Cranial osteopathy is a form of osteopathic treatment that encourages the release of stresses and tensions throughout the body, including the head. It is a very gentle, safe and effective form of treatment for babies and children.
There is a small amount of movement that exists in the infant skull to permit the baby’s head to adapt to the forces of labour. The infants head may not fully recover from the distortion of a forceps or suction delivery, a caesarean section, a slow labour or simply a natural birth. This may cause compression of any one of the cranial nerves or the central nervous system itself.
Another common finding in babies is tension in the diaphragm which can happen for multiple reasons. For example, a caesarian section birth means there is less compression on the chest compared to a natural labour. This compression may be the reason why the diaphragm might not function as well as it should. Another common reason is tensions in the neck as the nerve supply to the diaphragm muscle is stemming from the C3, C4 and C5 nerve roots in the neck.
Tensions in the diaphragm can lead to a multitude of commonly seen issues such as colic symptoms, reflux, constipation and difficultly winding.
Osteopathic treatment of babies and children is very gentle and works in a way that encourages the tissues to ease and release themselves rather than applying force. Babies often enjoy it and may fall asleep during or after treatment
Babies also tend to respond to treatment quite quickly (maybe as they have not a build up of issues over years like adults) and therefore if the treatment is going to work for them, it works reasonably quick.
Cranial osteopathy for babies can successfully treat, but is not limited to, the following:
- Winding difficulties,
- Crying babies,
- Feeding/latching difficulties,