In a complicated birth, a baby can face a number of stressful challenges on her journey into this world. Craniosacral therapy for babies may sound mysterious, but it can be tremendously beneficial to many newborns.
Some evidence suggests that a high percentage of all newborn babies may still hold a degree of birth stress afterwards.
The bones of the head are separate moving parts, wonderfully designed by nature to move and adjust as the baby travels through the birth canal.
A baby’s heads is designed to be flexible and strong enough to push its way out under pressure. However, problems can occur when cranial bones get twisted or compressed, and then stay out of shape.
This can sometimes happen after your baby has experienced:
- Forceps delivery
- Ventouse (vacuum) extraction
- Prolonged or traumatic birth
A degree of twisting and misalignment can also occur if there’s been pressure within the spinal column during the birthing process. Craniosacral therapists believe that this could result in disturbance to the nerves at the back of the neck, for example those responsible for relaxing and tensing muscles, leaving your baby feeling very uncomfortable and unsettled.
Misalignment could have an impact on other central nervous system nerves that branch out from the spinal area transmitting essential messages to and from the whole body. These require good skeletal alignment and space to function properly.
Keeping this in mind, you can see how your baby could be feeling discomfort in the gut area and could be trying to communicate this to you through crying and through body language.
Minor misalignment could be interfering with essential messages efficiently reaching the digestive system, resulting in your baby experiencing colicky systems.
How Craniosacral Therapy for Babies Can Help
The Craniosacral System has been in place since an early stage of our evolution. It comprises the bones of the skull (cranium and mandible), the spine, the sacrum and tailbone (coccyx), plus the membranes and fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord, along with the related connective tissue. Its function is to help maintain a healthy environment for the central nervous system (CNS) to function efficiently, thus influencing a variety of bodily functions.
Craniosacral therapy (CST) has its roots in osteopathy and was developed into a unique treatment by Dr John Upledger an osteopath, in the 1970s. It’s a gentle non-invasive, hands-on treatment, which works with the body’s natural rhythms, and helps to activate healing and balancing mechanisms.
Daniel Agustoni’s book, Craniosacral Therapy for Children: Treatments for Expecting Mothers, Babies, and Children is a both a resource for healthcare practitioners and a useful guide for parents, educators, and caregivers.
When your baby is feeling safe, loved and relaxed they may be more able to communicate their areas of tensions. When these tensions are released and balanced, your baby is more likely to wholly relax into life. A sensitive, compassionate therapist will find those areas in need of adjustment and provide an opportunity for balance to occur.
Gentle hands-on techniques facilitate the unwinding of areas of compression and misalignment, encouraging the release of stress and associated emotions.
Your baby’s body can then start to soften and relax. With pressure and tension gone, necessary space in the brain and body can return; room is freed for natural growth and functioning, and your baby’s health and wellbeing can be much improved.
It’s also possible that Craniosacral therapy could help to release residual tension around the stomach and colon that have been causing a degree of colicky symptoms to occur. It could also help relief symptoms by helping to stretch and relax the Psoas muscle situated in the buttocks and hips. This muscle can become tight after several months of being flexed in the fetal position in the womb.
When Can Baby Have a CST Treatment?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that many newborn babies could benefit from a Craniosacral treatment within two weeks of birth – ideally in the first few days. This could help prevent many subsequent problems in childhood and adulthood, including some ear problems, developmental problems, headaches, neck pain and spinal disorders.
It’s worth considering taking your baby to be checked over by a CST therapist in order to give them a good start in life.
On average, at least three treatments are required; however, differences may be noticeable after just one treatment. After a difficult delivery, and for premature babies, more treatments may be needed, and it may take more sessions before any significant changes are noticed. Also, it’s good to know that’s never too late to make a difference – older children and adults can benefit greatly from having this deeply relaxing and healing treatment.
In her new book 'Baby Colic Help', she dedicated a chapter to Craniosacral therapy; a treatment that can greatly help babies suffering from colic especially when it's combined with baby massage and baby yoga movements.
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