Acupressure for Babies: Is It Safe, Benefits & Tips

Acupressure Therapy for Babies

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Swathi I (Naturopath)
View more Naturopath Our Panel of Experts

Acupressure is one of the most effective alternative therapies that is being used by many for treating common ailments. It works well for both adults and babies. However, for babies under three months of age, the pressure should be very light and gentle. Just a few seconds on each pressure point should be enough to heal a baby. The session should not last for more than 10 to 20 minutes per day. But, is acupressure therapy really safe enough to be tried on babies? Read on to know more about acupressure therapy on babies, its benefits, and more.

What Is Acupressure?

Acupressure is an ancient therapy in which pressure is applied to specific pressure points on the body, which heals ailments and provides relief. When you apply pressure to these specific points, known as “reflex points”, the body part or organ connected to that reflex point gets relief from the pain, thereby curing the ailment. Acupressure has become very common, and nowadays people prefer it more than traditional treatments, as it requires no drug intake, and is also non-invasive, unlike acupuncture.

Is Acupressure Treatment Safe for Your Child?

Acupressure therapy is an absolutely safe way of treating and healing a child from basic ailments. It has been observed that babies can be more easily treated through this alternative treatment form, since they are high on energy, and the level of toxins in their body is much less than that in adults. However, it is imperative to use the right technique and press upon the correct reflex points to get a therapeutic effect. If not done the correct way, it will not give the desired results.

It is also important to know that acupressure is only effective when the diagnosis of the ailment is done correctly and in detail, and its cause is identified properly.

Benefits of Acupressure for Infants

Acupressure, also known as reflexology, is a great way to treat an ailment, not just in adults but in children as well. It also helps a mother and child bond (if practiced by the mother), since the therapy requires pressing on certain pressure points on the skin. Listed below are some ailments and disorders for which acupressure can prove to be beneficial.

1. Constipation

  • Acupressure for constipation in babies is highly recommended if you do not want to give any medication.
  • To treat it, all you need to do is place your fingers around the navel and tap the stomach area gently with your fingers.
  • Next, tap on both the sides of the navel ten times gently.
  • After this, allow your finger to go around the navel area in circles.
  • Lastly, in gentle strokes, massage the stomach area in clockwise motion.
  • Another pressure point to try is ST36.

2. Congestion

  • Place both your forefingers on either side of your baby’s nose, just next to the nostrils.
  • Then massage the point gently for 10-20 seconds.
  • Keeping a gap of 2-3 hours, you can massage the point 6 times a day.
  • You can also try the Yintang pressure point, which is present between the eyebrows.

3. Teething Pain Relief

  • Acupressure for teething babies is a great way to overcome and treat the pain in the gums.
  • You can also press on the outer gate pressure point or the TW5. It is a point on the outer side of both the forearms and just three fingers above the wrist crease.
  • Another point is Lu9 or the Great Abyss. It is located just under the thumb on the palm side of the wrist.
  • Press and massage both the points gently for about 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat it after every 2 hours.
  • Another point to try is the LI4, which is located between the index finger and thumb.

4. Sleep Induction Points

  • Babies who have don’t fall asleep at night may need acupressure to help them.
  • To make your baby sleep, the pressure point you need to press is between his eyebrows.
  • Gently stroke your forefingers on this point for 10 – 20 seconds.

5. Colic

  • The acupressure point for treating colic in babies is called the Will’s Chamber.
  • The point lies at the back in the muscle just a little away from the spine and halfway in between the hipbone and the rib cage.
  • Press on the point for about 10 to 20 seconds.Colic massage

6. Fever

  • Press on the reflex point just below the thumbnail.
  • Without pinching, press the point for 10 to 20 seconds.
  • Repeat after every 2 to 3 hours until the temperature comes down.

7. Cough

  • Acupressure can also cure a cough and chest congestion in babies. The area below the fingernails and above the knuckles of the forefinger is the reflex point to cure a cough in babies.
  • Be careful not to pinch your baby in the process. Just hold the finger and rub it gently.
  • A few other pressure points to try are the LU1, CV17, and GV14.
  • You can also massage his chest and neck very gently with mustard oil. However, before massaging with mustard oil, add a few cloves of garlic and fenugreek seeds to it. Heat it, and bring it back to room temperature. Strain the fenugreek seeds and garlic, and then massage your child.

8. Body Pain

  • The reflex points to relieve body aches are located in the pads of the foot and the palms.
  • Press them gently, and then massage them.
  • A good body massage followed by a bath with warm water will also help in relieving body pain. It can help the baby to relax and sleep well.

Massaging the footpad of the baby

9. Acupressure for Dyslexia, ADD, and ADHD

  • Acupressure can be highly effective on children suffering from dyslexia, attention deficit disorder (ADD) or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • The reflex point for the disorders is GV26.
  • It is a point in the upper gum, and should be pressed at the tip of the nose above the upper lip.
  • This point has to be pressed for 10 – 20 seconds every day.

Tips to Prepare Your Baby for an Acupressure Session

Before preparing your baby for an acupressure session, it is important to calm yourself first. Do not panic or get jittery assuming that the session may not go down well with your little one. If your baby does not seem comfortable during the process, you can always stop. Do not exceed more than 10 – 20 seconds on any pressure point. You may repeat the acupressure after 2-3 hours if required. Acupressure should not be given for more than 10-20 minutes in a day.

Acupressure for constipation in toddlers or acupressure for crying baby can be practiced by pressing on the said pressure points. However, acupressure for a hyperactive child should be done only after consulting a doctor, since hyperactivity in a child could be a result of a behavioural disorder. Here are some tips to prepare your baby for an acupressure session.

  • First and foremost, if your little one is teary or crying, try calming him down by taking him in your arms and caressing him. There is nothing more therapeutic than a mother’s touch.
  • You can sing softly to him, or play some soothing music.
  • You can gently rub his palms and feet.
  • You may even stroke his hair.
  • After he calms down, gently put him on the bed.
  • Then as per the problem or ailment, press the required reflex point. However, remember to do it gently, as babies are fragile, and too much of pressure may do more harm than good to them.
  • While massaging a certain point, rub the skin lightly. Do not apply force, since babies have very delicate skin.

Acupressure is a great and inexpensive way of healing your baby’s ailments, but it is only an alternative form of treatment. In case of extreme or severe health issues, it is advisable to consult a doctor, rather than trying out acupressure by yourself at home. It is also essential that one should know the exact pressure points. Doing it the right way and with the correct technique can go a long way in keeping your little one healthy.

Also Read: Baby Massage Oils: Which One is Best for Your Infant?

Previous article «
Next article »
Aarohi Achwal holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a master’s degree in English Literature. While working as an intern for an English daily, she realised that she likes writing above anything else. The idea of being heard without having to speak appeals to her. She likes to write research-based articles that are informative and relevant. She has written articles on pregnancy, parenting, and relationships. And she would like to continue creating content on health and lifestyle.