Cranial Osteopathy for Babies and Children
It is a common belief that babies and children should have no structural stresses or strains in their bodies because they are so young. The reality is very different. During the birth process the baby is subject to enormous forces, as the uterus contracts to expel the baby against the natural resistance of the birth canal. The baby has to twist and turn as it squeezes through the bony pelvis, absorbing these stresses within its head and body.
The bones of the head are uniquely designed to overlap like the petals of a flower to reduce the size of the head as it travels through the birth canal. This natural ability enables us to absorb the stresses of a normal delivery. If the labour is interrupted, prolonged, or requires intervention such as suction or forceps, the baby's ability to absorb these stresses may be overwhelmed, and it may be left with strains, compressions or torsions though its head or body.
In fact, some misalignments may be acquired before the birthing process even begins. Strains may be present before birth, if the baby's head has been engaged for a long time before delivery, or if it has been lying in a cramped position. Caesarean babies may also benefit from Osteopathic treatment. They may have had an unusual lying position within the womb which caused a build-up of pressure through the head or pelvis, or a prolonged and difficult labour that ultimately ended in an emergency Caesarean section. Even with a planned caesarean the action of the very quick birth can often lead to irritation of the nervous system. Although many of these problems will resolve naturally, there are a significant percentage of babies who struggle to recover.
Cranial Osteopathy can help with:
- Crying & Irritability
- Feeding difficulties
- Colic, Wind & Reflux
- Sleep disturbances
- Digestive upset
- Skull moulding from forceps or ventouse deliveries
- Breastfeeding difficulties
- Flat or odd shaped head
- Dislike of lying in certain positions
- Inability to turn head or neck
How it works
Cranial Osteopathy is very gentle, safe & effective in the treatment of birth trauma. Specific gentle pressure is applied where necessary to enable the baby's head and body to release the stresses held from the birth process.
Although subtle, Cranial Osteopathy has a powerful impact on babies and children. Often the baby is relaxed after the treatment and sleeps well. Others become more energetic for a while but sleep well that night, whilst others may take a few days to settle after a treatment.
Several of the conditions we develop in adulthood can be traced back to birth trauma that has been left uncorrected. The longer a problem is left, the more complex the body's adaptation becomes and consequently, the more difficult it is to return the body to a state of wellbeing. Depending on the age and condition being treated an Osteopath will often treat toddlers and children with a combination of structural Osteopathy and cranial Osteopathy.
Osteopathy can help with:
- Chronic ear infections or 'Glue Ear'
- Aches and pain associated with growing
- Sinus problems
- Turned in or out feet
- Postural problems
- Sports injuries
Examination and treatment
At your first visit you will be asked questions about your pregnancy and the birth of your baby to identify any problems. You will also be asked questions about the current problem your child is experiencing. The Osteopath will then examine your baby or child to assess whether there is any muscle tension, stresses or restrictions within the joints. The Osteopath will then discuss with you whether Osteopathy will help your child and go through what treatment will be given. All children under the age of 16 must have a legal guardian present at all treatments.
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