A big thank you to all participants of our Introduction to Paediatric Tui Na webinar on 30 July 2022, Saturday! During the session, the fundamentals of Paediatric Tui Na was shared and there was an overwhelming response during the Q&A session; fret not as Physician Dorothy from ZhongJing TCM has answered them below!
Thank you to Physician Dorothy as well for the time in going through and providing the answers.
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Q&A with Physician Dorothy
Do these massages work on adults too?
Though there are some acupressure points we use on both adults and children, the techniques discussed in the paediatric tuina are primarily targeted at treating children.
Does it matter if I use my right or left hand?
Either hand could be used, because the meridians are symmetrical. However, a common practice in current times is to use the left hand. In ancient times, tuina was usually done on the left hand for boys and the right for girls, due to the Chinese saying “left for males, right for females”. As for areas such as the head or back, we generally take both sides.
I heard that talcum powder is not recommended to be used as it might cause cancer.
Talcum powder is a commonly used lubricant during paediatric tuina in countries. When talking about whether or not talcum powder is linked to cancer, it is important to distinguish between talc that contains asbestos and talc that is asbestos-free. As such, we also look into alternative lubricants such as baby oil, massage oil, essential oil, olive oil, coconut oil, and many others. This is however on the basis that the child is not prone to allergies when exposed to the abovementioned oils.
If we use ginger syrup, will it be hot for the child?
Every individual is different and thus different body constitution. Ginger syrup helps in aiding digestion and reducing nausea as well as alleviating the common cold. For children who often feel bloated, nauseous, or can easily catch a cold, ginger syrup would act as both a lubricant as well as medication for external use. For a more accurate diagnosis, it is recommended to consult with a physician.
To clear phlegm, should we clear the spleen or tonify the spleen?
In the clinical setting, we tonify the spleen for issues pertaining to digestion. In the case of phlegm, we can clear the lungs, which is to stroke/brush the ring finger in the direction away from the heart.
Can I do the stomach rubbing clockwise motion on myself?
Yes, stomach rubbing in a clockwise motion helps to relieve bloating and aids digestion.
Can we do tuina on newborns?
As a guideline, paediatric tuina is suitable for children above six months old. For those younger, physicians usually recommend newborn paediatric tuina which is gentler and slower. Nonetheless, it is always advisable to consult with a physician to administer paediatric tuina for optimal results.
Is there harm if it’s done in a different direction?
There are generally no known side effects with paediatric tuina. On a side note, performing paediatric tuina in the opposite direction, in the long run, might cause some changes to the body constitution of the child. As different directions of the paediatric tuina treat different issues, it is best to consult with a physician to administer the techniques to the child.
Which part to do tuina for pancreas and surroundings?
Stomach rubbing can be done as it covers a relatively extensive area of the abdomen. For a more accurate and specific diagnosis, it is recommended to consult with a physician.
Can we use these methods but with guasha board for a 6-year-old kid?
Paediatric guasha can usually be done on children ages 4 and up. Depending on the child, varying strengths could be used. Guasha promotes health, increases circulation and boosts the immune system. In some cases, some “sha” were observed after the paediatric tuina session without the use of scraping boards. In the clinical setting, guasha is sometimes used when the child is having a fever. However, guasha should be avoided if one has had any surgery in the last 6 weeks. Should the patient be on blood thinners or have clotting disorders, a consultation with a physician is advised.
What is the difference between tuina, guasha, massage, and acupuncture?
Tuina is a form of massage or bodywork based on the principles of TCM and unlike Western massage techniques, tuina goes beyond the muscles, joints and bones to work with the body on a deeper and energetic level by unblocking the channels of qi and thereby restoring physiological and emotional stability as well as the yin and yang balance.
Guasha is the scraping of the skin with a massage tool to improve circulation and the procedure may change the appearance of the skin because it involves rubbing or scraping skin which can cause the tiny blood vessels known as capillaries near the surface of the skin to burst and thus resulting in skin bruising and minor bleeding in which the bruising often disappear within a couple of days.
Acupuncture involves stimulation of anatomical locations of the skin by a variety of techniques and the most studied mechanism of stimulation of acupuncture points employs penetration of the skin by small metallic needles which are manipulated manually or by electrical stimulation.
Clinical Interests: TCM Internal Medicine, TCM Paediatrics, Acupuncture
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