Reflexology for Constipation in Babies

Cranky babies express their discomfort through crying and the reason behind could be anything from constipation, stomach pains, flu, and congestion, etc. It is very common to see parents turning up to pediatricians in the initial few months post baby birth.

Many times, pediatricians find constipation to be the root cause of the baby’s discomfort. Apart from the many recommended treatments by pediatricians, a number of soothing and effective home remedies can comfort baby from the issue of constipation and gas in the stomach.

We will be sharing some proven researches, tips and tricks as in the form of reflexology, which could surely calm down fussy babies.

First Note:

Here we will be discussing different reflexologies for treating constipation in babies. Although, all the methods are tried and tested to be effective and even recommended by expert pediatricians, however, it is still highly advised to be in constant touch with your pediatrician and give priority to the medical advice given by him.

You will find your pediatrician also supporting his medical treatment through different recommended reflexologies to treat constipation. Therefore, any reflexology method considered should ideally have suitable help from a trusted medical practitioner.

What is Reflexology?

Reflexology is a kind of massage that is done under specific rules. Such massage is usually done on or around the hands, feet, soles and the ears. The influence of any type of reflexology along with the relevant therapy practiced by pediatricians for constipation can return desirable results in curing babies of constipation issues. However, reflexology alone could also be considered for treating babies from constipation.

According to research, 40 children within the age group of 3 to 15 years were included in the study having

Research on Reflexology to Cure Constipation in Babies:

There are plenty of promising results achieved in the treatment of constipation in babies through reflexology in recent years. The purpose of this research was to analyze how kids with Chronic Idiopathic Constipation (CIC) respond to foot massage reflexology. The reflexology procedures were taught to the parents of the children or caretakers.

Different Dynamics of the Research:

For the purpose of this research, patients were randomized into a control and experimental group. The main goal of this research was to asses how much therapeutic reflexology is viable for children experiencing chronic constipation.

In order to obtain near to accurate results, data was collected through the ‘before’ and ‘after’ questionnaire approach. This helped in comparing the degree of variation in the constipation case that occurred before and after the reflexology treatment was provided.

The sample included 184 children between the age of 1 and 12 years who were having CIC issues. Those children were referred to a Pediatric Hospital’s Gastroenterology department and received reflexology along with standard treatment. The mentioned procedures continued for a good 12 weeks.

Clinical Finding of the Research:

The primary outcome of the mentioned medical treatment provided was a notable increase in mean of bowel movements and considerable improvements were seen in the symptoms of constipation in 12 weeks’ time.

The outcome of this research-based treatment was measured employing a validated constipation questionnaire as mentioned earlier in this research report. The initial analysis was to treat n=176 and also to get the statistical analysis, which was actually predefined in the protocol set for the analysis. This also included the carrying of t-tests independently, ANOVA or the variance analysis and ANCOVA or the covariance analysis.

Final Results of the Clinical Reflexology Research:

As per the research findings, there was absolutely no difference found between any of the participating groups at the baseline in their constipation severity or in their demographics. A couple of group analysis that was adjusted for ANCOVA baseline demonstrated some considerable differences among the control and reflexology groups. It was primarily noticed in the bowel frequency that measured around (p = <0.05) for the cumulative score of constipation in 12 weeks’ time. During this period, a considerable difference was noted among the massage and reflexology treatment provided for total symptoms of constipation that scored only around the (p = <0.05) mark.

On the other side, there were absolutely no signs of any adverse or side effects of the treatment during any part of the research study. This concluded that the reflexology treatment was taken very well by the children under study and it was absolutely safe and extremely well tolerated.

Conclusively, in this greatest and largest ever research conducted on reflexology for constipation in kids, the subject treatment approach proved to be extremely effective in enhancing the constipation related issues. To this date, this research on reflexology in kids for constipation is marked as the only research, which was effective and produced desirable positive results.


Reflexology Significant in Constipation Cases in Babies:

The reflexology treatment is highly regarded in chronic constipation issues in babies for one great reason and that is the treatment does not hold any risk or side effects whatsoever. This is also what the research discussed above concluded/ it also proved that reflexology can work great as a complementary therapy and can have a significantly positive impact on the health of babies when it is jointly used with the conventional hitherto medicine that the pediatricians for constipation in babies usually prescribes.

The suggested treatment is a quite effective and relaxing experience both for the baby patient and parents. This is especially true when the reflexology treatment is considered with conventional treatments and medical investigations such as the barium enemas and rectal examinations, as those could trigger certain other complications as well.

Parents must also note that the compound stress level running in the family is quite usual and that also contributes some extent to the development of constipation. It is also such a stress level, which can negatively influence the baby’s development and could also have an emotional impact as well, probably with certain long term complications. More than the treatment, the need is to educate the parents about reflexology and the best practices to be adhered, along with maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle for the babies.


When Reflexology should ideally be considered?

With infants, it could be extremely difficult to find the right time for a reflexology session, as finding their happy hour is not that easy. However, the parents do have the liberty of choosing a certain time, when they expect the baby not to crank too much during the session. The following times could be considered:

  • While feeding baby
  • While the baby is sleeping
  • While the baby is busy with toys or watching TV
  • While rocking on his/ her favorite chair
  • While laid comfortably in his/ her carry pouch

Foot Reflexology to Alleviate Constipation in Babies:

It might sound a bit weird at first that how foot reflexology helps babies in alleviating constipation, but this is true and a proven method. Best results can be achieved by rubbing the lower part of the sole of your baby very gently. This especially works for babies who also have a complaint about gas in the stomach, apart from constipation.

In order to get into the main part of foot reflexology, we must first understand how it works or how foot therapy is connected with relieving constipation in babies. Actually, the part connected with large intestine is the outer soles or toes of the person and crosses right in between, and the small intestine sits right in the middle of this arc.

The reflexology massage for babies to relieve from constipation proceed in the following manner:

· In the first step, the requirement is to simulate the larger intestine, which should perform a kind of a movement as that of a shape of a horseshoe in both feet. The mentioned movement can be conveniently produced through the use of a finger. The intention should be to very gently and comfortably exert some pressure over the sole of each foot.

· The second step would be to simulate the smaller intestine and for this, we need to press the bottom of the feet, while producing circular motion with our fingers, just as in the manner of replicating clock hands. Thumb is known to be the comfortable one for producing such motion.

In the above approach, we will be repeating movement 1 and eventually moving to the second step to complete the required movement. Following this would help in producing the intended motion in the correct order, where the first requirement is to simulate the larger intestine in order to leave some room and subsequently, the smaller intestine could then be very easily activated.

The above is just a popular technique used by many reflexologists and also by those parents who are well trained in this massaging approach. However, there is a certain number of other techniques as well that reflexologists also use for adults and those could also be used for infants and toddlers. A little bit of care is required while choosing your own technique that best fits your needs. It is also noted that alternating between different reflexology techniques produces excessively good results in quick time.

Staying rigid or keeping stuck with one method might also work but may take a long time to give the results that you are looking for. The basic idea is just to simulate the reflex area and keep on alternating between the different simulating techniques in order to get the best desirable results.

Further, in order to relax your baby, milking and stroking massage on the feet should be considered both at the start and end of the reflexology sessions. This is particularly desirable for the sake of taking out the intensity out of the reflexology session.

Also remember that as you could also introduce your technique for massaging as mentioned above, so try to make it as natural as possible. More natural the technique is for reflexology massage, the more it would benefit your baby, especially in providing the much-needed relaxation.

The Hook and Back Reflexology Approach:

Apart from the above-mentioned reflexology technique, the hook and back reflexology technique is also viable and second in our list. In this technique, the idea is to hit a particular point in the foot with precision.

In this approach, the need is to make use of 4 fingers in leveraging the foot from the other (top) side and then use the thumb to apply gentle pressure on the specific point under the foot. Once that position is achieved with the fingers and thumb, then the thumb should be slowly pulled in the backward direction with no pressure release.

It is very important to note here that the thumb should never get slide away from the target spot. The position along with the pressure should be maintained for a good few seconds and then it should be released.

How Often Reflexology should be considered for Babies Suffering from Constipation:

Every parent should note and understand that excess of everything is bad and certainly not desirable here. The idea here is just to increase the blood flow in such a way that relieves babies from internal gases and also cure of constipation problems. For the foot reflexology for treating constipation in minors, parents should consider reflexology methods once a week for a period of 4 weeks. This is how you could get started.

Further, results could be maintained with improved results on bi-monthly or even monthly basis with similar reflexology treatments.

Parents must also note that it is just not constipation, but reflexology could also be used for maintaining overall good health in babies.

Final Note:

Reflexology is in practice for centuries in order to treat certain conditions in adults. However, the modern reflexology to treat constipation in babies is fast becoming popular. It is mainly because of the gentle nature of the treatment with considerable positive results and also not producing any side effects.

Foot reflexology for constipation in babies has proved to be a treat for both the infants and toddlers. When ideally done for a certain period of time, constipation symptoms reduce and you will find your baby less cranky and much happier.

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