The Medical Acupuncture Service, offered by Boston Children's Hospital's Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, helps children and young adults manage their acute and chronic pain through a procedure called acupuncture.
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that dates back more than 2,500 years. It’s performed by professionally trained, licensed acupuncturists who insert tiny, hair-thin needles through the skin into underlying tissues at strategic points in order to ease pain and treat many diseases.
"The goal in my clinic is to decrease children’s pain and symptoms so that they may participate in activities at school, in sports and with their peers," - Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, director of the Medical Acupuncture Service.
Acupuncture is often used along with other forms of treatment to provide the best pain relief possible. Yuan-Chi Lin, MD, and Cynthia Tung, MD, are board-certified physicians and experienced medical acupuncturists who are world-renowned leaders in medical acupuncture.
Dr. Lin oversees one of the most active pediatric medical acupuncture services in the country—yet he often spends nearly an hour with first-time patients and their families to make them completely comfortable with the procedure. He carefully explains the process and can demonstrate it on your child’s toy animal—or even on his own hand.
Management and care
As a pediatrician, anesthesiologist and pain specialist, Dr. Lin has a unique opportunity to integrate acupuncture with more common therapies. He’s found that adding acupuncture sessions to antihistamine treatments, for example, can achieve comparable results to higher doses of the medication alone, while decreasing side effects such as drowsiness. Similarly, post-operative acupuncture can reduce the nausea and vomiting caused by narcotic painkillers.