Tuina massage for children and a few handy tips

It can be frustrating when your child is sick and seems to be going nowhere with existing treatments. Their sickness can deplete your energy and create a spiralling downward cycle for the health of the whole family. It’s not often you hear of children receiving massage or acupuncture but some parents being accustomed to these therapies, turn to paediatric tuina massage to help improve their children’s health.

Paediatric tuina massage has grown in popularity over the last few years in Australia. In Asian countries many parents attend classes to equip them with basic tuina skills. One parent said: “Practising tuina has helped my children to cope with common conditions without having to queue up for medical treatments all the time”. Paediatric tuina is a Chinese medicine therapy that involves a combination of massage, acupressure and stimulation of various points specific for treating and preventing disease. Tuina promotes the energy flow in the meridians, balancing the yin and yang, like an acupuncture treatment, but without needles.

Paediatric tuina massage is a gentle, relaxing and non-invasive treatment for the relief of lingering conditions in children. It is perfect for children under the age of 9. When a child is not able to receive needles or herbal medication, paediatric tuina massage can be used as a treatment.

The great thing about tuina massage is that you can do it at home on your own children and does not require a visit to the clinic. Here we discuss the three most common conditions and share some methods you can use to your little ones at home.

Cautionary note: The information provided in this article is general information and should not be substituted for advice from a medical professional.


Constipation can occur all year round and at any age.

Take your index finger, and massage in a wiping motion from the base of the index finger to the tip of the finger 100-300 times. In Chinese medicine theory, this area is on the Large Intestine Meridian and massage will help to clear any stagnation in the large intestine (See picture).

Other methods include using your index and middle fingers to massage in a wiping motion from the wrist to the elbow, 50-100 times.

Or draw clockwise circles in the palm of your child’s hand about 50 times.


Children, just like adults, can find it difficult to fall asleep and can wake up during the night. Poor quality sleep can affect their performance at school, and lead to daytime tiredness. As parents, we can help and prepare an environment for kids to sleep (eg. switch off the iPads an hour before bed, hot bath, avoid big dinners). Tuina before bed can also help to relax the body.

Lightly squeeze the area next to the spine from the back-side working up to the base of the neck for about 5 minutes (See picture). This can be done daily to improve sleep and help relax children before bed.


There is a myriad of causes for coughing but in this article, we focus on lingering coughs. This method is especially good when the coughing is worse at night.

Have your child lying face down. Warm your hands first and use some oil or moisturiser on the upper back of your child.

Massage the Lung points a few minutes, working inside the shoulder blades in a downward motion, 100 times (See picture).


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