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Shoni Shin - Children's Acupuncture

   In Japan, a special day called Shoni Shin day is set aside in acupuncture clinics for treating children. Clinics all over the city raise brightly colored flags printed with turtles or fish, reminding everyone that it is a special time to take care of children. Shoni Shin day is a children's wellness day scheduled each month, just before the full moon.

    At the full moon, children go through changes. Symptoms come to the surface more readily. An observant parent will notice more fever, or that a child breaks teeth at the full moon. Children seem to grow more at that time. It is good time to notice if they are dry or snotty, sleeping or not.
   The full moon effects us as it does the tides, drawing hidden problems to the surface to be revealed.  Because children are more sensitive to change, they react more noticeably to these cycles. For the practitioner, observing a child month after month, information that is otherwise hidden is revealed at this time, this information can be used to facilitate fine tuning a child's growing body. 

    In order to prevent chronic disease patterns developing, it is important to treat children preventatively to strengthen the respiratory, immune and digestive systems. Children come into the acupuncture clinic every month: they get touched and treated and parents are educated for what they can do at home. Then when children are brought in when they are sick, they already know the practitioner: they are comfortable and not resistant to treatment. Acute incidents are treated as they occur: a child may need to be treated daily for 2 or 3 days when they are sick. However, by adhering to a regular treatment schedule, these incidents diminish until they are minimal. Allergies also are identified and treated early to prevent interference to growth and development.

    Pediatric acupuncture actually includes very little needling. Treatment consists of Shoni Shin therapy, which is a light scraping of the skin along the meridians using a smooth edge tool, such as the edge of a shell. It can also include herbal therapies, massage, essential oils, herbal and nutritional recommendations and light acupuncture.
    After examining and treating the child, the acupuncturist instructs the parents so that they may continue simple treatment at home, minimizing the necessity for repeated office visits. Because young children's systems are developing and have not yet crystallized, they respond quickly to treatment, requiring fewer and shorter treatments than adults.
    For acute disorders, two or three treatments are often enough to bring children back to health, since they respond quickly to this kind of treatment. If a child in an acute stage of illness doesn't responded positively to treatment within a few days, it usually indicates a different therapy is required.
    In case of chronic illnesses, such as asthma, children should be treated once or twice a week for several weeks, or possibly every other day while it is severe, even if the child seems to be fully recovered after only a few sessions. (In China they would be treated daily until they are stronger) Although it may seem bothersome to take the time to bring the child in, it really is important to understand that even if things change quickly on the outside, it takes time to re-establish the child's inner balance to strengthen his/her own ability to stay healthy. Many parents have observed what happens when they let a child go back out to play and sweat in wind and cold too soon after recovery from a fever.

    When acupuncture is used on children, needling is quick and painless with minimal retention.  In my experience, children do not identify the tiny needles as threatening or the needling sensation as painful, nor are they fearful unless someone (often the parent) suggests the idea of pain, by saying 'this isn't going to hurt.'
    Once children have experienced Shoni Shin they want to come back for more, and in many families this preventative health care becomes a special ritual.      

    By the age of three, a child's personality  and constitutional tendencies are already in place, along with the their predisposition to ailments. Strengthening the child's own healing abilities in these weaker areas can contribute significantly to his future health. Recognizing his strengths and respecting his limitations can offer both parent and child an opportunity for empowerment and self-discovery in their own natural state of health.
    Because most of the habits we have as adults began to develop at a very early age, the introduction of holistic therapies early in childhood can prevent a lifetime of needless pain and suffering.

    Psychologists recognize the impact of emotional traumas in childhood, especially sexual abuse and violence, but less acknowledgment is given to the fact that simply living in an atmosphere of stress caused by social and school pressures, family tensions and conflict can create traumas as well, laying down patterns that continue for life. These experiences effect children emotionally, and each emotional pattern eventually develops into physical symptoms, however subtle.
    Problems that respond readily to holistic therapies include allergies, ear aches, digestive disturbances, stress, and sleep and bladder problems as well. In fact many children are referred by their pediatrician who is frustrated with continued rounds of antibiotics for ear infections that create a cycle of weakness and dependency.

Children respond very quickly to the therapeutic modalities we use in our clinic:
o    Shoni shin
o    Aromatherapy
o    Chinese and western herbal therapies
o    Nutrition
o    Massage

Check for dates Shoni Shin is scheduled in our clinic. We are happy to answer any questions you may have regarding your child's health.



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