A small study by researchers in Sweden shows that using acupuncture could minimize the amount of time colicky babies spend crying. Their findings have been published in the Acupuncture in Medicine journal.
The research team studied how two styles of acupuncture differ from no acupuncture at all. They studied 144 babies, ages between two and eight weeks, with colic, who were grouped into three. All the infants were cared for and had to visit public child health centers. A group of the babies received acupuncture inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine, another received minimal acupuncture while the last group did not receive any type of individual acupuncture.
The acupuncture session were given twice weekly, the Courier Mail reports. The parents also had to note down the time and length their babies cried in diaries or journal. The researchers found that all babies in all three groups lessened their time spent crying, an expected finding according to the researchers. Nevertheless, the team said that the two methods of acupuncture was a lot better than having no acupuncture at all.
The acupuncture treatments, however, caused eight percent of the babies to cry a minute longer. Still, the researchers pointed out that the “the magnitude of the reduction in crying was greater, suggesting a faster recovery, in infants who received either type of acupuncture compared to gold standard care alone.”
However, an expert disapproves with the findings. According to David Colquhoun, who is a professor of pharmacology at University College London, the idea of sticking needles to babies to stop crying is bizarre and the study does not show that it actually works. “Like most forms of alternative medicine, acupuncture has been advocated for a vast range of problems, and there is little evidence that it works for any of them,” the professor said. “Colic has not been prominent in these claims.