Will Chinese tuina hurt my tot?

We interview Eu Yan Sang’s TCM physician Neo Min Jun to learn more about the Chinese massage practice and children.


Your child doesn’t eat much just pushes food around with no appetite. Perhaps they have chronic constipation or constantly complain about tummy problems and diarrhoea.

            Or they don’t sleep well — and you’ve already checked that they’re not wasting their sleep time on games and stuff. What do you do especially if the doctor says there’s nothing really wrong with junior?

            One solution that some parents are turning to is paediatric tuina. Says Eu Yan Sang’s TCM physician Neo Min Jun, “Common ailments treated in at our Simei clinic include chronic cough, nose allergies, frequent flu occurrence, poor appetite, indigestion and restless sleep.”

“We would not advise parents to bring children under the age of 6 months for paediatric tuina.”

            She explained that the best results from the paediatric version of tuina massage, is on patients below 6 years but older than 1 year. “We would not advise parents to bring children under the age of 6 months for it.”

            Among the conditions that they are asked to treat are gastrointestinal problems — including poor appetite, indigestion, constipation and chronic diarrhoea; nose allergies, chronic cough, recovery-phase asthma and mild flu. Then there’s tooth-grinding, restless sleep and bed-wetting.

            She cautions parents that tuina is not for everything. “Conditions [for which] one should go straight to A&E include acute high fever, acute pain in the abdomen, acute serious diarrhoea, a fall with sharp pain at injured areas and breathlessness accompanied by a wheezing cough.”

What will the physician do in a consultation with your child? Read on...