjoy Shoni Shin a needle free Japanese style of treatment that uses little brushes and shiny tools to redirect qi. With the tweens we may use tuning forks to send healing vibrations into the system, or discuss their comfort level with needles.
What kind of thing do you treat children for?
Just as with adults, there’s a wide range of uses for Chinese Medicine in pediatrics. It can be used monthly just to stay in good health, or can be employed for allergies, asthma, upset tummies, and ear aches. In combination with Western medicine, it can be helpful to manage sensory processing disorder, autism, ADD, and other developmental challenges.
Where can my kids go for pediatric treatments?
At BAP children over ten can come in during most shifts. Just check with reception when you book your child’s appointment. For children under ten, we have dedicated pediatric hours weekend mornings.
But BAP isn’t the only place with pediatric acupuncture. If you’re in Manhattan you can also look into City Acupuncture East Village, Melanie Katin, Moishe Heller, or Francis Goodwin.
Alexandra Garcia is a nationally board licensed herbalist as well as acupuncturist. In her undergraduate education she studied psychology and elementary school education. From there, pediatrics felt like a natural progression for the focus of her Master's of Science in East Asian Medicine.
She writes a monthly post for the BAP blog. You can read more about her training and practice as an acupuncturist our Acupuncture page here.