Osteopathy for babies
More and more studies show that pregnancy – and its progression – influence the baby’s physical and emotional development.
The fetus may be constrained in several ways, for instance: Mechanical (uterine space is restricted as a result of surrounding organs or tensions in the mother’s body), emotional (due to varying hormone and glucose levels as a result of stress or emotions experienced by the mother), environmental (due to noise, toxins, tobacco, pollution, etc.) and physical (due to drugs, alcohol, diet, disease, etc.). In some cases, the fetus can also suffer from a traumatic event such as when the mother falls or has an accident.
It’s important to remember that the birth, while incredibly moving, can represent a substantial physical trauma for the baby.
Osteopathic treatment for babies
Osteopathic treatment for babies aims to prevent possible structural bottlenecks which could, in the long run, lead to complications such as decreased function, tension or problems with posture. Osteopathy also seeks to resolve or significantly reduce any discomfort or unpleasant symptoms felt by the newborn baby.
Motor development in infants occurs step by step. For example, the baby will first get used to lying on his/her belly before crawling. Gradually the baby’s neck muscles will develop in order to support his head and eventually the baby will push up on his forearms.. Finally, the baby becomes strong enough to stabilize his/her back, pelvis and lower limbs allowing him/her to develop the necessary coordination to crawl.
All of these steps require perseverance and curiosity on the part of the baby. In the event of an injury (e.g. blocked vertebrae, tension on the duramater, rigidity in the occipital condyles , etc.), the baby’s muscular and neural development could be severely compromised.
Osteopathic treatment therefore aims to remove blockages in order to restore mobility and flexibility resulting in an improved position (posture), movement and vitality.
Are osteopathic techniques painful?
Osteopathy for babies is very gentle; often they will fall asleep during treatment. It can happen, however, that the baby cries depending on the day or affected area.
The baby’s cry may fall into two distinct categories.
- The baby cries to express him/herself; usually the hands are open to signify that something is occurring in the body and he/she is letting us know. Once the therapist completes the technique, the crying will stop.
- In some cases the baby’s crying grows in intensity and duration; his/her hands may be closed and he/she may push away the therapist. In this case the child is telling us he’s in pain, does not want to be treated or perhaps he is hungry (treatment often helps to accelerate digestion which means the child may become hungry during the session).
Just as an adult can refuse treatment, we respect the right of the baby to do so as well.
In order to establish a good rapport with the baby, we ask for the parent’s cooperation. Treatment occurs during play time. We have many toys available which help to distract the child and we are able to work around any snacks and breaks that the child may need.
Babies and children respond quickly to treatment therefore only a few sessions are usually required.
Issues effectively treated by osteopathy:
To decrease the side effects of vaccines
Plagiocephaly – “Flathead” or other deformation
Blocked tear duct – Eye leaking all the time
Suture that is slow to close
Baby still turning head on the same side
The structural level
Blocked pelvis or spine
Always keeps his head on the same side
Following a severe fall
The functional level
Unable to maintain position on the stomach
Unable to crawl
Does not walk on all fours and crawling with a bent knee
Walking on toes
Difficulty falling asleep
Osteopathic treatment for babies is a gift for your child… It is a preventative tool that promotes wellness for the whole family.