We were recently at the Vancouver Island Baby Fair and got to talking with Jill Moran from Ashi Acupuncture. Jill is a practitioner of Shonishin, Registered Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist. If you are asking yourself “What is Shonishin”, you’re not alone. It was our first question too and the one Jill gets most often. That question is is inevitably always followed by “what is it good for?”
Jill gladly answered both of these question for us. We found it very interesting so we asked her if she wouldn’t mind sharing with our readers what Shonishin is all about. Here is what she told us.
“Shonishin is a Japanese word, and when broken down means little (sho) children (ni) needle (shin). It is a practice using the Yin/Yang and meridian systems of the child to balance their unstable energetic structure. It is generally performed on children between birth and 7 years old. Even though the translation uses the word ‘needle’, in my practice needles are generally not introduced until after the age of 7, and only then if the child is comfortable with it.
In my practice, I do not use needles on children but instead brush and tap the bare skin to stimulate certain energy pathways of the body and acupoints. The Yang energy of children is very much on the surface of their skin therefore it is easy to effect change in their bodies and conditions. By watching for changes in skin temperature and texture, the practitioner can monitor the effect of the treatment and not overstimulate the child.
What kind of ailments does Shonishin work on? One example is poor digestion which can show up in symptoms such as gas, vomiting or colic. At birth the digestive system of newborn is very weak. In Chinese Medicine, the belief is that the spleen organ governs the digestive system by transforming and transporting nutrition. The spleen energy’s preferred direction of movement is downward, however when energy is weak it is easily unrooted and can move in the reverse direction. This can result in colic due to gas pain and bloating. Shonishin helps to root the Spleen energy by tonifying the spleen organ system and therefore the spleen moves in its natural downward direction, resolving digestive complaints.
Shonishin is noninvasive and therefore not painful. Each session is no longer than 30 mins and the child is free to move as she/he needs. Not only does it treat many childhood illnesses, it also helps to strengthen the child’s immune system to maintain good health. This strengthens the child’s constitution overall. Gentle, simple, yet effective for both curative and preventative purposes.
Condition that Shonishin is effective for, though not restricted to, are:
Digestive disorders: constipation, diarrhea, colic, gas pain
Vomit, Acid reflux
Immune disorders, continual colds, recurrent ear infections, runny nose, asthma
Skin Disease: eczema, hives, candida
Night terrors, poor sleep and bedwetting
Weak constitution, “cranky child syndrome”
Poor concentration, ADHD”