Infants and children often suffer from ailments, such as frequent cold and flu, eczema, difficulty sleeping, and digestive discomfort among others. For the parents this can then translate into lack of sleep and tiredness, potentially even loss of earnings. An unhappy child is a heartbreaking sight and can be very stressful for all concerned.

“Acupuncture” can help
Shonishin is a non-insertive acupuncture technique developed in Japan to treat young children, down to only a few weeks old. Shonishin involves gentle tapping and stroking of the skin, is very mild and causes no pain to the child. This is considered of utmost importance, so as not to frighten the child or cause any noticeable discomfort as they need to trust the practitioner, and be relatively happy to return. The techniques are highly effective up to a certain age, because a young child’s ailment is usually a very simple one, whereas adults require stronger treatments due to lifestyle influences, stress and various other contributors.

What happens during a treatment?
Firstly, the practitioner discusses the child’s symptoms with the parent (or the child if they are old enough). The questioning varies according to the ailment, but can include behaviour, eating habits (i.e. appetite), digestion etc. Once a diagnosis is established, the parent undresses the child down to their underwear or diaper, so the practitioner can examine them. The parent is present in the room at all times, and the practitioner is never left alone with a minor under the age of 16. This is part of the BAcC Code of Conduct. The practitioner has a number of tools, which are used to gently brush over the skin or tap the skin.

What are the benefits? 
Shonishin doesn’t require any use of medication or ointments, doesn’t pierce the skin and is very gentle. It stimulates the body to release muscle tension, improve circulation and aid digestion. As an example, a child who suffers from frequent colds, tends to have tension around the top of their shoulders, and between the shoulder blades if there is coughing. If there is a sinus problem on the other hand, the tension may be in on the back of the neck. Parents are usually taught self-help techniques to treat the child in between appointments, which in itself is very empowering and helps the parents feel they can make a difference.

How long does it take?
The treatment itself only takes about 5 minutes, although given that most children don’t sit still and wriggle around, the appointments are scheduled in for half an hour.

How much does it cost?
As costs vary between clinics, please contact me to discuss the price. The appointments last shorter than a general treatment so will be charged at a reduced rate.

My specialist training was done with Stephen Birch, who is a well known specialist in the area of paediatric (children’s) acupuncture or Shonishin, and practices in Amsterdam.

Should you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss.