Cranial/Sacral or Osteopathic Treatment for Babies and Children

An osteopath like Gemma or a cranial-sacral specialist, like Jo, treats the person, not the disease so, as a result, we are taught to take a careful case history to build a clear picture. The first visit includes this case history and takes about an hour including the treatment. 

After a history is taken, there follows an assessment of baby with a paediatric examination. This usually includes removal of the clothing but if baby is sleeping or cold, we will choose a more appropriate time in which to carry this out.

After the examination, treatment commences.  It may look like the practictioner is not doing anything! Don’t worry. The subtle palpation skills take many years to develop and it is a light touch, not a heavy one, which allows the practitioner to feel what is going on.  It’s a little like taking a pulse. If the wrist pulse is pressed too hard, the rhythm in the vessel is obliterated. You also may find that the practitioner palpates other parts of baby’s body than the head.  This is normal.  The cranial rhythm can be palpated on any part of the body. The cranium is used because that is the headquarters for the the central nervous system. But, as you know, the nervous system is everywhere! The therapist may also move baby’s body in different directions as this helps unwind fascial patterns left by the birth process.  The treatment given is never painful to baby and sometimes, they grow quiet and still as if they feel something changing.

After a treatment, many mothers report that baby slept soundly and the symptom picture reduced. Don’t worry if the symptoms return. This is expected.  A few babies respond within one or two treatments and a few babies may be a little worse for twenty-four hours, but the  more usual response I get tends to be that the symptoms decrease over several treatments.

A trial of three treatments is generally offered to give baby time to respond to the changes. They are not all completely better in three treatments but a change is usually noted, even if temporary. Then mother and therapist can decide together whether further treatment is recommended.

What can it help?

Cranial-Sacral Therapy and Osteopathy both, treat children, not conditions. However, a wide variety of childhood complaints regularly present in clinic. This can include respiratory conditions, stomach upset, perceived behavourial problems, (including the inability to relax), muscle and joint pain, headache and back ache.

Some parents have also perceived the following changes in their child’s behaviour after treatment: a reduction in colicky crying, improved sleep patterns, less irritability, and an increase in quiet happy spells.

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