CRANIAL OSTEOPATHY FOR BABIES AND CHILDREN
If you mention colic, sleeplessness or feeding problems to most new parents, no explanation is required! In spite of the support network of the NCT, midwives and health visitors in the postnatal period, solutions are hard to find. One solution is Cranial Osteopathy.
You could think that babies and children might not have tensions or strains because of their “newness”, but even a straightforward birth is the most stressful natural event that a child will experience. During labour and birth, the baby is subject to enormous pressures from the contracting uterus and pelvic bones. The delivery involves the infant twisting and turning through the birth canal with the cranial bones overlapping to reduce the size of the skull.
The resultant strains usually unravel in the first few days as the child suckles, cries and yawns. If however the birth is particularly quick or slow, and if interventions such as venteuse or forceps are required, the birth strains are compounded. When birth strains do not unravel completely, it can lead to a constant feeling of pressure in the head. Colic, sickness and wind, can be caused by the nerve that supplies the digestive system being irritated as it exits the skull, or strains in the abdomen when the cord was cut. Difficulty in feeding can be due to the muscles of the baby’s palate getting uncoordinated messages from their controlling nerve, which is affected by cranial tensions. As the child grows, the effect of tension can lead to other problems, such as glue ear, repeated infections, headaches, sinus and dental problems, asthma or eczema that may have been avoided by early intervention.
Treatment with Cranial Osteopathy aims to alleviate these strains and allow for better function, and hopefully a happy child!
Cranial Osteopaths use a highly trained sense of touch to recognise strains in the body via disturbances in the rhythmic, wavelike movement that should occur in the fluid surrounding the central nervous system, akin to the rhythm of the heart or breathing. Through very gentle handholds on a baby’s body and head, the Osteopath will reflect back to the tissues the patterns that they are holding and enable the body to do its work and release tensions, In this way the treatment is gentle, respective and effective for the treatment of ailments suffered by babies and children.
In 1993 Osteopathy became the first major complementary health care profession to be accorded statutory recognition under the Osteopaths Act. Anyone who uses the word Osteopath in their title has to be registered with the General Osteopathic Council, who ensure that standards of care are professional, competent and safe.