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Life Lessons: Acupuncture-old treatment for new babies

By Nancy Werteen, Anchor / Reporter, NWerteen@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 18 2014 04:00:00 AM CDT

Life Lessons Acupuncture for babies

Kim Ricard’s daughters are her world, so when they’re feeling under the weather, it can turn everything upside down.

“It's horrible to see them sick,” says Ricard.

She said she’s found a way to help her 1- and 7-year-olds get better in as little as 24 hours: with acupuncture.

But instead of a needle, acupuncturist Netta Hart uses a small metal tool to stimulate acupuncture points.

"A needle would be just way too much stimulation for a baby,” says Hart.

Hart focuses on points on the legs, chest, stomach, and back that are tied to the immune system.

"Certainly medications have their place, but they’re used way too frequently and way too soon," she said. "[However], acupuncture stimulates your own body to respond."

About 150,000 kids get acupuncture every year, and studies show it can help with much more than just colds.

Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital found after a year of getting traditional acupuncture with a needle, kids said their pain from headaches, stomach aches, and other chronic complaints reduced from an average eight out of 10 score to a three.

Other studies show acupuncture can ease asthma in preschool kids, crying in babies with colic, and pain in kids after tonsillectomies.

"By that evening, generally, they feel better and sleep better that night," Ricard said.

"Any parent of a child knows that a good night of sleep is just heaven," she added/

In a review of 37 studies, Australian researchers found in the hands of a trained practitioner, acupuncture is safe for kids.

Only one out of 10 kids experienced mild side effects like bruising or pain.