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CranioSacral Therapy

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A gentle technique

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CranioSacral therapy is a gentle and safe therapy, utilizing a very light touch, to eliminate restrictions and areas of stress or tightness in the connective tissue of the body.  CranioSacral therapy promotes optimal shape, size, and movement of the head, spine and entire body.  

Birth is one of the most dramatic experiences of our lives. The experience influences how each of us view the world.  It shapes our personalities and our responses to the environment and with other people.   For some babies, birth is quite traumatic, for one reason or another.  It may be because the space was very limited toward the end of the pregnancy.  It may be because the neck was stressed during delivery, etc. 

CranioSacral therapy helps to resolve issues from Birth Trauma.  Birth trauma is defined as a mechanical force OR psychological injury that happens near or at the time of delivery.    There are many signs and symptoms of birth trauma, including hypersensitivity to sound, movement, diaper changes, etc.   Other symptoms are poor sleep, irritability, poor feeding, stiffness, and lethargy / low energy or at the other extreme, hyperexcitability, etc.  

CranioSacral therapy uses gentle hand positions and movements to help your baby's body relax and move to a natural alignment.      Very specific, skilled, light touch is applied where necessary to assist the natural ability of the body to release stresses and tensions.

I will use my hands to locate and release any areas of tension or stress in the soft tissue.  My hands have developed a highly sensitive way of responding to small movements in the body, including circulation of fluids and tension patterns.  I will follow your baby's cues as how to best meet their needs for relaxation.  The whole point is to bring about relaxation, mind / body balance and the promotion of health. 

CranioSacral therapy promotes health from within your baby's body.  This type of therapy enhances and supports the natural function of your baby's body.

Babies delivered by C-section benefit greatly from CranioSacral Therapy.    In a vaginal birth, the bones of the head go through normal compression/decompression while exiting the birth canal.   The compression and decompression prepare the baby for atmospheric changes from a fluid-based environment to an air-based one. When baby is delivered by c section, this process is eliminated and restrictions in the skull can occur. 

Even in problem free vaginal births, babies are subjected to compressive forces during its passage through the birth canal, which can cause trauma in the tissues.   In order to function fully, the compressive forces benefit from relaxing and releasing.  Tension and stuck spots can cause restrictions and imbalances in your baby's system, potentially giving rise to issues such as colic, sucking problems and respiratory difficulties.

You may want to consider CranioSacral therapy for your baby if you notice:

  • flat spots or bulges anywhere on the head
  • overlapping sutures anywhere on the head (this is usually felt as ridges on the head)
  • uneven ear position (one may be higher or more forward in comparison to the other one)
  • uneven eye position (one eye sits higher in comparison to the other)
  • strong head preference to one side (how to spot this?  note what side your baby's head is during routine care like diaper changes, is it always to the same side?  Look at photos you have taken of your baby, notice is the head to the same side in every picture)
  • irritability
  • stiff movements
  • decreased flexibility
  • decreased eye contact or "glazed over" eyes

or if your baby has:

  • colic
  • reflux symptoms
  • excessive gas
  • constipation 
  • sleep problems
  • decreased feeding skills or latch (bottle or breast)
  • eczema or other skin irritation
  • weak, hoarse or squeaky cry
  • discomfort when positioned in a car seat
  • discomfort during tummy time
  • recurrent ear infections
  • arching through the back

More about the CranioSacral system:

The craniosacral system is made up of the coverings/membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. These coverings (called meninges) are fascial tissue. Fasia is connective tissue, which helps to keep the body organized.   The dural membrane is the outermost membrane of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). It is waterproof and keeps the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contained.  CSF bathes, nourishes, and protects the brain and spinal cord.  

CranioSacral Therapy promotes optimal circulation of CSF which enhances brain and nerve activity.

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CranioSacral therapy helps relieve symptoms by using a light touch.  This touch therapy promotes the ultimate relaxation within your baby's body, which facilitates the natural healing process.  Often babies have some area of tightness or compression that causes undue tension or stress on the nerves that supply the body.    The tight or compressed areas are very gently softened and your baby will be able to let go of this stress, which relieves the symptoms.

CranioSacral therapy does NOT replace any advice or medications your baby's pediatrician has prescribed.  This type of hands on therapy is used in conjunction with your medical doctor's recommendations and prescriptions. 

It is highly recommended to consider CranioSacral therapy for babies with: 

  • forceps or vacuum extraction delivery
  • c-section delivery
  • breech or transverse in utero position
  • prolonged labor or pushing time
  • short labor or pushing time 
  • any type of Birth Trauma
  • pregnancy complications (gestational diabetes, illness, preterm labor, etc.)
  • History of decreased movements in utero

CST can minimize or eliminate the effects of the delivery process, by gently facilitating the natural healing mechanism already present in your baby.

I  use hand positions and gentle movements to help your baby's body soften and relax.  Your baby may enjoy being held by you during treatment.  Often babies nurse or take a bottle, either during or right after a session. 

My hands are typically still while I am "listening" to your baby's body.  My hands will feel any areas of tension or increased stress.  Tension or stress can be caused from cramped in-utero positioning, the delivery process or for many other reasons.   I will support the tissues in a way that helps your baby's body make natural corrections through their whole body. 

CranioSacral therapy is very gentle and nurturing for babies.   Babies will feel a sense of relaxation and warmth through their body, which makes it very easy to change an area of tension to one of relaxation and openness.  It is common for babies to release emotions and may cry during the treatment.

What do babies "do" while they are receiving a CST treatment?

This is an interesting question.   Lots of babies

  • take deep sighs, which is a sign of relaxation. 
  • breastfeed
  • suck on hands / fingers / mom/dad's fingers, etc.
  • look around, squint a little
  • move and rotate their body
  • turn head side to side
  • cry  WHAT!@#$@#$!   you said "cry".   If it's relaxing, why would my baby cry, you ask?  This is one of my favorite things to talk about. Crying during therapy. 

Okay, let's start....

Crying is communication.  Babies communicate with you by crying.  Crying is your baby's voice.    Many times during a cranial session, the baby will tell their story through crying and movements.  This is very beautiful to watch, as baby is reworking through things that could be holding him or her back from healing.  It's really important that we are soothing with your baby during treatment, but our point will not be to stop the baby from communicating.  If your baby's cries are frantic and we can tell that they are in need of a feeding, diaper or position change, we will of course do that.  You can speak soothingly to your baby, touch gently and breathe deeply yourself, which will all support your baby's expression.  

Crying can make us feel uncomfortable though.  Even when another adult cries, we tend to want to stop them.  It's okay to cry.  Really, it is!  Actually researchers have found that stress chemicals are released through tears.   We want your baby to release any stress chemicals through their tears, so that they are no longer abundant in their body.   

I strongly believe that babies should be held while they are crying.  I do not in any way condone a baby crying while alone.  I know that this goes against some popular sleeping programs, however, my opinion is coming from seeing the effects of this technique on later behavior,from my in depth study of pre and peri natal pyschology and my experience working with hundreds of kids during their first year of life.  

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