What is Colic?
Colic in babies is defined as episodes of crying for more than three hours a day, for more than three days a week, for three weeks in an otherwise healthy child between the ages of two weeks and four months. In Traditional Chinese Medicine colicky babies are considered to have weak digestion, which may lead to improper digestion of food. This improper digestion of food, known as food stagnation can cause a distended belly in a baby and create a sense of “fullness” that causes the baby to have a stomachache. A Traditional Chinese Medical practitioner will adjust baby’s diet, and instruct parents on proper massage techniques to improve digestion.
Acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine
Shonishin acupuncture, acupressure, and Chinese herbal remedies may be used individually or in combination to treat a number of acute and chronic childhood illnesses. Traditional Chinese Medicine has been treating childhood ailments for centuries, and pediatric acupuncture in the West is becoming increasingly common in treating colic, earaches, digestive issues, ADHD, and many other frequent pediatric health concerns. Acupuncture for children provides a safe treatment alternative to invasive medical interventions or pharmaceuticals, and is effective in naturally and gently reestablishing and maintaining childhood health. Children benefit largely to preventative medicine, and react quickly and positively to Traditional Chinese therapies.
Shonishin is a Japanese form of acupuncture that was specifically designed in the 1700’s to treat childhood illnesses. Over the years it has been refined by Japanese masters and has become an integral part of pediatric treatment in Japan. Shonishin was based on theories from Chinese medical texts and is still considered to be an essential part of pediatric acupuncture treatment.
Children can start receiving acupuncture treatments from birth and continue them all through childhood. Traditional Chinese Medicine minimizes the need for medications and invasive therapies, and provides excellent preventative care. Number of treatments depends of severity of illness, duration of symptoms, and child’s vitality. Studies have found that children who receive acupuncture therapy report less pain, increased school attendance, improved sleep, and increased participated in extracurricular activities.
Diet and Nutrition
Growth and development of babies and children is highly relied on by the nutritional intake of food. This is the time in their lives that sets the stage for their digestive and physical health that will affect the rest of their lives. Many people know already that mother’s breast milk provides many nutritional benefits to newborns that nothing else in the world can provide.
Breast feeding is recommended the most by healthcare practitioners as an infant’s primary source of food for the first 6 months. This is because it is scientifically proven that babies who are feed by breast milk in their entirety for the first 6 months have less health problems including: respiratory illnesses, digestion disturbances, immunity deficiencies, and even childhood obesity.
At Whole Family Health we can help you sufficiently devise a plan to help with breast feeding goals and the weaning process after the course of 6 months. We know that in today’s society many moms work and maintain a full time career on top of taking care of her family. However, by investing in her child’s nutrition for the first six months to a year by providing breast milk she is ensuring that her child will be healthier in the long run.
Lifestyle and Mind-Body Medicine
Children can absolutely be taught from a young age the benefits of mindfulness and meditation!
In addition to acupuncture and nutrition, learning relaxation techniques are greatly beneficial to general health and wellbeing. Chronic, or acute, lifestyle stress can have a wide variety of negative effects on the body, including reproductive organ blood flow and hormone regulation. Physical and psychological stress can make existing symptoms worse and delay overall internal healing.
Techniques that elicit the relaxation response (a state of deep relaxation in which the heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate decrease, muscle tension relaxes, stress hormone levels fall, and the mind becomes tranquil), and relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga may aid greatly in bringing balance to mental and emotional states. Practicing focused deep-breathing, meditation, yoga, tai-chi and other activities are among those that can increase your chances of a healthy life. Listening to music, focused breathing, or being outside in nature are also effective methods of managing stress.