Cranial Osteopathy is a very gentle form of treatment. It works on a subtle movement found in bones, attaching tissues, and the surrounding fluid. Although it is called Cranial, the bony part of this system refers to the cranium/skull and the sacrum (base of spine.) So its full name is Cranio-Sacral therapy. The movement from this system can be felt anywhere in the body.
This form of treatment is suitable for everybody. From babies to those in their elderly years. It may be used as a preference by some patients who don’t tolerate the more structural Osteopathic techniques. It is also commonly the treatment of choice for some headaches and sinus congestion. As it is so gentle, it is a great mode of treatment for babies and children.
There is also an important overlap between dentistry and cranial osteopathy. The Hub Dental Practice, the largest private dentist Milton Keynes, explain that the relationship between the teeth and the body is complex, but from the osteopathic point of view, any dental issue has implications for the whole body, as the teeth are an important part of the body structure and the muscles of chewing are immensely powerful.
Babies commonly receive Cranial treatment following a long or problematic birth. It is common to see babies following forceps or venteuse deliveries. The symptoms often described by the parents relate to sleeping and settling issues. Perhaps colicky symptoms, reflux problems, excessive and trapped wind, excessive hiccups, and constipation. These are all common complaints that people bring their babies to me with.
ADVICE FOR REPOSITIONING/POSITIONING BABIES:
Babies must lay on their backs to sleep, but you could try alternating the end of the cot their head is at each night.
Change the position of a light source in the room where possible, or a toy/mobile. If your baby has any head flattening, turn their head away from the flattened side whilst they’re asleep. If your baby is a thumb sucker, try covering the thumb they prefer in order to encourage movemnt to the other side.
Alternate the side you feed your baby on. If there is flattening, then encouraging pressure from this area is ideal.
In the time your baby is awake, try and encourage periods of “tummy-time”. Perhaps play a game with them in this position. Sometimes babies do not like this position, but it is important to try and do. It will help develop back, shoulder and hip strength, and also take the pressure off any flattened areas in the head. Sometimes a rolled up towel under the shoulder area in this position can help assist when there is weakness. Try and practice for at least a few minutes each day.
Try and reduce the amount of time your baby spends in carriers, car seats or on any firm and flat surfaces.
Holding the baby in your arms, or in a front carrier will reduce pressure on the head.