Young patients with chronic illnesses find relief in acupuncture, doctors at Rush University Medical Center believe.
They are offering pediatric patients diagnosed with chronic illnesses acupuncture therapy to help ease the pain and negative side effects like nausea, fatigue, and vomiting caused by chronic health conditions and intensive treatments.
The effort is part of a study to analyze and document how acupuncture might help in reducing pain in children and increase quality of life.
"Treating children with acupuncture is a new frontier," said Dr. Paul Kent, pediatric hematology and oncology expert, Rush Children's Hospital. "We are looking to see if there is an effective pain management therapy we can offer that does not have the serious side effects that can be caused by narcotics and other serious pain medications."
"Acupuncture could be a potential solution to this dilemma of controlling pain in pediatric patients," said Angela Johnson, Chinese medicine practitioner at Rush.
Acupuncture is the use of tiny, hair-thin needles which are gently inserted along various parts of the body. The therapy is based on the premise that patterns of energy flowing through the body are essential for health. This energy, called Qi, flows along certain pathways. It is believed that placing the tiny needles at points along the pathways reduce pain and improve the healing process.