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Kid-Friendly Acupuncture

It might make you wince to think about using acupuncture on kids, but research shows that it can successfully treat childhood allergies and asthma, and is even better than medication at stopping bed-wetting. Practitioners also use it to treat earaches, stomachaches, and colic.

Well, wince no more: Clinics around the country are using needle-free versions of acupuncture on kids. The most common type, a Japanese style called shoni shin, involves gently tapping or massaging the child's body along pressure points. Another kid-friendly method uses a small penlike device that delivers warm, ultralow electrical currents to trigger points.

One or two sessions may be enough to treat something like an earache, says Susannah Grace Carleton, a pediatric acupuncturist in Boulder, CO. Chronic conditions, like bed-wetting, may require a few months of treatment. Ask your child's doctor for a referral or visit the website of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine