Shonishin – Paediatric Acupuncture Treatment of Babies and Children
Children’s Therapy – No needles
Shonishin refers to a non-invasive therapy for babies and children. As well as being very effective, it has the advantage of being painless, meaning that sensitive young patients are not distressed by the treatment. Instead of using regular acupuncture needles, a number of tools specifically developed to treat children (see photograph) are used to tap, stroke and press the surface of the child’s skin.
Shonishin has a tradition in Japan that goes back several centuries, but its use developed and became more widespread in the second half of the twentieth century. It recognises that the constitution of babies and small children is extremely sensitive and requires a gentler model of treatment. The younger the child, the gentler the treatment applied.
In older children, where problems are more difficult or stubborn, specific, very gentle acupuncture techniques, employing specialised needles, may be used to supplement the general Shonishin treatment. This type of treatment is also well tolerated by the older child.
Scope of Shonishin
The general treatment can be very useful for fortifying the child’s vital energy and strengthening their constitution. Treatment will not only help symptoms to naturally improve, but will give a greater sense of well-being and help resolve many other small day to day problems, helping make the child less prone to illness.
Shonishin is used to treat a wide variety of problems. Please contact me by ‘phone or email if you would like to discuss how Shonishin could help your child.
What happens during a treatment session?
Following a discussion of your child’s condition, the pulse is taken and abdomen gently palpated. After this initial evaluation, treatment is of relatively short duration and consists of general stroking or rubbing technique over the torso and limbs using Shonishin tools. In addition, specific acupuncture points may be stimulated by tapping. At the end of treatment, a gold press sphere may be applied to a specific point and is left in place for several hours or longer, depending on the age of the child.
Some of the steps of Shonishin treatment described above can only be carried out by the practitioner in the treatment room, but the most important universal stroking technique can be easily taught to parents for continued application in the home environment between visits. This technique takes no more than a few minutes and reinforces the effect of treatment, as well as allowing parents to be more involved in the process.