As long as babies do not do it to themselves Okay, that really bad joke aside, you may have obviously pondered over this question. This title is very relatable on that front. Which young parent does not wonder if alternative therapies are suitable for their babies so they can avoid giving them strong medication of any kind? Of course sometimes the meds are the best course of action but when they are not, alternatives cannot hurt, right?
More so if you have a colicky baby. Or one that has other tummy issues. Or struggles to sleep. Surely resorting the medicine cabinet for all of these is not the best option every time. Which is where acupressure might help. However, we must say right out of the bat that there is insufficient research on the practice of acupuncture in babies. So before you try, consult with your paediatrician. It will be safer and wiser.
Now let us talk about what acupuncture is!
Before we dive into the benefits, it is important to know what is acupuncture. Having a clear idea of this age-old practice is the first step, after all.
Simply put, acupuncture is the practice of using extremely thin needles to connect different pathways through the body to their respective organs to ease discomfort that might be present in or caused by that particular organ.
A traditional Chinese medicine form that has been practised for over 3000 years now, modern-day acupuncture makes use of magnets, laser, and simply your fingers to apply pressure, too. So you do not have to worry about poking needles in your baby. It will not come to that.
Combining diet, herbs and exercises along with a pressure-point application routine is a part of acupuncture. So if you want to try out acupuncture for babies, you will have to consult a professional as things can get a bit complex.
Whether you should resort to acupuncture for babies or not
Is, firstly, a matter of personal preference. You do not have to go down the acupuncture route if you do not feel comfy with it. Or if your baby does not respond well to it. So take the call and do not cave into any pressure.
As for how safe it is, as said before, there is not much research and no official medical guidelines. However, practitioners who have used acupuncture to heal babies of common ailments swear by it. In fact, they recommend it for babies as young as 3 months of age. And they advise using very thin needles too. So you might want to get the all-clear from your doctor before trying it out.
If you do happen to give it a shot, make sure you are with your baby throughout the session so you can stop it if you sense something is not right. Though acupuncture for babies does not involve keeping the needles pricked inside and takes more of an in-and-out approach, you should still keep a careful eye on the whole thing.
Acupuncture benefits for your baby you should know about
No matter what you do for your baby, you do it to benefit them. And we are pretty sure you are taking the same approach to acupuncture. That said, acupuncture benefits for babies are as follows.
- Helps relieve pain
- Helps your baby sleep better
- Helps improve digestive issues
Babies can experience physical pain points too, which can be a great cause for discomfort for them. And who likes to see their baby hurting anyway? Resorting to acupuncture in cases of pain can help your child ease the discomfort. Which works particularly well in case of illnesses whose cause is yet to be known.
Fussy babies can be so difficult to put to bed! And even once asleep, they can wake up easily at the drop of a pin, bawling their lungs out. Not easy to deal with that.
However, acupuncture for babies claims it can resolve sleep issues in babies by resorting to stress and anxiety management. By winding down your little munchkin so they are ready to doze off without a fuss, acupuncture can thus improve the quality of your baby’s sleep. The whole purpose is to keep them calm and happier.
Issues that are pretty common during babyhood as you will come to discover if you have not already. Acid reflux and feeling gassy are two of the commonest tummy issues babies suffer from. If tummy discomfort is persistent, it can make your baby colicky, thus affecting their sleep.
However, acupuncture can relieve digestive issues by using gua sha stones along with needles along pathways that are present in your baby’s back, arms and legs. This routine can also ease pain and bring down a fever, acupuncture experts claim.
Safety of your baby should be at the forefront always
If acupuncture benefits have you considering this Chinese therapy, make sure you keep your baby’s safety as your topmost priority. Before you begin, make sure you consult with a certified doctor to find out if acupuncture is safe for your baby. Only and only go ahead if you get the green light from your doctor.
Next, make sure that the acupuncturist you go to is a licensed practitioner with years of experience in treating babies. They should be credible and of good repute. Once you find an acupuncturist who fits the criteria, let them know about your baby’s existing health conditions and the medications they are on so a safe treatment plan can be chosen for your baby.
If at any moment you feel acupuncture is not working for your baby, discontinue and consult with your doctor again about the best course of action.
Watching your precious bundle of joy suffer from any kind of discomfort, no matter how minor, is not easy. However, when allopathic medicines are not an option, you can consider acupuncture as long as you get the permission to do so from your doctor. All you need to make sure is that the acupuncturist you choose meets the criteria we have mentioned before.
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