- Hannah Green
Many people immediately discount acupuncture as a treatment method for their children as they associate it with needles.
April provides an alternative for children in the form of Japanese paediatric acupuncture called ShoNiShin (sho= little ni= people shin= needle).
Shonishin focuses on gentle, specialized, mostly non-inserted treatment techniques that children find comfortable and even pleasurable. Dramatic results can be obtained even with very light treatment. Treatment is very gentle and can feel like a massage with the child often asking for more. A treatment is generally from 5-15 minutes long, though in younger babies it may be as short as a minute or two. Children have immature meridian (energy) systems, so it is important not to over stimulate them, generally with children less is more.
Although treatments are relatively short with children it is also important to not that your child does NOT have to sit still for the duration. Practitioners are able to “dance” with the child and move with them. If a child is agitated or frustrated it will impact on the treatment, so free movement is imperative. How many treatments your child will require is very dependent on their individual circumstance, though as a general rule chronic (long term) conditions will require more treatments, and acute (short term) conditions require less.
The tools used are rubbed, stroked or tapped on the child in a relaxing manner. The tools vary in shape and size, they are not inserted.
Shonishin is used to treat a wide variety of problems, both physical and emotional, including:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Ear infections
- Eczema and hives
- Emotional change (house move,divorce, starting school/day care, new sibling)
- Excessive night crying
- Failure to thrive syndrome
- GERD (reflux)
- Night terrors
- Teething pain
- Temper tantrums
- Spina bifida
- Weak constitution
The specifics of each treatment (frequency, dosage, strength) depend on the practitioner, the age, and condition of the child, among other factors.
Treatments for children are actually very brief: a typical treatment generally lasts only one to five minutes. Generally speaking, the older the child, the longer the treatment.
One of the keys to a successful Shonishin treatment is “less is better.” The beauty of Shonishin is its simplicity, gentleness, and effectiveness.
All practitioners who work with children carry a Blue Card (police check to work with children).