Acupuncture for infantile colic

Colic acupuncture researchA recent controlled trial carried out by K Landgren & I Hallstrom  in Sweden and published in Acupuncture in Medicine suggests there is evidence that acupuncture appears to safely reduce crying in infants with colic.

The aim of the trial was to compare and evaluate the effect of two types of acupuncture versus no acupuncture on infants with colic, those who cry more than 3 hours a day.

The trial was able to compare 147 infants all receiving standard care in public child health centres. The infants were randomly divided into 3 groups: A = standardised minimal acupuncture at one acupuncture point (L14) ; B = semi-standardised individual acupuncture inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine and C = no acupuncture at all, just the standard care.

Twice a week for 2 weeks all the infants received the usual care, alongside 4 extra visits to the public child health centres. All acupuncture given was administered by nurses with extensive acupuncture experience.

The results published indicate that by the second week of the trial and within the follow up period, there was a greater reduction in time spent crying in the infants receiving both types of acupuncture, especially crying stemming from colic.

The outcome of this control trial does suggest that acupuncture maybe an effective and safe treatment option for babies with infantile colic. This evidence gives possible cause for re-evaluating the way we treat colicky infants, and suggests how acupuncture can work effectively alongside standard treatment options.

The outcome of this control trial does suggest that acupuncture maybe an effective and safe treatment option for babies with infantile colic. This evidence gives possible cause for re-evaluating the way we treat colicky infants, and suggests how acupuncture can work effectively alongside standard treatment options.

Although this research is encouraging treating babies at Estuary clinic is not usually our first treatment choice. We would usually recommend cranial osteopathy in treating babies.

For more information on colic treatment visit the NHS website on colic treatment.

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