Shonishin is actually a Japanese technique, that makes use of small, hand-made, metal tools that look like a rake or a comb. They are used to brush, rub or tap on the child’s arms, legs, back and tummy. The sensation is quite soft, and most children take to it very quickly. Small children of course love to “help” by taking a tool and tapping on some points themselves.
I may also choose to incorporate moxa, which entails warming a couple of the points. The child is always in charge, and is asked to tell me when things are too warm, or too “pokey”.
Tui Na is a method of rubbing points on the hands, feet, legs or belly. Tui Na is a wonderful adjunct, and often the parents are shown the technique and sent home with handouts that they can do at home for follow-up.
Understanding Chinese Medical Theory in Pediatrics
According to Chinese Medical theory, infants and children are considered to be extremely “yang” in nature, meaning they possess a huge amount of active, vital Qi (energy).
This energy is what fuels their rapid growth and development, as well as their ability to heal very quickly and effectively.
Likewise, as any caregiver knows, this vigor also can mean that young people become ill more quickly and their health can deteriorate at a rapid rate.
Because their energy is so strong and at the surface, children and babies respond very well to treatments that appear to be much more subtle as compared with what is required for many adults.
In other words, it might not look like a lot is happening, but when it comes to treating kids and babies, because their systems are prone to change so quickly, less is actually more.
In fact, young people are much more likely to being over-treated than adults, leading to more negative symptoms.
That’s why finding an experienced shonishin provider is key.