Let me tell you what I do with my pediatric patients on their first visit. After a frinedly and somewhat silly introduction to each other, I conduct an intake. Next, I explain what acupuncture is and does. Very simple explanation - acupuncture helps body to heal by itself. Kids usually understand this concept right away. Then, I ask them if they want to see the needles. So far, all of my pediatric patients said yes. I show a needle in a package, out of package (inside a guide tube) and by itself. I ask them, "Do you see a needle?" each time. They usually don't see it until it's out of a guilde tube (by itself). Then, I let them touch it. They find it really bendy, usually find this amusing. I show them tapping a needle into a treatment table, or I sometimes let them do it by themselves. I have also done taps on a stuffed animal, one's mom or dad. I ask them, "Do you think this will hurt you?" They usually say no. But, if they say yes, I usually move on to non-needle techniques such as acupressure, shonishin (please refer to my blog entry on 10/25/13), pediatric tuina massage, a laser pen, and/or moxa heating treatment. I often find that as they get used to me and develop a trust, they change their minds soon enough and give at least one tap a try by the end of first visit. I show them some tricks such as exhaling or coughing as a needle tapped in to ease a bug bite sensation accompanied by a needle insertion. Once the very first needle is tapped in, they are golden. They have big smiles on and look very proud. I enjoy this process very much. I instruct them to let me know if needles cause any discomfort. I stay in a treatment room with them at all time and keep checking in by carrying fun engaging conversations. Kids also don't need very many needles tapped in. I usually use 2 -8 needles per treatment for a kid with less than 10 minutes retention time. I also use extra thin needles for them. I always combine acupuncture treatment with other non-needle techniques. I often prescribe Chinese herbal tinctures and give them homework such as pressing certain point(s), deep breathing exercise, or some dietary adjustments. I will be talking more about different techniques and specific cases in my next blog. Stay tuned. Thank you for reading.