baby colic

Massage Therapy for Soothing Infant Colic

December 1, 2016

An Unexpected Benefit of Massage Therapy in Infants

For some, it appears constant crying is a normal occurrence in newborns. But is it? Colic is one of the most commonly reported ailments in infants aged 3 weeks to about 3 or 4 months. Extended periods of loud crying lasting longer than an hour are trademarks of the ailment, and are most frequent after being fed or late into the evenings.

In a recently published article entitled, “Massage Helps Reduce Symptoms of Infantile Colic,” the experts at Massage Magazine write:

“For babies, in this research study, massage therapy was significantly more effective than rocking in reducing colic symptoms. Massage therapy applied twice daily for one week resulted in a significant decrease in duration and frequency of crying among colicky babies, as well as a significant increase in duration of sleep, according to recent research.”

Colic stems from problems with the infant's immature digestive system. Trapped gas may cause the baby's stomach to become distended, resulting in pain, bloating, the inability to pass gas, and frequent crying or screaming. Luckily, stimulation of the digestive process through careful massage may help ease the pain and urge relief from colic.

“Results of the research revealed massage therapy was significantly more effective than rocking in the reduction of infantile colic symptoms. The mean number of daily cries decreased significantly in the massage group as compared to the rocking group, and the mean severity score for overall colic symptoms was significantly lower in the massage group as well,” the experts write.