Alternative medicineBy Mayo Clinic staff
In addition to changes in diet and routine, various alternative approaches may help relieve constipation in children:
- Relaxation strategies. Slow, deep breaths may help children relax their pelvic floor muscles and overcome anxiety related to bowel movements.
- Mental imagery. Thinking about a favorite place or imagining an easy, comfortable bowel movement may reduce anxiety about having a bowel movement.
- Massage. Gently massaging your child's abdomen may relax the muscles that support the bladder and intestines, helping to promote bowel activity.
- Acupuncture. This traditional Chinese medicine involves the insertion and manipulation of fine needles into various parts of the body. The therapy may help if your child has constipation-related abdominal pain.
- Tabbers MM, et al. Nonpharmacologic treatments for childhood constipation: Systematic review. Pediatrics. 2011;128:753.
- Constipation in children. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/constipationchild/. Accessed June 12, 2013.
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- Constipation in children. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/approach_to_the_care_of_normal_infants_and_children/constipation_in_children.html. Accessed June 12, 2013.
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- Constipation. National Digestive Diseases Clearinghouse. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/constipation/. Accessed June 10, 2013.
- Young L, et al. Integrative care for pediatric patients with pain. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. In press. Accessed June 13, 2013.
- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 27, 2013.