In this book Stephen Birch introduces shonishin, the Japanese approach to the treatment of children. Birch has studied extensively in Japan, principally with Dr Yoshio Manaka, with whom he co-authored Chasing the Dragon's Tail, as well as studying meridian therapy and Toyohari acupuncture. With his huge experience and scholarship Birch is well-placed to impart his experience of shonishin, which is a safe, specialised and gentle treatment option that mainly uses non-insertive techniques to treat children.
The initial sections introduce the history and theory underlying the shonishin approach, including the techniques of treatment, the various tools used, the treatment principles and issues around treatment dose. Birch then describes in more detail his specific treatment principles, which discard the more commonly understood patternbased differential diagnosis and instead use a 'core treatment model', which he describes as a 'non-pattern based root treatment'. This is an easier and simpler method to apply to children, working as it does gently at the surface of the body. This treatment, regardless of any specific problem or illness, is targeted at restoring and stimulating the child's own healing mechanisms and Birch suggests it can be useful in a wide variety of situations. Also introduced and discussed is 'pattern-based root treatment', which is based on the theory of meridian therapy. All of this is explained in an easy to understand way, making the theory and the techniques accessible for everyone. The sections in which Birch discusses the use of moxa and cupping on children made me pause for thought, however, trying to imagine which of my younger patients would stay still long enough to allow me to safely burn moxa cones directly on their skin. The basic techniques of stroking and tapping are clearly illustrated and explained, as are meridian therapy diagnostic methods such as abdominal palpation and pulse diagnosis.
Birch also includes a section on the importance and efficacy of home treatment strategies, and how shonishin can be adapted into a simplified form that parents can do at home. Most practitioners will understand the difficulties of being able to see child patients as frequently as desired, particularly where families have to travel long distances to see a practitioner, or are juggling the pressures of jobs, school and childcare. Home treatment can therefore be hugely beneficial, particularly because including family members in a child's treatment - especially children suffering from chronic conditions - gives parents a feeling that they are able to participate and help.
Half of the book deals with the treatment of specific conditions commonly seen in children, such as respiratory, digestive and ear and nose problems. Each condition covered has an introductory section, and is then illustrated via case histories that take the reader through the treatment variations at each visit. These case histories give a valuable insight into the adaptability and flexibility of the shonishin approach and how such treatment brings about changes.
Half of the book deals with the treatment of specific conditions commonly seen in children, such as respiratory, digestive and ear and nose problems. Each condition covered has an introductory section, and is then illustrated via case histories that take the reader through the treatment variations at each visit. These case histories give a valuable insight into the adaptability and flexibility of the shonishin approach and how such treatment brings about changes. Each condition covered gives a 'pattern-based root diagnosis' and a 'nonpattern based root treatment' as well as a 'symptomatic treatment' approach. Along with these treatment choices the author includes treatment goals for each condition, home treatment strategies, other considerations such as diet, as well as illustrations demonstrating stroking and tapping routines for the conditions discussed. The author's varied approach to treatment gives the reader clear insight into the practical application of shonishin treatment. These techniques and theories can be adapted to fit into existing treatment approaches for those already treating children. The book also includes a 150 minute DVD, which demonstrate the different techniques via real cases.
This is a well-written, user-friendly and rewarding book. Birch states that he wants the information in the book to be 'practical and reproducible' by the reading audience – and this he has achieved. Birch acknowledges that his approach is not overly theoretical, and instead constitutes a very practical option. This book will be a valuable addition to the library of anyone - practitioner, student, or teacher - who treats or is interested in treating children .
|Number Of Pages||272|