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Shonishin Therapy

(Pediatric Japanese-style Acupuncture for ages 1 month to 12 years old)

  • Shonishin [show-nee-shin]. This is a Japanese type of acupuncture that doesn’t use needles and is painless. Trained practitioners use small metal shonishin tools to stroke, tap or brush on the child’s skin over acupuncture pathways. This treatment gently relaxes and simulates the child’s body back into balance. Shonishin was developed in Japan and is still a main method for pediatric healthcare there.

  • Ideal for infants, children and seniors

  • Also ideal for those who are sensitive to and/or afraid of needles

  • Japanese acupuncture is an excellent option for anyone with a weakened                          or compromised endocrine and immune systems, or suffers from any bleeding disorders

  • Regardless of your child’s medical condition, Shonishin should only be administered after you have consulted your medical doctor.

  • Currently Kazuo Tateishi is one of a handful of practitioners trained to administer this type of treatment in Canada


What is Shonishin? *from Alex A. Kecskes


More commonly known as pediatric acupuncture, though typically no needles are used and nothing actually penetrates the skin, Shonishin literally translates as sho “little”, ni “children”, and shin “needle”.

Tracing its roots back to 17th century Osaka in Japan (and ultimately to ancient China), this specialized acupuncture technique was developed specifically for infants and children up to the age of seven. Practitioners insist Shonishin offers a viable alternative to pharmaceuticals in the treatment of childhood health problems–everything from behavioral and emotional to many physical conditions. It has been used with some success in treating infants and children afflicted with a wide variety of conditions, including colic, indigestion, GERD, constipation, and diarrhea. It has even shown some success in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), allergies, asthma, eczema, hives, bedwetting, and stuttering. Children as young as one month old have been effectively treated.

To understand how Shonishin works, one must first realize that a child’s bio-energetic systems are in the “yang” phase and not fully developed, which means their energy (qi) moves very quickly. Due to their rapidly growing bodies, infants consume large amounts of qi. This often depletes the organs most responsible for producing qi, which can result in hyperstimulation and offers a fertile ground for health problems.

Shoshinin’s gentle, mostly non-invasive treatment techniques involve non-inserted needles– the enshin, the teishin and the zanshin. Experienced practitioners rhythmically stroke, rub, tap and press the skin to produce a variety of gentle stimulation sensations. Rounded tools, including rods of silver, brass or gold, are typically used. Sometimes a press sphere–a tiny round ball–is taped in place and left for a few hours to stimulate an acupuncture point. These techniques serve to harmonize and boost a child’s vital energy.

Are there any risks or side effects to Shonishin Treatments?


Pediatric acupuncture, including shonishin, is safe. For children with low immune function or blood cell problems, adjustments may be made to the type and timing of treatments.

What conditions benefit from Shonishin Treatments?


Pediatric acupuncture, including shonishin, can be used to treat the following conditions:

  • Allergies  

  • Anxiety

  • Asthma

  • Bed wetting

  • Cold and flu symptoms

  • Colic

  • Constipation

  • Cough

  • Cancer Treatment Support

  • Diarrhea

  • Ear infection

  • Eczema

  • Headaches

  • Muscle weakness and fatigue

  • Pain (of all kinds)

  • Poor sleeping patterns

  • Restlessness/Hyperactivity

  • Seizures and epilepsy

  • Stomach aches

What does a Shonishin Treatment look like?


There are acupressure points all over the body. Kazuo will explain a treatment plan that is based on your child’s presenting symptoms, as well as

presenting symptoms.

A parent must be in full attendance during each treatment as support for your child, as well as learning how to administer the homecare that will be prescribed. 

We ask that you dress your child in comfortable light clothing to allow for movement.

Your child will be asked to lie down on a comfortable heated treatment table. Kazuo will use small metal shonishin tools to scratch, tap or brush on your child’s skin over acupuncture pathways. This treatment gently relaxes and simulates the child’s body back into balance.

Diet and your child's general nutrition will be discussed as well, to assist  with treating your child's presenting condition.

*During the Initial Treatment, you will be taught how to effectively administer some of these techniques at home, thereby allowing you to perform treatments from the comfort of your own home.

Variables to consider regarding Shonishin Treatments?

The frequency, dosage and length of treatment will depend on the age, constitution and presenting conditions of your child.

Shonishin is most effective when administered two to three times a week until symptoms are alleviated

Despite the gentle and light nature of Shonishin, some 'cleansing effects' may occur and can present as:

- a slight increase in body temperature

- mild fatigue

- increase urination and bowel movements


How do I prepare my child for their Shonishin Treatment Session?


To prepare your child for their shonishin, we recommend to:

  • make sure you schedule your child’s appointment so that it is not right before any activities that may be stressful to your child.

  • make sure your child has a chance to eat about two hours before the session.

  • make sure your child avoids any stimulants, such as drinks that may have high sugar content or caffeine in them.

  • Dress your child in loose/comfortable clothing so that it can be easily moved out of the way, as needed.

  • Try to be early for your child’s appointment, instead of waiting until the last minute to leave and rushing. Making sure your child is not stressed right before the appointment will help you get better results.



  • Shonishin, Pediatric Acupuncture;  Alex A. Kecskes, Pacific College of Health and Science, San Diego, Chicago, New York

  • Shonishin, Japanese Pediatric Acupuncture; Stephen Birch, 2011

            Meet our              Shonishin Practitioner
Kazuo Tateishi, Acupuncture

Japanese Acupuncturist/


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