Samantha Chater MAR, CIMI has some tips on helping a colicky baby using reflexology
What is Colic?
The general belief is that colic causes babies to cry for long periods of time and although there are lots of theories out there as to why babies develop colic, there are no definite answers as to why many babies suffer with this. There is no consensus amongst the medical profession and researchers on what causes colic but one thing that is known is that it can be distressing for both your baby and for you. It is frustrating, as you can feel so powerless, anxious and exhausted if your baby is suffering.
What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a non-invasive and relaxing complementary therapy that aims to optimise both physical and emotional health. It works by massaging and stimulating specific points (usually on the feet but sometimes on the hands, face and ears) called reflex points. These points are believed to correspond to different parts of the body.
Using Reflexology with a colicky baby
Samantha found it really distressing to see her son Dominic going through colicky episodes. She felt stressed and helpless when it started, so looked at where her own knowledge of being a reflexologist and massage therapist could help. She discovered that through using various reflexology and massage techniques, the episodes became shorter and eventually stopped. Proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Helping you to stay calm
Babies are very sensitive and will pick up on your stress, so when you are more relaxed it makes such difference to your baby. Here’s the calming process Samantha used:
Breathe, taking long slow deep breaths and relax
Clear all thoughts and say a positive affirmation to yourself such as ‘I am calm and relaxed as I support my baby’
Make eye contact with your baby if possible.
Talk to your baby and tell them you will work through this together and you are there for them
Simple reflexology techniques to try to help a colicky baby
Techniques can be given up to three times a day for no longer than five minutes each time
- Hold your baby’s feet – the power of your touch cannot be underestimated. Say the word ‘relax’ to your baby, move your thumbs to just above the centre of each foot. This is the ‘solar plexus’ reflex. Gently press three times and circle your thumbs – this point is good for general calming.
- Gently strokes from under the big toe in the direction of the heel – this reflex helps in the calming of the nervous system.
- Stroke the inside of the foot from the big toe down to the heel. This also helps calm the nervous system.
- Circles gently clockwise with your thumb on the middle of baby’s foot (in the arch). This area relates to parts of the digestive system that are helpful in the release of wind.
- Repeat on the other foot and end by holding both feet.
Samantha found that using reflexology helped her son; she found it empowering as she felt more connected with him through this experience and that it definitely strengthened their bond.
If you are in any doubt about your baby’s health please contact your medical professional.
Where can I find out more about reflexology?
Only qualified reflexologists are insured to teach classes where you can learn various reflexology techniques to help your baby and child. You can also take your baby for a reflexology session if local classes aren’t available with a reflexologist.
The Association of Reflexologists has an excellent website full of useful information, including a ‘find a reflexologist’ service, where you can put in your postcode and find a well-trained and insured reflexologist local to you. There are also interactive foot and hand maps and videos of real client’s experiences.
Samantha Chater MAR, CIMI is from Babistic a Cheshire-based practice specialising in bump, birth and beyond services including, maternity reflexology, baby reflexology, baby massage, baby yoga and hypnobirthing. She is also mum to four year old Dominic, who as a baby suffered from colic which was eased by reflexology.