Porcupine Clinic

Holistic treatment of a broad range of childhood conditions in a relaxed, child-focused environment with Jemma Atherden, Lic Ac dip paed.

Acupuncture for children

Porcupine Clinic

Why Acupuncture?

Acupuncture has stood the test of time – based on an ancient Chinese system of healing, it offers simple, effective relief from a range of everyday childhood physical and emotional disorders.

How does it work?

Drawing from principles that go back almost 2,000 years, alongside continuous study and clinical assessments over the millennia, acupuncture views illness as the result of an inbalance within the body. Its aim, therefore, is to restore equilibrium between physical, emotional and mental aspects to promote overall wellbeing.

Why the Porcupine Clinic?

Jemma has been a practicing acupuncturist for over 15 years; balancing her growing practice alongside family life with two young boys. A keen interest in helping children through gentle, holistic treatment led Jemma to complete a rigorous 4-year degree course and 2-year post graduate diploma to become a fully licenced paediatric specialist. This, along with her calm and friendly approach and a dedicated children’s treatment room – decorated in bright colours and filled with books and toys to make them feel at home – ensure a relaxed and positive experience for young patients.

Children’s treatment room
Children’s treatment room

How treatment works

Integrating two specific schools of acupuncture; Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Five Element, Jemma offers a broad range of treatment possibilities. Her holistic approach aims to help patients feel better in themselves, have more vitality and be better able to deal better with the problems that caused them to seek treatment in the first place.

Acupuncture for children is very different to adults – the aim is to create a relaxed, playful environment that children can explore while the treatment is taking place – so there’s no sitting still on couches for long periods.

Children’s treatments last for 30 minutes each and an adult must be present throughout.


On arrival, you’ll enter through the dedicated Porcupine Clinic entrance straight into the children’s treatment room – so there’s no need to worry about little ones getting frustrated in waiting rooms. Jemma will then sit down and chat to the parent/carer about the symptoms the child has been presenting, observe the child as it explores the space and then take the pulse before looking at the child’s tongue. All these steps are key to Jemma understanding the issues and how best to treat them.

Acupuncture process

In its purest form, acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine, sterile needles into various points on the body, which depend on the condition being treated. When treating a child the needles are not left in place for several minutes as with adult treatment, but are removed immediately. This gives Jemma the chance to work with the child as they explore the room; often getting down to floor-level to cause minimum distress. The needles do not cause pain and most children don’t even notice that they have been applied it all happens so swiftly and calmly.


In acupuncture, a traditional Chinese herb called Mugwort is used to help treat many conditions. Wrapped in a paper and gently smouldering, it is used to warm the skin from above and may be used on acupuncture points identified to help with the process.

Dietary advice

Diet plays a key role in supporting acupuncture treatment, and Jemma will offer advice to parents/carers in terms of what dietary restrictions or changes will help support the treatment of specific cases.

Laser acupuncture

Laser acupuncture offers an option to treat conditions using the principles of traditional acupuncture but without the use of needles. Laser light pens can be used to stimulate acupuncture points.


Abdominal pain (inc colic)


Acne (teenage)

Adenoids – swollen











Growing Pains

Gynaecological problems



Incontinence of urine

Osteochondritis dissecans (Schlatter’s Disease)



Projectile vomiting/Plyloric Stenosis


Thrombocytopenic Purpura (Platelets)



Ulcer (mouth)

Whooping Cough