Effect of Reflexology on Infantile Colic

J Altern Complement Med. 2018 Jun;24(6):584-588. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0315. Epub 2018 Apr 20.


Objective: The aim of this study was to explore the effect of reflexology on infantile colic.

Design: A total of 64 babies with colic were included in this study (n = 31: study group; n = 33: control group). Following a pediatrician's diagnosis, two groups (study and control) were created. Sociodemographic data (including mother's age, educational status, and smoking habits of parents) and medical history of the baby (including gender, birth weight, mode of delivery, time of the onset breastfeeding after birth, and nutrition style) were collected. The Infant Colic Scale (ICS) was used to measure the colic severity in the infants. Reflexology was applied to the study group by the researcher and their mother 2 days a week for 3 weeks. The babies in the control group did not receive reflexology. Assessments were performed before and after the intervention in both groups.

Results: The groups were similar regarding sociodemographic background and medical history. While there was no difference between the groups in ICS scores before application of reflexology (p > 0.05), the mean ICS score of the study group was significantly lower than that of control group at the end of the intervention (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: Reflexology application for babies suffering from infantile colic may be a promising method to alleviate colic severity.

Keywords: colic; complementary therapies; infant.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colic / physiopathology
  • Colic / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Massage*
  • Mothers
  • Young Adult