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Food & Health

7 Important Things to Know About Paediatric Tuina

It can get very frustrating when your child is sick and seem to not be getting better with treatment. Some parents, especially those who have tried traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and subscribe to its philosophies, would choose to turn to TCM. We speak to Physician Ng Li Ying, a registered TCM Physician at Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic at HarbourFront and Clementi about pediatric tuina.

According to Physician Ng, “Paediatric tuina is a combination of massage, acupressure and other form of body manipulation to stimulate various acupoints specific to children for treating and preventing diseases. Paediatric tuina works by applying pressure to acupoints, meridians and groups of muscles or nerves to promote the flow of qi in the meridians. It is similar to acupuncture treatment, but without the use of needles.”

If you’re new to TCM and are planning on giving it a try, here are some simple facts by Physician Ng that you should know about pediatric tuina.

Benefits of Paediatric Tuina

It is suitable for children under the age of 6 years old. It helps to regulate the functions of the organs, strengthen the immunity and promote healthy growth of the child. It is a non-invasive and effective method of treating and preventing paediatric diseases in children and therefore, children can more easily accept treatment in the form of paediatric tuina.

Alleviate and Cure

Paediatric Tuina can alleviate symptoms for acute conditions such as coughs and fever. For chronic problems, Tuina helps to improve the child’s condition, and eventually cure them with frequent continuous treatment.

Treats Common Ailments

Common diseases treated include fever, frequent coughs and colds, poor appetite, diarrhoea or constipation, abdominal pain, sleep disturbances (such as night terrors) and bed wetting. 

How It Is Done

Before paediatric tuina is administered, the physician first makes a diagnosis by gathering information about the child’s medical history and symptoms, combined with the examination of tongue coating, and pulse taking.

Paediatric tuina lasts about 10 to 20 minutes, and this varies according to the condition of the child. Massage will be done on a combination of acupoints on the head and face, abdomen, back, upper and lower limb.

Common Concerns

  • Who will be conducting the tuina session?
    The consulting physician will be conducting the tuina session.
  • Are there any side effects?
    There is no side effect with paediatric tuina.
  • Will it cause hurt to the child? 
    Paediatric tuina is gentle and fast, and would not hurt the child. However, while most children are receptive, some may not be comfortable with the experience.
  • Should the child eat before sessions?
    The child should not be hungry, nor too full before the session.
  • How often should the child come for sessions?
    The child is recommended to come one to two times a week. However acute conditions like flu, fever and diarrhoea may require one to two treatments a day. Examples of chronic conditions include chronic bronchitis, indigestion and for the moderation of body constitution.

Preparation Before Appointments

Some children, especially the younger ones, are afraid of seeing the doctor and having physical contact with the physician. Parents can help their child prepare for the paediatric tuina session by telling them what they will be experiencing at the session, including diagnosis and the tuina manipulation itself. Let your child wear loose and comfortable clothing for the session.

Important note:

Paediatric tuina cannot be a replacement for western medicine. This is especially so for emergency conditions.

(photo credit: Eu Yan Sang)

Have you tried paediatric tuina? Share your experience with us in the comments below!