Minimal acupuncture was found to shorten the
duration and reduce the intensity of crying in infants with colic without
producing any side effects.
Abdominal Colic in infants
is a phenomenon that occurs in almost all babies. It is defined as crying that lasts for longer than about three hours a
day and is not caused by a medical problem,
i.e. the baby is otherwise
healthy. It is more common in boys and in firstborn children.
The exact cause is
unknown. A number of causes have been suggested:
Discomfort from intestinal gas
Fear, frustration, or even excitement
Babies also cry more when people around them are worried, anxious, or depressed.
Colic is a benign condition that is generally gone by 12 weeks of age. It usually
affects babies beginning at about 3 weeks of age.
studies suggest that current medical treatments are either inefficient
(simethicone) or having serious side effects like seizures, asphyxia
(difficulty to breath) and death.
Acupuncture, a part of
traditional Chinese medicine treats patients by insertion and manipulation of
needles in the body. Acupuncture is a widely
used and discussed modality to tackle infantile colic
. The objective of the
latest study was to further investigate the effect of acupuncture in reducing
the duration and intensity of crying in infants with colic.
The study was performed in ninety infants. They
were divided into two groups. Only one group received acupuncture. Babies who received acupuncture treatments, twice
a week for a period of six weeks, cried for a shorter period of time and with less
intensity than the control group, i.e. the group that did not receive
The needles used were as
fine as a strand of hair and caused minimal pain. They were inserted in to the
soft, fleshy part of the hand between the baby's thumb and forefinger. This
area known as 'LI 4' is thought to influence the functioning of large
Infantile colic is a
stressful situation for the family and it affects optimal relations between
adults. There is an increased risk of child abuse. If
the acupuncture efficacy is very well established, that would mean an effective
solution free from side effects.
important observation was that parents often overestimated their babies'
crying. The parents of 210 infants who claimed their
infants had colic were asked to maintain daily diary entry of symptoms.
Evaluation of the recordings showed that only 90 infants actually had colic.
reduces crying in infants with infantile colic: a randomised, controlled, blind
clinical study; Kajsa et al; Acupuncture Medicine.