Paediatric massage, or tuina, is a form of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) therapy for children. This technique stimulates specific acupressure points of the body that are particularly beneficial for children. It enhances a child’s energy flow (qi) and blood to harmonise the workings of the organs. It helps a child heal, stimulate growth and brain development, and enhance physical fitness and immune system.
It also treats commonly encountered paediatric diseases such as fever, cough, diarrhoea, constipation, asthma, myopia, eczema and chronic abdominal pain. Paediatric massage is effective for children 6 months to 12 years old. However, the younger the child, the more effective the paediatric massage can be.Paediatric Tuina is gentle, effective, practical, and most importantly, safe. It does not require medications or injections, and it can even be done in the comfort of one’s home by parents. However, having it done in a TCM clinic by a certified physician also means having proper and more complicated techniques which are better tailored to each child’s body condition.
Here are the 3 main benefits of this massage for the little precious ones:
IQ: Sensory stimulation helps speed up myelination of the brain and nervous system. Myelin is a fatty substance covering nerve fibres as a protection. When a nerve is fully protected with this covering, it speeds up the transmission of impulses from the brain to the rest of the body. Since a child is not born with fully coated nerves, the skin stimulation that paediatric tuina provides helps quicken this process of myelination, hence, ultimately improving the brain-body communication. The vast majority of a child’s brain connections are made in the first 3 years of life, so enhancing the brain’s communication efficiency helps increase his learning capacity dramatically.
EQ: When a child is being massaged with the involvement of skin and eye contact, communication, vocalisation and feel-good hormones are released, making it a pleasant experience for the child. As the child experiences this safe trusting environment, it sets the groundwork for him/her to learn compassion, warmth, openness and respect as he grows.
The touch of massage stimulates nerves in the brain that facilitates food absorption and lowers stress hormones, resulting in improved immune system functioning
Paediatric massage increases blood circulation to the limbs and various parts of the body while they are still small and rather immobile, hence accelerating physical growth. Also, the massage can increase gastric motility, hence improving digestion which can help babies gain weight faster.