Cranial Osteopathy for Children
The human body has incredible powers of healing and regeneration. Cranial Osteopathy works at any age with the forces of growth and development to guide and influence the body back to it’s normal healthy function. These forces of growth are at their most vigorous in the early years, this means that babies and children respond very rapidly to treatment. A common response of parents is “My baby changed dramatically after treatment but you only held them for a few minutes, what did you do? ” The answer is, very little, I just pointed the way for the body to correct itself. For this reason osteopaths working with young children and babies encourage early treatment. Precaution suggests that checking all is well with the body and development, particularly after rapid or longer births, where the head has been down for prolonged time, after ventouse or forceps deliveries and emergency C-Sections. All of these situations can influence poor mechanics of the sinuses, breathing, Eustachian tubes, causing ear infections, colic, vomiting, restlessness, irritability and inability to sleep.
For treatment and a general check up it is never too early, the younger the better. We personally recommend a check up between two and four weeks with a follow up around seven to ten weeks. Normalising the structure in a newborn can have exceptional results as there are normally few fixed structural problems at this age. Treatment may be very effective up to seven years of age at which time the bony skeleton begins to mature. After this time the asymmetries and stresses often may not be eliminated, although it is possible to to achieve beneficial release of the stresses throughout life. Problems arising from birth may arise again during growth spurts, at such times the demands on tissues are greater. However, as treatment always works with the forces of growth and development these times are again windows of opportunity for the osteopath.
Finally, the importance of the “health of the mother” during the early development of the new baby does not receive as much attention as I believe necessary. Experience has shown me time again that a couple of treatments for the mother to correct and reduce the physical stresses of feeding and carrying has profound effects, not only on the mother but the child as well. With that in mind I recommend treatment for the mother on back shoulders and neck between five and seven weeks on her own without the presence of the baby.
When you bring a newborn you will be concerned about “what do we actually do to our baby?” We will hold various parts of the newborn whilst assessing it’s fascial and dural movement, palpating the underlying rhythms of the body’s function. We pay particular attention to the joints ankles, knees, hips, sacrum, diaphragm and it’s attachments to the twelfth rib, the thorax, cervical spine particularly the junction with the Occiput part of the Cranium ( where Cranial nerves supplying the tongue and stomach emerge, which may lead to irritation of the stomach, sinuses and feeding difficulties ) and finally the bones that make up the skull and face, making sure that post birth all the various bones are returned to their relevant positions.
For further information on how Osteopathy can be helpful for babies and children, we were also recently featured in the Daily Mail: