Pediatric Tuina Massage for Constipation

There are seven basic tuina massage techniques you can use to treat your child’s constipation.  Whether it’s from acute illness and fever or more chronic bowel issues these techniques can help.  Tuina massage is safe to use in newborns, infants, toddlers and children up to age 12, although it is most effective in children 5 and under.  For a complete discussion on treating constipation, please read What's Your Kid's Poo Telling You? Part 1 Constipation Before you get started, make sure the room where you will do the massage is warm, your nails are trimmed and you have something like talcum powder or massage oil to prevent chafing.  If you’re new to pediatric tuina massage please refer to our Guide to Pediatric Tuina Massage for Parents for more information and our basic instructional video.

Line Pressing on the Index Finger

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Using your thumb, start on the palmar side of the hand at the junction of the thumb and index finger and rub in a line down to the tip of the index finger.  At the end of the finger lift and repeat.   This regulates the large intestines to promote bowel movements. For ages infant to 2 years rub 100 times For ages 2 - 5 years rub 200 times For ages 6 - 12 rub 300 times

Circle Pressing on the Palm of the Hand

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This is another general massage technique for harmonizing the organ networks in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  This massage is used for almost every condition your child may have.  Looking a the palm you’ll see how the inner portion forms a depression.  Using your thumb, rub the palm of the hand in a clockwise circular direction on the outer border of the depression.   Talcum powder is very helpful at preventing chafing and allowing you to repeat this massage rapidly. For ages infant to 2 years rub 100 times For ages 2 - 5 years rub 200 times For ages 6 - 12 rub 300 times

Triple Energizer 6 (TE 6) Bo Yang Chi

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This point is located on the forearm a distance of three fingers (same size as your child’s index - middle fingers) above the wrist.  Kneading this point helps relax the bowels in order to increase elimination. For ages infant to 2 years rub 100 times For ages 2 - 5 years rub 200 times For ages 6 - 12 rub 300 times

Circle Rubbing on the Abdomen - Clockwise

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Rubbing the abdomen around the belly button in a clockwise manor with your four fingers or palm of hand promotes proper digestion and elmination.  This technique can also be used for abdominal pain, too. For ages infant to 2 years rub 100 times For ages 2 - 5 years rub 200 times For ages 6 - 12 rub 300 times

Stomach 36 (ST 36) Zu San Li

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This is one of may favorite points for any digestion problems.  This point regulates peristaltic, or intestinal, movement aiding digestion and elimination.  It can also treat nausea and upset stomach.   Starting below the knee cap, place the equivalent distance of your child's four fingers (pinky - index finger) on the lateral side of the leg and find the point just below this.  The tissue at this point dips in a little so you'll know when you've found it. For ages infant to 2 years rub 100 times For ages 2 - 5 years rub 200 times For ages 6 - 12 rub 300 times

Line Pressing along the Lumbar Spine and Sacrum

Using your index and middle fingers rub in a line down the lumbar spine to the end of the sacrum.  Lift and repeat. For ages infant to 2 years rub 100 times For ages 2 - 5 years rub 200 times For ages 6 - 12 rub 300 times

Pinching Pulling on the Lumbar Spine

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Pinching Pulling Massage.  For Constipation start at the sacrum and go up to the lumbar spine. Lift & Repeat.[/caption] This massage can be done for general wellness when done along the entire spine.  When focused on the muscles next to the lumbar spine down to the top of the sacrum it will help stimulate all the acupuncture points associated with the bowels. Gently but firmly “pinch” the muscle tissue between your thumb and forefinger and as you push your thumbs forward towards the lumbar spine, continue to pull down and “pinch” the muscle tissue.  The best way to understand this one is to see it on the video in the Guide to Pediatric Tuina Massage for Parents. Do this massage 100 - 300 times or until the skin “pinks up.” This post was featured on: Thank Your Body Thursday from ThankYourBody.com Old-Fashioned Friday from Ourheritageofhealth.com  

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22 comments

Lori @ Our Heritage of Health Feb 28, 2013 09:02am
This is great information to remember for when I have kids someday! Thanks for sharing with Old-Fashioned Friday! :)
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Robin Green Feb 28, 2013 12:24pm
Thanks Lori! I love your site and so appreciate your efforts to revive traditional remedies and way of life! :-) Robin
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thanks for update
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AshleyLovely Apr 21, 2015 01:09am
My DS is facing constipation for a week, but his poo is hard and black. Do you guys have any solution?
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Rachel VanDusen Apr 22, 2015 10:21am
Unfortunately, not knowing their health history it's hard to say what would help. If you have already followed the tips in this article, make sure they are getting plenty of water and consult your local pediatric healer. We really hope this gets resolved for you!
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thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Same L0rrr Jul 5, 2015 06:09pm
Great article
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"Pinching the lumbar spine. Do this massage 100 – 300 times or until the skin “pinks up.” " Really that much? ;-) I think the skin will pink up a lot sooner indeed Great article!
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Rachel VanDusen Jul 15, 2015 09:55am
It does vary from person to person, but please note this massage should be done very, very gently. If the skin is pink within the first minute, be a little more gentle. Adults will need more repetitions than infants! Thanks for pointing that out, we don't want to mislead anyone! In Wellness, Robin
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Monica SImson Jul 22, 2015 01:00am
I found that some formula milk helps in preventing children constipated. Personally has tried Mamil, it's been 2 years since I fed my children with Mamil. After tried it, I saw that my children's stool are getting softer . Also, bowel movement has increased and no more foul-smelling wind and poo.
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my DS who is 3YO also currently facing constipation problem.. he now hates to go toilet because he is afraid of painfulness due to not poo for 6 days already... the stools will become harden.plus, he complained to me that he has stomach ache as well!!! i heard before that formula milk is the main reason which cause kids suffer in constipation, is it true? i'm really worry bout him.. any solution to cure such constipation problem?
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thanks
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Rachel VanDusen Aug 6, 2015 10:28am
I'm sorry to hear about this! Not knowing the health conditions and health history it is hard to say what the cause of such constipation is. Constipation could be caused by a number of reasons. With constipation that concerning I would suggest seeing a health practitioner in person as soon as possible. Alternative healthcare treatment options can help as well.
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great article
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I would suggest if your children can formula milk contain pre-biotics which will helps in preventing children constipated in long run. It happen to me, my kids tried Mamil, it’s been 2 years since I fed my children with Mamil. It seen like this milk formula have good progress as my children’s stool are getting smoother and I found that bowel movement has increased and no more foul-smelling wind and poo.
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Hi Robin, I have been applying your ruins massage techniques in my now 4 yrs old since he was 2 yrs old I think to get rid of the vicious cycle of cold cough an ear infections. Since then we have also moved to a warmer place but ur techniques were really beneficial. Only a mom knows what works and heal ur child and u helped me learn that. Now I have a 2 month old suffering from no bowel movements for a week or so. Please help me with any solutions u may have in your Pandora Box!:) Lots of hugs and Thanks a ton!! Chitra
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Candace Holmes Aug 30, 2015 03:23pm
Robin has a great article on constipation: http://www.kidsloveacupuncture.com/2013/01/29/whats-your-kids-poo-telling-you-part-1-constipation/
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thanks for sharing~~~~~~~~~~~~
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thanks for sharing~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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Natural Remedies For Tummy Aches Dec 13, 2015 04:36pm
[…] Kids + Love + Acupuncture has a wonderful tutorial that demonstrates the benefits of Tuina massage for helping the bowels move – plus tips on how to do it – here. […]
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my 12 year old daughter could not have a bowel movemt for 3 days laxitves did not work so i layed her in her bed so she was relaxed aand gave her the massage!!! it worked so well she was on the toilet with in 30 minutes and got it out. she loved it so much that i do it every night to relax her before she goes to bed it is part of her rutine when she wakes up i give it to her before school she has been having 2 big bowel movemts per day . thank you so so so so much!!!!!
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Robin's Team Aug 11, 2016 10:30pm
Dear Simom, We are so happy that the Tuina Massage has helped your daughter! Keep up the great work Mama!
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