Efficacy of acupuncture for health conditions in children: a review

ScientificWorldJournal. 2008 Jul 13:8:670-82. doi: 10.1100/tsw.2008.86.


Acupuncture has been used to treat a variety of childhood problems; however, the efficacy and safety of pediatric acupuncture remains unclear. This article reviews the existing empirical literature relating to the use of acupuncture for medical conditions in children. A systematic search of the literature revealed that acupuncture has been used to treat five main conditions in children, including pain, nocturnal enuresis, postoperative nausea/vomiting, laryngospasm/stridor, and neurological disorders. Despite a number of methodological issues, including limited sample sizes, lack of randomization, and inappropriate control groups, it is concluded that acupuncture represents a promising intervention for a variety of pediatric health conditions. To further address the safety, effectiveness, and acceptability of acupuncture in children, large-scale randomized controlled trials are needed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acupuncture Therapy / standards*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Holistic Health
  • Humans
  • Laryngismus / therapy*
  • Male
  • Nervous System Diseases / therapy*
  • Nocturnal Enuresis / therapy*
  • Pain Management*
  • Postoperative Nausea and Vomiting / therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic