By Anne Carruth, Acupuncturist and Oriental Medicine Practitioner
Babies and acupressure are like peanut butter and jelly – simple and reliable. You’ll be amazed by how much YOU can improve your baby’s health, via a little strategic touch. Here is an easy home treatment you can do to help with your baby’s bloated tummy, gas pains, or constipation.
1. With your baby lying face up, gently tap his or her belly, about 1 inch out from the navel. Tap 10 times on each side of the belly button, and allow your finger to wander slightly so that you cover an area about 1 inch in diameter.
2. Next, lightly trace clockwise circles on his or her abdomen, 1-2 inches out from the navel. Maintain a steady, light touch, and the clockwise direction. Your rate should be consistent, with about 10-15 full rotations in the span of about 30 seconds. This will stimulate qi flow and the movement of gas and material through the intestines. You will also be hitting some great acupuncture points to harmonize the belly.
3. Then do another 30 seconds of stroking, tracing 2 parallel, downward lines from just below the nipples to the bottom of the abdomen. Like the clockwise circles, maintain a light, steady touch, and only stroke downward.
4. Finally, pick up that kiddo of yours, or gently roll him/her over. Tap the lower back, just above the butt, 15 times. Stay fairly central on the back, again in an area about 1 inch in diameter.
Use this treatment once daily, between meals, to maintain healthy digestion. If your little one is experiencing gas pains, abdominal distention, and/or constipation, apply this technique 2-3 times/day, until his or her symptoms resolve. Improvements are often seen within the hour, but it may take up to 36 hours. And because this technique is great for moving gas and stool through the intestines, it should NOT be used for diarrhea or loose stool.
My favorite part about this treatment?! We never outgrow it – it is effective for older children and adults, too! Just increase your pressure with adults.