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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 456712, 8 pages
Research Article

Acupuncture in Practice: Investigating Acupuncturists’ Approach to Treating Infantile Colic

Department of Health Science, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, P.O. Box 157, 221 00 Lund, Sweden

Received 22 July 2013; Revised 1 October 2013; Accepted 8 October 2013

Academic Editor: Xiu-Min Li

Copyright © 2013 Kajsa Landgren. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Infantile colic is common, but no safe and effective conventional treatment exists. The use of acupuncture has increased despite weak evidence. This practitioner survey explores and discusses how infantile colic is regarded and treated in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The study is based on personal communication with 24 acupuncturists from nine countries. These acupuncturists specialize in pediatric acupuncture and represent different styles of acupuncture. Their experiences are discussed and related to relevant books and articles. Informants claimed good results when treating infants with colic. The TCM patterns commonly described by informants matched the textbooks to a great extent. The most common syndromes were “stagnation of food” and “Spleen Qi Xu.” Regarding treatment, some informants followed the teachers’ and the textbook authors’ advice on differentiated treatment according to syndrome. The points used most often were LI4, ST36, and Sifeng. Other informants treated all infants alike in one single point, LI4. The results demonstrate the diversity of TCM. The use of acupuncture for infantile colic presents an interesting option, but further research is needed in order to optimize the effects and protect infants from unnecessary or less effective treatment.