The Hub of Paediatric Acupuncture (HOPA)

Welcome to HOPA for Parents

As a parent, you have probably found The Hub of Paediatric Acupuncture (HOPA) because you are concerned about your child’s physical or mental/emotional health.  Perhaps you are considering whether acupuncture might be a suitable treatment for them.

We understand that making decisions about your child’s health can be difficult.   We hope that you find the information you need here.

Endorsements from medical professionals

'Acupuncture has a valuable role in the treatment of many chronic, childhood conditions. I recommend acupuncture to the families of children I see in my general paediatric clinic. I have taken my own children to see a paediatric acupuncturist at different stages of their childhoods too. '

Dr Lynn Diskin
Paediatric Consultant, Royal United Hospitals, Bath UK

'As a GP, I have often little to offer in terms of effective treatment for some commonly seen physical and psychological symptoms of childhood. A well-qualified acupuncturist can play an important role in helping these children and their families.'

Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
GP and medical author, London, UK

'From improvements in digestion to mitigation of pain to decreasing anxiety I have found acupuncture to be an invaluable tool in the care of people of all ages. Properly administered, acupuncture and its related techniques provide an effective form of non-pharmacologic treatment for a wide variety of conditions. Children can do wonderfully with this therapy, finding it not just effective, but also entertaining and inspiring. They're proud of themselves for trying it, and return readily due to the beneficial effects.'

Dr David Miller M.D., FAAP, L.Ac., Dipl. OM
Medical Director, Pediatric Integrative Medicine
University Hospitals, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital, Ohio, USA

What is paediatric (child) acupuncture?

Acupuncture is a form of health care that has been practised in different parts of the world for approximately 2500 years.  It is a branch of Chinese medicine.  Acupuncturists are trained to use subtle diagnostic techniques to determine the nature and location of imbalance in the body.  The focus is on the individual, as well as the illness.  Acupuncturists follow the wise words of Hippocrates who said ‘it is more important to know what kind of person has a disease than what kind of disease a person has’.  Every symptom a child has is seen in relation to each other. Treatment involves a variety of different techniques that affect the flow of the body’s qi, or vital energy, and help it to regain equilibrium.

Paediatrics has been recognised as a specialism within the acupuncture tradition for over a thousand years.  Chinese doctors understood that children are not simply ‘mini adults’ and that they need different care.  They skilfully adapted their diagnostic and treatment methods to suit children.  

Over the last few decades, pioneering acupuncturists in the West have further adapted those methods to ensure that acupuncture is a well-tolerated and effective method of treatment for today’s children in the Western world.

Things you may not know about paediatric acupuncture

+ Your child’s treatment does not need to involve needles. There are many other modalities a paediatric acupuncturist can use to deliver the treatment your child needs.

+ Acupuncture is one of the longest established forms of healthcare in the world.  Paediatrics (the treatment of children) has been a recognised as a speciality within acupuncture for nearly two thousand years

+ There is a growing body of evidenced-based clinical research which supports the use of acupuncture for a wide-range of childhood conditions.

+ More and more conventional medical healthcare professionals recognise the important role acupuncture can play in the treatment of many childhood conditions

Benefits of acupuncture for your child

Acupuncture can:

+ help to reduce your child’s reliance on medication, for example steroid medications used in the management of asthma and eczema or antibiotics in the case of recurrent infections

+ play a key role in illness prevention, supporting your child to remain healthy and happy

+ effectively treat a wide range of mental-emotional conditions in your child e.g anxiety, low mood

+ effectively treat a wide range of childhood physical conditions, some of which conventional medicine is often unable to help e.g chronic fatigue syndrome, bedwetting, food allergies