CranioSacral Therapy for Babies and Children
Even the most natural of births can place tension on a newborn babies nervous system. During labour a newborn leaves their warm, safe, secure environment in utero and enters the bright, noisy, unfamiliar world. Sometimes it is necessary for some intervention, whether this be assistance from forceps or ventouse or a cesarean birth and this can contribute to minor tension patterns within the newborn. Whatever the birth experience, CST can help a newborn baby recover and thrive in their life.
- Difficult birth – long labour or pushing stage, caesarean birth, ventouse or forceps delivery
- Breastfeeding challenges/latching issues
A babies’ sense of smell is an important part of their feeding, as is their “rooting” reflex (one of their primitive reflexes). Any tension patterns in the head can interrupt or alter these reflexes and contribute to feeding issues.
Assisted deliveries such as ventouse and forceps deliveries can increase tension in the babies’ membranes (the connective tissues that surrounds the brain and spinal cord). This can change the shape of a babies palate which can contribute to their ability to draw the nipple in or suck. It can also create tension under the tongue, again having affect on feeding.
- Tongue or lip tie
Tongue/lip or cheek ties are becoming more commonly diagnosed, often as a result of seeking advice about breastfeeding difficulties. It may be necessary for the tie to be “revised” or “lasered”. However, these ties are usually part of a larger tension pattern in the system. Often your Dentist or Lactation consultant will refer your baby for CranioSacral Therapy to assist with helping the body self-correct.
- Fussy, hard to soothe babies
The bones in our heads (the cranial bones) can often become restricted and tight. This might feel like there is a tight band around our head, similar to the feeling of wearing a headband that is too tight and it gives us a headache. When the cranial bones are tight we can feel irritable, have difficulty concentrating and generally feel a bit ‘off’. This is the same in babies, toddlers and older children.
- Sleeping concerns
Often newborns “catnap” and don’t seem to sleep for long periods or time or their sleep/wake cycles seem out of balance with day/night! CST can help babies find an equilibrium with their sleep cycles by helping their nervous systems calm down.
- Head misshapen or has bumps or ridges
Misshapen heads or “flat spots” are a relatively common occurrence in newborns. It can occur due to a little compression from forceps or a ventouse delivery. Other times it may be related to tensions in the pelvis or rib cage or a mild tightening in one side of the neck (called torticollis) causing the baby to favour lying on one side when sleeping or in the capsule. Head-shape issues can over time contribute to colic and reflux and mild delays in development.
- Digestive issues including colic, reflux and constipation
We have a nerve that goes to all of our organs (called the vagus nerve). This nerve comes out of the head just behind the ear. If we get tight or stuck in this area it can irritate or squeeze the nerve and create issues with the organs such as colic or reflux.
- General Development/Gross Motor Skills
Our nervous systems are integral to our ability to learn and develop new skills. In babies these are things such as learning to roll, sit, crawl, talk and walk. If our nervous system is tight or restricted a lot of energy goes into maintaining those restrictions rather than on developing new pathways for skill development. CST can assist in these developmental processes.
- TMJ Syndrome
- Learning challenges
- Auditory and Sensory processing disorders
- Speech and language development
- Gross and fine motor skill development
- Seizure disorders
- Anxiety (self-regulation dysfunction)
Erin also has extensive training and experience in aquatic therapy for children and children on the Autism Spectrum as well as sports coaching and physical skill acquisition. This experience informs her current work with paediatric clients.