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Acupuncture can help with infant colic
Acupuncture has long been used in Western medicine against a wide variety of ailments. The treatment method works for numerous common diseases such as headaches and migraines. A study has now shown that needle therapy can also help treat infant colic.
When the baby keeps crying
In particular, inexperienced parents are usually quickly worried when their little ones scream a lot. Nevertheless, you should avoid stress, because it can spread to the child and make the situation worse. According to experts, two hours of crying a day is normal in babies. If the cause is not known, parents must not let their baby cry, experts warn. Rather, it is important to find out why the offspring is complaining. If it is due to colic, acupuncture can help, as scientists have now found out.
Infants with colic
Kajsa Landgren and Inger Hallström from the Swedish University of Lund have investigated whether the alternative healing method can also help infants suffering from so-called three-month colic.
Especially in the first months of life, many babies have to deal with severe abdominal pain. The little ones' complaints also lead to frequent and violent crying attacks.
The treatment with the needles made the children cry much less often than the babies who received standard care. In addition, colic healed faster in these infants. The results of the study were published in the specialist journal "Acupuncture in Medicine".
The study divided 147 babies diagnosed with colic into three groups. The otherwise healthy children were between two and eight weeks old.
The infants in a group received standardized minimal acupuncture at one acupuncture point for two to five seconds each. Those of the second were treated with a slightly stimulating acupuncture at a maximum of five acupressure points for a period of 30 seconds. And the rest of the children received normal standard care without acupuncture.
The treatment, which was given twice a week, lasted a total of fourteen days. During the course of the study, all parents kept a detailed cry diary - without knowing how their child was treated.
Attacks of cry decreased significantly
It was shown that the babies in all three groups cried less over time, which is not surprising since colic usually heals on its own and the symptoms become less as the disease progresses.
There was, however, one crucial difference: the cry attacks decreased faster and more rapidly in the two acupuncture groups. The positive effects were still evident a week after the treatment.
In addition, less colic was found in the infants two weeks after treatment. According to the information, 16 and 21 babies still had colic in the two acupuncture groups, while the standard group had 31.
"Acupuncture can be an effective treatment option for babies who cry for more than three hours a day," the study authors write in a message.
But don't forget: "Whining and crying are normal communication for a baby, so the goal of the treatment is a reduction to a normal level (instead of silence)".
Laser light is full of needles
In Austria, needle therapy is already being used successfully in children. "However, we do not prick the babies in Austria, but use laser light on the respective acupuncture point - you can also achieve very good results with this," explained Dr. Karin Stockert, President of the Austrian Society for Acupuncture, in a report on "kurier.at".
Needle treatment is certainly used in China, "but we would not do it in Austria because it can be quite painful and the parents are very reluctant to let their children go."
In addition, the little ones would have to lie still during treatment, which is of course very difficult at a young age. (ad)