Pediatric Tuina Massage for Wellness


Pediatric tuina massage, or Chinese infant massage, has been used for thousands of years in the East to keep kids healthy and treat illness.  This type of massage is largely unknown and it is my sincere hope to change that!  I want parents and practitioners to learn and use pediatric tuina massage to benefit their own children and then pass down this powerful tool down to their own kids and grandkids.


Massage for Wellness

Using pediatric tuina massage on your infant or child every night can stimulate the body to heal itself and correct minor imbalances before they become major problems.  In traditional Chinese medicine, the foundation of a healthy immune system is built upon the food the child eats and the nutrients derived from it.  Thus, many of the techniques recommended for general wellness focus on strengthening the digestive system.  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.  Massage for wellness should be done once daily.  In addition to massage, you might want to explore other ways you can do to keep your kids healthy by reading my post Flu Proof Your Kid: 5 Ways to Do It Naturally  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. Most of these techniques recommend rubbing 100 – 500 times which seems like a lot.  However, these massage techniques are rapidly repeated so it only takes 45 seconds to a few minutes to massage each area fully.  Sometimes it’s easier to use a timer to keep track of how long you’ve been massaging than how many times you’ve rubbed spot.


Line Pressing on the Thumb

Start at the lateral or outer part of the thumb next to the tip of the finger nail and rub in a downward direction towards the base of the thumb where it meets the wrist.  When you get to the wrist lift and repeat.  This massage supports the entire digestive system and promotes overall wellness. For ages infant to 2 years rub 100 – 200 times For ages 2 – 5 years rub 200 – 300 times For ages 6 – 12 rub 400-500 times


Circle Rubbing on the Abdomen - Clockwise

Rubbing the abdomen around the belly button in a clockwise manor with your four fingers or palm of hand promotes proper digestion and elimination which is the foundation of a healthy immune system. 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-Massage-700x434.jpg

Pinching Pulling Massage on the Back

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.”


Circle Rubbing on the Palm

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 because is helps to restore balance and helps strengthen the body overall.  Looking at 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 


Stomach 36

This is one of my favorite points for supporting digestion which in turn supports a healthy immune system and supports normal energy levels.  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   This post has been shared on: Small Footprint Friday from Link Love from Fight Back Friday from  Sunday School from  Thank Goodness It's Monday from  



Candace Holmes

Thank you for this article, I tried the circle rubbing on my daughters tummy last night and she only woke up once! This is great because she usually wakes up like every two hours because she's gassy or has an upset stomach. I also tired the line pressing on the thumb and circle rubbing on the palm yesterday and I already noticed a difference in her movements today. :)
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