Acupuncture Helps Young Patients with Chronic Illness

February 17, 2010


There is plenty of evidence to support acupuncture for pain relief, and I personally am a big fan of it after it cured me of pain from a trapped sciatic nerve in my hip, and now doctors at Rush University Medical Center in Illinois but little has been studied for its effects on children.

Rush Children’s Hospital offers both Chinese and Western medicine to patients and this has prompted this new study to analyze and document how acupuncture might help in reducing pain in children and increase quality of life. The children have been diagnosed with chronic illnesses and they are testing acupuncture therapy to help ease the pain and negative side effects like nausea, fatigue, and vomiting caused by such conditions and intensive treatments such as chemotherapy.

Dr. Paul Kent is an oncology expert at the hospital and it is the lack of options for pain management in children that has prompted the study. Research indicates that up to 70 percent of paediatric patients experience pain and those with chronic illnesses often do not have adequate relief or prevention of pain. This is because as many of the solutions for adults such as narcotics and other serious pain medications carry too many risks of serious side effects in children. Dr Kent has no doubt it will be useful from his own experience at the hospital, he said that many children with chronic or acute health issues turn to complementary or integrative approaches after all other conventional treatment options are exhausted and that integrative therapies like acupuncture can be helpful from the onset of disease and can have a tremendously positive influence on a child’s quality of life.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) in the United States has published a statement concluding that acupuncture is effective for treating adults for nausea following chemotherapy and for pain after dental surgery. In children, both they and their parents have stated that acupuncture treatments were both helpful and relaxing so the therapy is being offered to patients between the ages of 5-20 years of age.

Those children in the study will receive eight acupuncture treatments at no charge.


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