There was a time when my son’s eczema became so severe I was willing to try any natural healing method. My baby was 5 months old when he developed eczema. We tried the usual dose of steroids and over-the-counter creams from our family doctor. It got so bad that his scars were not healing. He wasn’t sleeping. And I wasn’t sleeping. As a child, my mother took me to an Acupuncturist for migraines. And the migraines stopped after a handful of visits. I remember it being a pretty relaxing experience with the smell of incense and herbs and the quietness of the room. So, I took a leap of faith and booked us for an appointment with a Traditional Chinese Doctor who specialized in skin disorders, allergies, and asthma.
Why Try Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine?
Reason 1: Acupuncture has been practiced for almost 4000 years in China.
With that much history, it’s worth a try. It is a method of relieving pain or curing an illness by placing needles in the patient’s body at precise points along the 12 meridians in the body. Meridians are energy pathways that are associated with different organs within the body. The World Health Organization lists 300 ailments that are treatable by Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture.
Reason 2: Acupuncture has helped children with eczema
In a study of 37 children who were treated with Chinese Medicinal herbs, the treatment reduced eczema symptoms by 90% in 18 of the children (see Sources). Although it was a small study size, the benefits seem to far outweigh the risks. When my son was a baby, even a 10% improvement in his symptoms would have been amazing for us.
Reason 3: Acupuncture does not hurt babies
Many people worry about the needles hurting. But the needles that Acupuncturists use are about 1/100th of a syringe needle. My son was a baby when we started the treatments, and he never cried out when getting the needles in him.
Reason 4: Acupuncture relieved my baby’s eczema by 80%
Acupuncture healed the eczema to the point where we could figure out his triggers. Our doctor stabilized the eczema. Best of all, flare-ups only occurred when my baby was teething. His skin was softer than it had been in months. Acupuncture needs to be done on babies for a minimum of 3 months in order to see an improvement. This is because the treatment is trying to alter the immune response, which is a long process. But sometimes babies will respond quicker than that. We used a topical herb powder given to us by the doctor, and applied it to his skin. This topical mix had a similar effect as hydro-cortisone cream if I applied it 3-5 times per day with a cotton ball.
Reason 5: Acupuncture is affordable
This is true especially if you go to a student clinic. You can pay the affordable price and yet the students are supervised by very experienced doctors. For child and baby treatments, it is even more affordable. It cost us about $15-$30 per visit on average (we tried a few different clinics). Some health plans will cover Acupuncture, so check with your health plan to see if yours covers it. To keep it affordable, I suggest trying to find a specialist in Acupuncture & TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), not a practitioner who does many different types of treatments.
Tips for Helping Your Child While Getting Acupuncture
Bring a favorite stuffed animal, a book, or some toys. Try nursing your baby while they are receiving acupuncture. A baby only needs the needle in the acupressure point for a second and then they are pulled out. Adults typically have needles in for 45+ minutes for each treatment, because our bodies do not respond as quickly as babies’ bodies do. Check out my YouTube video for more tips!
Find an Experienced & Accredited Acupuncturist
Make sure to look for an Accredited Acupuncturist or TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Doctor. Be sure the Acupuncturist has some experience in your condition. Chat with the people in the waiting room. And see if they’ve had success with your doctor. I met a few moms in the waiting room that swore by the Chinese Doctor we were going to see. That made me feel more comfortable.
Find a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Doctor who offers Certified Organic Chinese herbs. “Certified Organic” means the herbs were never sprayed with toxic pesticides and herbicides. As well, there have been some reports of heavy metals residue in Chinese herbs. Herbs are just as powerful as prescription medications and can have adverse effects if used improperly. Make sure to ask about the testing done on the herbs that you or your baby are prescribed.
Every Condition Has Different Treatment Needs
Check with your family doctor to be sure you don’t have any conditions that would prevent you from using Acupuncture or Chinese Medicine. All the information in this article is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical counseling.
Rosemary Hansen is a published author and devoted Mama. She is passionate about healing eczema naturally. Rosemary is a self-taught organic, whole foods chef. Her lifelong dream is to have a flock of pet dairy goats. Get a copy of her free e-book: “10 Natural Remedies for Soft Skin” at www.NaturalEczemaMama.com.
Sheehan, MP, Atherton, DJ; The British Journal of Dermatology. 04 1994. 130(4): 488-93. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8186115