Holistic Pediatric Acupuncture

Offering a painless and non-pharmacological solution to many of today's acute and chronic childhood illnesses.

Holistic Pediatric Acupuncture with Annabelle Snow, LAc offers your family an effective, and minimally invasive treatment option for babies, children and adolescents of all ages. A variety of needle-free techniques are available, as well as very thin, painless acupuncture needles.

What is Holistic Pediatric Acupuncture?

Holistic Pediatric Acupuncture is what we call our comprehensive pediatric assessment and treatment sessions. What we've found is that kids need a flexible approach. Sometimes a session may be needle-based, and sometimes it may not. Sometimes we do bodywork or access acu-points with alternative non-needle tools. We may use moxa, cupping or gua sha. We will discuss dietary recommendations and suggestions. We will prescribe Chinese Herbs as appropriate. Sometimes we will do a combination of all of those things. What you also get with your Holistic Pediatric sessions is the ability to email with Annabelle directly in between visits.

What Does Pediatric Acupuncture Treat?

Some common childhood illnesses treated with Holistic Pediatric Acupuncture are:

  • Pain syndromes
  • Allergies
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Asthma
  • Bedwetting
  • Colic, excessive crying, temper tantrums
  • Colds, coughs
  • Digestive Complaints (GERD, constipation, diarrhea, food sensitivities)
  • Ear infections
  • Eczema, skin rashes
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Hyperactivity/behavioral concerns
  • Insomnia and night terrors
  • Sports injuries, acute and chronic pain
  • Car accident injuries
  • Weak constitution, developmental delays

One common question for parents is....Do you always use needles?

No, not always! If we will be using needles, usually between four to six acupuncture points are chosen for a child: a very fine, sterile stainless steel needle is inserted from 1 to 2mm deep at each selected point with a gentle tap.  This may cause a slight pricking sensation, but because acupuncture needles are so thin the child will barely notice the insertion.  Up until the age of 4 or so, the child normally stays sitting on the parent’s lap and the needles stay in anywhere from a few seconds, a few minutes up or to 15 minutes for an older child while the parent reads them a story or talks with the child.  Toddlers may need to move about the space and the treatment can be done "on the move." Children have no negative pre-conceptions about acupuncture needles like adults and usually sit calmly during their acupuncture treatments.  An adolescent may relax on the treatment table for 20 or 25 minutes.  

Traditional Chinese Medicine employs similar methods to diagnose and treat children and infants as adults including acupuncture, massage, herbs, dietary and lifestyle advice.  The treatment is catered to each child’s age, weight, constitution and diagnosis.  Some children do well with acupuncture, while others who are young or delicate of constitution respond best to needle-less point stimulation in the form of acupressure or massage or one of the tools listed below. Dietary advice and Chinese herbal therapy is given when appropriate.  

These Non-needling techniques are available for children as well: 

Laser/Electro Stim - Lasers and E-stim are a painless way to stimulate acupuncture points and increase ATP production/cell growth.

Shonishin – This gentle Japanese technique uses non-insertive tools to brush and stimulate acupuncture points and channels on the body.

Cupping – Using suction, cups placed on the body increase blood flow, help to reduce pain and inflammation, and provide a safe treatment for respiratory issues.  

Moxibustion – “Moxa” is an ancient Chinese warming and tonifying therapy where mugwort is burned over acupuncture points, channels, or areas of the body.  A favorite treatment for growing pains!

Here are some other questions you may have before starting care:

Is acupuncture safe for my child?

Absolutely, however as with many medical procedures, there are always risks. With acupuncture, the primary possible risks are bruising, bleeding, and soreness at the acupuncture site. At North Portland Wellness Center, great care is taken to ensure a safe and effective treatment is always provided to your child.

Can you bill my insurance?

Although the answer to this question is a little more complex, the short answer is...sometimes!

We are able to accept some insurance for children who are able to tolerate at least some minimal needling. 

As you may know, insurance billing for acupuncture can be a little complicated. The reason for this is twofold. One is that most insurance companies will only cover acupuncture for pain and have stringent regulations around what kind of pain. The second reason is that most insurance companies will only reimburse for needle insertion. Because it is of the utmost importance at our clinic to create a customized plan for each child and to have flexibility within that treatment plan to use different modalities when necessary, holistic pediatric treatments do not often fit into the insurance model. Insurance limits the possibility of what you can bring your child into acupuncture for and what we can do to help.

For this reason, the North Portland Wellness Center offers discount packages for prepayment of services to help make services more affordable. We will also gladly provide you with a superbill that you can submit to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.

Additionally, if a child has been involved in a motor vehicle accident and has experienced pain or trauma due to that accident, we can often bill your motor vehicle claim.

You can discuss the potential for continued insurance billing at your first pediatric visit. 


Does my child have to sit still?

No, not necessarily. Infants like to wiggle and toddlers notoriously like to move, so we move with them! With a moving child, we typically use in and out needling or non-needle techniques.

If your child may have trouble sitting still during the intake period, we may schedule a zoom or phone call prior to the first visit. 


Any evidence-based research to show that acupuncture works on many Pediatric healthcare complaints?

YES! See below.

https://www.evidencebasedacupuncture.org/pediatric-acupuncture/


Cost:

Holistic Pediatric Acupuncture Initial Visit: $125

Holistic Pediatric Acupuncture Return Visit: $75

Holistic Pediatric Acupuncture 6 Visit Pack: $390 ($65 each)

For Any Questions Prior To Scheduling:

Please email Annabelle directly at annabelle@northportlandwellness.com. She will be happy to discuss any questions or concerns you might have and discuss more complex scheduling questions. If you do not receive a response within 24 hours please feel free to check in with the front desk to ensure that the email was received.

  • North Portland Wellness Center

    “Pediatric acupuncture with Annabelle Snow has been so helpful. My son was born with torticollis. After a few acupuncture sessions, his range of motion and comfort level has drastically improved. He really seemed to enjoy it. Annabelle provided care in a safe and baby centric environment. Which is really comforting with covid 19 concerns. I am so grateful that this was available to help my son. ”

    Mom of 3-month old