Paediatric Cranial Therapy
It is a common belief that babies and children should have no structural stresses or strains in their bodies because they are ‘so young’.
However, the reality is very different. Birth is one of the most stressful events of our lives. The baby is subjected to enormous forces, as the uterus pushes to expel the baby against the natural resistance of the birth canal. The baby has to turn and twist as it squeezes through the bony pelvis, on its short but highly stimulating and potentially stressful journey. The baby’s head has a remarkable ability to absorb these stresses in a normal delivery. In order to reduce the size of the head, the soft bones overlap, bend and warp as the baby descends. The baby’s chin is normally well tucked down towards its chest to reduce the presenting diameter of the head.
Many babies are born with odd-shaped heads as a result. In the first few days, the head can usually be seen to gradually lose the extremely moulded shape, as the baby suckles, cries and yawns. However, this un-moulding process is often incomplete, especially if the birth has been difficult As a result, the baby may have to live with some very uncomfortable stresses within its head and body.
What effect does Retained Moulding have?
Some babies cope extremely well with quite severe retained moulding and compression and are content and happy. For others, it is a different story, and they can display a variety of problems.
The Benefits of Paediatric Cranial Therapy
- Crying babies
- Feeding difficulties
- Sickness, colic and wind
- Sleep disturbances
- Recurrent ear infections
- Ear infections
- Sinus and adenoidal problems
- Behaviour problems
- Learning difficulties
- Cerebral palsy and other types of brain damage and more
Colic / Wind / Reflux
The main ‘nerve’ that goes to the digestion system is the vagus nerve, this nerve travels in a hole between the bones in the back of the head. Slight pressure on the base of the skull will affect the nerve and can cause irritability and problems with the G.I.T. (gastrointestinal tract). Osteopaths use gentle manual techniques to restore proper mechanical function and release the compression around the cranial nerves that are connected to the G.I.T.
Feeding difficulties may be as a result of tongue tie, reflux, G.I.T. problems or torticollis (which causes a rotation through the baby’s head). Osteopathy can help babies improve their latching technique by treatment of the palate, jaw and nerves supplying the tongue, therefore making it easier for the baby to suck. Osteopathy can also help reflux by treating the cranium, stomach and diaphragm.
Poor concentration at school, constant fidgeting, hyperactivity, tantrums, anxiety “clinginess”, Osteopathy can help to calm the central nervous system enabling the child to respond more appropriately to situations and be more content with itself. Osteopathic treatment can improve the child’s neurological function by resolving the effects of the compressive forces of a traumatic birth. The earlier treatment is begun the more likely a positive & substantial benefit.