Traditional Chinese massage for babies: All you need to know
Would you let your baby try tuina?
Despite the tuina mishap where a 26-year-old woman died after suffering a seizure, there are still moms who swear by pediatric tuina, a traditional Chinese massage practice.
Tuina translates as “Tui” in Chinese meaning to “push” or “press” and “na” for “grasp” or “pull”. Tuina is amongst the oldest forms of treatment of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is used to help remove blockages and harmonize the beneficial flow of qi throughout the body.
Traditional Chinese Massage: Pediatric Tuina benefits
When it comes to pediatric tuina, it is not the same as adult tuina even if the same principles apply. It is gentle, tailored to the baby's need and aimed at restoring balance to the baby’s bodily functions.
According to TCM physician Zhou Jing of Thomson Chinese Medicine, a baby’s spleen tends to be weaker with a more active liver in Chinese medicine. This can cause them to have digestion problems, sleep issues and respiratory illnesses, such as a persistent cough and phlegm.
Which is why tuina is incredibly useful because it is a gentle alternative to acupuncture, which activates pressure points without inducing any bad side effects. While correcting the imbalance in the baby's body tuina also helps to boost their immunity. Regular use of tuina will definitely result in healthier babies while helping them to gain weight properly throughout their development.
Is Tuina Safe?
As explained earlier pediatric tuina is extremely gentle and non-invasive. It is a safe and effective form of treatment for babies. Even those as young as four to six months old can do tuina provided it is done by a licensed and experienced TCM practitioner, says Zhou.
Tuina is often used for the following conditions:
- Failure to thrive
- Cough and colds
- Skin conditions
Before any treatment or therapy can start, the physician needs to assess your baby first. During the consultation, the physician will ask questions regarding your baby's condition before deciding on the course of treatment. They might also take your baby's pulse and examine his tongue to better understand his condition.
Consultation usually lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes but is dependent on your baby's condition and age.
Pediatric Tuina — How Is It Done?
Before starting the TCM, physicians should always ensure that their hands are clean and sanitized to prevent cross-contamination. Treatment begins by ensuring that baby is comfortable first. This means your baby may be lying on the bed or sitting on your lap, depending on the situation.
Pediatric tuina massage involves using gentle strokes with the hands, on pressure points, mainly on baby’s hands, limbs and back. Massages include gentle kneading, rubbing, and pushing all the while ensuring that your baby is calm and comfortable. Every treatment might be different, as normally it depends on your baby's current condition.
Parents do not need to worry too much as Zhou assures that this therapy is very safe. The only thing parents need to note is to wait for at least an hour after treatment before running a bath for their little ones.
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore