The ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture has been back in the news recently after a report that excessive crying in babies can be effectively treated by a course of acupuncture. A study of babies suffering from colic was carried out by a team at Lunds University in Sweden and found that babies who were treated by acupuncture appeared to be crying less. The testing method meant that parents were unaware whether their babies were in the group receiving acupuncture or in the control group. It was found that after two weeks, 38% of the babies in the acupuncture group were crying enough for it to be classed as colic, compared with 65% in the control group. The results seemed impressive and clear-cut. Could acupuncture be the answer to all sleep-deprived parents’ prayers?
The main issue with the Swedish study is that although the results appeared impressive at first glance, the sample of babies was relatively small at only 144 children and therefore the results were said to be statistically insignificant. The researchers responded by saying that their study was just intended as a starting point for establishing a scientific link between acupuncture and colic treatment and that larger scale studies should be carried out. The study was also not large enough to look at the different methods of acupuncture, to establish whether one method is more effective than others in the treatment of colic and other health problems in babies. There may be other factors influencing the way in which parents report crying or colic symptoms in their babies.
Standardised and Semi-Standardised Acupuncture
Our understanding of acupuncture has developed over time, and the type of acupuncture most often used in the Western world is linked to our understanding of nerves. Needles are placed along nerves in the body with the aim of stimulating certain points or to cut off electrical signals along neural pathways to help with pain throughout the body. The second method is more closely aligned to the traditional Chinese method based on acupuncture points, which may or may not be where nerves are located.
Sticking Needles in Babies?
If further larger studies go on to make a firmer link between acupuncture treatment and fewer colic and crying symptoms, is this new technology going to be embraced by parents? Few parents enjoy taking their baby for routine vaccinations, so even faced with a crying baby, parents may be reluctant to explore even the possibility of acupuncture with scarily large needles. One of the best solutions to these very real concerns is by using modern technology such as the 3B Laser Needle. The Laser Needle uses photon light particles to precisely target therapy points on the skin without any needles to penetrate the skin and cause pain. The Laser Needle is safe enough to use on any part of the body, and the non-invasive nature of the method may also make it the ideal product to use with infants and small children. Even better is the smaller 3B hand held Laser Pen, ideal for use on smaller patients such as babies. Both of these innovative medical tools have a variety of functions designed to make acupuncture treatment painless for the patients, accurate and non-invasive.
Training For Laser Needle and Pen
This sort of non-invasive technology has obvious advantages in the treatment of many conditions in patients of all ages. Using a laser needle or pen is not the same as using conventional acupuncture needles though and several professional organisations have emerged to offer training and events for medical professionals wishing to refine their skills and learn about using the latest products. One of these is the College for Low Level Laser Therapy (COLLL), which offers training, product information and events. The European Laser Academy, based in Belgium, runs numerous training courses and seminars over the course of the year, and is also working towards developing standards and guidelines for the use of laser pens and needles. Their next workshop will be held in Ludenscheidt, Germany on 18th February 2017.
Given this latest research into the apparent success of acupuncture techniques in treating infant colic, it is likely that interest in these new acupuncture techniques is going to be higher than ever.