Shonihari, or the Japanese Pediatric Acupuncture, is a type of acupuncture specifically designed for the session of children. It has been passing on and evolving for the last 2000 years. These techniques have been refined over the past century in Japan by a number of master practitioners. In the past 120 years, Shoniharihas become an essential session modality for children in Japan.
Mr. Kuwahara, the clinic director, has been researching and practicing Shoni-hari, the integration of master Tanioka Sensei's Shonihari and Meridian therapy. The application of Shoni-hari could treat many different types of illness and also could be given to a wide range of age in children. The Shoni-hari session could be given to infant, young children, as well as teenagers.
Asthma, eczema, and digestion problems usually are the most common illness that parents bring their children to our clinic. We also have a lot of child patients with premature birth relate problems such as digestion and slow development. Because of that, we have quite a bit of twins/triplets child patients.
However, those types of illness are accounted only about 20-25% of child patients in Japan. The application of Shoni-haricovers much wider range of illness, includingSqueaky voice, Crying at night, Quarrelsome, Poor appetite, Bites others, Insufficient sleep, Atopic dermatitis, Coughing, Sniveling, Sleeping with eyes open, Bedwetting, Asthma, Sleeplessness, Stiff shoulders, Constipation, Tonsillitis, Convulsion, Stuttering, Diarrhea, Bruxism, Vomiting milk, Abdominal pain, Pain of hand or foot, Headache, and etc.
The most common problem seen in infants is a syndrome known in Japan as kano-mushi.
The presentation can include: being up a lot during the night, difficultly falling asleep, difficulty waking up, waking up in middle night and playing, sleeping at night but not taking naps, crying in a high pitched voice, biting, pulling of own hair, bumping into walls, unable or not wanting to play with other kids, tendency to cry when adults talk to him/her, fighting with others without reason, poor appetite, diarrhea even though he/she has not eaten any strange food or constipation even though he/she eats the same food as other children (and they do not get constipation), vomiting food or mother’s milk, tendency to catch colds or become feverish.If a child presents with all the symptoms, it is a serious case.But, children usually only have one or two of these symptoms.
Characteristics to observe include: raised veins between the eyes or anterior to temple region, redness around eyes, reddish inner canthus, and reddish color below the nostrils.There could be redness and breaking of the skin around the umbilicus.It is normal for children to be filled with energy, but these children loose such a characteristic.Other characteristics include: loss of shen (spirit) from the eyes, difficulty smiling or having fun, loss of energy, strict or stoic facial expression such as is uncharacteristic of children, use of eyes in a mean way, and the appearance of having a smaller face.
If a child grows up in this condition, he or she will always want to escape from final examination stress at school but cannot.So, psychological and physical dysfunctions naturally manifest.If they can release these dysfunctions through expression, they will bite and/or fight with others.This is a condition where the child has lost control over his/her demeanor.It strikes the child during the time when the child’s brain is quickly developing.The condition manifests before 2 years of age and continues to manifest until about age 6.When symptoms are still present during the later teens it is no longer called kano-mushi.
The Pediatric Acupuncture Session
The term “acupuncture” might not quite accurate to describe this type of session procedure. The actual Shoni-haritreatment is very gentle and painless. It does not involve with needle puncturing the skin. It is usually involved with massaging and/or scraping different parts of the body usually hair, upper back, stomach, forearms and legs. The Teishin non-insertive tool would be used on a few points in the body to stimulate energy and restore balance. Press balls might be put on the body and have the patient go home with it to keep the effect of the session last.
The acupuncture protocol for children usually starts off very frequent, such as everyday up to 4-5 days or every other day. The treatment for children is pretty short compare to the acupuncture treatment for adults. To encourage the frequent visits for children, we charge treatment fees for children relatively low. The acupuncture treatment for children is also very quick and could be done in 10 minutes or so.
For Kano-mushi, even after successfully treated, the child would need to come in once a month for preventative treatments.This can guarantee the child will grow up smoothly.
Parents have their roles in the Shoni-harisession. During session, with the infants and young children, parents are encouraged to be present with their child to provide comfort and support during the session.Infants especially can be held in their parent’s arms while the session is being given.
Parents also participate in their child’s healing process.Certain simple techniques can be taught which the parent can do such as pressure points that can be used to relief the immediate symptoms. Parents also need to be aware of the press balls on the child’s body that need to be taken off after certain period of time.
At the Clinic
Usually, there are about 20-30 children received session at our clinic each week. We have books and toys just enough to keep them occupied while waiting. From our experience, the children love the sessions. They could have a bit difficulty in the first session because of their sickness. But as the session progress they do very well and enjoy receiving the session.
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