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Acupuncture for teens

Updated: Jun 4, 2021

To say the least, there is a lot of growth and changes going on in the teenage mind and body. While this can be an exciting stage of life filled with new experiences, it can also be a challenging time of transition made more difficult by social stressors. Acupuncture can help calm the nervous system and restore balance while addressing common health concerns for teenagers.

What can acupuncture treat?

anxiety, depression, stress, sleep issues

allergies, asthma

attention, hyperactivity


sports injuries

menstrual irregularities


Read on to learn more about specific conditions


Depression, Anxiety, Stress

Dealing with surging hormones during a period when the brain is still developing can create many emotional challenges for adolescents. Acupuncture provides a non-pharmaceutical holistic treatment approach for balancing mental health.

How can acupuncture help?

The effects of acupuncture create changes in the nervous system and brain chemistry. Acupuncture assists in regulating neurotransmitters and hormones that help promote emotional well-being and can provide deep relaxation.

Acupuncture increases endorphin levels. This "feel good" chemical increases feelings of euphoria and decrease responses to stress.

Acupuncture can increase serotonin levels. Low serotonin can cause depression, anxiety, and panic. 

Stress and anxiety activate the sympathetic nervous system increasing stress hormones and sending us in to "fight or flight" mode. Acupuncture regulates these messengers, activating the parasympathetic nervous system and initiating a relaxation response.



Skin is our largest and most visible organ and issues often indicate an internal issue. With teenagers this can often be caused by hormones, stress, and quite possibly a less than optimal diet.

Overall, acne typically reflects issues with the Chinese Medicine ideas of heat and damp.

Red, inflamed, cystic acne: signifies heat that can arise from stress, diet (spicy foods), or increased hormonal activity.

Oily skin or acne with pus: relates to a condition of dampness where fluids are not properly metabolized. Damp can build from eating too much cold, raw, sweet, processed, or greasy food.

Chinese Medicine sees the face as a map that reflects different internal organs. Depending where acne appears on your face, it can relate to a dysfunction within the body.

Forehead: digestive problems

Chin: hormonal issues Right cheek: allergy


It's not just needles!

Maybe your teen could benefit from treatments but acupuncture doesn't sound so enticing? Here are a few other traditional modalities that can be used to help achieve optimal health:

  • Cupping helps release mental and physical tension while increasing circulation

  • Moxibustion or "moxa" which involves non-direct burning of mugwart to help with issues like menstrual cramps, asthma, pain relief, and immunity

  • Gua Sha massage tool to reduce inflammation and pain and increase circulation.

  • Acupoint stimulation using a non-invasive acupoint pen or with acupressure.

  • Chinese herbal medicine and nutritional recommendations 

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