Traditional Chinese paediatric massage, more commonly known as paediatric tuina, has been steadily growing in popularity. Apart from being a non-invasive and effective method of alleviating and treating common ailments such as fever, coughs and colds, diarrhoea and more, paediatric tuina can also be used to improve a child’s immune system and mental alertness.
Paediatric tuina is most effective for children aged seven and below. In general, less force should be used with younger children, and appropriately increased with age. For infants, a force akin to a soft touch should be used.
Ahead, we share seven easy paediatric tuina techniques for parents to apply on their child, just in time for back to school season.
For mental alertness:
For mental alertness, applying paediatric tuina on areas of the head can help to increase blood flow to the brain and promote the development of the child’s brain.
#1 Massage Baihui (Rou BaiHui, 揉百会)
Location: The intersection between the midline of the head and the line formed between the apex of the ears.
Technique: Use your thumb to massage the Baihui acupoint for 30 seconds. For children below two years old, use sweeping movements using your palm instead, as the soft spot on the head (anterior fontanelle) only closes at 12 to 18 months.
#2 Open Heaven’s Gate (Kai Tian Men, 开天门)
Location: The line starting from in between the eyebrows to the hairline.
Technique: Use both thumbs alternately to sweep upwards across the child’s forehead, starting from in between the eyebrows and ending at the hairline. Do this 50 times.
#3 Push Water Palace (Tui Kan Gong, 推坎宫)
Location: The line between the tips of the eyebrows.
Technique: Place thumbs at the start of each eyebrow and sweep towards the end of the brow. Do this 50 times.
#4 Massage Tai Yang (Rou Tai Yang, 揉太阳)
Location: The temples of the head, more specifically at the end of the eyebrow and the outer canthus of the eye.
Technique: Massage this point 50 times.
#1 Strengthening the Spleen Meridian (Bu Pi Jing, 补脾经)
Location: On the outer edge of the thumb.
Technique: Stroke the thumb from its tip to its root for one minute. This massage strengthens the spleen and benefits the digestive system.
#2 Strengthening the lung meridian (补肺经)
Location: On the palm side of the fourth finger.
Technique: Stroke the fourth finger from tip to root for one minute. This massage strengthens the lung and benefits the respiratory system.
#3 Spine Pinching (Nie Ji, 捏脊)
Location: Along the spine.
Technique: With your fingers on each side of the base of the spine, pinch and roll the skin upwards till the base of the neck. Repeat this six times. This massage benefits the whole body and is suitable for children as well as adults.
Note: These massage techniques are not suitable for when the child is sick.
This article was written by Senior Physician Qi Xiao Yan of Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic (Tiong Bahru Plaza and Sengkang Compass One) and adapted for singaporeschild.com.sg with permission