Massage is a profoundly effective tool we can use to promote wellness and healing, and also prevent illness in kids. Chinese medicine uses "tuina", a medical massage modality, to treat a variety of musculoskeletal conditions, as well as treating internal ailments. Since children are so receptive to tactile stimulation, pediatric massage is a great way to effect change in your child quickly. As a bonus, it is a wonerful way to make a sensory connection with your child while you are doing the massage. Below is a Wellness Massage Protocol that you can easily do at home. Wellness massage can be used for preventing illness in cold and flu season, treating digestive or respiratory ailments, or helping with chronic low immunity. This massage can be done for babies and children of any age 1-3 times daily. Your child will love you for it!
1. Belly Rub: Rub the abdomen around the naval with circular strokes in a clockwise direction with your finger pads. If your child has loose stools or diarrhea, rub in a counter clockwise direction.
2. Pinch Pull on Spine: Gently take the skin on either side of the spine in between your index fingers and thumbs. Pull the skin up and roll your way up the spine from the child's sacrum to the base of the neck.
3. Tonify the Middle: Rub the child's outer thumb in a straight line from fingernail to wrist with your thumb.
4. Ba Gua Circle Rub: Rub the child's palm in a circluar motion with your thumb. (Left hand: clockwise, Right hand: counter clockwise)
5. Knead ST36 acupuncture point: Stomach 36 is located one hand measurement (your child's hand measurment) below the knee on the outisde of the shin bone.
* The strokes in pediatric tuina should be gentle, but swift and quick movements.
* Baby powder can be used on any area of the body to ensure a smooth technique.
* Each of these steps should be done for 30 seconds-2 minutes, depending on your child's age:
Babies: 30 seconds
Toddlers: 45-60 seconds
Age 2-5: 1-2 minutes
Age 5-12: 2 minutes
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