Traditional Chinese Medicine employs the same methods to treat children and infants as adults including acupuncture, massage, herbs, dietary and lifestyle advice. The treatment is catered to each child’s age, weight, constitution and diagnosis. Some children do well with acupuncture, while others who are young or delicate of constitution respond best to needle-less point stimulation in the form of acupressure or massage. Dietary advice is given when appropriate.
Monica Legatt LAC's Pediatric Background
Monica first began working with children as a volunteer for the Head Start program in high school. In college she was a swimming instructor for children at her local pool and at Camp Orkila on Orcas Island before eventually earning her Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree including her teacher certification for grades K-8 and 9-12 English. Monica’s masters thesis was on the topic of alternative medicine and the treatment of ADHD in children.
In 1993 Monica decided to study Traditional Chinese Medicine and acupuncture with the intention of continuing to work with children in an alternative medicine setting instead of at school. She was trained in pediatric acupuncture by Teresa Barlow who with her husband Julian Scott wrote the books Acupuncture in the Treatment of Children and Herbs in the Treatment of Children: Leading a Child to Health.
Monica's background in education prior to becoming a licensed acupuncturist has uniquely prepared her to work with children. She sees children of all ages in her acupuncture clinic from newborns to teenagers.
Your Child's Acupuncture Treatment: What to Expect
Initially you will relax in a chair either holding your child on your lap or accompanying him or her for a consultation with Monica. She will then explain your child’s Chinese Medicine diagnosis and the recommended treatment. Usually between four to six acupuncture points are chosen for a child: a very fine, sterile stainless steel needle is inserted from 1 to 2mm deep at each selected point with a gentle tap. This may cause a slight pricking sensation, but because acupuncture needles are so thin the child will barely notice the insertion. Up until the age of 7 or so, the child normally stays sitting on the parent’s lap and the needles stay in anywhere from a few minutes up to 15 minutes for an older child while the parent reads them a story from a children’s book. Children have no negative pre-conceptions about needles like adults and usually sit calmly during their acupuncture treatments. An adolescent may relax on the treatment table for 20 or 25 minutes.
Plants have been used for healing in every human culture since the earliest times. An herbal prescription for a child is dispensed when the child’s constitution and digestion are old enough and strong enough. Like Western medications, dosage is based on the child’s age and weight. Herbs are especially useful for medical conditions that require long-term treatment or for stubborn and hard to treat problems.
Common Children's Conditions Monica Treats
- Digestive problems
- Bed wetting
- Fussiness & Irritability
- Injury Rehabilitation
- Sleep problems
- Ear infections
Note: Any medical condition in a child may be treated: he or she will be diagnosed the same as an adult and the treatment will be modified according to the child’s age and size.
How Many Treatments Does My Child Need?
The number of treatments necessary depends on your child's pattern of illness. One to five visits for mild or new medical conditions and ten or more for deeply rooted conditions. Monica Legatt will advise you of how many visits may be needed at the time of your first visit.
Will My Insurance Cover My Child's Acupuncture?
Most insurance plans in Washington are required to cover acupuncture services due to a law passed in 1996. For more information please see our insurance and billing page
Pediatric Acupuncture Testimonials
My Experience Using Acupuncture
By Sydney McLaren, age 12
I have greatly appreciated the outcome of my acupuncture treatment. I used to have a lot of pressure in my head from a sinus infection. I tried lots of different methods for reducing the swelling, but it seemed to only make the swelling increase. I had migraines now and then, and it made it hard for me to concentrate in school. I was in 6th grade at the time and had a lot of homework to focus on, so the sinus swelling made it hard to concentrate. I had no idea what to do until one day, my mother mentioned acupuncture. She had been using it herself and had very good feedback about the treatment. I decided to try it, and I am glad that I made that choice. My swelling had reduced and I was already feeling better by the 3rd month and I hadn’t had a single migraine since I had started the treatment. I highly recommend this treatment because it is all natural and because I haven’t had to use a single antibiotic or medication since I started treatment, and I haven’t had a migraine for several months now. Even though my sinus swelling is pretty much gone now, I still come for regular visits because I feel that it helps strengthen my immune system. So don’t be afraid to try this form of treatment because it does not hurt and you are in a relaxing environment when you are getting the treatment. Acupuncture is my gateway to a healthier immune system and life.
Acupuncture For Asthma & Allergies: Age 5
I had a very positive experience bringing my daughter to Monica for acupuncture treatment of allergies and related asthma symptoms. My daughter was 5 years old when she was treated by Monica. I always felt that she was in good hands and treated gently and professionally. I think my daughter had some beneficial results from the treatments. I would recommend Monica Legatt for acupuncture treatment of younger children with chronic conditions like those of my daughter.
Acupuncture for Back Injury: Age 13
My 13 year old son Logan had acupuncture with Monica for a back injury he sustained playing hockey. Monica was great with him and explained everything she was doing which made him very comfortable having acupuncture. Logan found the acupuncture very helpful for his back and enjoyed his treatments. I would highly recommend Monica for treatment of sports injuries or other injuries in children of all ages.