There is good news for parents and neighbors of colicky infants. Researchers at Lund University in Sweden recently published a study showing that acupuncture worked to reduce fussiness and crying among infants suffering from colic. Colic is a condition that affects many infants. It refers to inconsolable crying for more than three hours a day and is often attributed to intestinal discomfort or over-stimulation. In the study, researchers randomly divided 90 colicky infants from age 2 – 8 weeks into two groups, and had them come into the clinic twice a week for three weeks. One group received acupuncture at only one point on the hand for just two seconds. The other group received no treatment. Researchers kept the parents from knowing the group to which their child was assigned. The parents then recorded how many minutes each day their child was fussy and how many minutes they cried. The group whose child received acupuncture reported significantly less fussiness and crying than the group that did not receive acupuncture.
At the Tao of Wellness, we regularly treat patients of all ages, including infants for a variety of issues from allergies, rashes, and infections to colic. We only apply the acupuncture for a moment, and for most conditions, need only treat a few points. We also have liquid herbal tinctures that can be added to formula/milk or a drink to help a wide variety of issues from intestinal upset to allergies and asthma.
Here are some other things you can do at home to help with Colic:
Ginger Juice – First peel some raw ginger, then put it in a garlic press or a blender to extract the juice. Use organic ginger when possible. Wet your index and middle fingers with the ginger juice and massage the infant’s abdomen with gentle strokes starting at the chest and moving down towards the navel. A few drops of the juice may also be added to the infant’s formula/milk.
Foot Massage – just before bedtime, gently massage your infant’s feet with easy strokes, thinking soothing thoughts.
Herbal Tea – you may mix some cool herbal tea with the infant’s formula/milk at a ratio of one part tea to four parts formula/milk. Good teas include peppermint, chamomile, fennel and dill.
Digestive Enzymes – papaya or pineapple-based enzymes can be bought at most health food stores. Simply crush one tablet and mix with the formula/milk.
Breast Milk – if your infant is suffering from digestive problems and you are breastfeeding, you may need to alter your diet. Though this might take some experimentation, you can begin by removing these potential irritants: hot spicy foods, citrus, chocolate, heavy meats, and beans. You may include in your diet some of the herbal teas mentioned above along with ginger.