Colic & Reflux

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Relaxation can help tummy troubles
I use the term "Interoceptive Dysruption" to describe what is happening when babies cry alot, have "colic", or are unsettled a majority of the time.  
Interoception is one of our basic senses.  It is the sense of how our bodies feel ON THE INSIDE.  When a baby cries he or she is telling us that the feelings are overwhelming and unpleasant.  
If you suspect your baby has Interoceptive Dysruption, there are many easy ways to address these issues and transform baby's experience of how they sense the inside of their body.  Call me to discuss this!

A note about Colic:  Many books and pediatricians define Colic by the rule of 3's: 

  1. 3 hours of crying 
  2. 3 days a week 
  3. over a 3 week period.  


But what is colic?   

Does colic = crying?    Is crying a "medical condition"?

In my professional experience, I have found that colic is present for many different reasons.    It seems as though every baby I meet with colic has a different reason for the problem.     Regardless of the reason, colic is a SYMPTOM of a problem.  Colic is not anything in particular.  Colic is an irritability, hyperactivity, dysregulation of some sort within your baby's body.    What causes this?  A wide variety of things, from musculoskeletal problems to gastrointestinal sensitivities, and everything in between.  Regardless of the reason for the colic, if your baby is crying excessively, it is a good idea to try baby massage, craniosacral therapy or reflexology to help your baby's body find balance.    

What helps Colic?

  • CranioSacral Therapy
  • Baby Massage
  • Baby Reflexology
  • TummyTime!
  • Being held skin to skin, heart to heart, by parent or other loving caregiver
  • Patting on the bottom or back
  • Being held while walking around (the movement can be calming and relaxing)
  • Warm water bath, especially in a baby bathtub such as the TummyTub


A note about other gastrointestinal problems in newborns:  Your baby may have milder forms of digestive problems, such as REFLUX.    One of my favorite neonatologists (specialized baby doctor) has said that "every baby has reflux to one degree or another, it is the extent to which it bothers the baby that dictates what you do about it."

What is reflux?     The classic medical definition is the backward flow of stomach contents / acid into the esophagus.    Most pediatricians will prescribe a medication for reflux.  Medication does not stop the backward flow of contents into the esophagus.  Medication does help change the acidity of the stomach contents so that the esophagus is not irritated or damaged by reflux.    Some medications help the stomach empty on a more timely schedule and help promote bowel motility.

From what I have experienced, reflux is a problem with coordination, timing and tone of the upper digestive tract, typically the esophagus, lower esophageal sphincter, stomach, pylorus and upper part of the small intestine.   The esophagus contracts and relaxes to move the fluid to the stomach, the stomach contracts and relaxes to aid in digestion and move the fluid into the small intestine.  The lower esophageal sphincter (between the esophagus and the stomach), when working correctly, will close off the top of the stomach to keep the contents in the stomach, which prevents reflux.  

Gastrointestinal problems can be caused by compression, malfunction or immaturity of the Vagus nerve.  This long and extensive nerve exits the base of the skull via two small holes called jugular foramen.   When there is any tightness or constriction in this area, your baby can experience a wide range of gastrointestinal problems.   As complicated as this may sound, a very gentle CranioSacral therapy treatment can improve this condition by releasing tension or stress in this area.     

The Vagus nerve is responsible for the proper functioning of the stomach, abdominal diaphragm, liver, pancreas, small intestines, spleen, heart, lungs and part of the large intestine.   It is a cranial nerve located at the base of your baby's brain.  This is more than likely the nerve affected if your baby has colic.

Your baby's pediatrician may prescribe a medication to help your baby's tummy troubles.   This can be helpful for some babies.  Touch therapy works in conjunction with anything your pediatrician' prescribes for your baby.

Relaxation is great for tummy troubles!

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