Acupuncture and herbs for constipation in small children

In this article, we introduce 4 major types of constipation in children and how we treat them with Tuina massage and herbal formulas.

Type 1, food stagnation

In this type, babies have belly cramps and distension. Even when pressing their belly gently, they cry hard and loud. Appetite is not so good. Urination can be more yellow than normal. Farting and stool are very stinky. They can vomit milk more than normal, with bad breath, red tongue with yellow, sticky tongue coating. Treatment principle is to remove food stagnation, remove the excessive heat and harmonize the middle Jiao. Tuina massage points include Wei Shu, Pi Shu, Gan Shu, Da Chang Shu, Zu San Li. Herbal combination: Bao He Wan with modifications.

Type 2, internal heat accumulationa

In this type, babies or small children have extreme difficulty of passing the stool. Stool can be a big chunk and is as hard as a stone, or small hard drops. Urination dark yellow and scanty. Tongue is red with yellow, dry tongue coating. They also tend to have mouth ulcers or tongue ulcers. They are also easily irritable, usually with difficulty falling asleep or crying out loud when they wake up at night. Treatment principle: remove the excessive heat in the intestine and moisture the intestine. Tuina massage points: Da Chang Shu, Si Hua, Qu chi. Herbal combination: Ma Ren Wan with modifications.

Type 3, Liver Qi stagnation

This type of constipation is found more in a bit older kids, between 7 to teens. Symptoms include difficulty passing the stool, with belly cramps and distension in the hypochondriac area. Sighing a lot. Not very cheerful in mood. Easily irritated. Burping a lot. Tongue is red with thin white coating. Constipation and belly distension gets worse when they are upset. Treatment principle: smooth liver Qi. Tuina massage points include Tai Chong, Xing Jian, Gan Shu, Dan Shu. Herbal combination: Liu Mo Tang with modifications.

Type 4, Qi deficiency

In this type, symptoms include difficulty passing stool, but the stool are not dry at all. After the stool comes out, they are very tired. Pale face, low energy, sweating easily. Pale or light pink tongue with thin white coating. Tongues are moistured, not dry. Treatment principle: tonify the spleen Qi, and moisture the intestine. Tuina massage points: Zu San Li, Zhong Wan, Guan Yuan, Qi Hai, Bai Hui. Herbal combination: Huang Qi Tang with modifications.

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