This three day workshop will be taught by Stephen Birch PhD, LicAc (USA), MBAcC (UK), lid NVA
Oct 26-28: Thursday + Friday 9.00-17.00, Saturday 9.00-16.00
Shonishin (children's needle therapy) is a unique and specialized pediatric style of acupuncture that developed over 250 years ago in Japan. It recognizes the fact that children do not like needles and has instead developed specialized treatment techniques, many of which are non-invasive and thus not frightening to the child. In ancient China, when acupuncture was first being described, nine kinds of needles were described, several of which had rounded ends, that are rubbed or pressed on the skin instead of inserted into the body. In Shonishin, following these ideas, a variety of instruments have been developed that can be pressed, rubbed, tapped or scraped on the skin to give different kinds of gentle stimulation. The treatment system has a simple treatment approach applying a kind of fixed pattern of soft stimulation as a kind of ‘non-pattern based root treatment’. When applied for short periods of time in simple systematic patterns, these simple treatment techniques have been found effective for a wide variety of pediatric problems from birth through age five or so. As children get older, and/or their problems are more difficult or stubborn, specialized acupuncture techniques and insertion methods have also been developed and tailored to match the needs of children, so that they are comfortable and not aversive for the child or parent.
The general (non-pattern based root) treatment can be very useful for fortifying the child's vital energy and strengthening their constitution. When correctly applied, this treatment will not only help symptoms to naturally improve, but will give a greater sense of well-being and help resolve many other small day to day problems, helping make the child less prone to illness. The basic treatment has the added advantage of being easily taught to parents so that they can use it regularly at home, thus increasing frequency of treatment and allowing parents to participate actively in the treatment of their children. This tends to reinforce the effects of treatment, and helps make the treatment more enjoyable for everyone.
In addition the workshop will teach a simple form of pattern based root treatment that helps balance the meridian system (Japanese Meridian Therapy), also using non-invasive treatment methods and for older children, very shallowly inserted sensationless needling. Various simple methods used on adults but modified for babies and children will also be taught for symptomatic treatment, along with a number of extra points that have special treatment effects on certain symptoms.
Shonishin is used to treat a wide variety of problems using these specialized approaches. The following list includes the most commonly treated conditions: irritability, impatience, excessive crying at night in infants; hyperactivity; attention problems in small and school age children; dream disturbed sleep; indigestion; diarrhea; constipation; allergies; chronic stuffy or runny nose (from repeated colds and/or allergies); asthma (including allergic asthma, exercise induced asthma); weakened immune system - the child that catches cold frequently or has recurrent viral infections; bedwetting; stammering or stuttering; weak constitution, including infants with inadequate weight gain, frail children that are not as active as others; urticaria; eczema; hernia; ear infections, usually chronic and repetitive; neurological problems resulting for example from cerebral palsy. This is a practical system with minimal theory and this style of pediatric treatment can be used by any regardless of general style of practice. Techniques will be demonstrated with practice to ensure full understanding. Babies and children will come in for treatment demonstrations.
Stephen Birch has practiced Japanese acupuncture for thirty-five years and is a well-known teacher, teaching around the world, especially in Europe. He has authored a number of books on acupuncture including ‘Hara Diagnosis’ (1988), ‘Chasing the Dragon’s Tail’ (1995), ‘Japanese Acupuncture’ (1998), ‘Understanding Acupuncture’ (1999), ‘Shonishin – Japanese Pediatric Acupuncture’ (2nd edition 2016), ‘Restoring Order in Health and Chinese Medicine’ (2014). He is a researcher, having published dozens of papers and is Associate Professor at Kristiania University College, Department of Health Sciences, Oslo, Norway. He practices in Amsterdam, the Netherlands since 1999
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