by Patrick McCarty
Usually young infants are not really in need of shiatsu treatments.
Without a doubt, the mother is and it would be wonderful if she
received shiatsu to encourage her body, especially the uterus,
to get back into its proper position. But an infant, unless born
with some problem, is pretty much perfect as he or she is. Yet
as a new parent, it is difficult not to touch, hold, kiss and
caress the new born because they are so cute and adorable.
After a few weeks when you wake up to the wonderful reality that you do indeed have a child and it is not just a dream (remember with the birth and days following you really don't get much sleep!), you probably will want to become creative and begin some physical routine with the baby (any excuse to touch). Nursing mothers don't think this way because they are already quite useful to the baby, but for the fathers, we just feel like we'd like to do something special. For this reason I developed a simple shiatsu routine which I share with my son daily. We do it first thing in the morning when he is fresh and happy.
Infants Don't Break
Infants are much more resilient than you might think. My son maintains a big smile while I apply firm pressure so I'm assuming that it's OK with him. In other realms of life he is quite vocal when things are not to his liking. The treatment can be given daily. It takes about 3-5 minutes from start to finish and covers the whole body.
With the infant lying on the back.
1. Press the bottom of the one foot with your thumb.
2. Press around the ankles.
3. Press up the inside of the leg (Spleen meridian)
4. Press the shin bone (Liver meridian)
5. Press the outside of the leg (Stomach meridian)
Repeat on other leg.
6. Press the center of the palm of the hand.
7. Press up the arm (Large Intestine meridian)
8. Press along the arm bone (Lung meridian)
9. Press up the inside of the arm (Pericardium meridian)
10. Press the upper arm both on top and under.
Repeat on other arm.
11. Rub the abdomen first in a clockwise circular direction 12 times, reverse direction to counterclockwise for 12 times. Repeat process with 9, 6, 3, and 1 cycles in each directions.
12. Slide your hands under the infant and with your fingertips press the Yu points located next to the spine on both sides. Press and hold each point for 1-2 seconds. Start at the upper back area and work your way down to the waist.
13. Place one hand under the infant's head and the other hand at the base of the spine. Hold and gently allow the body to lengthen and relax. Hold for about 20-30 seconds. This finishes the session. Baby should be alert and happy. If by chance your young one is not happy with what your are doing, discontinue the session and try at another time.