Your kids might be afraid of the doctor, but evidence suggests they may love seeing the acupuncturist. Not only is acupuncture unlikely to cause discomfort, but it can actually help relieve pain and a host of other ailments that children would otherwise have to endure. So if you or your kids think all needles were created equally, it’s time to think again — acupuncture is great for kids!

As a parent, your first thought is likely going to be about safety. After all, taking your child to a stranger to have needles placed in his body isn’t as common as soccer practice. (Well, not yet!) But fortunately, experts have confirmed what acupuncturists have always known: Acupuncture is totally safe for kids. The well-regarded medical journal Pediatrics as well as the US National Library of Medicine both published groundbreaking reports lauding the effectiveness and low incident rate of acupuncture in both young children and teens.

Does your child have to be a certain age to reap the benefits of acupuncture? Not necessarily. While some practitioners recommend age 7 and up, it really depends on your child and his readiness to try something new. Talk to your acupuncturist about treating your child, and start with an introductory meeting before committing to a session. Building a trusting, respectful relationship from the get-go is always a good idea.

Whether your child is suffering from common ailments like ear aches and allergies or even conditions such as ADHD or juvenile arthritis, acupuncture can help! And because there are zero inoculations or shots at the acupuncturist’s office, chances are your little one may even start to think the acupuncturist is pretty cool.