Stomach pain is a common problem for parents who have toddlers and children at home. Things like diet, changes in routine, medications, and stress can cause blockage and pain in the stomach of children. In traditional Chinese medicine, stomach pain can be either caused by excessive eating, poisonous food, or insufficient Qi in the digestive system that cannot cope with the digestive process. Stress is also considered a threat to the digestive system, according to TCM. Acupressure for stomach pain in children is a treatment that can be applied in any of those cases.
What Is The Cause Of Stomach Pain In Children?
Although toddlers and children above one year old should have fully developed their digestive system, they are very sensitive to the external environment. The bodies of children are primarily occupied with their own growth and development and lack a mature immunologic system. For this reason, toddlers and small children are more prone to suffer from indigestion, poisoning, and intestinal stagnations.
Generally, a diet poor in foods that are rich in fiber, insufficient water intake, and eating too many sugary candies, as well as other processed foods, lead to digestive issues. Besides, ingesting too much meat and some other types of foods can easily cause digestive difficulties in infants. Other factors such as tensions in the family, a sudden change of habits, emotional pressure, and certain medications, can also cause stomach pain in babies, toddlers, and children.
The simple procedure of acupressure for stomach pain in children cannot resolve all the causes of pain, but it can be utilized as an adjunct treatment in absolutely any circumstance. It is a harmless, side-effect-free treatment based on the ancient healing knowledge of Chinese medicine.
Does Acupuncture Help With Stomach Pain In Children?
The practice of acupuncture has been utilized for over two thousand years in China alone, not to mention the other countries where TCM has reached. Stomach pain is among the most common ailments in children and can be easily fixed with the application of acupuncture.
Recently, with the scientific community’s increased interest in Chinese medicine, studies in acupuncture have gained medical attention. Many different clinical trials have been carried out over the past decades. Famous Western Medicine media outlets, such as webmd.com have published their endorsement of the practice of acupressure therapy for pain in children.
Among the digestive problems which can cause pain is constipation and bloating. A study on the efficacy of acupuncture practice in cases of constipation in infants, which is the basis for our baby acupressure for constipation, has shown a significant advantage of acupuncture therapy. Since children are so delicate, the treatment of acupuncture is very suitable.
What Are The Acupressure Points For Stomach Pain In Children?
When it comes to the treatment with acupressure for stomach pain in children, we need to address different etiologic mechanisms. The main digestive tract issues that may cause suffering in babies up to childhood are indigestion, constipation, and bloating.
In Chinese medicine, the Intestines are considered an extension of the Stomach. As you’ll see, many of the acupoints that treat the Stomach also treat the Intestines, and vice-versa. Digestion is given big importance in TCM since it is the single main cause of both health and disease. However, factors such as stress and emotional disturbances are also taken into consideration in classic diagnosis.
The acupressure points for stomach pain in children have been tested, as we can see in different scientific studies. Many of those studies endorsed the use of these baby acupressure points for gas, constipation, and so forth, considering their stimulation an efficient treatment.
Acupoint: LI-4 (Other Names: Large Intestine-4/He Gu/Joining Valley)
Squeeze the thumb against the base of the index finger, and locate this acupoint at the highest point of the bulge of the muscle and approximately level with the end of the crease.
Hegu, as this point is also called is the most utilized among acupoints for alleviating pain in the whole body. It belongs to the Large Intestine meridian, which is intimately related to digestion and the formation of gases that cause painful colic in babies. LI-4 is one of the acupressure points for speech development.
After locating LI-4 you can do the acupressure for children using your thumb to apply pressure and circular motions for about three minutes on each side.
Acupoint: ST-36 (Other Names: Stomach-36/Zu San Li/Leg Three Miles)
Below the knee, four fingers width below the kneecaps, on the external side of the leg.
This point is indicated for ailments affecting the Stomach. It’s said that moxibustion at this ST-36 every day promotes vitality and extends life. This is a tonifying point, an important one, that moves the Qi through the channel, eliminating stagnation and blockages. The stimulation of this acupoint will help to alleviate colic in babies whose stomach isn’t completely adapted to digest food.
Massage this point applying gentle pressure on both sides simultaneously for about three minutes at the least.
ST-36 is utilized in acupuncture for swollen ankles.
Acupoint: ST-25 (Other Names: Stomach-25/Tian Shu/Celestial Pivot)
This point is located on the abdomen, 2 cun lateral to the belly button. Due to its location and functions, ST-25 is utilized in acupressure for back inflammation.
ST-25 is a very important point in the treatment of constipation of any etiology. This is the front-mu point of the Large Intestine as well, where its Qi gathers and concentrates. Even though this acupoint belongs to the Stomach channel, its main functions are to treat intestinal disorders, regulate Qi, and eliminate stasis in the lower abdomen. ST-25 is recommended in cases of infant constipation.
Press this acupoint using your pointer finger for about 3 seconds and release it, repeating this procedure for about three to four minutes in a row.
Acupoint: ST-37 (Other Names: Stomach-37/Shang Ju Xu/Upper Great Void)
Find this point on the lower leg, 3 cun inferior to ST-36, one finger-breadth lateral to the anterior crest of the tibia.
ST-37 belongs to the Stomach meridian, and it also has an important connection with the Large Intestine. In the classic texts of Chinese medicine, it is simply stated that the Large and Small intestines fall under the influence of the Stomach. By stimulating ST-37 it is possible to affect the whole digestive system and treat abdominal distention and constipation. It’s among our acupressure points for lower abdominal pain.
To massage ST-37, you can use your fingers and gently apply circular movements in the area where it is located for about three minutes on both sides.
Acupoint: Bl-25 (Other Names: Urinary Bladder-25/Da Chang/Large Intestine Transporter)
Bl-25 is located on your back, 1.5 cun lateral to the spinous process of L4.
This point is where the qi of the Large Intestine emanates from the interior to the body surface. It is an important point to regulate the function of the Large Intestine, and its application is very broad. In combination with the other acupoints featured in this article, Bl-25 regulates the Qi in the intestines and dissipates stagnation. It’s an important point to firm and tonify the intestines. It’s also one of the acupressure points for back pain due to gas.
Press this acupoint with your fingers, releasing it intermittently for about three minutes.
Acupoint: TE-6 (Other Names: Triple Energizer-6/Zhi Gou/Branch Ditch)
You can find this acupoint in the depression between the radius and the ulna, on the radial side of the extensor digitorum communis muscle.
The Sanjiao theory divides the body into three regions. These are the area above the diaphragm, the area between the diaphragm and the belly button, and the area below the belly button. TE-6, the jing-river and fire point of the Sanjiao channel, is the most important point on the Sanjiao channel for moving qi and clearing heat in these three areas. It is a major point for moving the qi of the intestines and treating constipation.
You can apply pressure intermittently with release at this point with the help of your thumbs for about three minutes.
You can find TE-6 among the acupressure points for face pimples as well.
Acupressure for stomach pain in children is a treatment based on traditional Chinese medicine with no adverse effects. The acupressure points featured below can be stimulated daily for a better therapeutic effect. The treatment with acupressure is especially recommended for babies and small children since it is non-invasive and painless if done gently.
- LI-4 is a potent analgesic point within the Large intestine meridian that reduces colic in babies.
- ST-36 improves digestive health, tonifies the Stomach, and enhances overall vitality and wellbeing.
- ST-25 regulates the function of the Large Intestine and eliminates stagnation. It’s an important point to treat bloating and constipation.
- ST-37 is connected with the Large Intestine and can affect the whole of the digestive system, improving digestion and reducing indigestion and bloating.
- Bl-25 is the point of nutrition of the Large Intestine. It can enhance its function and health.
- TE-6 has effects that benefit the whole body and is one of the most important acupoints in the treatment of constipation.