Techniques that allow parents to be active agents in providing relief and healing when illness occurs in their children
• Reveals the importance of touch in both childhood development and healing
• Details acupoint and trigger point therapy techniques for most common childhood ailments, including asthma
• Identifies when to seek professional help vs. situations that can be handled at home
Touch is critical to the development of babies and children. It establishes both their sense of self and their connectedness to the rest of the world. Donna Finando shows that touch is also key to restoring health when illness occurs. As a mother and grandmother, she has experienced the frustration and helplessness of watching a sick child suffer. As an acupuncturist and massage practitioner, she has found there are many simple ways parents can provide relief and even healing for many common ailments that afflict children by using touch therapy.
Trigger point therapy releases restricted muscles while acupressure allows energy to flow freely, activating the body’s remarkable healing abilities. Colds, sore throats, ear infections, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and even asthma are some of the common conditions that can be relieved by touch therapy. Finando presents an in-depth explanation of each condition, providing information on causative factors, dietary and behavior recommendations, point techniques that can offer relief, and when to seek medical help. The gentle techniques that form this healing practice also extend to other parent-child interactions, offering a comprehensive model for the care and nurturing of children.
You can help him feel somewhat better as his cold runs its course by using the following treatment. In many cases you’ll find that the cold passes more quickly once you’ve treated him once or twice. The idea of this treatment is to open his nasal passages and his chest, ease a sore throat, increase lymphatic drainage, and generally strengthen his system so he can heal quickly.
Remember that when you massage your child a gentle touch is all that’s needed. Use about the same amount of pressure you would if you were finger painting.
The best time to work on your child is any time he’s open to it. Take your time; make him comfortable; relax.
And don’t forget--this can be fun and pleasurable for both of you. Treatment time combines the joy of connecting with your little one with the pleasure of being able to do something that will help him get better sooner.
1. Start by gently massaging his chest from the top of the breastbone down toward his stomach.
2. Then massage his upper chest, starting at the center of the upper chest and ending just where his arm meets chest.
Massaging the upper chest will help to release the pectoral muscles (pectoralis major and pectoralis minor), which can develop taut bands and trigger points from extended periods of coughing.
3. Massage in the groove between his chest and his arm.
Lung 1 and Lung 2 are found just in the deltopectoral groove, the space where the arm meets the body at the intersection of the deltoid muscle and pectoralis major. Stimulation of these points will help support lung function.
4. Repeat the massage of his breastbone, this time going all the way down to his lower belly.
5. Apply gentle pressure to the midpoint between the lower end of his breastbone and the belly button.
Conception Vessel 12 is the point at which the Lung meridian begins.
6. Apply gentle pressure to the point approximately an inch below the belly button, Conception Vessel 6.
The combination of the massage of the rib cage and the treatment of Conception Vessel 12 and Conception Vessel 6 helps to open and relax the mid and lower torso, allowing the body to breathe more deeply and easily.
7. Massage the outer part of the front of his arm beginning at his shoulder and working down toward his thumb. Try to focus your massage on the inside of his arm and the palm of his hand.
Treating Lung 5 at the outer part of the elbow fold, Lung 9 at the wrist fold, and Lung 10 at the center of the thick part of his thumb on the palm side of his hand help support respiratory function.
Lung 7 just above the wrist fold is used to clear congested nasal passages.
8. Work on the backside of his hand between his index finger and his thumb.
Colon 4 works with Kidney 7 to strengthen immune function.
9. Work on the back of his lower arm, just above his wrist fold, in between the two forearm bones.
Triple Warmer 5 is used in the treatment of the common cold.
10. Massage the outside of his lower leg, giving a bit more attention to the area just beneath his knee.
Stomach 36 works with Spleen 6 to help strengthen immune function.
11. Work on the inside of his lower leg for several inches above his anklebone.
Spleen 6 works with Stomach 36 to strengthen the system. Kidney 7 supports the respiratory process; it works with Colon 4 to strengthen immune function.
12. Massage the upper shoulders an inch or two away from the neck.
The release of the upper trapezius muscle will help soften the musculature of the neck and shoulders and aid in lymphatic drainage.
13. Work on his upper back between the shoulder blades and the spine.
Bladder 12, 13, and 15 help support respiratory function. Releasing the muscles of his upper back will help ease breathing.
Face and Neck
Massage and acupressure to the face and neck help to open the sinuses and the nasal passages and stimulate lymphatic drainage. The end result is one where your child can breathe more easily.
All of these areas should be massaged a couple of times, but very, very gently. Your baby or child has a very delicate face, and these points can be quite tender when she’s congested. Light, light pressure, held for just a couple of seconds, 2 or 3 times during the course of a treatment will help her more than you can imagine.
1. Start with a massage of the forehead. Stoke from the bridge of the nose up toward the hairline and then from midpoint out toward the ears.
Massage of the forehead will help to increase drainage of the frontal and ethmoid sinuses.
2. Gently massage the cheekbones beginning at the nose, just underneath the eye, and stroke out toward the ears.
Massage of the cheekbones increases drainage of the maxillary sinuses.
3. Gently press the point that lies just between the eyebrows.
Extra point, yintang, is commonly used in combination with taiyang and Colon 4 in the treatment of the common cold.
4. Gently press the area where the eyebrow begins.
Bladder 2 is used to help clear nasal and sinus congestion.
5. Gently press the area beside the eye behind the eye bone.
Extra point, taiyang, is commonly used in combination with yintang and Colon 4 in the treatment of the common cold.
6. Gently press just beside the nose above the nostril flare.
Extra point, bitong, is traditionally used to clear nasal congestion.
7. Gently press the point just beside each nostril.
Colon 20 is used to clear congestion in the nasal passages.
8. Massage from the neck beginning just underneath the ear and stroke downward toward the collarbone.
A gentle massage of the muscles of the neck, sternocleidomastoid and scalenes, will help to increase lymphatic drainage into the upper torso.
Donna Finando, L.Ac., L.M.T., is a practitioner of acupuncture and massage, specializing in myofascial meridian therapy and myofascial release techniques for the treatment of chronic and acute pain and dysfunction. She studied extensively with Janet Travell, M.D., a pioneer in the field of pain management. She lives on Long Island, New York, where she has been in continual practice since 1976. She is coauthor of Trigger Point Therapy for Myofascial Pain and the author of Trigger Point Self-Care Manual and Acupoint and Trigger Point Therapy for Babies and Children.
"Finando doesn't suggest that we turn our backs on Western medicine, but rather that we expand our families' wellness and medicine chests by discovering the power our bodies have to self-heal when ancient healing practices are applied."
– Terri Hall-Jackson, Care2 Green Living, Jan 2008
“This book reveals the importance of touch in both childhood development and healing. Donna Finando shows that touch is also key to restoring health when illness occurs. . . Findndo presents an in-depth explanation of each condition, providing information on causative factors, dietary and behavior recommendations, point techniques that can offer relief, and when to seek medical help.”
– Embody Magazine, March 2011
“Instructions for treatment are provided step by (numbered) step. Notes are included in a contrasting color after many of the steps, explaining why you’re treating the exact area you’re treating. Facing pages include diagrams of a child’s body with the sections you’ll be treating highlighted in red. The skeleton is included in these drawings so you have good reference points...It isn’t encyclopedic, but it covers all of the most common childhood illnesses. Because it doesn’t rely on acupoint therapy alone, this would make a good general-purpose health book for a new parent.”
– Titus2homemaker.com, July 2013
"Basic children's anatomy and physiology are presented in easy terms parents can understand, making this an excellent pick for any parent's library."
– The Midwest Book Review
"Why this book has not been written before is a mystery, but now, here it is. [A] wonderful gift for mother-to-be, dads, grandparents, nurses, and caregivers."
– Martha Stoodley, writer and yoga teacher
" . . . a resource that takes our natural healing touch to a whole new level. . . . the practices in this text merely expand on our natural instincts."