By Hope Imaka – EM TV Online
When babies experience discomfort, the only way they know how to express this is through crying. Many mothers will instinctively rub their child’s feet and hands when he or she is cranky, crying, or uncomfortable.
Cranky babies could be suffering from various things, stomach aches down to constipation and flu.
And although prescribed medication is always crucial to follow, a little foot reflexology would make some pretty good home remedies for babies.
Babies are responsive to reflexology and each foot corresponds to different organs, muscles and body parts.
By gently applying pressure to these areas, you can relieve discomfort.
When an infant cries or experiences some level of discomfort, we usually rub their hands, feet, and stomach without thinking. The idea is that certain reflex points on the hands and feet are matched with particular organs, bones and body systems.
The tips of the toes correspond to the baby’s head and teeth. This can be useful when a baby goes through the teething stage.
By gently applying pressure to these little areas, you will be able to soothe him/her when he/she is crying, throwing a tantrum, and exerting too much force on his/her tiny frame.
The centre of the toes corresponds to the baby’s sinuses. If the baby is sniffling nonstop, has a terrible runny nose, or has difficulty breathing because of mucus, try rubbing the toes to soothe the symptoms.
Chest congestion in babies is most likely caused by an infection or a cold. If left untreated, it can lead to difficulties with breathing, eating, and sleeping.
In addition to following your pediatrician’s advice, try soothing the baby by gently rubbing the balls of his/her tiny feet — the area directly below the neck of the toes — which correspond to the lungs.
The solar plexus is a complex network of nerves located in the abdomen, and behind the stomach.
Sometimes, discomfort can come from this area, and result in an upset tummy, spasms, tightness, and trouble breathing. Try gently applying pressure to the area that is a little below the ball of the foot to relieve some discomfort.
There’s nothing like a nice, gentle tummy rub to get the bowels moving smoothly. Babies, too, can experience bowel obstruction, though the symptoms can prove to be a little unclear.
After consulting with your pediatrician, gently rub the center of the foot soles, which correspond with the upper abdomen, to provide relief.
Foot massages can also relieve the baby’s discomfort from constipation.
To stimulate the large intestine, try rubbing the lower regions of the sole. This will be especially great for babies who have been a little gassy.
The heel of the baby’s foot corresponds to the pelvic region.
If you suspect your baby’s tummy and hips have been bothering him/her, try applying pressure to this region, making sure to rub lightly.
Tips for a relaxed reflexology session with your baby
- Use a gentle pressure as you would while massaging your baby.
- If a child is sick, reflex points will be quite sensitive.
- If your baby pulls its foot away from you as you are working is a good indication that it is not enjoyable and that you should stop and try another approach later.
- Work no longer than 5-10 minutes for the entire treatment, depending on what your baby will comfortably tolerate.
For young babies, you can’try working on your baby:
- As part of your massage routine
- While asleep
- While feeding
- While rocking
- In a carry pouch
With older babies you can also:
- Play “This little piggy went to the market” and “Round and round the garden” while pressing the relevant parts of the foot. A few presses here and there and you have a reflexology workout that is a natural extension of a fun game.
- During bath time
Reflexology is particularly beneficial for babies who have experienced a rather difficult birth such as forceps.
Tiny bones of the skull will have experienced great pressure as a result of the use of these instruments, and it has been found that these bones can be marginally misaligned.
Reflexology can help to correct this in the gentlest of ways.
So the next time your little bundle of joy isn’t being so joyful, try out these foot reflexology tips to have him/her back on track.