How Can I Put My Baby To Sleep
One form of acupuncture identifies four different energy states – hot, cold, delicate and frightened. Your baby may have elements of any or all of these states. The hot baby wakes and wants to play in the middle of the night. The cold baby, whose mother may have had a lot of drugs at birth, or who may have been exposed to draughts at birth, arches his back, has blue tinges to the lips and seems to have pain around his middle. The delicate baby is often the child of older parents who, in the wisdom of Chinese medicine, will have less useful energy than younger parents. This baby may want to eat or be comforted, to be nurtured or massaged. The frightened baby is not easily soothed, but may be helped by a night light.
Food is also seen as giving different energy states which produce hot or cold insomnia symptoms. So, a therapist would help your child to eat towards the opposite of what they are, without tipping the scales too far in the opposite direction.
Acupuncturists divide food into groups – hot, warm, cool and cold.
A food’s heat is part of the food itself, whether straight from the fridge or out of the oven. They also believe that foods in the cold group can cause colic: food like bananas and yoghurt, which are ofen some of the earliest solids given to babies. So, if your baby suffers from colic, keep him off the bananas and yoghurt for a week. It may just help.
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Chinese acupuncturists also use a range of different tools including needles, massage, small suction cups and low-level lasers to stimulate energy flow. If needles are used, then the practitioner will pop them in and out very quickly so that your baby does not have to stay still for a long time. There may be a little soreness and a few tears, but these are quickly over. Parents often worry more about the needles than their child. You should see results after about four sessions.
Although treatments can be expensive, many therapists operate concessionary sliding scales. Acupuncture may also be available free on the NHS with a referral from your GP. Some private health schemes will also pay for acupuncture treatments. Check your policy to find out.
Enza and Claudio took Valentina to see an acupuncturist when she was 16 months old:
Valentina had no rhythm, no pattern. Sometimes she would sleep in the day, sometimes at night. Very rarely she slept for five or six hours. Her feeding was all over the place as well, so I couldn’t stop breastfeeding her until after the treatment. Sometimes she would wake in the night to play and then sleep better in the day. At the first session the acupuncturist asked a lot of questions, particularly about the birth – I had a caesarean, and that was part of the problem At the first session Valentina had some laser treatment. But afer that she had the needles, which went in for a fraction of a second. Somehow I knew it would be the needles that worked best, and it was. Since the treatment she has slept quite well even when she was teething.
A lot of it was to do with diet. I had to cut right down on dairy products, and now she seems to prefer soya milk. The acupuncturists said she had a lot of heat. She would always throw the covers off from the moment she was born, but since the treatment that’s all gone.
Her character’s still the same but I think she is calmer. Now she sleeps for seven hours without waking up, but that doesn’t mean that she won’t go back to sleep again, I just give her a drink of water and she goes back to sleep. I would recommend anyone to try acupuncture.’
See page 150 for details of how to contact a registered acupuncturist trained to work with children. And do make sure that your acupuncturist is registered as there is currently no legislation to prevent anyone setting themselves up as an acupuncturist.