Just for Kids: Shonishin

What are the benefits for my child?
Many of us are familiar with the benefits of Oriental medicine and acupuncture as adults. But have you ever considered acupuncture for your child? Pediatrics maintains a special place in the 2,000-year-old history of Oriental medicine. And children often respond to acupuncture and Chinese medicine much more quickly and positively than adults. This is because a child’s state of health is much less complicated than an adult’s. There is not the same layering of illness and the years of stress and poor diet. The main advantage of acupuncture and Chinese medicine for children is that it can clear illnesses from a child’s system that might otherwise linger or lead to chronic illness. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine reestablish a healthy body and mind. This contrasts to our more accepted practice of medicine, mainly pharmaceutical drugs, which often have negative side effects and must be taken indefinitely. Furthermore, the long term side effects of many western drugs are unknown, especially in relation to children. Your child deserves to enter adulthood without a complicated medical history. There are specific ways which children must be handled and treated, but acupuncture and Oriental medicine offer a safe and effective healthcare system for your child.

What is shonishin? Shonishin is a needleless form of  Japanese acupuncture specifically for children. It involves using special metal tools to brush and/or tap the surface of the skin, along the meridians. Shonishin was developed in Japan over 250 years ago. This technique is considered a type of acupuncture because it is based on two of the original non-insertive needles mentioned in Ling Shu, an ancient Chinese text. Shonishin manipulates qi the same way acupuncture does, but it is more acceptable for children because the tools never penetrate the skin. In fact this type of treatment pleases most children and is very effective due to the sensitive and receptive nature of children’s qi. The amount of shonishin required is dependent upon the severity of the condition.  Treatment for a chronic problem can take anywhere from three to six months. The first month requires at least weekly or twice-weekly visits. Herbs must be taken on a consistent schedule, two to three times a day. The herbs come in capsules, tablets, teas, or tinctures depending on the patient’s needs. Once the child has reached a desirable level of wellness, s/he may need to come in for “tune ups” every so often, and/or continue to take herbs for an extended period of time.

What common ailments can shonishin treat in children?

  • asthma, allergies
  • bedwetting
  • digestive problems
  • ear and respiratory infections
  • flu and coughs
  • growth and weight problems
  • hyperactivity
  • night terrors, insomnia
  • pain due to trauma or other causes
  • poor appetite,  low energy
  • skin problems,  such as eczema
  • urinary tract infections
  • …….and much more

Shonishin can be used as a preventative form of treatment as well as for specific complaints.

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