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3 Immunity-Boosting Massage Techniques for Your Child

Children get aches and pains, too. Try these paediatric massage techniques at home to enhance your child’s immunity and well-being.

Baby boy sits up smiling while mother massages him gently.

Massages are usually designed for grown-ups seeking relief from the aches and pains of adulting. But here’s a fun fact: in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), certain massages are encouraged for children! 

3 Massage Techniques to Try 

Not only is acupressure massage a soothing ritual, it can also help boost your child’s immunity. The trick is in the touch: keep it gentle on every massage point. 

Here’s a trio of massage techniques we recommend. 

Tonifying the Spleen meridian (bu pi jing, 补脾经)

Massaging the outer edge of your child’s thumb nourishes their Spleen qi and helps improve digestion.
  • Where to find this acupoint: The thumb 
  • Why it’s good for your child: This massage benefits the Spleen, the organ that transforms nutrients from food into energy for your child’s growth and bodily functions. It also helps support digestive health. 
  • How to perform this technique: Rub downward from the tip of the thumb to the base (also called the “root”). Repeat for about a minute. 

Kneading the knee (rou zu san li, 揉足三里)

Zu san li is located 3 inches below Dubi, one finger breadth from the anterior crest of the tibia, in muscle tibialis anterior.
  • Where to find this acupoint: Below the knee 
  • Why it’s good for your child: This massage strengthens not only the Spleen but also the Stomach, aiding in indigestion and bloating. It also nourishes qi to enhance your child’s overall immunity. 
  • How to perform this technique: Gently press the point about four finger-widths below the knee bone, on the outer side of the calf. Knead this area using small circular motions for about five minutes. 

Spine pinching (nie ji, 捏脊

When done correctly, rolling the spine can be very calming for your child
  • Where to find this acupoint: Along the spine 
  • Why it’s good for your child: This massage soothes the whole body and strengthens your child’s body constitution. It helps preserve organ function and maintain the immune system. 
  • How to perform this technique: Place your fingers on either side of the base of the spine. Gently pinch and roll the skin upwards until the base of the neck. Repeat six times. 

Precautions for Paediatric Massages 

While massages can benefit your child, little bodies require a whole lot of care. Take note of the following tips to ensure your child’s safety before, during, and after a paediatric massage: 

  • Do not perform the massage techniques highlighted in this article on children under the age of one. 
  • The aforementioned massage techniques are most effective for children between the ages of one and five. 
  • Use gentle pressure to avoid injuring bones, muscles, and organs that are still developing. 
  • Avoid massaging a point for longer than a minute.  
  • The entire massage should be no longer than 15 minutes. 
  • Do not massage children with illnesses such as chickenpox or a severe cold. 
  • Schedule the massage between meals so your child is neither too full nor too hungry. 
  • Turn off distractions such as the TV or your smartphone to keep your focus on the massage. 
  • Complement these massage techniques with TCM herbs formulated for childhood pains, from toothaches to tummy aches. 

Master these massage techniques to give your little one an immunity boost – and of course, some quality time. But remember, these massages will only go so far. Healthy nutrition is essential for a healthy child, as is plenty of play and exercise.

If your child falls ill, try a powder like An Shen Jun Ging powder, which relieves phlegm, fevers, colds, coughs and night cries.

Did you try any of these massage techniques? Tell us about it in the comments below! 

This is an adaptation of the article “Massage Techniques to Boost Your Child’s Immunity”, which first appeared on the Eu Yan Sang website.

References

  1. OrientalRemediesGroup.com. 2019. Understanding Paediatric Massage. [online] [Accessed 7 February 2023]  
  2. Intermountain Healthcare. 2018. Acupressure for Kids. [online] [Accessed 7 February 2023] 
  3. All Things Health Malaysia. 2022. Does Your Child Have a Weak Immune System? Here Are Ways to Lower Their Risk of Infection. [online] [Accessed 7 February 2023] 

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