CranioSacral Therapy allows newborns to resolve the compressions of birthing, and start life with a nervous system that is able to move and develop freely in the world.
It is my firm belief that many of the pain patterns which develop later in life, especially chronic headaches and neck pain, are the result of unresolved compression and torsion patterns from the birth process. These patterns are fixed in the connective tissues and joints, and become the core, underlying restriction for which the body must compensate. All of life's stresses and injuries then complicate this pattern and further burden the body's ability to functionally compensate.
Understanding this relationship between the birth process and the functional integrity of the body years later gives me a great appreciation for the opportunity we have during those early days of an infant's life. A few CranioSacral Therapy treatments can be all that is needed to allow a newborn to begin life with a central nervous system that is free of binding tensions.
I commonly treat newborns for the following concerns:
- Difficulty Nursing
- Torticollis (twist in the neck)
- Cranial Asymmetry
- Spitting Up Excessively
- Spinal Hypertonicity (tension)
- Difficulty Calming
- Limited Range of Motion
- Painful Cry
When baby maintains the same position in utero for much of the last trimester, with head down in the mother's pelvis, the confined space can mean sustained compressions that will likely need to be resolved with treatment after the birth. Cranial asymmetry and cervical compression are just two of the common presentations that result from prolonged positioning.
Even in an ideal, easy birth, the compressive forces experienced by the infant can be held in the body, causing a restricted ease of movement and circulation. When the birth process is long and complicated, connective tissue restrictions and joint compressions are much more likely, especially in cranio-facial and cervical mobility, upper thoracic and shoulder mobility, lumbar, pelvic and hip mobility.
A newborn is often said to have colic because they are generally fussy, experiencing difficulty sleeping, digesting or eliminating. Upon evaluation, a “colic baby” is commonly found to have residual birth compressions which are putting stress upon its central nervous system. This stress can add a further difficulty to the challenges of a new and awakening gastrointestinal system.
Latching and suckling can be strongly affected by restricted movement of the two bones of the maxilla (hard pallet or “roof of the mouth”). The maxilla and other facial bones, along with the base of the skull and upper vertebral relationships can be so compressed by birth canal pressures that they do not recover optimal movement dynamics after the birth process. A healthy suckle is powerful, relying on optimal cranio-facial movement to facilitate the strength and coordination of muscles.
CranioSacral Therapy for the New Mother
During the last term of pregnancy, lower back pain and pelvic pain are often a challenge. This can be due to pre-existing structural imbalances that become compounded by the stress of carrying a baby. It can also simply be due to the positioning that the baby chooses, pressing on the mothers spine in uncomfortable ways. CranioSacral Therapy can be very helpful in gently relieving these pressures and providing a more comfortable and enjoyable pregnancy.
After giving birth, it is not uncommon for a mothers pelvis and spine to have a difficult time recovering their stability and ease of motion. CranioSacral Therapy gently supports the bones and soft tissues of the pelvis to decompress and reposition, this allows the lumbar spine to release and lengthen. Typically only a treatment or two is necessary to fully restore balance.
Neck and shoulder pain are also not uncommon for the mother after giving birth. Birthing involves a tremendous tensing of the muscles of the neck, which can compound pre-existing tension patterns and result in lasting neck pain. Neck tension and lower back tension often link together and hold each other in a bind. CranioSacral Therapy releases the entire spine and is a wonderful solution to these residual birthing tensions.